Re: Ref Q: journal duplicate exchange ethics Patricia Pettijohn 15 May 2007 18:31 UTC

Every year there are libraries somewhere that get in some kind of brouhaha over the disposition of gifts to the library. The public frequently have an exaggerated view of the value of their donations, and this seems to be especially true when it comes to the value of old books and journals.  Here the problem is not an actual legal problem, but the potential for controversy and bad publicity with potential donors.  There is no problem with giving away, selling or recycling materials, as long as you inform folks of your process in some kind of transparent fashion.  For instance, if you have a gift policy that states that items may be donated to another library, recycled or sold with the proceeds benefiting the library, etc. Placing such a statement on your website, or making such a statement part of the receipt given to donors can head off possible problems.

Patricia Pettijohn
Head, Collection & Technical Services
Nelson Poynter Memorial Library
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
140 7th Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

" I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day,
the dark sacred night
And I think to myself: what a wonderful world. "

Louis Armstrong

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Koveleskie, Judith
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Ref Q: journal duplicate exchange ethics

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see any problem in selling them since the proceeds would go to your library.  When people donate items to our library, we always tell them that we may not add them to the collection if they don't seem relevant or if the item duplicates something we already have.  In that case, we place the items in our annual book sale and the funds benefit the library.  I think selling on a duplicate exchange would be the same thing.

Judith A. Koveleskie
Periodicals Librarian
Seton Hill University
Reeves Memorial Library
1 Seton Hill Drive
Greensburg, PA 15601
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-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Blackwell, Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 9:00 AM
Subject: [SERIALST] Ref Q: journal duplicate exchange ethics

I hope that I'm not repeating a topic that has previously been discussed. We participate in a journal duplicate exchange list and the protocol is to use stamps to pay (no money exchanges). We have recently had a request from a company who would like to purchase some back issues that we posted. We cannot determine whether or not the company is a back-issues dealer or what precisely they need the issues for since they are not a library or medical organization. The issues in question were donated to our library by a physician and thus we did not originally purchase them. I am worried about the ethics of, in effect, "selling" our donations as opposed to exchanging them between libraries. If you have wrestled with a similar question, or if there is an ethical principle that is important to respect, please email me off-list. If there is enough interest, I will summarize for the list.
Thank you,

Lisa S. Blackwell, MLS
Serials/Research Librarian
Children's Hospital Library
700 Childrens Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43205-2696
phone (614)722-3206
fax (614)722-3205
We humans fear the beast within the wolf
because we do not understand the beast
within ourselves. ~Gerald Hausman

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