Gift collection development Policy


The library is moving away from acquiring and storing materials—either by purchase or from donations – “just in case”. The books which our patrons ask us for are seldom the books which are donated. Our highest priorities are titles our users have specifically requested or items, like Special Collections materials, which we have a stated obligation to preserve. More options -- easily identified and delivered stock from book vendors, quick interlibrary loan, electronic books – now exist to quickly provide a title should it turn out to be needed.

Gifts aren’t free. The library must effectively use time, money and space while considering indirect expenditures and opportunity costs. The gifts procedures acknowledge new staffing realities in Scholarly Resources and Collections and the expanded responsibilities of CITs beyond selection.

Materials not needed for the library can still aid us by being sold.

These guidelines are for materials entering the library’s main collection, not Special Collections. These are based on usage and selection patterns, national obligations, and likelihood that any error in rejecting a title could be rectified if it was later decided that the title was needed.


All items for main collection must be in very good physical condition. Avoid most duplicates.


- Material solicited or given directly by library employees, e.g. presentation copy given at author’s reading attended by subject librarian, technical report on topic of campus interest requested from issuing agency, bestsellers for Browsing Collection donated by members of Unrequired Reading Group.

- Gifts by current University faculty of material to which they intend to refer their students, e.g. supporting material for Reserve, videos for Knowledge Commons.

- Non-duplicate gifts from the University community which develop a specific collection, e.g. children’s books from a Caldecott Medal Committee member, books purchased in Korea by an Asian Studies professor. Intent of this category
is to bolster campus relationships and take advantage of the good contacts and knowledge of our collection which such University donors have. It is not intended to authorize clearing out an office and adding common academic books or journal backruns.

Refer donors who have Special Collections materials to the appropriate division or to Judy Jarrow.

If the item is wanted, take it directly to Dallas Alder, Shipping and Receiving, to be receipted and then take to the Gift cataloging shelf is at southwest end of free-standing range. Flag with any special instructions.


- Material on local topics where our only copy is non-circulating. If it seems likely that a circulating copy would be appreciated, it should be added to stacks, e.g.
Utah hiking guides.

- College textbooks published within last two years.

- Other items which library personnel, with their hands-on knowledge of our collection and users, know are likely to be needed. This includes replacement copies and duplicates of very heavily used books. CIT members may select items in their subjects during the book sale and preview.


Collection Development strongly suggests that subject liaisons and the gifts program not routinely add these materials to the main collection.

We do not fill in missing issues of journal runs.

-Non-academic books: How-to books, guides, popular fiction…
Au courant titles may be wanted by Unrequired Reading Group for Browsing.
-Monographs of academic interest more than 10 years old from standard trade / society / university press publishers
Earlier imprints only where instinct suggests that not owning book would be a major inconvenience to patrons.

-Earlier editions of books where we have more recent copy
(literary first editions aside – although reading copies are more important for main stacks than fine firsts which we would be putting library markings on.)

- House or vanity publications (e.g. self-published poetry, 75 Years of Glorious Siwash
U. History).

-College textbooks more than 2 years old. K-12 instructional material of any age (apart from standing agreements for Curriculum Library).

-Printed dissertations/theses and symposiums.

-Formats needing less common equipment to use (vinyl records, 35mm slides, etc.).

-Material in languages not taught at the University of Utah or which a University reader in a given discipline is unlikely to know (finance in French).

-Materials in law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy or other disciplines not covered by Marriott CITs.


Donor queries you about giving item(s) to library

If the item(s) sound likely to not be of interest for our collection and probably can’t even be given away in book sale’s last day (old serials), it may be politely declined.

If the item(s) seem suitable for main collection or for book sale: please contact Shipping and Receiving, 801-581-8439,

Donations for Special Collections should be directed to Todd Samuelson, Associate Dean for Special Collections, 801-581-3813

Book sale

Donations go to Shipping and Receiving, room 1265. Small donations can be left at the Library Information Desk.

Shipping and Receiving (S&R) will sort books.
- Some material is obviously suitable for main collection. S&R will take those items to Acquisitions for processing.

- Items which appear to be worth over $25 will be researched. S&R will try to sell suitable items on Alibris.

- Items suitable for the book sale will be rough sorted by subject. The book sale will be held in the library for a week every semester. For certain announced business days before the book sale and during the book sale, CIT members may, if they wish, examine the stock and select items in their subjects to be added to the collection. Team members may also monitor Marriott’s Alibris storefront.

- Items are sold for decreasing prices during the sales week and then given away.

Count of gifts added will be generated from Alma.

Main contacts: Dallas Alder, Shipping and Receiving.

Rev. 12/5/2019

Downloadable Gifts Policy PDF