The George Mason University Libraries welcome gifts of books, manuscripts,
music, and other research materials. It is, in part, through such generosity that the
Libraries are able to add depth to the academic resources available to our
community. Particular interest is paid to scholarly, current, or rare items in
good physical condition. The following guidelines are offered to assist donors.
Based upon these criteria, the University Libraries retain the right to accept
or decline all potential gifts. I. General Guidelines
Due to the high costs of managing the gift process,
the Libraries’ goals in accepting gifts are to acquire only materials which are
highly relevant to the university's needs. All potential gifts will be evaluated
by subject expert librarians in accordance with the collection development policies of
the George Mason University Libraries. Potential gift items will meet one or more of the following criteria:
Donations that are Generally Considered Inappropriate
- Support the University’s current and evolving curriculum and academic
- Sustain the research needs of faculty and students;
- Augment collections of depth;
- Enhance the unique and noteworthy holdings of George Mason University Libraries special collections.
II. Process for
- Materials that are not in good physical condition, e.g., contain mold or
mildew, tears, stains, water damage or are in any way impaired in a manner
that results in limited or restricted use. These are potentially harmful to
- Large museum type artifacts. Such items cannot be accommodated by the
- Materials that require significant restoration or conservation or unique
storage, unless accompanied by appropriate funding.
- Gifts on which a donor places restrictions that will negatively affect access to and use of the materials.
- Popular trade paperbacks.
- Single issues of periodicals or broken runs of bound periodicals, unless
they fill gaps in our current collection.
- Outdated, superseded titles.
- Outdated media formats such as LPs, cassettes, etc.
- Materials which duplicate current holdings.
- Photo copies/facsimiles of original materials.
III. Disposition of Gift Materials
- The University Librarian ensures adherence to George Mason University's
policy on accepting gifts-in-kind. Only the University Librarian or the
Associate University Librarian for Resources & Collection
Management Services can authorize acceptance of collections on behalf of the
- Donors will provide a title list and description of any gift before it can be
considered. In the absence of such documentation, the Libraries may require
on-site evaluation of the collection by subject area specialist or other library
staff before a determination to accept can be made. These expert individuals
will evaluate potential gifts for appropriateness to the
- Gifts delivered without prior arrangement or contact with the Libraries'
acquisitions and gifts staff or staff listed above will not be accepted or
- Potential donors of materials should contact the Gifts Coordinator for the University Libraries.
IV. Donor Information
- With the exception of some archival materials, all gifts added to the
collection will be cataloged and listed in the Libraries' online public
catalog. Archival materials are principally accessible through electronic finding aids as
published by the University Libraries.
all gift materials that are added to the general collections are
shelved in the appropriate subject classification, the Library cannot
maintain separate named collections, unless by prior agreement by
authority of the University Librarian, though appropriate donor
recognition language may be placed within the online catalog record in
- Gifts that are not added to the collection may be disposed of in one of
the following ways:
of artifactual value, they may be sold to a specialty book dealer, a general used book dealer, or
donated to charitable organizations focusing on book donations, and
the proceeds used to support future acquisitions for the University
Libraries' research collections.
- All other unaccessioned gifts may be sold through the University
Libraries periodic book sales or recycled. Proceeds from book sales may be
used to support future library activities or acquisitions for the University
Libraries’ research collections.
- Only in special circumstances, and if arranged in advance, may items be
returned to donor.
Under current tax law for gifts over $500 but less
than $5,000, donors must file a completed IRS Form 8283 which must be
signed by the George Mason University Foundation. Gifts exceeding $5,000 require
a formal appraisal, which must be secured by the donor, to accompany filing IRS
Form 8283. The value of the gift should be determined by the donor prior to
transfer to the Libraries. If possible, a copy of the appraisal should also be
submitted to the Libraries.
For gifts under $500, in order for the Libraries to
accept the gift, donors must complete a form stating the value of the donated
materials is under $500.
Should the Libraries decide to sell a donated item
valued over $500 within three years of receipt, the University must file IRS Form 8282 which
discloses the actual proceeds from the sale of the gift and restates the gift
value indicated by the donor on form 8283. The IRS uses this to determine if the
gift value claimed by the donor was reasonable
IRS law prohibits librarians and staff from appraising
materials or the Libraries paying for or arranging for appraisals. Pertinent
information is available in IRS Publication No. 561
"Determining the Value of Donated Property". Because tax laws change
frequently, it is advisable that donors seek professional tax or estate counsel
prior to making a gift.
Donors who offer materials or collections which the
George Mason University Libraries can not accept may be referred to other
libraries or charitable book donation programs.
For more information contact:
4400 University Dr., MS 2FL
Revised 1 October 2011