We regret to inform you that ARLIS/NA will not be holding its 48th Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO because of the serious health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Wednesday, April 22 • 1:30pm - 3:50pm
No Refunds: Managing Gifts and Navigating Donors

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Whether due to downsizing baby boomers, or what many media outlets are calling the “Marie Kondo Effect,” libraries and cultural institutions have seen a swell in gift offers in recent years. While gifts contribute to the unique constellation of materials that define and enrich our libraries, archives and museums, managing gifts, as well as navigating relationships with donors and donor families can be complex and challenging. Some financial donors make specific requests for the management of their funds that can be difficult to adhere to; some collection donors may give outside of the scope of the library’s focus; others may desire a level of involvement in the institution that pushes boundaries. The gifts themselves may require customized workflows, resources for addressing duplicates and conservation issues - all of which can require hours of additional processing time and labor that libraries may struggle to support. In this session, panelists will discuss the colorful topic of donor relations and the life of the gift well after it has been given from various perspectives including those of academic libraries, museum libraries and special collections. Topics covered will include: donor cultivation, standardization and restriction of institutional policies on collections and gifts, managing unsolicited and even unwanted donations, forming personal relationships with long-term donors, the cost of donations in labor and space, inheriting legacy donors from predecessors, establishing workflows for handling duplicate materials, addressing conservation issues with fragile gifts, and, in some worst case scenarios, preparing for and handling infestations. We hope attendees will learn from our experiences and insights and take away specific examples they can incorporate into their gift management and donor relations policies.


Sarah Carter

Art, Architecture, and Design Librarian, Indiana University Bloomington

avatar for Malia Van Heukelem

Malia Van Heukelem

Art Archivist Librarian, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library
Malia oversees the Jean Charlot Collection, a large collection of artist papers, plus the Archive of Hawaii Artists & Architects at Hamilton Library. Previously, she worked in the Library's Preservation Department, and has served as Collections Manager for the state's Art in Public... Read More →
avatar for John Burns

John Burns

Electronic Resources Librarian, Dixie State University Library
avatar for Chantal Sulkow

Chantal Sulkow

Reference and Collections Librarian, Bard Graduate Center Library
avatar for Christina Peter

Christina Peter

Head, Acquisitions, Frick Art Reference Library

Emily Guthrie

Library Director, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Caitlin McGurk

Associate Curator, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Wednesday April 22, 2020 1:30pm - 3:50pm CDT
Chase Park Plaza: Lindell D 212 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108