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Library Materials Donors: Retention and Use of Materials

Guide for gift books and other donations to the MU library collections

Retention and Use of Donated Materials

The Library reserves the right to determine retention, location, appropriateness for the collection, and other considerations relating to the use or disposition of all donated items. The Library will review and keep those items meeting the needs of the University Libraries. In some instances, librarians can review your materials on-site before being boxed for delivery to the Library by the donor. Contact the appropriate library unit to make arrangements for an on-site review.

Accepted materials will be cataloged and placed in the appropriate Library collection for University and community use. All donated items immediately become the property of the Library without restriction and will not be returned to the donor if not added to the collection. Materials not accepted for the Library collection may be offered to other academic or public libraries, traded for materials the Library can use, sold by the Library Associates organization via book sale or online auction, or discarded.

Retention Criteria

  • Relevance to the academic mission and curriculum of the University and the Library
  • Appropriateness of content, currency, and format with regard to existing Library collections
  • Potential usefulness
  • Condition of material and potential costs of maintenance


The Library cannot perform any appraisal or valuation of donated materials. Value appraisal and inventory lists for tax purposes are the donor's responsibility per IRS guidelines. We cannot assist in locating an appraiser, and we cannot provide inventories of donations; however, if you provide an inventory with your donation, we can confirm the number of volumes and reference your inventory in a letter of acknowledgment. An automated donation form and acknowledgment receipt are available for your convenience at Library Donors (

Monetary Gifts / Donations

  • The Library encourages monetary gifts to support the University's Libraries.
  • Any monetary donation should originate with the Assistant Dean/Head of Digital & Technical Services:

    Gretchen Beach
    Assistant Dean/Head of Digital & Technical Services
    205 Morrow Library


The Library will issue a formal acknowledgment of donations received. A donation acknowledgment note will be added to the Library catalog record for items appropriate for cataloging. If you desire, bookplates in your name or as memorials to another person will be placed in all books donated by you that are added to the Library’s collections.