Copley Library

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Gift Policy


Copley Library appreciates gifts of materials and monetary gifts that advance its primary goals. The Library’s primary goals include: supporting the mission of the University and the curricular and research needs of its students and faculty, and collecting and preserving materials relating to the history of the University and the surrounding area. Aligned with these goals and in recognition of library space considerations, Copley Library retains the right to accept or reject gifts. The guidelines in the Collection Management Policy apply to gifts as well as to purchases. Staff processing costs provide additional rationale for the Library’s gift policies and decisions. Material gifts are reviewed by the librarian who is responsible for the subject of the materials being offered.


General Material Donations to the Library:

Donations for Archives and Special Collections:

Monetary Donations to the Library:

Major Donations to the Library:


Gifts-in-kind (gifts of materials) to Copley Library are generally received and processed by the Technical Services Department. The Library shares the donor’s concern that gift materials will be put to the best use at the Library for the university community. Therefore, donors considering a large gift of materials are encouraged to first contact the Head of Technical Services regarding the appropriateness of a proposed gift. We recommend that potential donors provide a list of the materials they would like to offer. The Head of Technical Services will check with the appropriate subject specialist and the University Librarian before accepting or declining large gifts. The University Librarian is the final authority on the acceptance and disposition of gifts.

Factors to be weighed in the decision to accept or reject a gift include the inherent value of the material offered, its relationship to existing collecting areas of the Library, the suitability of the form of the material, the condition of the material, and restrictions placed by the donor. Under normal circumstances, the Library will not accept: textbooks, damaged or marked up items, and periodicals that are not needed to fill gaps in the collection. In addition, gifts with conditions as to their disposition, including requirements for where to house in the library, are usually not accepted. Packing and transportation of the gift to the Library is the responsibility of the donor.

In cases in which a gift accepted by Copley Library contains titles or volumes that are not suitable for the collection, the Library reserves the right to dispose of them in the manner it considers appropriate. All attempts are made to find another home for any unwanted items through Copley Library’s partnership with Better World Books, an online bookseller that supports global literacy initiatives. All library profits from the sale of gift material through Better World Books will be used to support Copley library materials and programs. A gift not needed by Copley Library will be returned to the donor ONLY in exceptional instances that are outlined before the gift is accepted.

The University Archivist typically makes arrangements to directly receive gifts-in-kind that will enhance the University’s Archives and Special Collections. These donations are pre-arranged with the University Archivist and in general, follow the same guidelines as other donations to the Library.


The appraisal of a gift to Copley Library for tax purposes is the responsibility and expense of the donor, as the donor benefits from the tax deduction. Donors are encouraged to consult their tax advisors for assistance with using the gift as a tax donation.

Copley Library may suggest the desirability of appraisals for large gifts. To protect its donors and itself, Copley Library, as an interested party, will not appraise gifts of materials. The acceptance of a gift which has been appraised by a third, and disinterested, party does not imply an endorsement of the appraisal by the Library.

The following local and online resources are offered to donors interested in locating appraisal information. Copley Library does not require the donor to use these resources and does not benefit from a donor’s decision to use these resources.

Southern California Book Appraisers
Bountiful Books (San Diego)
Rhea Kuhlman
Member, IOBA
Antiquarian, natural history, philosophy, art, architecture.

Dawson’s Book Shop (Los Angeles area)
Michael Dawson
Member, ABAA
Rare Books & Photographs.

Online resources for estimating relative value –

AddALL Used and Out of Print Search –


The Technical Services Department will send an acknowledgment to each individual who has made arrangements to donate gifts-in-kind to Copley Library. Donors of large gifts-in-kind (twenty or more volumes) will also receive a tax receipt that notes the number of volumes received and type of material received, but the receipt does NOT include: a title list of the items, an estimate of the value of the gift, nor disposition of the gift. If desired, individuals donating fewer volumes may request a tax receipt. The Technical Services Department maintains the records of this correspondence. In general, unsolicited gifts are acknowledged ONLY if accepted for use in the library collection.


The Technical Services Department maintains records of material gifts, including:

  • Name (and, if possible, address) of donor
  • Date of the gift
  • Number of items (volumes, issues, etc.)
  • Format (including number of cloth and number paper bound volumes)
  • Acknowledgement, if applicable
  • Gift receipt, if applicable

Effective February 2013