Gift Books Policy

The University Libraries accept donations of books and other materials that support the research and teaching mission of the University. Especially welcome are items that will have significant importance to the library’s collections based on their subject matter and content. Due to the high cost of processing donations, the Library reserves the right to decline gift offers at its sole discretion.

Received materials will be evaluated in accordance with criteria consistent with the Library Collection Development Policy. Upon receipt, materials become the property of the Library and will be reviewed by appropriate library personnel. Materials that are in poor condition, duplicate existing holdings, or fall outside the scope of the Library Collection Development Policy may be immediately disposed of through sale, donation, or discard.
Once items are accepted, the Library is responsible for determining the retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to the use or disposition of these materials.
In accordance with United States tax regulations, the Library is not permitted to make appraisals of gifts. For IRS reporting purposes, it is the responsibility of the donor to arrange for an independent appraisal by a qualified professional prior to the donation and to keep records of the individual items donated and the value attached to each. If the library receives appraised collections through the Stony Brook Foundation, the library is required to follow the Foundation’s specific guidelines for accepting and handling materials.
In general, the Library considers the following to be not acceptable as gifts:
• Gifts to which the donor has attached conditions or restrictions, such as retention, housing, classification, and use
• Materials which duplicate existing holdings
• Periodicals
• Subscriptions
• Mass media paperbacks
• Photocopied materials or copies of original audio/video productions
• Damaged and/or brittle materials
• Materials that may be affected by mildew or mold
• Materials heavily marked by pen or pencil
• Materials discarded by other libraries


The initial contact person for gifts to the Library is the Associate Director for Collection Strategy and Management (ADCSM) or his/her designee. Once contact is made, the ADCSM/designee will promptly ask the appropriate subject specialist to respond to the donor, learn more about the intended donation and, when appropriate and with the permission of the ADCSM/designee, begin making arrangements for delivery to the library.
The subject specialist will request that the donor supply a printed inventory of titles before final permission to deliver materials is given.
The donor will be responsible for boxing and delivering donations intended for the Library.
After gift items are accepted, an acknowledgment letter from the Dean of Libraries will be sent to the donor. The letter will note the number of volumes accepted but will not list individual titles or estimate the value of the donation.
The specialist will keep a record of correspondence relating to gifts and will document, for each donation, the names of donors, the dates of donations, a brief description of each donation, and the number of items donated. A copy of the brief description including the number of items donated will accompany the donation when it is sent for processing.
Materials not selected by the library will be sold, donated, or discarded at the sole discretion of the Library.

Download University Libraries Gift Books Policy