Healey Library

at the University of Massachusetts Boston


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Gift Policy

Healey Library welcomes donations of books and other materials that support the curriculum, teaching, and research needs of the university community. The generosity of donors enriches the library’s collections and is an important supplement to library purchases. We gratefully accept donations of books as well as monetary contributions.

Healey Library strives to maintain high standards of collection quality and appropriateness. The library also needs to expend resources wisely. The acceptance of gift materials entails significant processing costs, staff time, and use of limited shelf space.

For these reasons, we evaluate carefully all potential donations by the same standards that we use for purchasing items and accept only items that meet the criteria of the Healey Library Collection Development Guidelines. Healey Library is grateful to potential donors for thinking of us, even when offers are not accepted.

  • Individual hard cover and high quality paperback books with scholarly, literary or artistic merit; includes both recently published works and older books with continued scholarly or historical value.
  • Journal issues that fill gaps in a title already held by the library or extend the title holding backward or forward.
  • Focused subject collections that support the curriculum.
  • Films in DVD format that support the curriculum and teaching needs of the university.
  • Funds for the library to purchase a current subscription to a journal. Funds must support a minimum of a three-year subscription. Acceptance does not imply that the library will continue the subscription when the donor ends funding.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept the following:

  • Materials that do not support the curriculum, teaching and research needs of the university.
  • Damaged books; e.g., weak bindings, water stains, underlining or other markings, musty smell, signs of mold.

Terms of Acceptance

Healey Library reserves the right to decline offers of gifts that fall outside the scope of its collecting policies or because of staff or space constraints.

The library may ask to evaluate a potential donation before accepting materials and may choose to accept only part of the material offered.

The Head of Collection Development is responsible for evaluating materials offered by donors and shall consult with the relevant library subject specialist when necessary.

The Head of Collection Development, acting on behalf of the University Librarian, shall make the final decision to accept or reject offered donations.

Gifts are considered outright and unrestricted donations. Healey Library becomes the sole owner of donated materials with the right to dispose of materials that are not kept by means of transfer to other libraries or institutions, sale or discard as the library sees fit. Unwanted items shall not be returned to the donor unless prior arrangements are made.

Gift materials are integrated into the library collections and are subject to the same conditions of storage and use as the rest of the collection. In general, the Library does not accept gifts that are contingent upon restrictions such as limited access; location in a separate room, area or shelving; or perpetual retention. In special circumstances, the University Librarian may agree to specific restrictions that must be negotiated before the donation is accepted.

The Library will catalog materials and add them to the collections as considerations of time and space permit.

The offer to donate and the acceptance of the offer are formally agreed to by the donor and the University Librarian or his/her designee by signing the Healey Library Gift Agreement Form.

Unsolicited materials brought to the library or sent by individuals, institutions or vendors will not receive a verbal or written acknowledgement. Items that are not kept will not be returned to the donor.

Transportation of Donated Materials

Because of staffing constraints and the expense of renting a vehicle, donors are encouraged to bring materials to Healey Library. Click on Getting Here to open a new page with directions to UMass Boston.  The receiving docks are accessible from the entrance after the new Integrated Sciences Complex.

If the nature of the donation is more complex, please contact library.donations@umb.edu.

Tax Considerations

Books and other materials donated to the library can be claimed as an income tax deduction based on fair-market value.

Federal law requires an appraisal for gifts valued at $5,000 or more. Internal Revenue Service regulations prohibit the library, as the recipient of a donation, from providing an appraisal of the donated material for tax purposes. The donor can make his/her own appraisal or hire another party. Appraisals are at the donor’s expense and must be made prior to delivery of material to the library. Once the donated material enters the processing workflow or is integrated into the collection, an appraiser cannot be accommodated.

Healey Library greatly appreciates financial contributions to fund purchases of books, journal subscriptions, databases and films. These contributions are tax deductible. Click here to make a contribution online with a credit card. Contributions can be earmarked for the Healey Library general acquisitions fund or can be used to purchase materials in subject areas or to purchase specific titles, as designated by the donor. For more information, please contact:

Sallyann Lopez
Library Business Manager

University Libraries Archives and Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections Department of the Healey Library acquires materials according to its Collection Policy. The collection areas include social welfare agencies; community organizations, alternative movements, and local history with relevance to Boston and the surrounding areas; items related to UMass Boston; and material on other selected topics. To inquire about donating manuscripts and archives, rare books, collections of photographs, and other materials of an archival nature, please contact:

Joanne Riley
Archives and Special Collections

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of materials are suitable to donate to Healey Library?

Materials that support the curriculum, teaching and research needs of the university community. Examples include hard cover and high-quality paperback books of scholarly or literary merit and films in DVD format.

Is the library interested in back issues of journal titles?

The Healey Library accepts journal issues that fill gaps in a title already held by the library or extend the title holding backward or forward. The library will also consider donations of journal titles that are not owned if the issues cover five or more consecutive years without gaps.

What does Healey Library do with donated materials that we decide not to keep?

Donations are considered outright and unrestricted gifts. Healey Library reserves the right to dispose of unwanted materials by transfer to other institutions, sale or discard.

Are gifts to Healey Library tax deductible?

Yes. Donations can be claimed as an income tax deduction based on fair-market value.  For more information see Tax Considerations.

Does the Library provide an appraisal of the value of donated materials?

No. IRS regulations prohibit the library, as the recipient of a donation, from providing an appraisal for tax purposes.

Will the library send staff to my home to pick up donations?

Because of staffing constraints and the expense of renting a vehicle, donors are encouraged to bring materials to the library. In special circumstances, the Dean of the Library will make arrangements with the donor.


Donations will be acknowledged with a formal letter from the University Librarian. The letter shall indicate the number of items donated, a brief description of the type of material and the subject matter. It will not include an itemized list of individual titles. It is the responsibility of the donor to keep a detailed record of donated items.

At the request of the donor, a standard bookplate with the name of the donor or the person in whose honor the donation is made shall be placed in each book. Custom bookplates must be supplied by the donor. If the donor desires, the name of the donor or honoree shall be placed in the appropriate field of the catalog record.

Who should a potential donor contact?


The Library.Donations email will distribute the inquiry to library staff and the Dean of the Library.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

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