Receiving donations

Colourful spine labels on books.

Donations and gifts to your collection can be a bonus to your school community, but only if they meet the criteria you use for selecting resources. Sometimes you need to manage the expectations of donors.

Managing donations and gifts

Check your library guiding documents for information about how you:

  • evaluate gifts for inclusion in your collection
  • dispose of gifts that you can't accept.

When people offer gifts to the library, use the information in your library guiding documents to help them understand how you'll handle their donation.

Dunedin Public Libraries have developed a comprehensive framework for managing gifts and donations to a public library (section 22).

Collections policy — Dunedin Public Library.

Assessing donations

When someone donates materials to your library, you need to be sure that they'll fit into the library’s collection. For example:

  • they may be too old or in poor condition
  • they may not fit into the vision for your library and its collection
  • you may already have copies of the materials in the library
  • the cost in time and resources to process the donated items may be more than the value of adding them to the collection.

When you receive donated items:

  • apply your usual selection criteria
  • ensure the donor understands that you don't automatically accept donations — if that's your policy
  • ask what they would like done with any donations the library can't use — they may ask you to return them or they may leave it to you to dispose of them.

Selecting and purchasing resources

Disposing of unwanted donations

You could use donated items that don't fit into your collection to benefit your school community in other ways. For example, put them in a book sale that raises funds for the school or give them to students or their families.