Donate Materials

COVID-19 Update Regarding Material Donations
Due to the COVID-19 response, we are not taking gifts-in-kind at this time.
This update supersedes other information on this page until future notice.

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

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s General Library System (GLS) welcomes the donation of materials in support of the University’s programs. Gifts can enhance and enrich the Libraries’ collections. Some donations consist of materials that might otherwise be impossible to obtain.

The Libraries encourage prospective donors to provide a description of the gift and a list of materials, including the titles, authors, dates, subject area(s), and general condition of materials in advance of the delivery of any items. The Libraries also encourage donors to consider giving a monetary donation to help expedite processing of donated materials and to help defray the costs of maintaining materials given to the Libraries.

In general, the Libraries do not accept:

  • 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  • Out-of-date materials, such as older medical or computer science books
  • Materials in poor condition
  • Titles the Libraries already own (unless in high use or a special edition)

Donors with rare or exceptional materials should contact the Department of Special Collections or appropriate subject specialist to discuss their gift.

Conditions of Acceptance

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


The GLS will provide a letter of acknowledgement for all donors who fill out a Donation of Library Materials Form and indicate they would like to receive a letter.


Appraisals are only needed for donations valued over $5,000 where the donor intends to deduct this donation on their taxes. Federal regulations prohibit the Libraries from providing appraisals or estimates of value for donations. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that donors whose gifts are valued at more than $5,000 have a qualified appraisal in order to claim the deduction. 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 GLS and a copy of the appraisal needs to be supplied to the GLS.

Please direct any questions to Elizabeth Lightfoot.