USM Libraries

Gifts of Books and Materials

The University of Southern Maine Libraries welcome and encourage gifts that support the curriculum needs of the University. Through the thoughtful donation of books and materials over the years, the Libraries have been able to develop the collection well beyond what would have been possible through our standard acquisitions process alone.

Unacceptable Materials

The University Libraries do not accept the following:

  • Textbooks
  • Medical or Computer Science Books more than 3 years old
  • Books in any subject matter over 25 years old
    • For gifts of rare older books, please contact the Special Collections Department
  • Paperback Novels
  • Condensed Books
  • Outdated Media Formats (eg LPs, Beta videos)
  • Books that have been exposed to water or mold, are torn or excessively worn, have been written in, highlighted, or otherwise marked up
  • Multiple copies of the same book or copies of books already owned by the University Libraries
  • Serials or magazines, unless a complete set is available
  • Subject matter outside the USM curriculum (for a list of USM Departments, please see the Library Directory)

The same selection standards apply to gifts as to the rest of the collection. Pamphlets are available online with suggestions for alternate agencies which may accept materials which we cannot.

Acceptance of Gifts

The following qualifications apply to all gift items:

  • Donations of more than 30 items cannot be accepted without prior approval from the Library Director or the Head of Technical Services.
  • The Libraries encourage donors to provide a list of materials including the title, author, publication date, and general condition of the materials for evaluation prior to donation.
  • We ask donors to consider giving a modest monetary donation with gifts of over 100 volumes to help defray the costs of processing and maintaining the materials.
  • All gifts are accepted with the understanding that upon receipt, the University of Southern Maine reserves the right to determine disposition, retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to use. Materials received as gifts cannot be returned to donors. The Libraries can not accept gifts with special requirements of location, circulation, or treatment without the approval of the Library Director.
  • Physical gift plates are available only for collections of extraordinary value or collections which include a monetary donation to cover the cost of purchasing and printing bookplates. However, virtual bookplates can be added to the bibliographic record at the donor's request.

Appraisal of Gifts

It is often beneficial for donors to have their gifts appraised. The Libraries encourage donors to consider, for their own interest, obtaining an appraisal of their gifts for income tax purposes. Such appraisals are the responsibility of the donor and should be made before the gifts are transferred to the University of Southern Maine in order to establish their fair market value. The University of Southern Maine Libraries can not and will not provide any type of appraisal of gifts. If a donor wishes to have a gift appraised, it must be done before the gift is conveyed to the University of Southern Maine. All expenses and arrangements are the sole responsibility of the donor. We will provide an acknowledgement letter which indicates the number of items given.