Gifts Policy

The generosity of donors has helped UNB Libraries, over its long history, to build strong collections in support of the University's research and instructional mission. The Library encourages and appreciates appropriate donations.

This policy applies to the Harriet Irving Library, the Science & Forestry Library, the Engineering Library, and the Hans W. Klohn Commons. For the sake of brevity and clarity, these libraries will collectively be referred to here as the "Library".

I. Gifts of Money

Gifts of money are particularly welcome as they enable the Library's collection to remain current, to strengthen subject areas, and to fill in gaps in the collection. Gifts can range from a single cash donation to various forms of planned or deferred giving (such as endowments, annuities and bequests). Financial contributions are accepted by the Library, or on behalf of UNB Libraries, by the Office of Development and Donor Relations. For planned or deferred giving, prospective donors should be referred to the Director, Office of Development and Donor Relation on the Fredericton campus.

II. Gifts of Books, Journals and other Library Materials

While gifts in kind are very much appreciated, it is not widely understood that the hidden costs of processing a "free" book often exceed the cost of adding to the collection a book purchased from a vendor, publisher or bookstore. For this reason, the decision to accept a donation of books cannot be lightly taken. All offers of gifts receive serious consideration by UNB Libraries, but some may not be accepted. In some cases, the Library may even recommend that the donation be redirected, for scholarly reasons, to a more appropriate location.

The same selection criteria apply to a donated item as to a new one. Only materials that enhance existing collections or fall within the scope of current or emerging university programs are retained.

A minimum of three volumes of a journal title new to the collection is necessary to justify the creation of a catalogue record.

III. Conditions of Donation

Gifts are accepted on the understanding that upon acceptance, they become the property of the University of New Brunswick. The Library reserves the right to determine the retention, location and treatment of the materials. Materials not added to the collection may be sold, offered to another institution, or discarded. Such items may also be returned to the donor if prior arrangements have been made to do so. Unsolicited materials arriving through the mail will not be returned.

To prevent misunderstandings, all donors are asked to read and sign a formal Donation Agreement. Although a donor may choose not to sign an agreement and still leave a small gift of books, larger gifts (50 books or more) will not be accepted by the Library without the signing of the Donation Agreement or prior special arrangements being made with the Collections Development Office.

IV. Screening Gifts

An initial screening of the materials on offer to the Library is undertaken whenever possible in order to eliminate items that would never be added to the collection. The screening can be done from a list prepared by the donor (providing author, title, publisher, date of publication and edition information) before any materials are moved to the Library, or materials can be pre-selected while the prospective gift is still in its original location.

If neither of these options is feasible, the Library may receive the collection as a whole but only retain what it deems appropriate to add to the collection.

Examples of items that would be eliminated in a first pass include outdated university-level textbooks (more than five years old), mass market paperbacks and materials in poor physical condition. Individual issues of periodicals would generally also be eliminated, or ubiquitous periodical titles such as Time and National Geographic. Items may also be rejected due to outdated content or a non-academic subject focus. Due to copyright legislation, the Library is not allowed to accept photocopied materials or article reprints or offprints.

The cost of packing and shipping the material will normally be borne by the donor. Locally, arrangements can be made to have donations picked up.

Appraisals and Tax Receipts

Upon request of the donor, the Library will arrange for a tax receipt to be issued by the Office of Development & Donor Relations.

The value of donated items must be appraised before tax receipts can be issued for them. Appraisals are carried out in accordance with Revenue Canada guidelines. Generally appraisals are done in-house by library staff and are based on fair market value for materials added to the collection. All in-house appraisals are considered final. A donor may choose to have an external appraisal of the gift before donating it to the Library. An external appraisal is undertaken at the expense of the donor and the Library reserves the right to reject an appraisal that it judges to be unjustifiable.

Depending on the nature and value of a donation, an external appraisal may be required. In such a case, the cost of appraisal is usually borne by the donor.

According to Revenue Canada guidelines, materials acquired using government funds (for example, university research grants, or the professional development allowance) are not personal property and are therefore not eligible for a tax receipt. Also not eligible are complimentary and review copies received from authors and publishers.

The Library cannot guarantee a tax receipt will be provided within a specific fiscal year. A donor requiring a receipt for a specific fiscal year may be required to provide the Library with a certified appraisal document.

Donor Recognition

At the request of the donor, gifts added to the Library collection may be identified by means of an appropriate book plate bearing the name of the donor or the name of the person in whose honour or memory the gift is made. In very special circumstances, a new bookplate may be designed to identify a collection, but generally the UNB Libraries bookplate is used.

To reiterate, the Library reserves the right to determine the retention, location and treatment of the donated materials. Space and cost considerations are just two of the reasons militating against the establishment of special collections. The Library will not house a donation together in one location. Rather materials will be integrated with the regular collections.

Each donation for which a Donation Agreement has been signed will be acknowledged by means of a letter signed by the Dean of Libraries (Fredericton), the Director of Information Services and Systems (Saint John) or designate.

Send comments to jlt@unb.ca (Fredericton) or lhansen@unb.ca (Saint John).