Who to Contact
Materials for the Library Collection
Please contact Hollis Near, Director of Library Services, to discuss any gifts of books, scores, recordings, etc. for the Library collection.
Monetary Gifts for the Library Fund
Contact the Office of Institutional Advancement. Please specify that your gift is for the Library Fund. Monetary gifts can be earmarked to purchase materials by subject (art, music, drama, etc.) or by format (books, scores, sound recordings, videos, slides, etc.).
How it Works
- Contact the Director of Library Services. Donating books, scores, etc. is generally a straight-forward process. Just contact the library director to discuss your donation. Please understand that we need to ask questions about the material to determine if it’s appropriate for the collection.
- Donations are reviewed. All donations are subject to review. We are particularly concerned about subject relevance to the collection, physical condition and available storage space.
- Lists are helpful. It is helpful if you can provide us with a list of titles you wish to donate so we can check to see what we already own, however that is not required and with some larger gifts it is not practical.
- We cannot pick up donations. Donations need to be delivered to the college since we do not have staff available to drive to people’s homes. In certain circumstances, where someone is not able to drive, we have made special arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Please discuss this with the library director if you have concerns.
- Donations become College property which can be sold… Once accepted, a gift is usually added to the collection, although at some point any item may be sold to a dealer to raise money for other library titles, traded for other library titles, or removed from the collection for updating. (See Gift Policy below.)
- Or given away… We do not hold book sales so we try not to accept materials we cannot use. If we discover any unneeded titles in a donation they are usually put on a “free” table for the students and faculty or we try to sell or trade some books with book dealers if they are in good condition.
- Or later withdrawn from the collection… Library collections are periodically weeded and gifts will be withdrawn in the same manner as purchased material. The Library cannot accept responsibility for notifying donors of withdrawal or replacement of gift items.
What We Accept (and do not accept…)
- Visual and performing arts. Specifically: Art, Dance, Design, Music, Performance Production and Theater.
- We also collect materials in the Humanities and Sciences (General History, Literature, General Sciences, and Social Sciences), but since space is limited, we are more selective of these titles.
- Books need to be in good, clean usable condition (no writing on pages, no musty smell, no broken spines, no yellowed, brittle, or torn pages.)
- CDs need to be in cases and in clean, playable condition.
- Music CDs
- DVD videos
- Materials related to the history of Cornish: photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, programs, etc. (See Cornish Archives)
We Do Not Accept:
Exceptions for these formats may be made if the material in question has special relevance, either to the library collection or to Cornish’s history, and can be easily and legally converted to a usable format. In many situations copyright law prohibits the library from making wholesale transfers of earlier formats to CD and DVD.
- Vinyl records (33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, 78 rpm)
- Reel to reel audio tapes
- Reels of film
- Cassette tapes
- VHS videos
- 35mm slides
- Loose sheet music
- Magazines/Periodicals (We only accept back issues of titles we currently receive. See Periodicals List. Occasionally we accept a complete run of an out of print title.)
Please Note: The Cornish Library is not a regional archive.
Cornish Library is a working college collection that is used heavily by students. The Library cannot function as archives for personal papers, artists’ works or personal book collections that require special housing. Anything given to the library needs to become part of the general collection. The Library also does not have a special facility for rare books and manuscripts.
If you have material that is relevant to Cornish’s history please talk to the Library Director. The Library does maintain a small collection of Cornish publications, photographs, miscellaneous documents and ephemera. The University of Washington also has a collection of material from the early days of Cornish’s history. See Cornish Archives.
If you have something not addressed here, please contact the Director of Library Services to discuss.
Upon receipt, all gift materials become the property of Cornish College of the Arts Library. Cornish Library reserves the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment and other considerations relating to the use and disposition of gifts. Materials not selected for addition to the collection may be sold, donated to students or faculty, recycled, discarded or otherwise disposed. Proceeds from the sale of any unselected items are used to purchase additional titles for the Cornish Library.
Acknowledgment & Receipt
Each gift to the the Cornish Library is reported to the Cornish Office of Institutional Advancement and acknowledged with a letter. Acknowledgments typically include the date of receipt, a brief description of the donation, and the total number of items donated. If donors require an itemized list of titles, we recommend they prepare an inventory list and include a copy with their donations.
If desired, the library can insert bookplates with the donor’s name. Exceptions are made for certain formats or rare or fragile materials. Some donors prefer not to be publicly recognized. Please advise the library of your preference.
Although we try to only accept titles we can use, some gifts (like boxes of unidentified titles) have to be evaluated after delivery to the library. Each gift item is reviewed for addition to the collection by librarians with subject-specialties in the visual and performing arts. At that point we decide which volumes are added. Because of work load, we are not able to notify donors of each title’s disposition or return items not added to the collection.
Tax Information & Appraisals
Some donors require a receipt for tax purposes. The Cornish College Advancement Office provides an acknowledgment letter which functions as a receipt of goods, but does not include an appraisal of fair market value. IRS laws prohibit the Library and its employees from assessing the monetary value of any donated goods or “gifts-in-kind.”
Each donor is responsible for determining their personal tax obligations and whether their gift requires appraisal. We do not appraise gifts, but we can give you a list of qualified independent appraisers in the area. The IRS recommends that the appraisal of books, “should be done by a specialized appraiser.”
For more information consult IRS Form 561 entitled Determining the Value of Donated Property. If you do not have Internet access, you may call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) 24 hours a day to have a copy of the publication mailed.
Excerpts from IRS Form 561:
- “Appraisals are not necessary for items of property for which you claim a deduction of $5,000 or less…”
- “Generally, if the claimed deduction for an item or group of similar items of donated property is more than $5,000… you must get a qualified appraisal made by a qualified appraiser…”
Consult the form directly for full details and required documentation.
Where to Deliver Your Gift
Please make arrangements with the Library prior to dropping off gifts. We have very limited space and need to discuss the contents and accept the gift before delivery can be made. When packing boxes, please enclose a note with the name and address of the person, estate, organization, company, or other agency donating the material. This enables the Library to send a letter of acknowledgment.
For current library hours, location or to print map and parking information, please view our contact information.