How do you process financial donations in memory of someone or in honor of someone? Do you have a policy statement about such? When you remove an item that was added to the collection with donation funds, what do you do about that recognition?

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  • Some 25 years ago our then-senior minister told the new library committee that he did not want future donations to the library acknowledged by library volunteers or books plated acknowledging the donations. He was concerned that decisions on what was being added to the collection were being dictated by a desire to avoid adding titles which might possibly offend the donors, rather than what was actually needed.
        A small budget line item was re-established, with encouragement to gradually increase our budget request each year until it reached an appropriate level for sustaining operations. Additionally, cash donations started being encouraged, especially at Christmas and Easter as alternatives to purchasing poinsettias or lilies for the sanctuary. The church office staff receives donations, acknowledges them for tax purposes, and names donors in special bulletin inserts along with acknowledgements for flowers. The lLbrary Committee does not know who has given what amounts, only the names of the donors and the monthly status of the fund designated for the library. This frees the Library Committee to purchase books which are needed and limits the number of gift materials we deal with. If someone wants to donate an item, they normally check to see if we already have a copy, then offer to donate the cost of the item if it is something we agree to add.  Items added in this manner must be in line with our materials selection policy.

    Because we have not plated gifts and memorials for some 25 years, there are few remaining items in the collection which have book plates. When these are weeded, we make sure any plates are removed and shredded before the items leave the building.

  • When I remove a book from the shelf that has been given in honor or memory of someone and delete the computer record, I add the title, author, presenter, and honoree to a Word document that is organized by year of donation. I haven't printed it off but I like that I have a record of it. I also have a Word document of Accessions, where this information is recorded when the item is catalogued.


  • At Crievewood Baptist Church in Nashville, our budget is divided into two parts: designated and church budget. Our operation expenses, such as supplies and computer fees or equipment, come from our budget. 
      Most of the resources added to the collection come from gifts such as memorial gifts or other outside funds. When a title is purchased for a memorial or in-honor-of gift, thank you notes are mailed to the donor and to the perso or family of the person recognized. 
      After that an appropriate book is chosen and a book plate placed in the front of the book. The title is added to a list for the library's quarterly report. 
      Once this process has been completed, the book becomes like any other new book. It is circulated for as many years as it remains current in content, physically is not damaged, or is weeded like any other book according to your collection policy. 

  • For financial donations in memory or honor of someone, we send an acknowledgment to the relative of the decesed or the person they are honoring. If removing any donated item from the library, we discard it the same way we do all of our discarded books, because once an item is donated, it becomes the property of the church library.

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