Hi.  I didn't have many responses from my question, but here are the
thoughts of some colleagues.  Sorry it took so long to get the summary
together.  My original question is below - basically I do searches for
alumni and want to ask for donations when I send their materials.  

All respondents thought it was worth trying, as a way to raise funds.  

One response was concerned with licensing restrictions for searches.
Here, I use PubMed for all my searches, even though we have Ovid.  I do
not use any online databases for filling alumni requests - just the old
fashion way, so I don't think it's a problem.

One response was in favor of telling exactly how much the service cost
us or was worth.  Her point being that we can not keep pretending our
services are for free, while our budgets shrink.  This librarian worked
in a library that did not charge, but put a note about the cost with the
item to educate the patron.  She thought it was a good idea to let those
benefiting from our Library to consider contributing. "Sort of like

One response thought it was a good idea, but that I may want to check
with our legal advisor, maybe setting a foundation up and also regarding
tax deduction requests.  I hadn't thought of this.  

Thanks to those who responded.  If anyone else adds anything, I'll keep
you posted.  

Donna Perzeski

Original Question:

Our library is happy to send our alumni free literature searches 
and articles when requested.  This has long been a service we provide, 
and luckily it is not too popular.  But it can get costly, both in terms

of time for searches and money for interlibrary loans. 

I was thinking of adding a fundraising request when I send out 
information to these alumni.  Something along the lines of ... (very 
rough draft) 


We are happy to provide this service to our alumni.  We hope this has 
provided information to meet your needs and has saved you time and 
money.  Some alumni have asked about sending donations.  Contributions 
to the Library are used to assist in enhancing our collections and 
services as well as expanding our educational resources. If you would 
like to be a library benefactor, donations can be sent to ..." 

Would this be too bold??  Should I have donation amounts for them to 
choose or leave it up to them?  Or should I tell them what the 
approximate cost this service would be if they did it on their own?  

This would not be a mass fundraising drive.  I would only send it when 
filling requests.  We do not have any type of fundraising or friends 
program now.  I have looked on the internet to see what other libraries 
do, but those programs look larger and more involved than I want to 
handle.  Does anyone have any suggestions, opinions or experience with 

Donna M. Perzeski
Manager, Library Services

Medical Library
Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
10515 Carnegie Ave.
Cleveland, OH  44106

Phone: 216-231-3300 x.7342
Fax: 216-231-6537
Email: [log in to unmask]