Faculty & Staff Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



Collection Development and Management | Library and Information Science


Many librarians have a love-hate relationship with gift donations. Gifts can be a welcome source of material for a library’s collection and can provide great public relations opportunities for libraries, but their associated costs – including the amount of time it takes to review and process donations – are very real. Is accepting gifts worth the effort, or is it time to send the proverbial gift horse packing? This session engaged attendees in discussion about a variety of issues pertaining to gift donations, such as: How do you handle an onslaught of donations at the same time with minimal staffing? What do you do when non-library staff tell donors one thing but your professional judgment says you should do otherwise? Which strategies for reducing donation backlogs seem to work best? How do you assess donations in areas for which you have limited (or even no) familiarity? The discussion highlighted ideas for alternate approaches to handling gifts, examples of gift policies that can be referenced when crafting or refining institutional policies, and ways to incorporate student workers or volunteers into local workflows for gift donations.


This presentation was given at the 39th Annual Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

GiftPoliciesHandout2019.pdf (30 kB)
This handout was prepared to accompany the presentation "It's Time to Look That Gift Horse in the Mouth: Approaches to Managing Gifts."



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.