Skip to Main Content

Jessie Ball duPont Library

Library Policies

A resource to library policies about materials and computer use.

Donating Items to duPont Library

Box of booksThank you for your interest in donating items to our collection! We appreciate your generosity. There are some types of materials we cannot accept, so please read the policy below. If we cannot accept your donations, we have listed other places to donate at the bottom of this page.

Contact for Donations

For a just a few books, you may drop them off any time the library is open. Please leave your name and contact information with the books.

For donations of more than 2 boxes, please make prior arrangements with Penny Cowan, (931) 598-1573 or

Gift Policy

Because institutional funds are seldom adequate to provide the range of materials necessary to enable the Library to meet the needs of the community it serves, a good academic library appreciates gifts of books and library materials to add breadth and depth to its collection. Therefore, it is important that the Library have friends who are alert to its needs and who are generous not only with their own gifts but also actively cultivating other persons who may have book collections which would be of value to the Library.

Nevertheless, there are important reasons for the Library staff to exercise great care in accepting gift books.  First, though the books may be given at no cost to the Library, addition of materials to the collection is a costly process and our staff is limited in number. Second, few academic libraries have unlimited space for collection expansion.  The Library attempts to collect a limited selection of the wide range of printed materials, determined principally by the nature of the University’s academic program and the specialized needs of the community it serves.  For other types of materials, it relies on the collections of other libraries through interlibrary loan, cooperative and consortial arrangements, and document delivery.  Therefore, the Library exercises as much care in accepting gift books to place in its collection as it exercises in the purchase of books.

With these considerations in mind, the following policies govern the acceptance of gift books and collections by the Library.

  • The University Library reserves the right to refuse acceptance or dispose of any accepted materials which, in the judgment of qualified members of the staff, would not be appropriate additions to the Library collections.
  • The University Library reserves the right to refuse any gifts on which the owner has placed unusual restrictions, such as requiring that a collection of books be kept apart from the general Library collection and housed in a special area or special sections of the stacks out of their normal classification sequence.  Of course, collections of rare books, some autographed first editions, and other similar items will, as a matter of policy, be placed in Special Collections.
  • The University Library will not appraise gifts of single titles or of entire collections.  If donors desire appraisals, library staff will assist them in locating appraisers and/or will acquaint them with Web sites that provide reliable guidance to the value of books. The cost of an appraisal by a third party will normally be borne by the donor, and the acceptance of a gift that has been appraised by a third and disinterested party does not in any way imply an endorsement of the accuracy of the appraisal by the Library. The gift must be appraised prior to donation to the University Library if the donors desire appraisals.
  • For tax purposes, the donor must provide for themselves and the University Library a printed list of donated materials. See IRS Instructions for Form 8283, Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property and Tax Topic 506: Contributions for more information on IRS requirements. The University Library will not provided printed lists of donations.
  • If the gift is of substantial monetary value, the University Library will request that the donor execute a universal gift form which is a legally recognized document effectively transferring title of the item(s) in question from the donor to the Library.
    For the donation of personal or professional libraries, the University Library must be allowed to preview the gift before it is brought to the Library.

Gifts of non-print items are accepted, although there is greater scrutiny of the condition of the material than with print items. All audio and video materials are previewed for evaluation of condition. We accept unabridged audiobooks on CD, but no longer accept cassette tapes. We accept DVDs and Blu-ray videos, but no longer add VHS tapes. We do not accept LP sound recordings for the circulating collection unless we can ascertain that a compact-disc version does not exist. Potentially valuable LP collections will be evaluated by appropriate library staff, with input from faculty members of the Music Department, for inclusion in the William H. Ralston Music Listening Library and Archive.

The following types of materials will not be accepted by the library for donation:

  • Books with heavy mold or mildew           
  • Books that are physically dirty.
  • Books previously purchased from book sales
  • Books previously owned by us, but discarded
  • Materials in extreme disrepair
  • Incomplete sets or items with missing pieces
  • Outdated materials such as 
    • Health books
    • Cookbooks more than 10 years old
    • Travel guides more than 3 years old, unless of historical significance (for ex. 1930s Berlin)
    • Investment or financial guides   
    • Most reference books more than three years old   
  • Medical books
  • Single pieces of sheet music
  • Yearbooks from other schools
  • Magazines and periodicals


Books should be brought to the library in boxes if possible. Donors’ names and addresses must be included even if they don’t want acknowledgements.

Donors are responsible for the following, except under extenuating circumstances:

  • Making prior arrangements with Penny Cowan  931-598-1573 for donations of more than 2 boxes
  • Supplying boxes
  • Delivering donations to the library.


Updated 8.14.18