Collection Strategy and Development: Gifts-in-Kind

Information for Prospective Donors

Donors contribute significantly to strengthening the collections and fulfilling the mission of the Duke University Libraries through their financial support and their gifts of books, manuscripts and other library materials. Gifts-in-kind form an indispensable resource for the teaching and research activities of Duke University. Staff will evaluate gifts in terms of institutional value and consider whether materials support the collection development policy for a particular subject area.

Proposed gifts of library materials are subject to acceptance by library staff including: 

  • subject specialists
  • the head of Collection Development for the general collections
  • the head of Special Collections
  • the directors of the professional school libraries

Acceptance Guidelines

  • When the staff accepts a gift, it becomes the property of Duke University Libraries.
  • Duke University Libraries reserves the right to determine whether the gift will be retained, where it will be located and how it will be cataloged and circulated.
  • Materials that Duke University Libraries does not accept will be offered to domestic and international libraries or sold. Sale proceeds are used to purchase library materials.

Income Tax Deductions

  • As a donor you are entitled to an income tax deduction within Internal Revenue Service regulations.
  • As required by law, you must establish the fair market value of an item contributed to a charity, but a formal appraisal is not always necessary. Appraisals must be done before the gift is transferred to the library.
  • You must file IRS Form 8283 if you claim a deduction for non-cash gifts totaling more than $500 within a calendar year. If your gift is valued at more than $5,000, you must get an appraisal by a qualified independent appraiser.
  • Although library staff will provide limited assistance to a donor, including sources of evaluation information and a list of independent appraisers in the Triangle area, university policy prevents Duke University Libraries from supplying appraisals to donors.
  • Your appraisal expense is deductible for income tax purposes as a miscellaneous deduction. The University's Alumni and Development Records office will sign the form for the university and send the formal IRS receipt to you.
  • Where tax considerations are involved, you may wish to consult your personal attorney or tax advisor.
  • Duke University Libraries will provide appropriate acknowledgment of gifts. However, university policy does not permit including the dollar value of the gift in the acknowledgment.