Guide to Donating Material - Collection Services - Library - University of Canterbury

Guide to donating material

Effective from the 1st June 2014 the Library is placing a temporary suspension on accepting donations of material to its library collections, with the exception of the art collections, Ngāi Tahu and Pacific collections. The need to do this is part of our ongoing work to manage our print collections within the library and storage spaces.

Donations form an important part of our collection development so thank you for considering us.

Arranging delivery

You can usually leave donations of under 10 items at the appropriate library Information Desk, but we suggest you arrange delivery of large consignments with the appropriate Campus Library or the Resource Acquisition Manager in advance.

What we accept

The Library accepts donations for the collection where they fall within the scope of the University Library information resources policy, and provided the Library can process these with existing resources. The Library revises this policy as changes occur. You can view this policy from the University Policies web page. Our New Zealand and Pacific Islands collection (Macmillan Brown Library) is particularly keen to receive materials of historical and sociological interest.

The criteria the Library uses to determine the acceptance of donations is the same as that used for new purchases. There are similar costs to the Library in the processing of new and donated materials, so every care is taken in the selection of material.

The prime consideration for any donated material is:

  • Relevance, immediate or potential, to teaching, research or scholarship at the University.

Other typical considerations are:

  • Level appropriate to a university readership.
  • Quality of research and objectivity of conclusions, recognised by author’s peers.
  • Currency of content.
  • English language usually preferred.
  • Ability to balance the collection’s coverage of a subject, or to fill an identified subject gap.

There are some types of material that the Library would generally refuse.

These include:

  • Items already held in a campus Library. (Typical exceptions would be items of archival interest, or high demand textbooks).
  • Short serial/ journal runs.
  • Older editions of texts where the Library has a more recent edition.
  • Items that the Library has in electronic format.
  • Software and software manuals.
  • Reprints.


Will the donations be kept in the Campus Library I donated them to?

The Library arranges material in the Campus Libraries on the basis of the subject/ classification range. This could mean that items you have donated to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library for example will better fit the collection scope of the Macmillan Brown Library. In this case, the item will be accepted by the Library and placed in the Macmillan Brown Library.

What happens with donations that are not added to the Library collection?

We will arrange the disposal of the material which may include any of the following:

  • Given to another Library where the collection scope matches the donations
  • Offered to Library users
  • Offered to book sellers
  • Disposed of

Unless you specifically request otherwise, the Library will not return non-accessioned donations to you.