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Gift and Donation Policy

The Tulare County Library appreciates and encourages gifts and donations from groups, individuals, foundations, corporations, etc. These contributions are vital to the future of the Library and its services. The Library is prepared to receive material, digital media, money, furnishings, and other types of gifts and donations. Once received, the gift or donation becomes the unconditional property of the Library. Gifts and donations are accepted only if the County Librarian or their designees determines that they can be used by or benefit the Library.

  • Acceptance. The Library accepts gifts and donations with the understanding that after review by Library staff according to established guidelines the accepted gift or donation becomes the sole unrestricted property of the Library and is subject to disposition at the Library's discretion.

  • Acknowledgment. Gifts and donations are acknowledged with a receipt if requested or a “Thank You” letter.  The IRS may require acknowledgement for gifts worth $250 or more.

  • Tax Deduction. Gifts and donations to the Library are tax-deductible as provided by law.

  • Appraisal. As the recipient of a gift or donation, the Library does not assign a monetary value or description of gift for the donor's tax purposes. This is the responsibility of the donor.

  • Decisions. The County Librarian or designees decides whether gifts or donations is accepted and if donated material is added to the collection.

  • Ownership/Copyright. Donor must be the legal and/or copyright owner of physical or digital items received.

Physical Material Donations

Gifts of physical material, such as books, magazines, and media, may be accepted into the Library’s collection after review by Library staff according to established guidelines. Items received at our branches and not chosen to be used by the Library are donated to the Friends of Tulare County Library or local branch Friends group, recycled, given away, or discarded. This includes magazine and periodical subscriptions that are made directly by the donor.

Groups or collections of materials or items are handled like all other donations and cannot necessarily be kept together. Large donations must be reviewed by staff before accepting. Donations valued at a $1,000 or more must be approved by County Librarian or designee. See Other Donations for additional information.

The Library cannot guarantee items will be added to the collection or remain in any one location permanently. Materials are assigned or transferred as needed, and eventually may be discarded.

Gifts of library materials from Friends groups and other organizations must be cleared in advance with the County Librarian or their designees. All ongoing gifts, including subscriptions for magazines or periodicals must be cleared in advance with the County Librarian.

Material generally accepted to be added to the collection include new, recently published, or gently used items in excellent condition of the following type:

  • Current interest – novels, best sellers, items on popular topics

  • Information books

  • Children's books

  • Paperback books

  • Memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies of popular and historical individuals.

  • Books of local interest, including local history.

  • Media including DVDs and compact discs.

In addition, the Library accepts historical and archival items, including photos and media, related to the history of Tulare County.

Material not generally accepted by the Library, unless historically significant:

•    Nonfiction that is outdated, factual material published more than three years ago. This includes many reference, technical, tax, legal, medical, educational, and investment items. 
•    Encyclopedia sets more than three years old. 
•    Items that are unusable: dusty, dirty, moldy, smelly, water damaged, etc.
•    Items that have been kept in storage for more than a few months.
•    Items that are damaged: ripped, torn, marked (ink, crayon, or highlighter), etc.
•    Condensed books such as those published by Reader’s Digest.
•    Magazines or newspapers.
•    Phonograph records, cassette tapes, and other dated audiovisual items etc.
•    Heavily used media. 
•    Textbooks.
•    Items clearly marked as belonging to other organizations.
•    Historical and archival items that do not relate to Tulare County.


The County Librarian or their designees may approve the inclusion of bookplates in significant donations, including memorial gifts or materials especially selected or purchased for the library.

The Friends of Tulare County Library and other branch Friends groups accept donation of physical materials, such as books and media. Please check with them about what they accept directly.

Historic Material and Digital Media

Gifts of historic physical items and digital media may be accepted into the Annie R. Mitchell History Room collection after review by Library staff with the primary criteria to include the relevance to local history of Tulare County and our ability to store and preserve such materials.

Monetary Donations

Monetary donations are quickly and easily used to supplement and provide additional Library material and services. Though the Library accepts funds designated for specific purposes, these types of cash donations can be more effectively used when allocated to the areas of greatest need.

Funds designated for specific purposes must be approved by the County Librarian or their designee before the Library can accept. This includes donations for the purchase of magazine and periodical subscriptions, special collections, and other items. See Other Donations for additional information.

The Library also has support groups, including the Tulare County Library Foundation, the Friends of Tulare County, and other Friends groups in some branches that accept financial donations.

Furnishings Donations

The decision to accept furnishings, such as furniture, landscaping items, art, and equipment must be made by the County Librarian or their designee. In most cases monetary donations are encouraged in lieu of the actual item. The decision to accept is based on need, space, appropriateness, expense, and frequency of maintenance. Placement of these items is at the discretion of the County and County Librarian. See Other Donations for additional information.

Other Donations

Gifts of securities, real property, memorials, bequests, and other types of donations not referred to above will be handled by the County Librarian. Once accepted, the County Librarian will work out terms of acceptance that are compatible with the County’s policies, the donor’s intent, and applicable laws.

In all cases donations to the Library with a value of more than $10,000 must be accepted and acknowledged by the County Administrative Officer or the Board of Supervisors.

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