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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. When donating to the University Library it is important to remember that the library reserves the right to add the items to the collection, sell them to a third-party vendor, or dispose of them in any other way that seems fit.


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 few 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  • Outdated college-level textbooks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)
  • 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 accept donations and provide an acknowledgement letter.
  • You may drop off books at the Main Library loading dock during business hours (M-F 8am-4pm). Please clearly mark all of your materials as gifts to the collection. While not necessary, it is helpful to include a copy of any email correspondence in order to facilitate processing. If you would like to receive an acknowledgement letter, please include your full name and mailing address.
  • If sending a donation via mail, please send to University of Illinois Library Gifts, 305 Oak Street Library Facility, 809 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820.
  • The Library can arrange to pick up large, local gifts. Please contact Gifts to make arrangements. In some instances, the Library may also arrange for the shipment of books and other collection materials. Please contact us for further information regarding this service.

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, https://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/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.viewPage&pageID=741&nodeID=1


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. These arrangements should be made through the Library Business Office, which works with the campus to identify the most cost-efficient and effective carrier for the donation. The AUL for Collections and Technical Services and the Rare Book and Special Collections Librarian can advise on situations when these costs should be borne by the Library.