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Gift Policy link

The Austin Public Library appreciates the thoughtfulness of its customers who donate a variety of print and media materials to the Library. Gift materials are accepted with the understanding that ownership passes to the Library. The Library reserves the right to transfer items to the Library¹s bookstore, Recycled Reads, or other suitable agency, and to discard or recycle materials as necessary. Monies accrued from the sale of items not placed in the collection directly benefit the Library.

All Library locations will accept donations of books, DVDs, CDs, and other items circulated by the Library in new or used condition. All donations are accepted with the understanding that the Library selectively adds donations to its collection. Items not selected for the collection will be sent to the Library’s used bookstore “Recycled Reads.” Staff at the bookstore may send items with little retail value to other nonprofit organizations. At the time of donation, staff will accept the donation and will fill out the Deed of Gift form with the donor transferring ownership of the donated items to the Library. The Library staff does not appraise the value of donated books or other materials.

The Austin Public Library will consider adding donations to its collection based on several factors. Items to be added to the collection are restricted to those in “as-new” condition. The list is restricted to:

  • Books that have been on a best sellers list within the past two years
  • Books that have won literary awards within the past two years
  • New book releases
  • Mass-market paperbacks that have OCLC records
  • DVDs and Blu-Rays that have OCLC records
  • Music CDs and audiobooks on CD that have OCLC records
  • Magazine or periodical subscriptions

If an item has been published within the past two years, is in “as-new” condition, has received positive published reviews, and has a cataloging record in OCLC, librarians will use professional judgment to determine if the item meets the Library’s materials selection policy and will enhance the Library collection. In addition, the Library will selectively accept donations of items produced by local authors and items of local interest, regardless of the availability of an existing cataloging record. For the general collection, donations of special gift collections carrying stipulations are not accepted.

The Austin History Center has separate gift guidelines and relies heavily on the donation of local history materials (publications, family, business and organizational records, photographs, etc.) to fulfill its mission as the “Community’s Collective Memory.” Donations to the Austin History Center are evaluated according to its Collection Development Policy on a case-by-case basis for inclusion to the collection.