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Policy on Gifts and Donations

Policy on Gifts and Donations

(Adopted 5-31-2023)


The purpose of this policy is to specify the type of donations that the Library will accept and how the Library will handle those donations.

The Olean Public Library gratefully accepts gifts and donations of any kind that support and further the mission, goals, and objectives of the Library as established by the Board of Trustees.

A donation of money or new material to the Olean Public Library serves as a fitting memorial or other remembrance. You may suggest that we use your cash donation for specific items such as books, audio/visual materials, magazine subscriptions, furniture, equipment, special program funds, or general library use. Gifts of books or other materials that are not appropriate for the Olean Public Library’s collection will not be added to the collection (see also the Library’s policy on Book Donations: https://www.oleanlibrary.org/about/library-policies/book-donation).

All gifts accepted by the Library become the property of the Library, which has the prerogative to keep or dispose of the items.

The Library cannot and does not appraise gifts or donations of any kind. The Library will not bear the cost of such an appraisal. Donors who wish to have the value of a donation specified must make all arrangements for and bear all costs of an appraisal. Such appraisals will be made at the donor’s expense. The Library cannot certify the value of gifts but can formally acknowledge receipt of any accepted gifts.

Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Monetary Gifts

The Library accepts gifts of money, in any amount. The donor may indicate how they wish the money to be spent by the Library, such as for a specific collection, program, or department.

How to Make a Contribution

Make a contribution in person at the Information Desk in the library, or fill out and mail this ONLINE FORM along with your payment to:

Olean Public Library

134 N. 2nd Street

Olean NY 14760-2583


Gifts of Furniture and Equipment

The Library retains the prerogative to accept or decline any gift of furniture or equipment. No gifts of this nature are accepted unless freely given to the Library without restriction to be used as and/or placed where the Library sees fit. Depending upon the nature of the donation (i.e. size, expense, purpose, impact on staff work or time, maintenance, etc.), the Board of Trustees may make the final decision as to the acceptance of the gift.

The placement and use of furniture and equipment is the sole prerogative of the Library. The wishes of the donor regarding the location of the furniture or equipment will be taken into account but cannot be guaranteed. Considerations such as space limitations, ADA compliance, suitability to a particular location within the Library, and other factors will be considered.

The Library will not accept furniture or equipment that:

  • Cannot be properly cared for, stored or secured by the Library within normal operations and procedures of the Library, or where space for the furniture or equipment is inadequate
  • Are damaged, broken or in poor condition
  • Are not in support of the Library’s mission, goals, and objectives
  • Are not in support of the Library’s ability to meet community needs

The decision as to the acceptance and location of gifts of landscaping and/or outdoor items shall be made by the Board of Trustees on the advice of the Library Director.

Donations of any other types of gifts will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Acknowledgment of Donations

The Library will send a card to the individual or family notifying them that a gift or memorial has been made to the Olean Public Library in their honor. We also send a card to the donor acknowledging the donation. We will place a bookplate in the material listing both the name of the honoree and that of the donor or, if requested, we will affix a plaque to furniture or equipment.

Disposition of Gifts

Gift items will be integrated into the regular library collections in normal sequence, available to all library patrons, and otherwise handled as any other material belonging to the Library.

The Library retains unconditional ownership of an accepted gift. All donations are accepted only if the Library Director or the Board of Trustees determines that they can be utilized by, or benefit the Library. Once conveyed to the Library, no gift will be returned to the donor.

The Library reserves the right to decide the conditions of display, housing, and access to the materials.

All gifts may be utilized, sold or disposed of in the best interest of the Library. When gift items are withdrawn from the collection, the Library will not notify the donor of the withdrawal. The Library will not automatically replace worn-out, damaged, or lost gift items.

The Library is not obligated to keep donated materials for any length of time. The Library Board reserves the right to make the final decision on the disposition of any gift.