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Collection Management Principles and Strategies

Donation of Materials: General Guidelines

The Library welcomes inquiries about donation of materials, primarily from the Carleton community and alumni, that support the curriculum and enhance existing collections.  While the Library values gifts in kind, not all potential donations are a good fit for our collections in terms of subject and scope or available physical space in the library to house materials. 

The following materials are not sought:

  • Textbooks, workbooks, lab books, solution manuals, etc. (We will accept required textbooks for current courses from faculty members to be used for Course Reserves)
  • Materials in poor conditions e.g. torn, marked up, water damaged, mildewed, moldy, malodorous, stained, in need of extensive repairs, etc.
  • Scholarly journals which duplicate our holdings
  • Popular magazines
  • Books and DVDs which duplicate our holdings
  • Typically books and materials available at St. Olaf
  • Mass paperback books
  • Outdated media formats (e.g. VHS, audio cassettes, CDs, vinyl records)
  • Materials which might cause the Library liable for copyright infringement


 Guidelines for Donors

  • Donors are responsible for any appraisals of materials donated.  The Library cannot provide donors with estimates of value an item(s) or collector's market value. 
  • The Library retains the right to accept all, none, or part of a proposed gift of materials based on the evaluation of its relevance and selection considerations used for purchase of new materials.
  • Potential donors may be asked to provide a list of proposed materials for review to determine if items duplicate our holdings and if addition of the materials supports the curricular or other library collection needs.

  • Donated materials are accepted by the Library with the understanding that, once received, they are owned by the Library.

  • Upon receipt and acceptance of gift materials for the general collections or Special Collections, determination of restrictions on the use, retention, disposition, access, cataloging treatment and other considerations are the sole responsibility of the Library.

  • Donation of materials for the general collections or Special Collections are acknowledged unless the donor requests otherwise or if the donor is unidentifiable. Acknowledgments typically include the date of receipt, total number and type of gift donated.  If a more detailed listing is required, the donor will need to provide an itemized list.


Inquiries About Donation of Materials

  • If you are interested in donating materials or have general questions regarding donation of materials, please contact Lisa Pillow, Collections Strategy & Development Librarian.
  • Special Collections: Donors wishing to give rare or unique books or materials are encouraged to contact Jackie Beckey, Special Collections Librarian,
  • Carleton College Archives: For those interested in donating materials produced by or for Carleton College or materials that relate to or document aspects of the history of the College and its constituents, please contact Tom Lamb, College Archivist.

Other options for donating materials

Other options for donating materials beyond Gould Library: