I have been working with our gift subscriptions lately, and I have decided
to try sometime soon to get my director to include in the library gift
policy statement, which she is in the process of developing, something specific
about periodical issues. Kathleen Thorne detailed the perils of missing
issues, non-renewals, etc. which come with gift subscriptions in the name of
the individual donor. I could add our biggest problem, namely that the donor
leaves the college's employ and does not let us know that the issues will no
longer be arriving.
My preference for a gift policy would be an understanding that the gift will
be given for a minimum of, say, 3 years. A nearby college library has such
a policy and finds it works well. I think the few donors who would be dis-
couraged by such a policy are by and large the same people who would be
forgetful about sending issues to us.
Regarding money saved by gift subscription: I'm not sure the amount would be
so large once you calculate in the staff time required to process the gifts,
track missing issues and contact donors from time to time to get the issues,
and patron frustration + staff time when the missing issues are requested and
someone has to check the Kardex to see what the hold up was.
No matter what policy my library adopts, it is obvious to me that I have to
start monitoring the gifts more closely than my predecessors did.
Illinois Benedictine College