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Donation and Gifts Policy



The J. V. Fletcher Library encourages the interest and involvement of citizens and organizations through bequests, trusts, or donations of monetary or other tangible assets for Library purposes.  It is understood that special gifts and bequests should not take the place of public support but should enable the Library to provide and enhance services in ways not financially possible within the current municipal operating budget.

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

In general, the J. V. Fletcher Library welcomes gifts of money, books, materials, equipment, works of art, documents, photographs, or property of any kind, which promotes the mission of the Library.  The Library reserves the right to refuse any gift that the Board of Library Trustees, in its sole discretion, deems to be not in the best interests of the Library to accept.

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.

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.  A plate with the donor's name will be affixed to the item purchased, if so desired.   Monetary gifts should be made out to: “Trustees of the J. V. Fletcher Library."

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 materials selectors on the 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.

Memorial gifts:  The Library welcomes monetary gifts for purchase of materials for the collections given in recognition or memory of individuals or organizations.  Memorial Gifts should be made out to: “J. V. Fletcher Library Memorial Book and Gift Account”. The Library Staff will choose items which accommodate the donor’s subject or title preferences, whenever possible.  The names of the donor(s) and those recognized by the gift will be listed on a bookplate affixed to the material, if so desired. The Library will choose the wording to be engraved  on the brass plaque that is affixed next to a work of art purchased with donated funds. Donors or family members are welcome to make suggestions regarding the wording, but the ultimate decision of what will be displayed on Memorial plaques in the Library will be at the Director’s discretion.  

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 and decorative 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 and 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: Date:  9/12/05; Revised 9/18/17

J.V. Fletcher Library | 50 Main Street | Westford, MA 01886-2599
978-692-5555 |