Skip to Main Content

In-Kind Donations: Home

Covid-19 Response to Donations

The AC Buehler Library will not be accepting donations until further notice.

Guidelines for Donating Materials

The AC Buehler Library accepts donations of materials at the discretion of the librarians. Preferred items include:

  • Academic titles
  • University press publishers
  • EC Alumni/Faculty authored/created materials 
  • Textbooks less than ten years old
  • Materials that enhance existing collections and support the curricular needs and research interests of student and faculty 

Items that will not be accepted include, but are not limited, to:

  • digital materials
  • Readers Digest Condensed Books
  • Encyclopedias
  • National Geographic issues
  • Popular magazines 
  • Outdated formats (like VHS tapes)
  • Non-commercially produced material
  • Foreign language materials that do not support the curriculum
  • Textbooks or professional materials more than 10 years old and/or that do not support the curriculum

The AC Buehler Library will also not accept books in poor condition including items that are:

  • Dirty
  • Moldy
  • Burnt
  • Water damaged
  • Show evidence of insect activity
  • Damaged binding or pages
  • Missing covers or pages
  • Contain excessive writing, markings, or highlighting

Donations are accepted with the understanding that once accepted, they become the property of Elmhurst University. They cannot be returned. The library reserves the right to exchange, discard, or sell donated material. When materials are judged to be unsuited to our collections, we will make an effort to place them appropriately.  Donations added to the collection may be subsequently withdrawn when they are worn or when their content is no longer current or no longer supports the curriculum.

Elmhurst University does not appraise the value of gifts. Questions regarding tax deductions are best referred to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or a personal tax advisor. An informal thank you note will be provided by the AC Buehler Library with the type and number of items donated and a formal acknowledgement will be provided by from the Office of Institutional Advancement.

For more information or to arrange a large collection donation, please contact Jennifer Paliatka, Reference & Instruction Librarian at (630) 617-3158 or

Last updated, August 22, 2019.

Book & Magazine Donations

This is a selective listing of some of the groups and organizations that accept book and magazine donations. There are many, many worthwhile groups, many of them with a more local scope. To find them, try a web search  for <book donations> or <magazine donations>.

Groups and organizations are named for informational purposes only.

Valuing/Selling your Iitems

ACRL Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians states "Special collections librarians must not engage in any dealing or appraisal of special collections materials, and they must not recommend materials for purchase if they have any undisclosed financial interest in them." "Undisclosed financial interest" includes the potential of receiving the material as a gift to the library. By extension, librarians not working in special collections also decline to provide appraisals, but instead will offer reference assistance in locating a source for an external appraisal. The appraisal or establishment of an item’s value for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor, as are appraisal costs. Donors should seek further information on valuation of donated property from the Internal Revenue Service and their own tax adviser or attorney; specifically, refer to IRS Publication 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property."

Sources of appraisal information include:

Chicago Area Locations

International Donations

Books that are outdated, damaged, and worthless are equally useless abroad. Make sure that the information is going to be useful to the schools or people receiving them and that the information is in a language that they can read and understand. Finally, the materials must be culturally appropriate for the audience that is going to receive them.

The Peace Corps publishes a pamphlet, "Sources of Donated Books for Schools and Libraries, listing guidelines for requesting donations and possible sources of donations.The guide explains Peace Corps policy on accepting donations, suggestions for sourcing locally, recommendations for screening donations for suitability against the library collection development policy, and possible hidden costs.

Donating to Prison Libraries