12.04.a Accepting Gift and Donated Materials - Reviewed 02-2012.pdf

The Library's policy is to accept donated material (GIFTS) for two purposes: (1) new material, current year copyright, may be placed in the Library's collection; (2) other donated material will go to the branch location or Main's book sale to support

Library's material budget and related activities. Patrons inquiring about donating material should be given a copy of "Questions You Might Ask Before Giving a Donation to the Library. (Attachment 1)"

Adding Books to the Library's Collection

A book may be accepted for the shelf and sent to Technical Services for processing if it has a current year copyright, and RPL owns a copy, has a copy on order, or has bought the author in the past.

A book may be accepted for inclusion in the Library's collection if it is in excellent condition, does not have the current year copyright, but carries the ISBN of an owned copy of the book.

Books never accepted for the Collection (but are fine for the sales) include: textbooks, mass market paperbacks, spiral-bound books, advance reading copies, proof copies or promotional materials.

Certain subject areas are always needed and if a book is in excellent shape and published within three years of current date, please send to Collection Development for final decision regarding inclusion in collection. Areas needed: urban fiction, African- American biographies, weddings, resumes, small business, and language materials. Also, Library will consider any CD or collection from The Teaching Company.

Library will accept current trade paperbacks in excellent condition with current year copyright, and Library owns a hardback/trade paperback copy, has a copy on order, or has bought the author in the past.

Mass market paperbacks will not be accepted as gifts to go on Library shelves.

If the author of the book is a Richmond, or local, author, check SIRSI Workflows to see if we own the author in the special regional collection. If not, forward the book to Collection Development. If the author is a Richmond or local author (born or lived in Richmond for one year) and wants his/her book considered for the Library collection, please give the author the Collection Development telephone number. No location should agree to a book signing.

If a patron wants to buy a book for the Library, the Librarian in the Adult, YA, or Juvenile area needs to give him/her a title list based on selection lists. The patron is not to determine what the Library needs.

Adding Audiovisual Material to the Library's Collection

RPL will no longer add any cassettes or videos to the RPL Collection. When a cassette or video breaks, it is time to remove it from the collection.

Unabridged or abridged books on CD will be added if there is a current year copyright for the CD, and we have bought or will buy the title in book format.

DVDs will be accepted for the collection if they are in the original, unopened packaging and meet the collection policy criteria of being 1) a book- to- film (fiction) or 2) the American Film Institute guidelines (fiction). Most non-fiction DVDs in original, unopened packaging with a current copyright will be accepted. All DVD titles in question may be sent to Collection Development for consideration. DVDs that do not meet the preceding guidelines will be accepted for the book sale.

Current year music CDs will be accepted for the collection if they fall under the following headings: classical, international, opera, blues, jazz, folk, church, gospel, musicals, seasonal. No popular music, including "Best of" albums, will be added due to high loss rate. If a decision cannot be made regarding the category of a music CD, it should be sent to Collection Development.

Donating a Gift Book in 'Memory' or 'Honor Of" an Individual-

We accept contributions to purchase materials in memory of or in honor of an individual.

Individuals may write a letter to Collection Development at Richmond Public Library and enclose a check made out to the Library for the amount of the gift. The donor should specify in the letter: the full name of the individual to be honored, the format to be purchased, suggested titles or subject matter for the material, the specific RPL library that will receive the gift, and a name and address of a family member who needs to be notified when the gift material is ready to be added to the collection.

Once the books are purchased and processed, RPL will send the individual's family or friends a letter of acknowledgement.

Bookplates supplied by the RPL are placed on all materials "in honor" or "in memory" of an individual (or group.)


Approved: December 17, 2007

Reviewed: February 2012

Attachment 1: Questions You Might Ask Before Giving a Donation to the Library

  • Can I be assured my gift will go on a certain library's shelves?

Donated materials will only be added to the collection if they meet the same standards outlined in the library's materials selection policy. If your gift does not meet these guidelines, the donated materials will be offered to our other library locations, placed in the library's used book sale, or recycled.

  • Can I donate paperbacks or magazines?

We will put trade paperbacks with current copyrights into the collection if we need the titles. We will sell all mass market paperbacks through the library's used book sale.

While some of the branch libraries welcome magazines for their book sales, the main library does not accept magazines. Please check with the staff before dropping off magazines.

  • Can I donate audiovisual materials?

Yes. A/V materials (DVD's, audiobooks in CD format, and music CD's) that meet the library's selection criteria for A/V materials and are in their original, unopened packaging may be added to the collection.

A/V materials that do not meet the criteria above will be placed in the used book sale.

  • Can I ask to be contacted if the book is not needed, so I can get it back?

No. When you give the library a book or other material, you are also giving the library the right to decide the best use of the material: shelf or sale.

  • What type of material do you absolutely not want?

We do not accept materials that are yellowed, brittle, missing pages or covers, or moldy. We do not accept old textbooks, spiral bound editions, Reader's Digest Condensed novels, notebooks, or any book that has been written in.

  • How can you be fussy? It's free material.

It's not free. Staff time, cataloging, labels, and processing all add a cost to each gift item.


Approved: December 17, 2007

Reviewed: February 2012