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Gifts of Books and Other Library Materials


This policy provides information regarding the donation and acceptance of gift materials to KU Libraries.

Applies to: 

Donors of potential gifts of materials to KU Libraries.

Policy Statement: 

General Information
KU Libraries invites and accepts many types of gifts, including monetary donations and gifts of materials such as books, manuscripts, oral histories, ephemera, digital resources, archival materials, scores, photographs, media, CDs, DVDs, videos, and recordings.  All gifts are considered for acceptance based on the potential of the gift to support or enhance the Libraries mission.

Contact Information
Donors considering gifts to support KU Libraries collections should contact the Head of Content Development, KU Libraries, 1425 Jayhawk Blvd., Watson Library, Lawrence, KS 66045, (785) 864-8997.

Funding to Support Gift Collections
There are tangible and significant costs incurred by KU Libraries when adding items to the collection.  Donors of materials are encouraged to consider an accompanying monetary gift to help the Libraries make materials accessible through the library catalog, house library materials within our collections, promote their visibility and use, and preserve gift materials for the future.

Acceptance of Gift Materials
All offers of gift materials will receive careful consideration by KU librarians or specialists with knowledge and experience in building library collections in various subject areas.  Initial review of proposed gifts will consider any potential restrictions, limitations, and costs associated with accepting and processing the gift.

Generally, KU Libraries will accept only materials that contribute to the teaching, research, and service missions of the university and that are not already in the Libraries' collections.  The Libraries are unable to accept duplicate materials, mass-market magazines and items in poor condition or materials that fall outside the scope of KU's teaching and research collection.  In most cases, the Libraries do not accept donations of journals unless needed to fill collection gaps for existing subscription titles.  If the donor's gift is not accepted, the donor may be directed to other potential recipients or outlets.

All gifts accepted become the property of the KU Libraries and the University of Kansas.  The Libraries reserve the right to determine retention, disposition, location, treatment, and other considerations related to the use of any item.  Even if a gift is accepted, the Libraries may elect not to add the materials to our collection.  The Libraries reserve the right to exchange, sell or discard items that do not fit current needs.  All sale proceeds will be used to benefit building research and teaching collections in KU Libraries.

KU Libraries encourages donors to provide an inventory of items to be donated, including information such as author, title, publication date, or basic description of non-book items.

Appraisals, Tax Information
Upon request, KU Libraries will provide the donor with a letter acknowledging a gift of materials; however, the appraisal of any gift to KU Libraries for income tax or other purposes is the responsibility of the donor.  IRS policy prohibits the Libraries from formally appraising gifts or participating in an appraisal.  In some cases, the Libraries may be able to direct donors to external appraisers who can provide professional services or advice.

Donors are encouraged to consult professional tax advisors before making a major gift.  IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property, provides detailed information for donors of non-cash gifts.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Donors of financial support to KU Libraries may contact the Director of Communications and Advancement.  See Giving to KU Libraries for additional information.

Donors specifically interested in gifts to Kenneth Spencer Research Library or to the University Archives may contact the Director of Spencer Research Library at (785) 864-4275 or consult Kenneth Spencer Research Library Giving for additional information.


KU Libraries Content Development Office Contact: 
Sara Morris
Head of Content Development
KU Libraries
1425 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-8907
Email: semorris@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Interim Deans of KU Libraries (Kent Miller and Mary Roach)
Approved on: 
Monday, March 9, 2015
Effective on: 
Monday, March 9, 2015
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

KU Libraries encourages and welcomes donations of gifts that help build collections supporting the research, teaching and service missions of the University of Kansas.

Major gifts to KU Libraries over the years have helped form valuable collections, renowned worldwide for unique scholarly and research content.  Gifts have helped the Libraries build and enhance collections that raise the visibility and reputation of KU Libraries as a center for research excellence and innovation.  Donations can strengthen and diversify collections in all formats and, in turn, foster learning and support student and faculty research endeavors.

Library, KU Libraries, gifts, donations, giving
Change History: 

03/27/2024: Updated contact information. 
10/27/2017:  Reviewed and approved for inclusion in the KU Policy Library by the Assistant Dean for Content and Access Services.

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