Guidelines on the Acceptance of Donated Materials to the Flinders University Library


Information for Potential Donors


The role of donations

The generosity of donors has allowed the Library to develop a rich and diverse collection over time and will continue to do so into the future. Donated materials help to fill gaps in the collection, replace material in poor condition due to high usage, and expand collecting in areas of high demand or emerging interest.

Acceptance of donations

Acceptance of donations is guided by the Library’s Collection Management Policy and is not necessarily automatic. Donations are subject to the same selection criteria as items selected for purchase. First and foremost, only items that can directly contribute to the current learning, teaching and research needs of the Flinders University community can be accepted. The costs of cataloguing, storage and conservation are also important considerations in determining acceptance.

What we cannot accept

The Library does not accept:

  • items on topics that lie outside the scope of Flinders teaching, learning and research interests, unless they align with the active collecting goals of Special Collections
  • items already held by the Library which are in low demand
  • items in poor condition
  • mass market paperbacks
  • items over five years old, unless they are of relevance to the University’s current teaching and/or research programmes
  • superseded editions of textbooks or reference works
  • items in formats not supported by the Library.


The online Flinders University Library Donations Form must be completed by the potential donor and submitted for consideration prior to delivery of any items to the Library. This form asks for a broad description of the items and asks the potential donor to acknowledge the conditions attached to library acceptance of the donation.

The potential donor can expect to be contacted by a Collections Librarian who may:

  • ask for more detail concerning the donation and/or request an inspection of the items
  • decline the offer
  • accept the offer and suggest a mutually suitable time for the donor to deliver the items to the Library.  

After acceptance

Donated materials are accepted on the clear understanding that the Library becomes the sole owner of the items upon their receipt. As such it reserves the right to subsequently determine what items are added to the collection, how they are catalogued, where they are located, who they can be used by, and how items surplus to needs may be disposed of.  The Library cannot accept donations that come with restrictions on their use and location, with the exception of archival materials.

We regret that unwanted items cannot be returned to the donor.

Cultural Gifts Program

The Flinders University Library is registered to receive donations under the Federal Government’s Cultural Gifts Program . This program has been established to encourage donations of culturally significant material to public institutions. In return, donors receive a taxation advantage.

All items offered to the Library that qualify for the Cultural Gifts Program must first be assessed for suitability against the Library’s selection criteria. If the donation is accepted, valuations are required from two approved valuers under the conditions of the program.  The donor bears the cost of these valuations in all but exceptional circumstances.