Gifts of Books or Media

Appropriate gifts of materials enhance the collection and support the research and curricular interests of students and faculty. CSUSM Library accepts donations of materials that fit within the University’s programmatic boundaries.

The Library generally does not accept:

  • Outdated textbooks and superseded editions

  • Materials in poor condition or in need of repair

  • Materials not relevant to current or proposed academic programs

  • Journals for which full-text access is available online through the Library’s subscriptions

  • Materials with conditional terms or restrictions regarding location, retention, or access

  • Duplicate copies of items already owned by the Library

Back files of journals are accepted only to fill gaps in existing holdings.

The acceptance of donations does not mean the items will necessarily be permanently added to the Library’s collections. Donations that are accepted are received with the understanding that, upon receipt of the materials, they become the property of the California State University San Marcos Library. The Library reserves the right to determine retention and other considerations relating to the donation’s use or disposition. The Library may sell or otherwise discard materials which are not appropriate to its collection or which duplicate existing materials.  

Unpublished original materials pertaining to research areas held in the University Special Collections can be offered by contacting Special Collections.  Please see Special Collections in the CSUSM Library for more information.

Procedures for Donating Materials

If you wish to donate materials to the Library, please contact Collections, Delivery and Access by emailing Before the Library can evaluate or accept donated materials, we must receive the following information about the items you wish to donate:

  • Donor’s name, address, and phone number

  • # of items total

  • General subject matter (e.g., History, Science, Art, Various)

  • Material formats (books, journals, DVDs, etc.)

  • General condition of the items (new, good, fair, poor)

  • Language of materials

  • Title list of the items you wish to donate (please download and fill out the provided Excel inventory template or include the fields listed below) 

    • Title

    • Author

    • ISBN/ISSN (where possible)

    • Date of publication

      • Serials/journals must include date range(s) of coverage (e.g., 2000-2008)

It may take up to 4 weeks to evaluate information about a potential donation.  If a donation is accepted, a letter of acceptance, with a count of donated items, will be sent to donors.  Gift value is established by the donor. No formal or informal valuation can be provided by the Library; in accord with IRS regulations, gifts valued at $5000 and above should be independently appraised.

There will be no acknowledgement of donations which are brought to the Library without prior arrangements. Such items will be disposed of and/or recycled in the most cost-effective manner possible if they are not accepted.

All donated materials must be delivered to the CSUSM Library; the Library cannot pick up donations.

Several organizations in San Diego County (not affiliated with CSUSM) accept donations of books, including:

*pickup may be available


Submit a question.