Library Donations Policy

Making a material or financial contribution to the Library

The Musselman Library of Gettysburg College is pleased to accept donations of books, journals, multimedia resources, and other materials that enhance its collections and support the curricular and research needs of the College. Gifts of materials donated by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the community make significant intellectual contributions to the Library's holdings. Financial contributions for purchasing books or other library resources are also welcome.

 

General collections and special collections

The policies set forth in this document apply to the general collections of the Musselman Library, including the reference, circulating, journal, and media collections of the Library. Policies for the Library's Special Collections may differ; please consult with the Library's Special Collections Department for further information or visit its website.

Conditions of acceptance

Please be aware of the following conditions when giving materials or making financial contributions to the general collections of the Musselman Library:

    • All items added to the Library's collections should support the research and instructional mission of Gettysburg College.
    • All gifts of books, equipment, or other library materials are accepted subject to the approval of the Director of Library Services in consultation with the Director of Collection Development and/or the Director of Special Collections and Archives, as appropriate.
    • The Library reserves the right to decline gifts of materials or financial contributions to purchase materials that do not meet the needs of the College's research and instructional programs.
    • Gifts of materials are accepted with the understanding that they become the property of the Musselman Library upon receipt and that the Library may make all necessary decisions relating to their use and disposition. Donors, their heirs, and/or their representative(s) waive all present or future rights relating to the gift, its use, and/or disposition.
    • Because of limited storage and staffing, the Library is unable to accept, add, or make available for use all gifts of materials offered. If gifts of materials are determined to fall outside the scope of the Library's collections, they may be sold or discarded at the discretion of Library staff. The Library cannot guarantee that a donated collection will remain intact or will be housed together.
    • If a donation falls outside the collecting interests of the Library, whenever possible or feasible, the Library will try to direct donors to other suitable recipients for their gifts.
    • The Library does not accept gifts with restrictions that would prevent Library staff or College administrators from making decisions on how best to develop the Library's collections. However, financial contributions can be made to support specific collections or services that fulfill the Library's and the College's research and instructional mission.

Delivery of gifts

Gifts may be delivered in person or by mail to the Musselman Library. Gifts may be left with Reference or Circulation staff, as well as with Collection Development staff and Library Administration. Donors may want to call ahead to be sure that someone will be on hand to accept their donation.

For larger gifts or if personal delivery is not possible, donors may request that Library staff retrieve the gift. Please contact the Director of Collection Development to arrange for pick up of gifts.

Receipt of gifts

Upon delivery or retrieval of a gift, the Library's Collection Development Department will issue a receipt of gift that acknowledges the donation. Donors should keep this receipt for tax credit purposes.

Please note that, with the exception of financial contributions made to the Library, the receipt does not list the individual items given or the value of the donation made to the Library. If such a detailed inventory is needed, donors will need to document the information desired.

Determining the Value of Gifts

Legally and ethically, the Library cannot assign a value to a donation for tax credit purposes.

The Library recommends that donors consult appropriate U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications dealing with donations to determine how best to arrive at a "fair market value" for their gift. See the section, "Tax Credits and Gifts," in this document for information on appropriate tax publications to consult.

Alternately, donors may wish to discuss prospective donations, appraisals, and tax considerations with appropriate financial or legal advisors.

For those who want an idea of a donation's potential worth, there are a number of resources available to help you with determining value. Please see the Musselman Library publication, Determining the Value of Gifts, for further information.

Appraisals

The Library cannot legally appraise the gifts made to it. A professional appraiser should evaluate the gift to be made. For information on finding a qualified appraiser, the donor may wish to consult one or more of the following sources:

For a list of appraisers in the Gettysburg area, please see the Musselman Library publication, Book, Manuscript, and Collection Appraisals.

Donors are advised that if a tax deduction on a gift is to be taken, the Internal Revenue Service has regulations for filing tax-deductible contributions valued at $250 or more. If the value of the donation is greater than $5,000, to acknowledge receipt of the gift, an independent appraisal is required and the College is required to sign the IRS Form 8283, Revised October 1998, Noncash Charitable Contributions. To be acceptable to the IRS, the appraisal must be made no more than 60 days before the date of the contribution and before the due date of the tax return.

Donors are asked to present the completed IRS Form 8283 to the Library at the time the gift is made. The form will be signed by a College representative and returned to the donor.

Tax Credits and Gifts

As noted above, donations made to the library with a combined value of over $5,000 require that donors complete IRS Form 8283 when reporting the gift. This form must be signed by the College official who acknowledges receipt of the gift.

For more information on tax credits and gifts, donors may wish to consult the following IRS publications and forms:

  • Charitable Contributions (IRS Publication 526)
  • Determining the Value of Donated Property (IRS Publication 561)
  • Basis of Assets (IRS Publication 551)
  • Noncash Charitable Contributions (Form 8283)
  • Instructions for Form 8283
  • Cumulative List of Organizations Described in Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (a list of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions) (IRS Publication 78, now also available as a searchable list on the IRS website)

These publications are available from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service website.

Contact Information

For more information about making a gift or a financial contribution to the general collections of the Musselman Library, please contact

Amy Ward
Director of Technical Services
Musselman Library
Gettysburg College
300 North Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 337-7036
award@gettysburg.edu

For more information about making a gift or financial contribution to the special collections of the Musselman Library, please contact

Carolyn Sautter
Director of Special Collections
Musselman Library
Gettysburg College
300 North Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 337-7002
csautter@gettysburg.edu