At a glance

Swain Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library

Book donations

Book Donations

The Swain Library appreciates receiving book donations from users.  Donated items allow us to replace worn out copies and to fill gaps in the collection.   To determine if items you want to donate are needed, please contact Grace Baysinger (, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Librarian.   

Gift books are only accepted unconditionally, that is, we reserve the right to determine the disposition of donated materials.  Because the Swain Library has limited staffing resources, we may need your help getting items to the Swain Library.  We are not able to pick up materials that are located off-campus. 

Appraisals: Although we acknowledge the receipt of gifts, the Stanford Libraries are unable to provide donors with appraisals of their gifts.  Please note that tax laws require donated book collections worth $5,000 or more to be appraised, even if a collection is split and given to more than one library in the same tax year.  You can find an appraiser on the American Society of Appraisers website.  Some members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America in the Northern California Chapter are also qualified to offer appraisals. 

Alternatives: If the Swain Library does not need your items, below are some other options for giving them a new home.  This table summarizes the types of materials each organization is interested in but please consult their websites for more details.

    Better World Books     Bridge to Asia       Zubal Books
Monographs   OK   OK    OK
Textbooks   OK   OK  
Reference books

  OK (no encyclopedias)

  OK    OK
Journals & magazines      

   OK (long bound runs only)


BetterWorldBooks: Collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide.  All donations are processed for sale, donation or recycled. Every effort is made to ensure all books get the best new home possible. For more details, please see donations by individuals  BetterWorldBooks covers shipping costs (provides mailing labels) but you have to box and send items to them.

Bridge to Asia: Provides books and other educational materials that are essential for education but too costly for most schools or scholars to afford in China.  Read more about books needed.  The Stanford Bookstore has a relationship with “Bridge to Asia”, which accepts donations. Please call the bookstore (650) 329-1217 in advance and ask for the Shipping Dept. to schedule delivering books to their loading dock.  Contact Bridge to Asia directly after you have dropped off your books so they can acknowledge your gift.

Zubal Books: Offers libraries, researchers, collectors, and avid readers hard-to-find and important books in all fields.  This bookseller handles individual items, small collections and entire libraries.  Zubal pays cash and removes all items at their expense.  For more details, please see sell your books