Donated Art and Artifacts Policy
As a rule, gifts of art, artifacts, and furniture shall be of professional quality, well-executed, and in good condition. As with all other gifts, art objects, artifacts, and furniture will be accepted only with the donor’s full agreement that the library has the right to handle or dispose of the gift in the best interests of the library. Art should be appropriate in scale, material, form, and content for the library environment. Because of the library’s limited display and storage areas and its primary mission as a library and not a museum, potential donors are requested to discuss potential gifts with the Director and the Board of Trustees of the Williamsburg Libraries. The Director has sole authority to accept or not accept gifts or loans of art and artifacts. No gifts posing a danger or threat to staff or users of the library will be accepted, nor gifts which require extensive, on-going special care or conservation.
The library has no obligation to accept, display, or maintain any items donated to the Williamsburg Libraries. 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 donated items are made by the Board of Trustees of the Williamsburg Libraries at the recommendation of the library Director.
As far as possible, a donated work of art should complement and enhance the building and its purpose. Works of art will be examined for durability, taking into consideration the library environment and the condition of the piece. Extremely fragile items or those that are potential targets for vandalism are not appropriate for the library setting.
When determining if a gift may be accepted, the Board will take into consideration any security issues, potential dangers/hazards, the cost of installation, and the cost of maintaining the work over its lifetime.
With direction from the Board, the library Director will provide the donor with an Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Williamsburg Libraries Donated Art and Artifacts Policy and Acceptance of its Terms form 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 Williamsburg Libraries. The donor or his/her lawful agent must complete a Deed of Gift form before a gift can be accepted.
- Gifts are accepted only with the understanding that the Director has the right to determine retention, location and other considerations relating to the use or disposal of the donated gift.
- The Director may choose to display the gift or not.
- The Director may choose to sell the item and use the proceeds for any purpose appropriate to the library’s mission.
- The Director may transfer ownership of the item as it deems appropriate.
For artwork that is on loan by the artist, the artist will assume all responsibility and risks concerning their artwork (see Meeting Room Policy and Neil Hammer Gallery Guidelines). The artist is responsible for picking up their artwork in a timely manner after notification by the library to do so. The library reserves the right to dispose of the artwork if it is not picked up after the artist has been notified three times.
A donor’s conditions, restrictions, or stipulations may affect whether or not the gift will be accepted.
The Board will not appraise the value of any gift for donor income tax deductions. However, the library Director, upon direction from the 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. Donors are responsible for seeking independent legal and tax advice in advance of making a gift to the library.