At our branch we have an ongoing book sale so that we will take small donations from the public to try to raise money. It seems like "small" is a subjective term, where I believe it means a couple of items and may include a plastic grocery bag of books or box that can easily be carried by a normal person. To others, "small" means backing up to the library a medium sized moving truck that was rented for the purposes of donating your dead Aunt Trudy's entire collection of romance paperbacks from the past 40 years that could not be sold on eBay because they are falling apart, reek of Newports and cat pee, and because no one wanted them. And yes, they had the nerve to call ahead and ask if we took "small" donations.
Recently a man came to the library with a small shopping bag of items he wanted to donate to the library. He explained that the bag was filled old dvds that he had only watched once or twice and didn't care to own anymore now that he had Blu-ray. He asked if we were going to add them to the library collection.
Me: Possibly, sometimes we use good donated dvds to replace our scratched copies if needed. Occasionally someone will donate something we feel should be added to the library collection and in those cases we will put it in the catalog, but it doesn't happen very often.
The man just nodded, took his tax credit receipt, and left the bag on the desk.
The shopping bag contained about 20 dvds, containing boxed sets of seasons 1 & 2 of "Hogan's Heroes," a "Saturday Night Live" Best of Chris Farley dvd, and about five pornos -- including the very classy sounding The Erotic Witch Project. Yeah, those porn dvds can't be added to the collection, nor sold in the library book sale.
Other items the library would not like the public to donate:
1. Copies of the Bible or the Book of Mormon
2. Colored in coloring books or solved Sudoku puzzle books
3. Jewel's Pieces of You cd (I think everyone in the US was issued a copy)
4. Expired medication
5. Old textbooks (get over the fact that you paid $100 for it, nobody wants it)
6. 50 copies of your self-published memoir
7. Computer books from the 1980's (or even from 5 years ago)
8. A broken calculator you stepped on
9. Encyclopedia volumes or complete encyclopedia sets
10. (Say it with me!) National Geographic, National Geographic, National Geographic!