Overview and Purpose
The Alexandria Library (the Library) welcomes donations, including gifts of money, books and other materials, artwork, documents, photographs, or property of any kind that support and further the Library’s mission and goals. It is understood that such gifts and bequests should not replace public support, but enable the Library to provide and enhance services in ways not possible within the current operating budget. The purpose of this policy is to specify the type of donations that the Library will accept and how the Library will handle these donations. Donations of any gifts not specified in this policy will be considered on an individual basis.
Gifts for collections, services or enhancing facilities and grounds are accepted in honor or in memoriam of a person or event. Whenever possible, the Library will choose items that accommodate the donor’s preferences. The name(s) of the donor(s) and those recognized by the gift will be listed if so desired. Individuals interested in naming opportunities within library facilities are encouraged to consult with Alexandria Library’s Administrative Office.
The Library cannot and does not appraise books, artwork, or any other items. Donors who wish to determine the value of a donation must make all arrangements for and assume all costs of an appraisal prior to donation.
All gifts accepted by the Library become the property of the Library, which reserves the right to retain, use, sell or dispose of the items, as needed, and in a fashion determined by the Library. Potential donors should remember that libraries are used extensively and sustain losses through theft, mutilation and ordinary wear. Resources with obsolete and/or misleading information may be discarded with time. Therefore, the Library cannot guarantee that any gift will remain permanently.
The Library maintains the right to decide when, where, and under what conditions donated materials may be used or displayed.
In some cases (e.g. photographs and other special materials), the donation must be accompanied by a statement from the donor regarding ownership of the item’s copyright and its provenance.
The Library will provide a timely, written acknowledgement to the donor and, if desired, to a recognized individual or organization. Income tax regulations leave the determination of the gift’s monetary value to the donor.
The Library reserves the right to refuse any gifts the Library Board and/or staff deem not in its best interests to accept.
Monetary gifts are welcome. Donors wishing to contribute to a specific collection, facility, program, service, etc., are encouraged to work with staff to determine the best use for their donation.
The Alexandria Library Board will not accept gifts of principal for investment, the income of which is to be used for Library purposes, unless the gift is for $25,000 or more. Further the restrictions placed on any monetary gift must be approved by the Library Board. Gifts of less than $25,000 may be given with suggestions as to the use of such funds.
Art and Decorative Objects
The Library accepts gifts of art, including paintings and photographs, and decorative objects. For insurance purposes, some items may require an appraisal.
The Library determines the placement and display of such items, though Library staff will consider the wishes of the donor regarding the item’s location.
The Library will not accept art or decorative objects that cannot be properly cared for or secured by the Library within its normal operating procedures.
If expenses are involved with maintenance, display, security, etc., the donor may be expected to provide monetary support for these activities.
Furniture and Equipment
The Library does not accept furniture for public use, office furniture, or technology equipment (desktops, laptops, tablets or peripheral equipment).
The Library accepts materials in good condition, including but not limited to, books, audio books and audio-visual materials.
The Library does not accept magazines, encyclopedias, textbooks, audio cassettes, records or VHS tapes.
Library staff evaluates materials according to the Library’s selection policies.
Collections may be accepted and only with the understanding that the collection may not remain intact.
Materials not accepted for the Library’s collection are generally offered to Friends of the Library organizations for inclusion in book sales. The Friends of the Library may sell or dispose of the items as needed.
Memorabilia and Realia
The Library accepts gifts of real items (three-dimensional objects such as antiques, documents, scrapbooks, photographs, etc.). Most acceptable items in this category will be those that have cultural or historical significance to the Alexandria/Northern Virginia region and are appropriate for inclusion in the Local History/Special Collections Branch. For insurance purposes, some items may require an appraisal.
The Library determines the placement and display of an item, though Library staff will consider the wishes of the donor regarding the item’s location.
The Library will not accept real items that cannot be properly cared for or secured by the Library within its normal operating procedures.
If expenses are involved with maintenance and display of the item, the donor may be expected to provide monetary support for these activities.
The Library accepts gifts of real property that support or could be sold to support the Library’s mission. Such offers will be handled by Library Administration in consultation with the Library Board and the City of Alexandria to determine the gift’s suitability and the terms of acceptance compatible with the Library’s policies, the donor’s intent and any applicable laws.
Revised December 2018