First, we do not accept gifts for the purposes of exchange, we accept
those gifts which will benefit the library.
2. Whenever possible we try to avoid donations of journals that would
be useless for our purposes. If we get a call about donating journals we ask
the prospective donor to send us a list of journals and we'll review it to
identify what we need for the collection. A frequent question we get is "Well,
if you don't need it can't you find someone who does?" Our response is that we
do not have the staff, budget or storage space to do this. If they do go to the
trouble of making a list we review it, tell them what we can use and we usually
get their cooperation in supplying just that.
3. When we get journals dumped at the door we do a visual screening and kee
what we think we can use based on our knowledge of the collection, everythingg
else is discarded. We aim to do this in one working day.
4. Most of the negotiating with prospective donors and screening is done
by a high level technician who is responsible for doing the journal ordering,
claiming, and placing backfile and replacement orders. She also supervises
the library's binding operations. She is very knowledgeable about our journal
collection, in fact she refers to all our subscriptions as her children and
frequently scolds them for being late!
5. At least in a medical library environment, diplomacy and tact are
essential in dealing with prospective donors. In the past we have gotten some
significant gifts which we have been able to sell to backfile dealers in order
purchase material needed for our collection.
Assistant Library Director for Collection Development
U Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, TX