ACRL Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians states "Special collections librarians must not engage in any dealing or appraisal of special collections materials, and they must not recommend materials for purchase if they have any undisclosed financial interest in them." "Undisclosed financial interest" includes the potential of receiving the material as a gift to the library. By extension, librarians not working in special collection also decline to provide appraisals, but instead will offer reference assistance in locating a source for an external appraisal. The appraisal or establishment of an item’s value for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor, as are appraisal costs. Donors should seek further information on valuation of donated property from the Internal Revenue Service and their own tax adviser or attorney; specifically, refer to IRS Publication 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property."
Special collections librarians must exercise extreme caution in situations that have the potential to allow them to profit personally from library-related activities. The highest standard of behavior must be maintained, as propriety is essential to the maintenance of public trust in the institution and in its staff.