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Gifts and donations

The following guidelines apply to donations of books and other materials to Mount Holyoke College's main Library and the Pratt Music Library. For information on donating personal papers or rare books to the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, please see their page on donating materials.

LITS welcomes the donation of books and other materials that will enrich the collection and provide valuable research resources for the community.

Gifts are added when they meet the same general collection criteria as new purchases. They must be recent scholarly works, relevant to the curriculum, in good physical condition and free of restrictions that would limit their usefulness to the collection as a whole. Only preapproved gifts that meet the curricular and research needs of the College will be accepted.

The following materials will generally not be accepted:

  • titles already owned by the College (please check Discover advanced search),
  • commonly held titles in the Five College libraries,
  • popular fiction (e.g., mysteries, romance, best-sellers),
  • textbooks,
  • back or current issues of serials (unless they fill specific gaps in an existing run),
  • materials in poor condition (moldy, pages missing, highlighted or underlined text, brittle paper, etc.), or
  • offprints, photocopies, etc.

Mount Holyoke College becomes the owner of all accepted gifts and reserves the right to determine their retention, location, cataloging treatment and use.

Procedures for donors

  1. Contact the Head of Collection Development, Kathleen Norton, ( or 413-538-2158) to describe the size and subject of the gift.
  2. If the gift is determined to be of potential interest, we will ask you to provide a legible list of publications that includes author, title, edition and date. LITS may accept the entire gift or may return the list indicating which titles are of interest.
  3. If the whole or partial gift is accepted, it is the donor's responsibility to arrange for delivery. LITS will not reimburse for shipping costs.
  4. Donors who make prior arrangements with the head of collection development will receive a letter acknowledging only receipt of the gift; it will not include appraisal of the gift’s monetary value. The donor is responsible for appraisals for tax purposes.
  5. Gifts delivered to LITS without prior arrangement (either by mail or at the Circulation Desk) will not be reviewed, added to the collections or acknowledged.

Alternative Destinations for Gifts

If LITS declines your gift, you might consider these alternatives for selling or donating your materials:

  • your local public library,
  • local used book stores, or
  • a needy library; see the American Library Association’s fact sheet on sending books to such libraries.