The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and regular procedures for receipt management and disposition of funds or other properties received by the Library as gifts.

If a gift is accepted by the Library, the gift shall be final and no restrictions on the Library’s ownership, possession, use or disposition of the gift shall be effective other than restrictions approved by the express vote of the Board of Library Trustees and memorialized in writing.

See the library’s Donate pages for non-policy information on donations.


Monetary gifts: The Library welcomes gifts of cash or stock. If the gift is used to purchase library materials, library staff will try to accommodate the donor’s subject or title preferences. Opportunities for establishing a permanent named fund are available and charitable Trusts can be tailored to meet individual needs.

*Materials: Gifts of miscellaneous books or other materials in good condition are accepted with the understanding that items which are not added to collections will be disposed of at the discretion of the Library. These items may be given to the Friends of the Library for sale, given to other libraries, or discarded. Donors should check with Library staff for any specific restrictions.

Collections: Gift collections will be accepted only by the Director in consultation with the Board of Trustees, and with the understanding that the collection may not be kept intact.

Recognition gifts: The Library welcomes monetary gifts for purchase of materials for the collections given in recognition of individuals or organizations. The library staff will choose items which accommodate the donor’s subject or title preferences, whenever possible.

Real estate or other personal property: The Library will accept gifts of real property that either support or could be sold to support the mission of the Library. Such offers will be handled by the Director, who in consultation with the Board of Trustees will determine the suitability of the gift and the terms of acceptance compatible with the Library’s mission and policies, the donor’s intent, and applicable laws.

Art & decoration objects: In general, gifts of art objects shall be of local interest to the community, of a professional quality, well executed and in good condition. As with all other gifts, art objects will be accepted only with the donor’s full agreement that the Library has the right to handle or dispose of the gift in the best interests of the institution. Because of the Library’s limited display and storage areas and focus on its primary mission as a Library and not a museum, potential donors of art & decorative objects are requested to discuss any possible gifts with the Director and Board of Trustees.

No gifts posing a danger or threat to patrons will be accepted (e. g. metal sculpture with sharp, moving parts). No gifts that require extensive, regular special care or conservation will be accepted.

Valuation: The Library will provide a timely, written acknowledgment of the receipt of gifts to the donor and, if desired, to a recognized individual or organization. Income tax regulations leave the determination of the gift’s monetary value to the donor. Donors wishing to have an appraisal of their gifts done for income tax purposes should do so prior to donation.

Future disposition of gifts: Libraries used extensively by their patrons sustain losses through theft, mutilation and ordinary wear. Resources with obsolete and/or misleading information may be discarded with time. The Library therefore cannot guarantee that any gift will be part of the collection or furnishings permanently. Excess articles may be first offered to other Town departments and then given to the Friends or discarded.

Approved by Library Board of Trustees 3/17/05

* As of 2023, the Haverhill Public Library is not accepting gifts of books or other miscellaneous items for addition to our regular collection or book sales. Those intending a gift donation of books or other items of local history interest are encouraged to contact Special Collections for an appointment to have the items evaluated by our Special Collections Librarian.