Gift and Donation Policies

Does the School of Medicine Library accept books as gifts?

Yes. Some of the library’s important materials have been gifts. Unfortunately, the library no longer has sufficient space to accept gifts unconditionally. This means that we rarely accept materials that are duplicated in the library’s collection.

Books are generally accepted when the following conditions are met:

• The book falls within the library’s collection development subject scope 
• The book has been published within the last 10 years (for older books, see “History of Medicine Room Gifts/Donations,” below)
• A copy of the book is not already in the collection
• The book is in fair to good condition

Are there particular books the library wants?

The library is interested in books authored or edited by USC School of Medicine faculty. (We appreciate it when the author signs a gift book.) We are also interested in books that augment or fill gaps in the collection.

(For information regarding rare books, see History of Medicine Room Gifts/Donations.)

Does the library accept journals as gifts?

Specific journal issues or volumes are accepted only when they complete library holdings. Occasionally, large sets of a title not in our collection will be accepted at the discretion of the Serials Librarian.

Can I give the library my own current copies of a journal received through a membership or through a paid personal subscription?

The library cannot accept ongoing donations of journals received through a membership or a paid personal subscription for the following reasons:

1. Regular current use of a personal subscription by an institution could be considered a copyright infringement. Personal subscriptions are priced with the assumption that they will only be used by an individual and not by a potentially large institutional audience.

2. Personal subscriptions are not delivered in as reliable and efficient a manner as institutional subscriptions.

3. Maintaining multiple donations of personal subscriptions would require a prohibitive amount of staff time.

How do I donate books or journals?

Before donating your materials, please contact the Library at 803-216-3200.

Donors will be provided with a Gift Acknowledgement form at the point when gifts are brought to the library. This form, which includes contact information of the donor and a brief description of the materials donated, serves as a record for tax purposes.

Upon receipt of the gift(s), it should be understood that the School of Medicine Library becomes the owner of the material and, as such, reserves the right to determine its retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to its use, maintenance, or removal.

How can I tell the value of my donation?

The library is prohibited by law from appraising donations or assigning monetary value to gifts. If you wish to determine a value for tax purposes, you should retain an independent appraiser to evaluate your collection before donating it to the library. You may be able to determine the value of particular items using one of these Internet sites for rare and used books:


What can I do with those journals and books the library cannot use?

Local rare or used book dealers may be interested in older good to fine quality books. Check the Yellow Pages under “Books-Used and Rare.”

Can I make a monetary donation for the purchase of a book?

Monetary gifts to the library to purchase books are welcome. Gifts may be made in memory of (or in honor of) family members, colleagues, and friends, or to recognize special individuals. The giver may indicate a particular topic or type of materials to be acquired with the donation. For further information about monetary donations, contact Lisa McCartha ( at (803) 216-3208.