DONATE BOOKS & OTHER MATERIALS TO THE LIBRARIES
The MU Libraries welcome donations of gift materials to enhance our collections and support teaching and scholarship. Prospective donors should contact the most relevant subject or branch librarian and describe the items they wish to donate to the libraries. The usefulness of the donation is determined before delivery. If you are interested in making a financial donation to the MU Libraries, or participating in the Adopt-A-Book or Honor with Books programs, please see Giving to the Libraries.
What Kinds of Materials to Give the Libraries
The Libraries accept gifts of both hard cover and paperback books, as well as gifts in other formats when appropriate. If your books are rare or especially valuable, we encourage you to contact Special Collections and Rare Books. If you wish to donate personal or organizational papers, please contact the University Archives. Materials the Libraries cannot accept:
- Issues of popular magazines (e.g. National Geographic and Time)
- Issues of scholarly journals that the Libraries already hold
- Items in poor physical condition (e.g. moldy or insect-infested items, extremely brittle items, books coming loose from their bindings, books with heavily marked pages).
- Issues of journals from personal subscriptions, due to prohibitions by the publishers.
If you are considering a gift of licensed software or non-commercial sound or video recordings, please consult with the Libraries first.
Terms of Acceptance
The MU Libraries, except in rare circumstances, cannot pick up donations. It is strongly suggested that you set up an appointment to bring your donation to the Libraries, especially if you wish to donate more than 50 items. To make the appointment, or to ask any questions about donating books to MU Libraries, please contact Sean Witzman at 573-882-9160. Please carefully read the MU Libraries Policy on Acquiring Value Gift Material. Upon acceptance and transmittal, all gift materials become the property of the MU Libraries. The Libraries reserve the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment and other considerations relating to the use and disposition of gifts. MU Libraries does not track whether all or part of a donation is kept for the collection. Donations not added to the collection cannot be returned to the donor. They may be offered for exchange or sale, notably at the book sale area in Ellis Library Copy Services.
Gifts will be acknowledged by the University of Missouri-Columbia Development Office and by the MU Libraries. The Libraries acknowledge gifts with a letter referencing the number of items given and the date of receipt. If you would like an acknowledgement sent to you for your donation, you will be asked to fill out and sign an Incoming Gifts form pdf form available). You may either bring this form with you or fill it out when you make the donation. Unsolicited gifts without accompanying address information cannot be acknowledged.
Tax Information and Appraisals
Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit the Libraries from providing appraisals for gifts. Therefore, valuation of donated property is the responsibility of the donor and should be made prior to the materials being given to the Libraries. The Libraries can supply names of qualified professional appraisers upon request. Donations valued at more than $5,000 generally require specific actions in order to comply with federal tax laws. For information about this and other questions on deductibility of charitable gifts in kind, please consult an attorney or other tax expert.
Where Else Can I Donate Materials?
- Heartland Book Bank. This non-profit organization channels donated books to prisons, abuse shelters, etc.
Materials that have a copyright date of 1990 to date are candidates for shipping overseas to developing countries. See the following web sites for more details.
- Comprehensive List of Donation Programs for Books, Journals and Media (SUNY-Buffalo)
- Journal Donation Project
- Bridge to Asia