Make a Gift

The University Libraries welcome donations of books and other materials as well as monetary gifts.


  • University Libraries Gift Officer, Kathleen McElhinney

    Room 131D University Libraries

Unfortunately, we cannot accept every donation; however, we may recommend donation alternatives. Donations of more than one box or more than 30 items require advance coordination with the University Libraries gift officer and the approval of the dean of libraries.

University Libraries Gift Policy

The University Libraries invite gifts that support the USD curriculum and research emphases as well as enhance our collection strengths in musical, Native American and regional materials. Donated items (routed through the USD Foundation if tax deductible or through the libraries if not) become the property of USD and its libraries and will be handled in accordance with the State of South Dakota Property Management policies. Donated items may not be added to the collections for one or more of the following reasons: condition, relevance to collection development policies, space limitations, costs to repair, bind or process, etc.

Except under special circumstances, the University Libraries do not accept the following:

  • Outdated textbooks
  • Popular paperbacks or magazines
  • Items in poor condition
  • Practical "how-to" guides
  • Loose journal issues
  • U.S. government documents

The University Libraries may ask to exam or review lists of items before donations are delivered to the libraries. The University Libraries reserve the right to dispose of unneeded materials according to State Property Management policies.

Library Gift Acceptance Form

When giving books or other library materials, please complete a Library Gift Acceptance Form, which provides the libraries with the information required to document and acknowledge the gift.

Donations with Restrictions

Donations of materials which are offered with restrictions as to location, access and use or disposition require the agreement of the dean of libraries (or Archives & Special Collections librarian as appropriate). The dean of libraries will draft an "Instrument of Gift" between the donor and the University Libraries that will be negotiated and signed when materials with restrictions, are accepted. The University Libraries do not accept the temporary deposit of materials.

Gifts of Rare, Unique, or Archival Materials

The Archives and Special Collections librarian or other Archives & Special Collections staff evaluate (potential) gifts of unique or rare books, personal papers and collections and USD records. USD units complete a "Transfer Agreement" when depositing materials in the Archives and Special Collections (A&SC). Materials accepted for A&SC will be processed, cataloged and made available for use through their finding aids and A&SC website. For gifts to A&SC, the donor signs an "Instrument of Gift" that transfers the property to the University Libraries.

Valuation and Charitable Donations

Valuation is the responsibility of the donor (Possible Sources to Aid with Valuing Books) not the University Libraries per IRS regulations. Contact your tax attorney or advisor if you have questions regarding the tax implications of your gift. The USD Foundation processes charitable donations for the benefit of the USD libraries. The USD Foundation sends an acknowledgement letter (which includes a description of the gift, but not a value).

Library Gift Acknowledgement Letters

Gift acknowledgement letters will be created by the dean of libraries upon request. The letter includes a brief description and an exact count of the collection (if a large donation), but does not list each item nor give an appraisal. If the donor indicates a valuation of the donation, this figure is included. Unsolicited items received by mail from organizations and publishers will be acknowledged only if the donor has included a request for acknowledgement with the materials.

Pick-up and Delivery

Generally, it is the responsibility of the donor to deliver the donation. The University Libraries gift officer will coordinate special transportation arrangements.

Selection and Processing

Donations will be reviewed by the USD gift officer and/or liaison librarians/subject specialists in consultation with appropriate USD faculty for addition to the collections. All items selected for the collections are cataloged and shelved with other materials in the appropriate subject area and made available to all patrons.

Book Plates

The University Libraries does not automatically insert bookplates inside the cover of donated items, or materials purchased with donated funds. Plates will be created for the following types of donations:

  • Buy-a-book campaign purchases

  • Memorial gifts

  • Selected Archives and Special Collections (A&SC) items

  • Special request of the donor when agreed to by the dean of libraries or designee 

Library Catalog Notes

A descriptive note may be added to the Library Catalog record, which enables a keyword search to retrieve a list of specific items or collections donated. Notes are made in special cases for example, to identify a significant collection or noteworthy donor. The dean of libraries or designee will negotiate and approve the insertion of a note and its text.