As librarians increasingly concentrate on planned collection development, gift material may distract from specific selection goals. Marginal gifts — donated materials that are outside a library's stated collecting policies — should be evaluated carefully before being added to the collection. Gift books may duplicate material already in the collection or may be entirely outside the subject scope of the library. Gifts are never truly free; they cost the library time and money to process and may also create problems later if they must be discarded. It is the librarian's professional responsibility to evaluate them in terms of collection goals and not simply allow the human side of graceful acceptance to prevail.
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