Donating materials

Collection development in any library depends on the careful selection and acquisition of materials and on gifts of books, periodicals, other library materials, and money. The Iowa State University Library welcomes such gifts providing they support the teaching, research and other needs of the University. Gifts of materials other than those mentioned above will be considered on an individual basis.

Acceptance of gifts

Upon receipt, gifts become the possession of the University Library. As owner, the library has the right to determine retention, location, circulation, and all other considerations relating to use or disposition. The library usually adds items that would be unique to our collection and items that may serve as useful second or third copies.

Several main policies govern collections gifts at Iowa State University Library including the Collection Development Policy, the Special Collections Mission and Collections Policy and the Map Room Collections Policy.

Making a donation

Donations of materials for the General Collection may be dropped off at the Circulation Desk, Parks Library. (Please download the Library Gift Materials Form and bring it along with your donation.) Materials that the donor believes should be considered for Special Collections or the University Archives may be dropped off at Special Collections, 403 Parks Library. Patrons with more than one box of books will be referred to the appropriate bibliographer. In the absence of the appropriate bibliographer, walk-in materials donations may be brought to the Collections Office, Room 202 Parks Library (515 294-7511).

For gift collections in excess of fifty titles, we may ask to review the collection prior to acceptance and in these instances we request a list of titles be provided. If the gift does not match our needs, we will attempt to refer the donor to a more appropriate repository.

Tax information

The following brief summary of information from Internal Revenue Service publications provides basic guidelines pertaining to tax deductions for donors of gifts-in-kind. It is not intended to serve as a complete account of the requirements or limitations covering tax-deductible gifts. For more information, consult the website of the Internal Revenue Service ( or your local library and locate these IRS publications:

  • Form 8283: Noncash Charitable Contributions and the Instructions for Form 8283
  • Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property
  • Publication 526: Charitable Contributions

Because of tax considerations, the University Library encourages donors to discuss prospective donations and appraisals with their attorneys or other tax experts for specific questions about charitable deductions for gifts-in-kind. In general, the fair market value of a gift-in-kind is deductible. A donation within a tax year valued at $250 or more requires a written acknowledgment from the University Library as the recipient. If the donation is valued at more than $5000, the donor must obtain a qualified, independent appraisal and submit an appraisal summary with the return claiming the deduction. A copy of the appraisal must also be given to the library. The acceptance of a gift appraised by a third and disinterested party does not in any way imply an endorsement of the appraisal by the University Library.


Appraisal of a gift to the library for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor since it is the donor who benefits from the tax deduction. To protect both its donors and itself, the University Library as an interested party may not appraise gifts that it receives. The library will provide assistance as to sources of information for evaluation purposes. The University Library does not pay for appraisals. We recommend contacting the American Society of Appraisers.


The University Library will make an appropriate acknowledgement of all gifts. Additionally, as part of the receipt or acknowledgement, the library will provide a brief written description of the donation. However, the library does not ordinarily provide listings of donated materials nor are library staff necessarily able to provide a precise reconstruction of the contents of a gift for tax purposes at a later date.

Contact Information

Additional questions on collections gifts should be directed to Ed Goedeken,, Collections Coordinator, 153 Parks Library, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011; telephone 515 294-3311; and for Special Collections gifts, Laura Sullivan, or, Archivist, Special Collections, 403 Parks Library, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011; telephone 515 294-9680.

For information on making a monetary gift to the Iowa State University Library, please contact the Director of Development,, 202 Parks Library, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011; telephone 515 294-0431.

Iowa State University

University Library, Ames, Iowa 50011, Email Webmaster
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