Gift Materials Policy and Guidelines

Purpose of Policy

The gift policy ensures that the library retains oversight of the content of Trexler Library’s collections and remains in compliance with federal law and regulations.

Policy Statement

The collections of Trexler Library at Muhlenberg College have been developed through both the judicious purchase of materials and the donation of many valuable and useful gifts. Trexler Library appreciates donations and promotes an active donor program. Contributions of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and other materials are accepted and selected for addition to the library’s collections according to the Gift Materials Selection Guidelines listed below. Because of the complexities of selecting and caring for gifts, donors are asked to give consideration to our need for flexibility in accepting contributions.

Pennsylvania State law prohibits charitable gifts from being returned to the donor. Individuals who receive returned gifts can be subject to tax fraud allegations and charitable institutions who return gifts threaten their tax-exempt status.

Gift Materials Acceptance Guidelines

Purpose of Guidelines

This statement outlines responsibility for the selection and the conditions under which gifts are accepted.


  • Transport of Gifts
    • As a general rule, the donor is responsible for packing and delivering items to the library, including any delivery costs.
  • Selection
    • A librarian is assigned responsibility for selecting items for addition to Trexler Library’s collections. The Director is responsible for reviewing any major gift proposal and establishing the conditions of its acceptance.
    • The responsibility of the Library to the College’s instructional and scholarly programming, and the requirements for bibliographic control, collection access, and storage prescribe the observance of the following conditions in accepting gifts:
      1. The Library’s collections include books, periodicals, maps, manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, and other non-print media such as films, slides, CDs, DVDs, and tapes. Other formats will be accepted only by special arrangement.
      2. The Library administration reserves the right to select materials and determine their retention, location, classification and descriptive cataloging, and other considerations related to their storage, use, or disposition. Selection of materials for retention will be governed by Trexler Library’s Collection Development Policy. Restrictive conditions are usually not accepted in order that gifts may be maximally usable.
      3. Gift items not appropriate for the Trexler Library collection may be sold, offered to other organizations, or otherwise disposed of as is appropriate for the particular material.
  • Appraisal
    • Appraisal costs must be borne by the donor. The Internal Revenue Service considers a recipient library to be an interested party and disallows an evaluation made or paid for by the Library. Upon request, the Library will suggest appropriate persons or organizations to be consulted for professional appraisals, or refer the donor to published pricing guides, auction records and dealers’ catalogs where the donor can determine a valuation. In general, the Library follows the code on appraisals established by the American Booksellers Association.
  • Acknowledgments
    • Each donor who has filled out a gift acknowledgment form will receive a letter of acknowledgment from the Library Director that lists the number of items given to the Library collections. If requested on the gift form, a bookplate identifying the donor or memorial will be placed usually on the inside front cover of each item. The Library does not provide each donor with a title-by-title listing of donated items, nor does the Library provide a list of items ultimately placed in the collection.
  • Questions
    • Please direct any questions about the Gift Materials Policy to Kelly Cannon at 484-664-3602 (email: or to the Library Director at 484-664-3551 (email:

Reviewed 2021