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Waidner-Spahr Library

Collections Guidelines: Gifts

Gift Giving Guidelines

The Waidner-Spahr Library appreciates financial and in-kind gifts that support our mission.  Please review the guidelines on this page regarding: financial contributions, donations of books, and donations of rare and unique materials.

Book Donation Guidelines

The library accepts donations of books from members of the Dickinson community (faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees) that meet the following criteria:

  • New or like-new condition (no dust, dirt, mold, markings, highlighting, annotations, etc.)
  • Publication date within the past 10 years
  • Hard cover or “trade” paperbacks only (no mass-market paperbacks)
  • Not already in the library collection in print format. (Library catalog:
  • Relevant to the current curriculum (scholarly works at the undergraduate level or works of literature).
  • In English or a language currently taught at the college.

We do NOT accept:

  • Textbooks
  • General encyclopedia sets
  • Magazines or journal issues
  • Most media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, cassettes, etc.)
    • EXCEPTIONS are made for DVDs and CDs that are appropriate for supporting the current curriculum

Donors should consult in advance with the Associate Director for Library Resources and Administration to discuss proposed gifts of books.  Email inquiries may be sent to  Books must be boxed and delivered to the library at the donor’s expense. The library reserves the right to dispose of any donated books that are not needed for the collection.  

Some Options for Disposing of Used Books & Magazines

  • The Friends of Bosler Memorial Library in Carlisle, PA accepts some items for sale in their used book store "The Bookery".  Please check their policy regarding donations at:
  • Check with bookstores that specialize in used book sales regarding their individual policies.
  • Better World Books maintains book donation dropboxes in various places.  See their website for dropbox locations and policy on what they accept:
  • “Glossy” publications only (magazines, catalogues, and annual reports) can be placed in collection bins to benefit the Ronald McDonald House charities of Central Pennsylvania. Details and location of bins are at:
  • Books that are well-worn, dusty, musty, heavily underlined, highlighted or annotated are typically only suitable for recycling and should be disposed of accordingly.

Financial Contributions

Financial contributions support the purchase of Library materials.

Gifts may be made online using Dickinson's giving website Select The Waidner-Spahr Library from the drop-down list of possible designations.

To give by mail, please send a check (made payable to Friends of the Dickinson College Library) to: 

Dickinson College
Friends of the Library
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896

Email inquiries may be sent to

Donations of Rare & Unique Materials

Prospective donors of rare books, personal papers, photographs, artifacts, or other special materials will be referred to the College Archivist who will evaluate the appropriateness of the gift for addition to the Archives & Special Collections. Since the College Archives is a rich resource for our students as well as for the college community, we welcome publications and personal papers of college alumni and faculty, in addition to material relating to the College's history and the local community. Email inquiries may be sent to

Acknowledgment and Receipts for Gifts

Monetary appraisals and/or appraisal fees for gifts of materials to the Library are the responsibility of the donor. Any donors wishing to receive a gift receipt from the College must provide the Library with an original copy of an appraisal report or receipts of purchase.

Upon request, the library will place a bookplate indicating the donor’s name or a brief dedication in the front of a donated book that is accepted for the general collection.  A similar note will also appear in the online catalog entry for the book. Dedication wording is subject to the approval of the Associate Director for Library Resources and Administration.