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Penn State University Libraries

Acquisitions Services



All gifts should be referred directly to Acquisitions Staff before going to any other processing location.

Staff and Faculty delivering gifts to Technical Services should personally hand them to Acquisitions Staff.  If they are unavailable the material can be given to the Technical Services receptionists, leaving information as to the origin of the material.

Considerations Regarding Gifts

  1. Searching is primarily the responsibility of the Gifts Staff in the Acquisitions Services Department; however, some units perform this function instead.
  2. Bear in mind that the average cost to process a gift book is ~$20. This should be taken into consideration along with the physical condition of the gift prior to acceptance. Preservation requirements add costs to the gift.
  3. All persons who accept gifts should complete a Gifts in Kind Donor Form and forward it to the Gifts Staff within one month of receipt.
  4. The Gifts Processors will ask selectors to pre-screen gifts of more than 25 items (approximately) before searching is done in the CAT.
  5. Anyone sending out acknowledgment letters should follow the standard format, such as including required statements regarding IRS regulations, and should forward a copy to the Gifts Staff, who will then forward it to the Development Office.

Instructions for the Use of the Gifts-in-Kind Donor Form


The purpose of the Gifts in Kind Donor Form is to track donor information and collect statistics on donations to the University Libraries. These data are used to build an accurate database of donor information, track credits to donors, and attribute credits to the Libraries’ development goals. All gifts-in-kind donations should be tracked using this form. Retention of specific gift items is a separate decision, made by the appropriate selector or subject specialist. Use the Gifts Processing flyer to communicate retention decisions.

About the form:
  1. It is important to get separate item counts (hardcover vs. softcover, etc.) as it affects the valuation of the donation towards development goals.
  2. It is not required that the donor sign the form, but it would be useful to point out the language in the “note” – that gifts are “accepted with the understanding that the materials become the property of the Libraries”… and “the Libraries may use, keep, or dispose of items at its discretion”.

  3. Here are the possible dispositions for unretained material. (staff only)

  4. IRS regulations prohibit the University from appraising donated material.
  5. The Libraries is not able to guarantee a donor that their gift will be added to the collection. If a donor insists on having a guarantee, they must speak with the appropriate selector or subject specialist before making the donation.
  6. All persons accepting gifts-in-kind must be aware of the IRS rule regarding gifts valued at over $5000 and should contact the Collection Development Officer if they encounter such a situation.
  7. While the retention decision for gifts-in-kind can be handled at the Libraries’ convenience, it is essential that the donor information be communicated to the Gifts Staff so that an acknowledgement letter can be sent in a timely manner. Return the Donor Form within one month of the transaction.
  8. Only one form is required per donor transaction – not one form per gift item!
  9. If the person receiving the gift materials is not authorized, qualified, appropriate, or inclined to make retention decisions on the gift materials, the process can be deferred to the Gifts Staff by sending the gift materials along with the Donor Form to:
Acquisitions Services
126 Paterno Library
University Park, PA 16802-1808

Anonymous Donations to PSUL Locations Outside of University Park:

Many gifts to the University Libraries outside of University Park (primarily the Campus Libraries) arrive anonymously or are donated by persons wishing no acknowledgment. In these cases the information about the number of items received is still required for Development use.  These locations should use the Donor Form for Anonymous Gifts in Kind* to record statistics throughout the fiscal year.  Completed forms should be sent to the address above by August 1st each year.

*NOTE: This form should not be used by UP Libraries Locations.  Anonymous donations at these locations should be forwarded to the address above and should indicate: anonymous status and referring location.