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December 11, 2017
Halton Hills Public Library. A world within our doors
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Library Board Policies - Material Selection

The Board of the Halton Hills Public Library accepts and endorses the Canadian Library Association’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom (Appendix #5) and declares that the following policies shall guide the Library Board and staff in the matter of material selection.

  1. Material selection is the responsibility of the Executive Director of Library Services and Culture and such staff who are qualified by reason of education and training.  Material selected by the Executive Director of Library Services and Culture or designated staff shall be held to be selected by the Board.
  2. Selection of material shall be made on the basis of its value of interest, information and enlightenment for all people of the community.  No material shall be excluded because of the race, nationality, political, social or religious view of the creator.
  3. The Library will assume no responsibility for acting "in loco parentis" with regard to controlling the use of Library material by minors.  Library patrons are encouraged to consult with staff in selecting from the resources of the collection but it will be the responsibility of parents and/or guardian to determine the suitability of material for their own children.
  4. Since the Library is a tax-supported institution, any citizen has the right to question the inclusion or exclusion of any title in the Library's collection.  Procedures have been established (see Appendix #4 - Request for Re-evaluation) which will ensure the serious consideration of any request for removal, restriction or addition of any item.  However, until such consideration has been made no removal or restriction shall take place.
  5. No group or individual will be permitted to impose a partisan emphasis upon the Library's collection.  Frankness of language, a widespread and contemporary phenomenon, will never, in itself, be considered sufficient justification to remove or restrict library material.  Each book or other item must be judged on its own merit.  Citizens unwilling to accept the Executive Director of Library Services and Culture’s decision may appeal to the Board.

Material is selected on the basis of one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Perceived and anticipated demand
  2. Reputation of the creator and his/her significance as a writer, filmmaker, etc.
  3. Favourable reviews from reputable sources
  4. Importance of the subject matter to the collection
  5. Scarcity of material on the subject
  6. Timeliness or permanence of the material
  7. Appearance of the title in special bibliographies or indexes
  8. Authoritativeness
  9. Reputation and standing of the publisher
  10. Availability of the material from other sources
  11. Price
  12. Format
  13. Professional production standards (e.g. Editing and layout)  
  1. The Library Board shall encourage gifts, donations, or bequests.  Where these take the form of material or equipment, it shall be the Board's policy that:
  1. The Library cannot accept any gift accompanied by provisos for its use or maintenance that conflict with board policies, goals or objectives.
  2. The Library reserves the right not to accept any gift that will require of the Library a financial commitment toward maintenance, use or expansion.
  3. Gifts of material will be accepted by the Library within the following guidelines:
  • Material obtained as gifts, including self-published material and that of local creators, must meet the same standards as those stated in the Library’s Material Selection Policy in order to be included in the Library collection.
  • Any gift will become the property of the Halton Hills Public Library.
  • Tax receipts will only be issued for accepted donations of historical significance and/or large theme collections when accompanied by an appraisal that reflects the current market value.
  • Appraisals must be done by a Canadian Revenue Agency approved appraiser. The donor is at liberty to make his/her own arrangements for an appraisal. The cost of the appraisal must be borne by the donor.
  • No guarantee can be made that any gift will be a permanent part of the collection.
  • Any gift of a periodical subscription must be for a minimum of three years and is subject to need and space.
  • Library staff reserves the right to add only selected items from any donation.
  • All items not added to the Library collection will become the property of the Friends of the Halton Hills Public Library, for disposition as they determine best benefits the Library.
  1. The Library does not accept:
  • Books in poor condition (yellowing pages, pages that have been defaced or highlighted, broken bindings, musty smelling, etc.)
  • Textbooks
  • Other media in a condition that interferes with its use and/or enjoyment or in a format that is no longer collected by the Library
  • Condensed books (Reader’s Digest)
  • Dated information (old travel guides, etc.)
  • Back issues of magazines, including National Geographic

Revised/Approved:   October 14, 2015