Gift & Donation Policy

The Teaneck Public Library gratefully welcomes and accepts gifts and donations in support of the mission and goals of the Library. At the same time, the Library, as a public entity, must strive to make decisions that are in the best interests of both the Library and the community it serves, in accepting or declining any gifts  or donations. This policy establishes the guidelines for accepting or declining gifts and donations.

Gift Acceptance Terms

Gifts will be accepted by the Library only if they:

  • Are in alignment with the mission, values and goals of the Library;
  • Are unrestricted – or if restricted, given in reasonably broad and flexible terms to maximize the usefulness to the Library;
  • Permit the Library to apply the gift to a related purpose if the designated purpose is no longer practical, necessary, or able to be performed;
  • Impose no undue financial burdens on the Library.


The following rules will guide the Director and/or Trustees:

  • The Library may accept or decline any gift that does not comply with these guidelines;
  • Donations may be directed towards programs, collections, services, equipment, operations, or capital improvements;
  • The Library will acknowledge any donation but will not value or appraise any gift;
  • Once a gift is accepted by the library, the gift shall be final, and its disposition will be determined solely by the Library.

Monetary Donations

Unrestricted monetary donations are gratefully accepted and will be used in accordance with this gift policy and the Library’s mission and goals.

Monetary donations for the purpose of purchasing Library materials may be accepted so long as the request is consistent with the Library’s objectives for its collections. When the Library receives a cash gift for the purchase of materials, the general nature or subject area of the materials to be purchased will be based on the wishes of the donor. Library staff will select specific titles in accordance with those wishes and the established Library collection policies. 

Restricted monetary donations may be accepted on condition that any restrictions are clearly aligned with the Library’s mission and goals. Restricted monetary donations of $10,000 or more may only be accepted with the approval of the Library Board after consulting with the Director and prospective donors to determine suitable projects for the donation. 

The Library will issue a letter of acknowledgement for all monetary donations. The Library may, at its discretion, provide a plaque or other means of publicly acknowledging the donor for notable monetary gifts accepted by the Library.

Non-Monetary Gifts

The Library may accept donations of new and gently used books and other materials in good condition with the following restrictions:

  • Only materials that were published within the past five years and are in good physical condition may be accepted. However, items that clearly focus on Teaneck and its history may be accepted regardless of age or condition.
  • The decision to add a particular item to the collection rests solely with the Library Director or designee based on the determination if the item is appropriate for the collections.
  • Due to space constraints and limited processing resources, the Library is unable to accept all materials offered to us. The Library reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited materials in any manner it deems appropriate.
  • Gifts of materials that are accepted by the Library become the absolute and unconditional property of the Library and cannot be returned to the donor for any reason. Once the Library takes possession of an item, the Library is free to make all decisions in accordance with its established policies and procedures with respect to the retention, storage, processing, use, and disposition of that item.

Tangible gifts, including art, decorative objects, furnishing and equipment may be accepted by the Library. Because the Library does not serve the function of a museum, gifts of items for permanent display or preservation are not normally accepted. The decision to accept tangible gifts shall be made by the Library Director or the Library Board. Among the criteria on which the decision shall be basedare: need, space, impact on staff time, and the expense and frequency of maintenance. If a gift is accepted, the gift shall be final and there will be no restrictions on the Library’s ownership, possession, use or disposition of the item. The gift will not be returned to the donor.

Donations of expertise or specialized services may be accepted by the Library if the donation is either directly relevant to the mission and goals of the Library or can be used in direct support of an official Library event. Donated services must either create or enhance the non-financial assets of the Library or require skills that would typically need to be purchased if not provided by donation.

The Library will issue an acknowledgement for non-monetary gifts upon request by the donor, but cannot appraise or establish a monetary value for the donation. The Library may, at its discretion, provide a plaque or other means of publicly acknowledging the donor for notable tangible gifts accepted by the Library.


Sponsorships of Library collections, events, and other services may be accepted on the condition that the Library’s association with the sponsor will positively affect the public image of the Library in the community and that the sponsor is generally aligned with the mission and values of the Library. The Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to decline sponsorship if, in its sole opinion, accepting the sponsorship would create a conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest with the Library’s mission, values and goals.

Sponsorships of $1,000 or more will be acknowledged in all publicity for the sponsored collection, event or service. Examples include sponsorship of the Library’s summer reading program, early literacy initiatives, ongoing programs, or special collections of materials.

Staff Gifts

Staff members may not accept items of substantial value from patrons for their personal benefit. Small gifts of nominal value, such as food, may be accepted for the enjoyment of the entire staff. If a staff member is given a cash gift during his or her duties, the money must be recorded as a donation to the library. Staff members given prohibited non-monetary gifts must turn the matter over to the Library Director.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees on December 8, 2022