Wesleyan University Library Gift Policy
Wesleyan University Library collections provide students and faculty with access to the most current information sources, as well as rich, diverse collections in traditional formats. These form a foundation for in-depth study in the humanities, sciences and social sciences. While the primary goal of collection building is curriculum support, we also recognize the importance of providing basic resources to support graduate and faculty research.I. Guidelines for Accepting Gifts
Due to the high costs of managing the gift process, as well as access, preservation, and space issues, the library's goal in accepting gifts is to acquire only materials which are highly relevant to the institution's needs. All potential gifts will be evaluated in terms of the collection development goals of the library. These include:
- Supporting the current and evolving curriculum
- Supporting the basic research needs of faculty and students
- Building on older collections of depth
1. For the general circulating collections, all offers of collections that consist of more than 25 items are referred to the University Librarian (UL) or her designee. Collections of 25 or fewer items and single-item gifts are evaluated by the Acquisitions Administrator. The UL and Acquisitions Administrator will consult with appropriate subject selector(s) to evaluate offered collections. The University Librarian reserves the right to make the final decision to accept or decline a gift.
For the library's special collections, offers of collections are referred to the department head responsible for collection development in that area.
For gifts to:
Special Collections & Archives, contact Suzy Taraba, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist: email@example.com ; 860-685-3375
World Music Archives; other music collections, contact Alec McLane, Music Librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 860-685-3899
Art Library, contact Susanne Javorski, Art Librarian: email@example.com ; 860-685-3326
Science Library, contact Melissa Behney, Science Librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 860-685-3714
For other gifts of 25 or fewer items, contact Trevor West, Acquisitions Department: email@example.com ; 860-685-3834
For all other gifts, contact Pat Tully, University Librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org ; 860-685-3887
2. Initial evaluation: The donor will provide a description of any gift before it can be considered. A full written description (including a list of titles and documentation regarding ownership and provenance) is extremely useful in the initial evaluation. In the absence of such documentation, the Library may require on-site evaluation of the collection by the appropriate selector before a determination to accept can be made.
3. Acknowledgement of accepted gifts: For the circulating collections, the Acquisitions Administrator will acknowledge accepted gifts of single volumes or small collections up to 25 items. The University Librarian will acknowledge all accepted donations of collections over 25 items. For the library's special collections, the department head responsible for collection development in that area will acknowledge accepted gifts. Acknowledgements will include a count of the number of items donated and/or a brief description of the donation.
4. Tax and appraisal information: By law, the Library is not allowed to assign values to gifts-in-kind. If the claimed annual non-cash charitable contributions of a donor exceed $500, IRS Tax Form 8283 must be filed. Gifts valued at more than $5,000 must be appraised by a licensed appraiser. The appraisal of a gift for income tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. Unless other arrangements are agreed to beforehand, the appraisal must be completed before the accepted collection is delivered to Wesleyan. To find an appraiser in your area, you may wish to consult the following sites:
American Society of Appraisers
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
Appraisers' Association of America
5. Restrictions on gifts: In most cases, the Library will not accept gifts on which a donor places restrictions that will negatively affect the use of the materials. Any restrictions must be agreed upon by the University Librarian, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, or Music Librarian, as indicated above. For the few cases in which there are restrictions they should not negatively affect the use of the materials in the long run, although there may be a certain number of years of closure.
6. Title-by title evaluation of accepted gifts: In most cases, offered collections will be evaluated as a whole before accepting the gift. Once accepted, the selectors for the appropriate subject area(s) will evaluate each title within the collection to determine whether or not to add it. If a selector determines that a title does not fit the criteria for evaluating gifts (below), it will not be added to the collections but will be disposed of as described below. In some cases, individual items from a collection may be accepted although the collection as a whole may be declined.III. Criteria for Evaluating Gifts
1. All gifts are to be evaluated in light of the following criteria
- ability to add depth or breadth to the existing collections
- support of overall collection development priorities
- relevance of content
- physical condition
2. The Library will not accept gifts when their physical condition does not allow normal library shelving and use. In exceptional cases, the Library may accept books of sufficiently important content or provenance even if they require professional treatment to protect and preserve them. Before accepting any collection for the circulating collections, the Preservation Librarian will be consulted to evaluate the overall physical condition of the collection and estimate the cost of treatment. If the cost of treatment is more than nominal, the Collections Group, meeting with the subject selector, will recommend to the University Librarian whether or not to accept the gift, and how to pay for treatment. The UL will make the final decision. In some cases, the donor may be asked to provide the resources for this treatment.
3. Librarians who are selectors charged with management of specific subject collections will evaluate gifts accepted for the general collections. They will make the final decision on adding unique or additional copies to the collections. The department heads responsible for the library's special collections will evaluate the gifts they accept for special collections. These evaluations will extend to materials originally offered to the general collections but which are determined to be perhaps appropriate for the special collections.
4. When specialized knowledge is required to evaluate items within an accepted gift, selectors may consult with members of the faculty, the Preservation Librarian, or others with appropriate expertise.
IV. Disposition of Gift Materials
1. Unless specifically requested and plates are funded by the donor, books will not be plated. Books will be cataloged and listed in the Library's online public catalog. Access will be provided to other materials according to library policies.
2. All gift materials that are added to the general collections are shelved in the appropriate subject classification. The Library no longer maintains separate named collections.
3. Gifts that are not added to the collections may be disposed of in one of the following ways:
- If it has been arranged in advance of the collection being accepted, they may be returned to the donor or the donor's designee.
- They may be sold by the Friends of Wesleyan University Library and the proceeds used to support Library resources and services.
- In cases where other institutions have teaching or collecting goals which the gift more appropriately supports, these institutions may be offered the gift. Connecticut College and Trinity College, Wesleyan's partners in the CTW Consortium, will usually be given the first opportunity to accept material the library decides not to add.
- Disposition of materials not added to the special collections will be returned, sold, or offered to other institutions, as negotiated before acceptance.
- Hands Across The Water is a Massachusetts book collection charity that promotes literacy and education. The organization provides books to schools, libraries and other community based nonprofit organizations in the US and overseas.
- The University of Buffalo Health Sciences Library maintains a website that provides information on nonprofit agencies that manage donation programs that distribute books, journals and media in all subject areas to foreign countries.