Materials Donation Policy

Updated: October 2023

The University Libraries accepts gifts of books and other information resources that enhance the collections and support the University's instruction and research programs. Generally, the University Libraries accepts materials that fall within three categories.

Materials must:

  • support the University's current and evolving curriculum and academic disciplines;
  • sustain the research needs of faculty and students;
  • and/or enhance the existing collection.

The University Libraries do not receive donations of personal libraries without consultation. It is the responsibility of the donor to assess the condition and type of the materials to ensure that they meet the criteria below and to contact appropriate library personnel to discuss the donation.

As a rule, FSU Libraries cannot pack donated materials and cannot pay for transportation of donated materials.

Donating Rare or Archival Materials

The holdings of FSU Special Collections & Archives are immensely strengthened through the generous contributions of alumni, faculty, and friends. Although our range of collecting is broad, certain materials, potentially valuable in themselves, may not fall within it. To get a better sense of our collecting priorities and needs, please review our Collection Development Policy.

To discuss making a donation to Special Collections & Archives - whether it’s a single item or a large collection - please reach out to us at Special Collections and we will forward your inquiry to the appropriate contact. We request that you do not bring materials to the library without having first communicated with us.

Types and Condition of Donations

Donated materials should be in good condition, meaning materials are clean, with durable bindings, and do not contain loose, brittle, stained, marked or discolored pages. Commonly accepted types of materials include:

  • Current academic or scholarly publications
  • Older publications not already in the collection
  • Specialized research materials, including scientific and technical reports
  • Foreign language publications
  • Other primary source materials

Items that will not be accepted for the collection include materials in poor physical condition, such as materials that contain mold or mildew, stains, tears, evidence of insect infestation, or other significant damage. Other types of materials the Libraries may not accept include:

  • Materials already in the collection
  • Multi-volume sets with missing volumes
  • Scattered or single issues of journals
  • Magazines, newspapers and other periodicals
  • Outdated or superseded titles
  • Outdated media formats (such as VHS tapes, cassettes, etc.)
  • Popular trade or mass market paperbacks
  • Previous editions of textbooks
  • Materials that require significant restoration, conservation, or unique storage
  • Loose leaf or spiral-bound materials

Donation Acceptance

Questions about donating materials can be directed to the Associate Dean for Resource Management and Discovery Services or the appropriate subject librarian. Subject librarians or other librarians may review and make decisions about adding gift titles to the collection.

Donations are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the FSU Foundation upon receipt, and that the Libraries may make all necessary decisions as to their retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to their use and disposition.

Transportation of Donated Materials

Before transporting materials to the FSU Libraries, donors should ensure their materials meet the guidelines above and they have consulted with the appropriate subject librarians or the Associate Dean for Resource Management and Discovery Services.

FSU Libraries cannot pack donated materials and cannot pay for transportation of donated materials.

Smaller donations (2 boxes or less) may be dropped off at the Circulation Desks in Strozier Library or Dirac Library with a completed Giving Materials to the Libraries Form during normal business hours.

FSU Libraries may be able to arrange pickup of donations in the Tallahassee area if materials are boxed and prepared for movement. To arrange delivery of larger donations, please contact Access Services & Delivery to schedule a delivery date. Delivery dates should be arranged at least a week in advance to allow time to determine logistics.

Gift Valuation

Appraisals for donations to the Libraries for tax deduction purposes are the responsibility of the donor. The Libraries, as a gift recipient, are disqualified from appraising donations. If a gift is valued at greater than $5,000 and the donor wishes to deduct the gift for tax purposes, the donor must have the material appraised by a certified appraiser, fill out IRS Form 8283, and send a copy to the University Libraries. The Associate Dean for Resource Management & Discovery Services or the Associate Dean for Special Collections can suggest outside agencies that potential donors may contact for appraisal.


In order to receive acknowledgement of a donation, the Giving Materials to the Libraries Form must be completed at the time of donation. Donors will be sent a written acknowledgement in a timely fashion, unless specifically requested that no acknowledgement be made. Acknowledgements typically include the date of the receipt and a brief description of the materials donated, including quantity. For tax purposes, it is recommended that donors prepare a detailed inventory itemizing materials donated and include a copy with their donation. The FSU Foundation is notified by the Dean of Libraries’ office of all gifts accepted, and given a copy of any acknowledgement letters, as well as details of any agreements made with the donor.

Giving to FSU Libraries