This week I began working with gift books we received from an alum, and it was very illuminating. It was interesting to see how all of the books were centered around a theme, in this case Ukraine under the Soviet Union, and so it felt like even though I have never met the donor I knew something about them. The range of items was also quite interesting; there were items ranging from small obscure publications with next to no information about them to monographs from very renowned publishers that had robust records. There were not only Russian language items, but materials written in Ukrainian, Polish, and a few in English. It was also interesting to see that a majority of the items were duplicates of issues that the library already owns; my supervisor explained to me that these will be used for domestic exchanges later on. I have gained a new appreciation for gift items because it is a good way to acquire (possibly rare or difficult to find) books that the institution would otherwise have not considered but which could be useful to someone. On the other hand, it does create a lot of duplicate holdings, which take up the limited space of the library. This has taught me that there is a careful balance that needs to be struck between creating a robust, thorough, and expansive collection, and the need to be pragmatically selective.