It is the purpose of this policy to provide means for
controlling and encouraging gifts to the Library and its branches. It
will usually be the responsibility of the Director and branch
librarians to make these policies work. One of the first decisions that
must be made is to immediately find out the intentions of the donor.
Gifts may be designated to the ECRL Endowment Fund, to a branch, or to
the system as a whole. The distinction should be made clear as soon as
possible in the process.
- Donations to East Central Regional Library
- East Central Regional Library Materials Endowment Fund
- The Endowment Fund will operate under the terms and
conditions of the policies which created the fund (Board approved
January 11, 1988).
- The Endowment Fund will not accept gifts which are
designated for a particular branch library, or to be spent for
materials in a specific format or on a specific subject.
- Other gifts to East Central Regional Library. It will
be the policy of East Central Regional Library to accept gifts for
specific formats and specific subject matter only when appropriate and
consistent with the policies and principles of the library:
- The Library will accept materials only with the
stipulation that we can use them in the most appropriate way. Materials
may be added to the general library collection, they may be discarded
because their subject matter, timeliness or condition make them
unacceptable, or they may be sold for the same reasons. Proceeds from
sales of donated materials will generally be used to purchase newer or
more appropriate formats and subject matter to the extent possible.
- Gifts to a specific agency of East Central (either a Branch
- All agencies are encouraged to solicit gifts of
furnishings and equipment for their facilities from local individuals
and organizations. Examples would be furniture, computers, audio-
visual equipment and other items which ECRL cannot afford to purchase.
It will be important that the librarian, Friends, and/or local boards
coordinate their soliciting efforts.
- All agencies may accept, but should not normally
solicit gifts for materials. To the extent possible the ECRL collection
should be a general collection not restricted from moving from one
branch to another.
- Agencies may accept gifts of cash, books or other
materials which the donor wishes to remain assigned to that branch.
Such items will stay in the branch to which they are donated, but will
otherwise remain under the control of ECRL operating policies. All
materials will be made available for short-term loans to individuals
who request them from other branches or other libraries.
- No agency of the East Central Regional Library may
accept a cash gift or gift of materials with the stipulation that use
be limited in such a way as to conflict with a policy or principle of
the Library. Examples of proscribed procedures:
- Accepting materials which can be used only by an
exclusive group (e.g. residents of a certain city of members of a
- Accepting cash gifts or collections of materials
with the stipulation that the materials be handled in an unusual
manner, (e.g. the donated items all stay together on the shelf).
- All agencies may accept gifts designated for new or
improved library buildings. Such gifts should remain under the control
of the local library board or city which controls the building. ECRL
will not usually be involved in handling funds for capital building
- It will be the policy of the East Central Regional
Library to accept the responsibility for insuring and maintaining all
furniture and equipment donated to any of the ECRL agencies. All such
items will be listed on the ECRL inventory records and will be subject
to ECRL policies. Furniture and equipment purchased with local
donations or local taxes may be excluded from the ECRL furnishings and
equipment inventory, but will not be insured by ECRL.
- Financial Control
- Cash gifts to the ECRL Endowment Fund will be handled
by the Endowment Committee as stipulated by the library board of
trustees in January, 1988. Expenditures from the Endowment Fund may be
made only within the guidelines established by the Board.
- Gifts of cash to East Central Regional Library other
than to the Endowment Fund will be deposited into the Library's
"Special Fund Account", and expended from that account as consistent
with Board policies, expenditures may be made as soon as appropriate by
- Cash gifts to an agency of ECRL
- Cash gifts to the Cambridge headquarters library
may be deposited in the East Central "Special Fund Account", and
expended from that account as consistent with ECRL policies and the
wishes of the donor.
- Cash gifts to branch libraries may be handled by
the local library board of trustees (if any). If there is not a local
board of trustees the gifts should be sent to headquarters and
deposited in the "Special Fund Account". Such funds will be encumbered
on behalf of the branch and expended at the direction of the branch
librarian or local library board. The Director will insure that such
funds are expended consistent with ECRL policies and will make
suggestions as appropriate. No East Central employee or trustee should
deposit cash in any account which is not audited. The audit can be
overseen by a local library board, the ECRL board, a county or
- Acknowledgments for gifts
- It will be the responsibility of the ECRL Director to
thank all donors of substantial gifts to the East Central Regional
Library and to the ECRL Endowment Fund. Gifts designated for books will
be acknowledged with the memorial book plate inside the front cover in
addition to other thanks (as appropriate).
- It will be the responsibility of the Branch Librarians
to acknowledge in an appropriate manner gifts directed to an individual
branch library. Suggested guidelines are:
- A written note of thanks for all substantial gifts
of books and for cash donations of $50 to $999.
- A small plaque with space for acknowledgment of the
names of individuals who have contributed $1,000 or more. ECRL will
purchase the plaques for each branch if local funds are not available.
The plaque can be used for donations for the building, for furnishings
or for materials.
- The library will acknowledge in writing all donations
(including used books) if the donor desires a written record. It will
be the policy of the Region to acknowledge the number, but not the
value of donated materials. It is up to the donors to determine the
value of donated items for tax purposes.