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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Gifts

Gifts: Policies and Procedures

The Library welcomes gifts of materials relevant to Kenyon's needs and in usable condition. These gifts may be single volumes or larger collections. All potential gifts will be evaluated in terms of the collection development goals of the Library. These include: supporting the current and evolving curriculum; supporting the basic research needs of faculty and students; and maintaining selected collections of depth.


  1. All offers of donations to the Library are referred to the Collection Development Librarian, who will: consult with the relevant subject librarian and/or Special Collections librarian as appropriate; acknowledge donations; and report to the College Development Office.
  2. The donor should provide a description of any substantial gift before it can be considered. In the absence of such documentation, the Library may require on-site evaluation of the collection by library staff before the Library can accept the gift.
  3. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the Library will not accept gifts on which the donor places restrictions that will negatively affect the use of the materials.
  4. If, on subsequent evaluation, the Library determines a gift to be inappropriate for our collections, it will not be added to the collections, but will be disposed of as described below.
  5. The Library cannot provide appraisals of a gift’s market value.
  6. LBIS will continue to work with Development to ensure compliance with IRS regulations, maintenance and improvement of donor relations, and public relations.


  1. All gifts are to be evaluated in light of the following criteria: ability to add depth or breadth to the existing collections; support of overall collection development priorities; relevance of content; and physical condition
  2. The Library generally will not accept gifts when their physical condition does not allow normal library shelving and use. However, in some cases the Library may accept books of sufficiently important content or provenance even if they require professional treatment to protect and preserve them.
  3. The Collection Development librarian and/or subject liaison librarians will evaluate gifts. They will make the final decision on adding unique titles or additional copies to the collections. Potential donations to Special Collections will be evaluated by the Special Collections Librarian in collaboration with the Collection Development Librarian and relevant subject librarians.
  4. When specialized knowledge is required to evaluate a gift, library staff may consult with members of the faculty or others with appropriate expertise.
  5. Extraordinary gifts may be extremely valuable in monetary terms, rare or unique, unusually significant to the College or exceptionally noteworthy for some other reason.  Gifts which may meet any of these criteria should be handled with extra care and communication.
  6. Documents relating to the history of the College or the surrounding communities should also be considered in relationship to the College Archives.


  1. With the exception of some archival or Special Collections materials and promotional donations from publishers and authors, all gift books added to the collection will bear a bookplate indicating the donor's name, when the donor is known and wishes one.
  2. All gifts added to the collection will be cataloged and listed in the Library's catalog.


  1. The Collection Development Librarian or other evaluating librarian will record (in broad terms) the reasons for not accepting a gift, e.g., duplicate at Kenyon, sufficient CONSORT/OhioLINK copies, out of curricular scope, etc. on a paper slip inserted in each item.
  2. The Collection Development Librarian will notify all other librarians (usually by email) when batches of non-accepted gifts are ready for review with a reasonable deadline (1 - 2 weeks, sensitive to vacations and other scheduling conflcts).
  3. Materials may be added to the collection after review if deemed appropriate by librarians in collaboration with the Collection Development Librarian.
  4. Gifts that are not added to the collection will be disposed of in one of the following ways:
    • In cases where other institutions have teaching or collecting goals which the gift more appropriately supports, the gift may be offered to them.  The first preference in this circumstance is to place the item with one of the member libraries of The Five Colleges of Ohio.
    • If the gifts are of artifactual value, they be sold to a specialty book dealer and the proceeds applied to future acquisitions
    • Other unaccessioned gifts will generally be sold and proceeds applied to future acquisitions.
    • In rare circumstances and if it has been arranged in advance, gifts may be returned to the donor.
    • LBIS will work to minimize the recycling of unaccessioned gifts.
    • LBIS will continue to try not to accept custody of gifts which are unlikely to be added to the collection.

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103 College Drive, Gambier, OH 43022-9624
Tel: (740) 427-5186