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Gifts of Materials

Policy on Accepting Materials

The library welcomes gifts of books and other library materials which will enhance our collections. The library's collections are intended primarily to support the university's curriculum and the research of faculty and students. Materials to be added must be useful and still valid in their subject areas. Ordinarily such works fall into one of the following categories:

  • Works of scholarly value, especially books from university presses
  • Literary works in good editions
  • Standard works in history, philosophy, etc. in good editions
  • Music or films that fit our usual criteria
  • Scientific works (unless outdated)
  • Works dealing with the San Joaquin Valley or any of its ethnic groups
  • Works in any subject collected in our Dept of Special Collections
  • Fine or special editions of any period, including facsimile editions
  • Works that fill specific gaps in the collections
  • Missing volumes of multi-volume works

For reasons of space and to preserve the character of the collection, the library cannot accept:

  • Textbooks
  • Mass-market paperback books
  • Popular fiction
  • Books which are marked up or which are in poor condition
  • Duplicate copies of works already in the collection
  • Superseded legal, medical, and other professional books
  • Most foreign language publications in languages not included in the curriculum
  • Periodicals (magazines, professional journals)
  • Media in outdated formats, e.g. Beta, VHS, phonorecords, audio cassettes

The library may accept as gifts materials on religion that fit its normal collecting criteria and that it would consider purchasing. Such materials include:

  • Scholarly studies on history of religion, religion in society etc
  • Scholarly philosophical treatments of religious questions; general theological works
  • Scholarly editions of religious texts such as the Bible, the Quran, the Buddhist classics
  • Discussions of controversial questions involving religion that are issued by general trade publishers or university presses and addressed to the general public or to an academic audience. These may be added to the collection selectively.
  • Detailed and specialized historical or descriptive works about a particular denomination may be added if they are useful in academic study on this campus

The library does not purchase and will not accept as gifts:

  • Devotional works
  • Pastoral works
  • Editions of classic texts that are intended for members of the faith
  • Works for the instruction of the faithful or of possible converts
  • Theological materials meant for members of the faith
  • Works focused on a particular locality, church/synagogue/mosque or congregation (unless they would be a valuable addition to our local-history collection)

Gift Procedures

The Gift Librarian will be pleased to consult with those who wish to offer materials as gifts to the library. Contact Tom Ebert, the Gift Librarian, at 559.278.5816 and leave a message or email him.

Ordinarily, the library accepts gifts only under condition that it can select those which are appropriate and useful for the collection and can dispose of others as explained below. Unneeded materials can be held for pick-up by the donor by special request. The library cannot assign a monetary value to gifts; donors who need such valuation must hire a qualified appraiser.

Gift materials come to the Gift Librarian for initial selection. They are stored in the Technical Services Department and are checked against the library's holdings as time is available. Final decisions on the materials are made by the Collection Development Librarian or by the librarian in charge of the appropriate specialized collection (Music, Special Collections, etc.). Those selected are cataloged in the usual way for the general collection or the appropriate specialized collection.

An acknowledgment letter will be sent for any substantial gift, or whenever a donor asks for one, and library book-plates with the donor's wording can be pasted into books.

Materials that are not selected for the collection are disposed of by donation normally to another publically-funded institution, by discard, or by recycling.

Note that the Arne Nixon Center and other specialized collections have their own policies and procedures.

Monetary Gifts for Purchase of Materials

The library will purchase a book to carry a book-plate in honor or in memory of a person or event, in return for a donation of $100 to cover the cost of the book and processing. The library will select an attractive book of general interest that is appropriate to an academic collection.