Donate Materials

University of Wisconsin-Madison
General Library System Gifts-in-Kind Policy

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s General Library System (hereafter “Libraries”) is unable to accept all donations of materials but welcomes the opportunity to consider your potential donation in support of the University’s programs. Due to the high cost of sorting, reviewing, and cataloging donated material, the Libraries must consider and vet all donations of materials before acceptance. The Libraries endeavors to responsibly steward donated material by only accepting the items most appropriate for the Libraries’ collections.

In general, the Libraries does not accept:

  • Items dropped off at the Libraries without prior review and approval
  • Materials in poor condition
  • Titles already owned by the Libraries
  • Titles widely held by partner libraries, such as University of Wisconsin System or Big Ten Academic Alliance member libraries
  • Textbooks
  • Scattered or single issues of periodicals
  • Popular magazines or mass market paperbacks
  • Government publications
  • Out of date materials, such as older medical or computer science books
  • Self-published materials
  • Unauthorized reproductions of material, such as photocopies of books or home recordings of television shows

The Libraries encourages donors to consider donating material to the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. Items donated to the Friends support the Libraries through funds raised at book sales while simultaneously finding new homes for material.

If your gift contains archival or unpublished material related to the University, please contact the University of Wisconsin Archives.

The Libraries asks donors to consult the catalog to verify that material is not already held in the Libraries’ collections. If you feel that your gift is rare, unique, and of critical research interest to the Libraries, please provide additional information via the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System Gifts-In-Kind Form.

Conditions of Acceptance

All offers of materials must be accompanied by an inventory, which will then be reviewed by the Libraries. Materials will not be accepted for delivery prior to this review.

Upon acceptance, all materials donated to the Libraries become the property of the Libraries, which has sole discretion regarding those materials’ retention, location and other considerations relating to use, maintenance, or removal. The Libraries reserves the right to exchange, sell, or discard any materials not added to the Libraries’ collections.

Donors are responsible for all fees related to packing and shipping or delivering gifts in-kind.


Upon receipt of materials, the Libraries will provide a letter of acknowledgement for donors who requested documentation for tax purposes while completing the University of Wisconsin-Madison General Library System Gifts-In-Kind Form.


Federal regulations do not permit the Libraries to give appraisals or estimates of value. The Internal Revenue Service requires that donors whose gifts are valued at more than $5,000 have a qualified appraisal. Donors should refer to IRS publications for details related to tax deductions. Appraisals of materials need to be completed prior to the delivery of materials to the Libraries and a copy of the appraisal needs to be supplied to the Libraries.

Please direct any questions to Karla Strand.