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Terrell Main Library

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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545

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The main visitor lot is the east Service Building lot, and the south row of the Carnegie Building lot for visitors to offices within that building.

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Gifts to the Libraries


General Policy

The collections of Oberlin College Libraries support the teaching and research needs of Oberlin College and Conservatory. Gifts of scholarly and rare materials that support the curricular needs and research interests of students and faculty have historically represented an important element in the development of the libraries' collections.

The libraries review offers of material donations carefully and reserve the right to decline gifts that fall outside the scope of its collecting policies. We may also decline to accept gifts that are largely duplicative of our existing holdings, or those of our consortial partner libraries. Materials generally not accepted include damaged, annotated, or condensed books; textbooks, photocopies, videotapes, recordings on vinyl, sheet music, standard editions of musical scores, and journals. Physical materials that carry potentially toxic chemicals, medications, or narcotics; biological hazards such as mold, insects, allergens, or other pathogens; are highly perishable or otherwise fragile; must be declared by the donor and will only be accepted with the overriding approval of the Library Director, after ensuring proper containment and warning labels are used, to safeguard the well-being of our staff and community of users.

Gifts-in-kind are received with the understanding that they are unrestricted gifts and, as such, the college becomes the owner of the material and reserves the right to make retention, location, cataloging, and other decisions relating to use or disposition. Gifts-in-kind not added to the collection generally help generate funds for the purchase of additional library material through their sale.


How to Proceed

Potential donors of major gifts are encouraged to contact the Associate Director of Collections and Resource Services, Paul Heyde, prior to the donation. Persons wishing to donate smaller gifts may contact Justin Long in Acquisitions, Gifts, E-Resources, & Serials (see full contact information below). In some instances donors may be asked to provide a list of titles considered for donation to assist in determining the appropriateness of the materials for the college libraries.

Issues concerning appropriateness, transportation, disposition, appraisal, and processing should be resolved before a donor ships or delivers materials. Generally, donors are expected to arrange for the packing and transportation of materials to Oberlin College.


Tax Information and Appraisal

The Libraries acknowledge gifts-in-kind with a count of the number of items donated.

By law, we may not assign a value to gifts-in-kind. If the claimed annual non-cash charitable contributions of a donor exceed $500, IRS Tax Form 8283 must be filed. Gifts valued at more than $5,000 must be appraised. The appraisal of a gift for income tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor; however, the library may be able to provide assistance as to sources of information pertaining to evaluation or suggestions of qualified professional appraisers. Appraisal should be completed before transport to Oberlin.


Material Delivery

Contact the Acquisitions, Gifts, E-resources & Serials Assistant to arrange for delivery. If the gift is large, it will be received at the main library loading dock, which is accessible from the College Street parking lot located nearest to Mudd Center. Gifts of a smaller nature may be brought directly to the circtulation desk in Mudd Center. The heads of the art, science, and conservatory libraries will also receive gifts directly.

All mailed, shipped, or hand-delivered donated items must be clearly marked "gift." Note the donor’s name, address, and any connection with Oberlin College, including year of graduation, if applicable.

Depending on the size and value of the gift-in-kind, the donor may be asked to fill out a deed of gift.


Contact Information

Please address any inquiries or gift-in-kind donations to:

Acquisitions, Gifts, E-Resources & Serials (AES)
Oberlin College Library
148 West College Street
Oberlin, OH 44074
(440) 775-5118

Contact AES

Inquiries should include the donor’s name and contact information, and a brief description of the gift. Any connection with Oberlin College of the donor or donated material should be noted.