Art Donation Policy

The Alameda Free Library is a department of the City of Alameda, California.


 Art - As Personal Property


The Gifts and Donations Policy adopted by the Alameda Free Library Board on March 14, 2007 defines art as personal property. “Art objects, portraits, antiques, and museum quality objects are considered for acceptance on a case-by-case basis as outlined in the Art Donations Policy..


Library Discretion


The Library has no obligation to accept, display, or maintain any items donated to the Alameda Free Library.   Once an item is accepted, the Library shall be the sole owner of the donated item(s) and will have the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to deaccession any donated item(s) without providing notice to or obtaining the consent of the donor. Final decisions as to the acceptance of art donations are made by the Alameda Free Library Board at the recommendation of the Library Director.


Selection Criteria for Artworks


Overall the Alameda Free Library has limited space for the display of art, and therefore it is important to consider very carefully the acceptance of a piece of art for long-term loan or as a gift.


Style and Nature: The art should be appropriate in scale, material, form and content for the library environment.


Quality and Elements of Design: Public art may have other functions in addition to aesthetic enjoyment. For example, a work of art may establish a focal point, modify, or enhance a space or identify a building function. As far as possible, the work of art should compliment and enhance the building and its purpose.


Durability: Works of art will be examined for durability, taking the library environment and the condition of the piece into consideration. Extremely fragile items or those that are potential targets for vandalism are not appropriate for the library setting.


Installation / Maintenance Costs: When selecting a work of art to purchase or determining if a gift may be accepted, the Library Board will take into consideration any security issues, the cost of installation, and the cost of maintaining the work over its lifetime.


Public Liability: Works will not be selected or accepted that create unsafe conditions or contain other factors that may bear on public liability.


Conditions of Acceptance


Library Conditions of Acceptance: With direction from the Library Board, the Library Director will provide the donor with a letter of acceptance to be signed. The donor is required to accept the Library’s terms and conditions including the following:


• All gifts must be unconditional, transferring ownership and all rights of ownership to the Alameda Free Library.

• Gifts are accepted only with the understanding that the Library Board has the right to determine retention, location and other considerations relating to the use or disposal of the donated gift.

• The Library Board may choose to display the gift or not.

• The Library Board may choose to sell the item and use the proceeds for any purpose appropriate to the library’s mission.

• The Library Board may transfer ownership of the item as it deems appropriate.


The Library Board does not have authority to consider acceptance of Gifts which the Donor feels is valued in excess of $25,000.  


Donor Conditions of Acceptance: In the case of gifts or donations, the donor’s conditions may affect whether or not the gift will be accepted.


Appraisal: The Library Board will not appraise the value of any gift for any reason, including income tax deductions. However, the Library Director, upon direction from the Library Board, will issue a gift receipt acknowledgement form at the donor’s request. Information on IRS rules and regulations regarding charitable deductions can be found in the U.S. Treasury, IRS publication 526 “Income Tax Deduction for Contributions”, or through the local Internal Revenue Office.


Adopted by the Alameda Free Library Board 03.11.15