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Gifts Information for Donors

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Thank you for thinking of the University Library as a possible place to donate your materials. Please note that all donations of library materials (gifts-in-kind) must be thoroughly assessed prior to acceptance; the University Library will not take unsolicited drop offs of books or other library materials until after the prospective donation of materials has been reviewed and approved. If you are interested in donating and do not have the appropriate contact within the University Library please feel free to contact libgifts@library.illinois.edu and we will attempt to put you in touch with the appropriate librarian(s) and/or departmental library(ies). When donating to the University Library it is important to remember that the University Library reserves the right to add the items to the collection, sell them to a third-party vendor, or handle them in any other way deemed appropriate.


Types of Materials to Donate

Rather than creating an exhaustive list detailing the types of donations that we do accept, laid out below are those items that do not make desirable donations.

In general the Library does not accept the following for addition to the collection:

  • Journals and magazines (for large journal/magazine runs, please contact us for pre-approval)
  • Heavily highlighted, underlined, or otherwise marked materials
  • Water damaged materials
  • Mold damaged materials
  • Materials in poor physical condition
  • Off-prints of journal articles or book chapters
  • Programs for conferences that list only dates, times, and speakers, but do not include the papers presented or the abstracts of papers
  • Outdated college-level textbooks
  • Mass market paperbacks
  • E-books, e-journals, etc. (as licensing rights do not allow transfer into an institutional collection)
  • General interest items that do not reflect the University Library’s mission
  • Copies of items already owned by the University Library


Ways to Donate Your Materials

To make a donation of books and other collection items to the University of Illinois Library, you may do any one of the following:

  • Contact a librarian in any of our departmental libraries.  They can work with you to assess the potential donation and, if accepted, provide an acknowledgement letter.
  • After review and acceptance, the Library can occasionally arrange to pick up large, local gifts. In some instances, the Library may also arrange for the shipment of books and other collection materials.  The librarian who accepts the donation can work with you to arrange these details if required.

In most circumstances, donors are responsible for sending gifts to the Library. In certain cases, the Library will pay for packing and shipping of gift items. The AUL for Collections and Technical Services and the Rare Book and Special Collections Librarian advise on situations when these costs should be borne by the Library. Once approved, these arrangements will be made through the Library Business Office, which works with the campus to identify the most cost-efficient and effective carrier for the donation.


Acknowledgment of Gifts

Donors should be sent written acknowledgment of their gifts to the Library for tax purposes. However, a donor can request that no acknowledgment be made.

Tax Deductions & Charitable Contributions

For specific questions regarding donations, donors should contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a tax expert. In general, fair market value of a gift-in-kind is deductible. A donation within a tax year valued at $250 or more requires a written acknowledgement of receipt.

The homepage of the Internal Revenue Service, http://www.irs.gov/ offers detailed information on appraisals and donated materials. Some of the publications and forms that may be of interest include:

  • Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property
  • Publication 526: Charitable Contributions
  • Form 8283: Noncash Charitable Donations (must be filed with your taxes if you are claiming a deduction over $500 for all contributed property)

Under laws created by the IRS, the Library and its employees are prohibited from attaching a monetary value or giving an appraisal to a gift-in-kind because the institution is considered an interested party.

Appraisal of Donations

Potential donors must be advised that UIUC librarians cannot make a monetary appraisal of donated materials, because such an appraisal constitutes a conflict of interest and is prohibited by law. We cannot provide any specific endorsements for appraisers, but one can search for an appraiser using the following site: https://www.appraisersassociation.org/find-an-appraiser