Gift Policy for Donors

 Revised August 2020

Thank you for your interest in donating to James Madison University (JMU) Libraries. As a means of enriching the library collections, the JMU Libraries accepts a limited number of gifts that add to value and depth to the libraries’ collections and support the instructional and research programs of JMU.  Gifts of money, books and other research materials can be used to develop the libraries’ collections. However, acceptance of donations is limited due to the high cost of sorting, reviewing, processing and cataloging donated material. For larger monetary gifts or “gifts in kind” of significant monetary value, contact the JMU Development Office, 800-296-6162. For questions concerning gifts of books and research materials, please contact the Resource Management team within JMU Libraries.

Those interested in donating books may place these materials in the Better World Book collection box in the lobbies of Carrier and Rose.  Due to the expense and resources required to ingest materials into the libraries’ collections, gifts of 10 or more items from a single donor will require a spreadsheet submission prior to the libraries accepting these materials for consideration. Please use the libraries’ spreadsheet linked below to list those titles and contact the Resource Management team to arrange a delivery appointment.

JMU Libraries will provide a written acknowledgment of gifts totaling more than 50 books, by request.  Donors interested in an appraisal of gift items are advised that this is the responsibility of the donor and that appraisals should be made before gifts are transferred to JMU Libraries to establish their fair market value. The Libraries does not provide estimates of cost or value for gifts.  The IRS has published guidelines on “Determining the Value of Donated Property.”

Gifts will be evaluated for appropriateness for JMU Libraries collections based on the libraries’ Collection Development Policy. The Libraries retains the right to determine their retention, use, and location. In those cases where a donation is not suitable for the collections, the item(s) are given to Better World Books or Booksavers. Donations are not returnable to the donor in most instances.

Here are some further considerations for donating books and other materials:

  • Physical Condition: To safeguard existing collections, Libraries personnel will evaluate gifts for their physical condition.   
  • Duplication: JMU Libraries, in most circumstances, will acquire only one copy of a title, the majority of duplications will not be accepted, or will be deaccessioned upon receipt. Non-circulating titles will be added to the collection in the location where they best serve the needs of the JMU community.
  • Magazines and journals:  The Libraries does not generally accept gifts of magazines, journals or other periodicals (except journals of historical value which may be accepted by the Head of Special Collections).  Please direct questions regarding this policy to the Resource Management team. 
  • Textbooks: JMU Libraries will not accept donations of textbooks. Better World Books and Booksavers are both excellent options if you have textbooks you would like to donate.
  • Large donations:  Please contact the Resource Management team to discuss pre-arrangements for large gifts.  
  • Shipping / Transporting items:  As a donor, you are responsible for the shipping or transporting of gifts.
  • Special Collections: JMU Libraries’ Special Collections acquires materials that document the Central Shenandoah Valley, the history of James Madison University, as well as other unique materials that support the curriculum of the University. For more information about donating rare/valuable material, please contact the Head of Special Collections.
  • Alternate places to donate: For more popular titles, older editions, duplicate copies of JMU holdings, textbooks, or trade paperbacks the nonprofits listed below are excellent options:
    • Booksavers ( or Booksavers will pickup on request or books may be dropped off at their Mt. Clinton Pike location.  For larger donations (e.g., departmental moves, end of academic year), a book bin on location may be scheduled. All proceeds from the sale of books go to support the world-wide relief efforts of the Mennonite Central Committee.
    • Better World Books ( Better World will pay for shipping and handling and all donations support global literacy initiatives.
    • Other excellent donation options are the Massanutten Regional Library, 540-434-4475, and BRCC Houff Library, 540-453-2247.

Download the JMU Libraries Donation Form (MS Word)

Download the JMU Libraries Donation Spreadsheet (MS Excel)

Thank you for your interest in JMU Libraries.

Source(s) of Authority: Director, Scholarly Resources & Discovery; CDC