This useful article was published in the Kansas Library Association College and University Libraries Section Proceedings, Vol. 1 , Art. 10. In it, authors Sheila O‘Hare and Andrew J.M. Smith discuss a practical problem that archivists and acquisitions and collection development librarians deal with continually, “what to do with well-intentioned but inappropriate gifts.”
As the article notes, gifts-in-kind can be a double edged sword. They offer librarians and archivists an opportunity to enhance collections but can also be a burden when such gifts are inappropriate. The authors discuss issues like deaccessioning and the sale of gifts, unprocessed and undocumented collections, and donor relations and the increasing pressure to accept gifts-in-kind outside the scope of a library‘s collection.
O’Hare and Smith then take a comprehensive look at “current best practices in dealing with unwanted gifts before they enter the collection and removing unwanted materials from existing collections.” They also offer numerous “examples of effective collection management policies that cover both acquisition and deacquisition of items …, together with suggestions for creating a cooperative understanding between the library/archive and the development office.”
Any archivist or librarian who has had to deal gifts-in-kind will appreciate this frank and open discussion as well as the practical solutions being offered. It provides a thorough treatment of a difficult issue along with relevant solutions and an extensive list of useful references.
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.