The collections of Oberlin College Libraries support the teaching and research needs of Oberlin College and Conservatory. Gifts of scholarly and rare materials that support the curricular needs and research interests of students and faculty have historically represented an important element in the development of the library's collections.
The libraries review offers of material donations carefully and reserves the right to decline gifts that fall outside the scope of its collecting policies. We may also decline to accept gifts that are largely duplicative of our existing holdings. Materials generally not accepted include damaged, annotated, or moldy books, condensed books, textbooks, photocopies, videotapes, recordings on vinyl, sheet music, standard editions of musical scores, and journals.
Gifts-in-kind are received with the understanding that they are unrestricted gifts and, as such, the college becomes the owner of the material and reserves the right to make retention, location, cataloging, and other decisions relating to use or disposition. Gifts-in- kind not added to the collection generally help generate funds for purchase of additional library material through their sale.
Potential donors are encouraged to discuss major gifts with the Director of Libraries or the collection development prior to the donation. Persons wishing to donate gifts of a minor nature may contact the gifts coordinator in collection development (see contact information below). In some instances donors may be asked to provide a list of titles considered for donation to assist in determining the appropriateness of the materials for the college libraries.
Issues concerning appropriateness, transportation, disposition, appraisal, and processing should be resolved before a donor ships or delivers materials. Generally, donors are expected to arrange for the packing and transportation of materials to Oberlin College.
The Libraries acknowledge gifts-in-kind with a count of the number of items donated.
By law, we many not assign a value to gifts-in-kind. If the claimed annual non- cash charitable contributions of a donor exceed $500, IRS Tax Form 8283 must be filed. Gifts valued at more than $5,000 must be appraised. The appraisal of a gift for income tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor; however, the library may be able to provide assistance as to sources of information pertaining to evaluation or suggestions of qualified professional appraisers. Appraisal should be completed before transport to Oberlin.
Contact the gifts coordinator to arrange for delivery. If the gift is large, it will be received at the main library loading dock, which is accessible from the College Street parking lot located nearest to Mudd Center. Gifts of a smaller nature may be brought directly to the gifts coordinator’s desk in Mudd 120, Library Offices. The heads of the art, science, and conservatory libraries will also receive gifts directly.
All mailed, shipped, or hand-delivered donated items must be clearly marked "gift." Note the donor’s name, address, and any connection with Oberlin College, including year of graduation, if applicable.
Depending on the size and value of the gift-in-kind, the donor may be asked to fill out a deed of gift.
Please address any inquiries or gift-in-kind donations to:
Faith Hoffman, Gifts Coordinator
Oberlin College Library
148 West College Street
Oberlin, OH 44074
Inquiries should include the donor’s name and contact information, and a brief description of the gift. Any connection with Oberlin College of the donor or donated material should be noted.