Donation & Gift Policy – General Collections

Queen’s University Library’s rich and deep collections are central to the academic enterprise. Students and faculty place a high value on the resources we provide to support their learning, teaching and research. From a collection of six volumes donated in 1840 and now housed in Special Collections, our physical holdings have grown to include over 2.36 million items.

Before proceeding, please note that the information on this webpage is related to our general collections, and not to our Special Collections and Archives, which may use different criteria in assessing potential gifts-in-kind. Please see Special Collections and Archives for more information on donating to our University Archives or W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections Library.

The Library welcomes the offer of gifts-in-kind that meet our acceptance guidelines, as well as donations of money designated for the purchase of print and/or digital library resources.

The Library only accepts a small percentage of the material it is offered. Patrons may wish to consult the following links for options on donating used book collections that do not meet our acceptance guidelines:

Acceptance Guidelines

The Library will consider accepting gifts-in-kind that fall within the scope of our collections and that align with Queen’s teaching, learning, and research priorities; that have not simultaneously been offered to another institution; and that are in good physical condition.

There are factors that may prevent us from accepting an otherwise desirable gift including physical space limitations, and costs associated with the required processing and preservation activities. In the latter case, acceptance of a gift may require an additional donation of funds to cover these costs.

The Library does not accept gifts-in-kind that come with restrictions, fall outside of the scope of our collections, or that do not align with Queen’s teaching, learning, and research priorities. We rarely accept gifts that would duplicate materials already owned, or that are held in the collections of our Omni partners across Ontario. The following is a non-exhaustive list of material types that we do not accept:

  • Outdated or superseded titles
  • Foreign language materials that are outside of the scope of the curriculum.
  • DVDs, CDs, vinyl records, or any other types of audiovisual material that are outside of the scope of the curriculum.
  • Photocopies or facsimiles of original materials
  • Newspapers, popular magazines, single issues of periodicals or broken runs of bound periodicals
  • Textbooks
  • Popular fiction and non-fiction trade paperbacks

The above guidelines are meant to address most cases. There may be instances where a potential gift falls into one of the above categories but also possesses qualities that make it desirable.

How to Donate

All donations must be made through a Subject Liaison Librarian. Gifts delivered to the Library without prior arrangement will not be accepted or acknowledged.

  • Create a list of the items you wish to donate. You are welcome to use one of these templates: spreadsheet, document.
  • Contact a Subject Liaison Librarian and advise them of your interest in donating material. If contacting them via email, please include the list as an attachment.
  • The Subject Liaison Librarian will review the list and advise which, if any, items they wish to accept for the Library’s collection.
  • If you wish to continue with the donation, you will make arrangements to deliver the donation to the Library. Any costs related to delivery are your responsibility.

Depending on the size of the donation and/or its likely value, the Library may need to discuss additional requirements related to processing the material and/or having it appraised.

The Library reserves the right to retain or dispose of gifts as it sees fit. Gifts will be acknowledged through a note in the online catalogue record if the donor requests it.

Income Tax Receipts

Income tax receipts are available and must be requested at the time of the donation. Consistent with Queen’s University policy, tax receipts will not be issued for items gained from the normal conduct of University business, such as complimentary or review copies of books.

  • Queen’s will only issue tax receipts for singular donations with a combined minimum Fair Market Value of $200 CAD. Only Items accepted by the library are eligible.
  • Requirements of the Canada Revenue Agency:
    • Books purchased within 3 years prior to the donation require proof of purchase (e.g., a sales receipt).
    • Gifts likely to have a Fair Market Value of $1,000 CAD or more must be appraised by an external 3rd party.
  • External appraisals may also be required for some materials, regardless of value.
  • The cost of external appraisals is paid by the donor.

If the donation relates to the settlement of an estate, the donor must indicate this when the donation is offered, as more specific Canada Revenue Agency requirements apply.

Gifts will be processed in the order received, and it may not always be possible to issue a tax receipt in the same year that the donation is made.

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