This policy outlines Halton Hills Public Library’s commitment to developing and maintaining physical and digital collections that will empower our community through ideas, creativity, and connection while supporting the mission and values of the Halton Hills Public Library.

The policy provides general guidelines for:

  • The selection of Library collections
  • Defining responsibility for selection and identifying the delegation of that responsibility
  • Outlining a process to handle objections to items presently in the collection
  • Establishing criteria for recommendations to select and deselect materials
Guiding principles

The collection promotes literacy and enhances the community’s business, culture, and heritage, while supporting the learning and leisure needs of an increasingly diverse community. Halton Hills Public Library provides collections that include popular materials, diverse collections of general knowledge, and materials to support literacy and lifelong learning for all ages.

The Halton Hills Public Library Board endorses the Canadian Library Association’s Position Statement on Intellectual Freedom (Appendix 2). This statement affirms the fundamental rights of all Canadians to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity, and to express their thoughts publicly. The Halton Hills Public Library supports and complies with the following additional guidelines and policies.

  • CLA Information and Telecommunication Access Principles
  • CLA Statement on Internet Access
  • OLA Statement on Intellectual Rights of the Individual
  • OLA Position on Children’s Rights in the Library
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act
  • Relevant Board Policies
Responsibility of selection
Material selection, evaluation, and maintenance of materials is vested in the Chief Librarian & CEO who delegates this professional activity to qualified and knowledgeable staff.
Selection criteria

The selection of materials and services is based on the professional judgement of Library staff with appropriate consideration given to community needs and interests, existing resources within the Library and other neighbouring libraries, the Library’s ability to technically support various formats, as well as specific criteria related to the author, publisher and the content of the publication.

An item need not satisfy all criteria in order to be acceptable.

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

  • Selection by vendors based on detailed profiles developed by staff for specific subject areas or formats - materials selected by vendors is monitored by staff
  • Reputation of the publisher or authoritativeness of the creator and their significance as a writer, filmmaker, etc.             
  • Comments of professional and independent critics and reviewers
  • Relationship to the existing collection
  • Adequate breadth and depth of coverage
  • Availability of similar material from other sources including from within the community and/or from other libraries
  • Budgetary and space considerations
  • Format of materials
  • Quality of writing and/or visual art
  • Development and promotion of multiple voices to reflect diversity and inclusivity
  • Anticipated or expressed needs and interests of the community
Local history collection
The Library is committed to collecting and preserving materials that illustrate the growth and development and that celebrates the history and heritage of the Town of Halton Hills. The Library accepts a wide variety of works about Halton Hills and works by local authors, whether or not such materials meet the standards of selection in other respects. However, the Library is not obligated to add to its collection everything about the area or produced by local authors, printers, or publishers if it does not seem to be in the public interest.
New formats
Careful consideration is given to introducing new formats to the Library collection. Budget considerations, community needs, and the impact on existing resources are reviewed prior to selecting or introducing any new medium. To responsibly accommodate trends in user demands and/or changes in technology, the selection of materials in any new format may result in the Library’s decision to retire specific items or material formats from its collections.
Purchase suggestions
Users may request the purchase of specific materials by filling out the “Suggest a Purchase” form on the Halton Hills Public Library’s website. All suggestions are reviewed by Library staff, with decisions for purchase guided by the principles and criteria outlined above. Items that fall outside the Library’s selection criteria or are unavailable for purchase may be acquired through the Inter-Library Loan Service.
Deselection of materials

Collections are assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure that materials continue to meet the principles and criteria outlined in this policy. Collections are maintained by identification of gaps, deselection and the replacement of certain materials as needed. Deselection is the withdrawal of items from the collection that are in poor condition, contain old or inaccurate information, or are no longer of interest to the public.

To keep the collection relevant and attractive, materials are withdrawn when they are:

  • Outdated
  • Worn/Damaged
  • Redundant
  • Duplicates that are no longer needed due to reduced demand
  • Items that are no longer circulating
  • Materials that are no longer relevant to the needs of the community
  • Superseded editions of specific items
  • Items that are available elsewhere, including other libraries and online
  • The number of items in the collection on a particular subject

Replacement of items depends upon the demand for that particular item, the availability of more current materials on the subject, and the extent of coverage of the subject in the collection.

Deselection guidelines will be applied to all Library materials including donations and works by local authors.

Withdrawn materials will generally be sold in-branch by the Friends of the Halton Hills Public Library, donated to other organizations, or recycled.

Reconsideration of material

The Library recognizes the right of any individual to object to using certain Library materials for personal use. The Halton Hills Public Library does not grant any individual the right to restrict the freedom of others to make use of that same material. Users who object to a specific item in the collection may place a formal request for reconsideration by completing a “Request for Reconsideration” form either online or in branch. Decisions made about challenged materials will be communicated in writing to the originator of the request following completion of a formal staff review. Until such consideration has been made no removal or restriction will take place.

An individual wishing to discuss this decision further may appeal to the Chief Librarian & CEO. Should an individual disagree with the decision of the Chief Librarian & CEO that person may appeal to the Halton Hills Public Library Board. In practice, the re-evaluation response is viewed by the Library Senior Management Team and/or the Chief Librarian & CEO before being issued to the individual.

The inclusion of items will not be influenced by anticipated or unanticipated lobbying by individuals, groups or organizations. For items that have conditions imposed by publishers, creators, or their representatives after its inclusion in the collection, the Library will evaluate each case individually. The evaluation could include, but is not limited to, removal of the item from the collection, or prompting the Library’s review process.

Some of the Halton Hills Public Library’s digital content is provided by third-party vendors. The Library subscribes to services in which the third-party vendor, not Library staff, determine the specific titles or materials made available through the service. In these circumstances, the Halton Hills Public Library cannot reconsider specific materials to which library users object but may inform the third-party vendor of their concerns and/or consider these concerns in determining whether to continue using the service.

No endorsement on content

Selection of material will be made without bias towards subject matter, ideology, point of view, or frankness of language.

Inclusion in the collection does not constitute an endorsement by the Library. The selection of material by the Halton Hills Public Library does not constitute an endorsement of either the material’s content or viewpoint. Halton Hills Public Library does not knowingly acquire materials that the Canadian courts have found to be obscene, hate propaganda, or seditious. Halton Hills Public Library complies with any law enacted at the federal, provincial, or municipal level. It therefore does not collect or maintain items that have been judged obscene or pornographic or have been banned by the courts.

Halton Hills Public Library will neither undertake to mark items to show approval or disapproval nor remove parts of any materials.

Access to collections
The Halton Hills Public Library recognizes that the choice and use of materials rests with the individual library user. The Library will assume no responsibility for acting "in loco parentis" regarding controlling the use of Library material by minors. Library users are encouraged to consult with staff in selecting resources from the collection. Still, it will be the responsibility of parents and/or guardians to determine the suitability of material for minors in their care.
Inter-library loan
Halton Hills Public Library recognizes the important value of the Inter-Library Loan service to complement Library collections. Halton Hills Public Library actively participates in resource sharing to benefit library users across Ontario and Canada and to provide users with efficient access to information and materials not held in the collection.
Gifts and donations

Halton Hills Public Library accepts gifts of materials only if they are suitable for the needs of the Library.

Materials obtained as gifts, including self-published material and that of local creators, must meet the same standards as those stated in the Collection Management Policy to be included in the Library collection.

If accepted, the materials become the property of the Halton Hills Public Library and will be handled according to Library procedures and regulations. The donor may not impose any conditions on the Library relating to any item after acceptance. If not accepted, the materials will be disposed of by staff. Appropriate disposal means include but are not limited to recycling donating to the Friends of the Library, or other organizations.

Halton Hills Public Library helps library users honour or recognize special individuals or events through financial donations. Monetary gifts will be used at the Library’s discretion to select materials that meet the principles and criteria outlined in this policy. Materials purchased through financial donations are not exempt from deselection.

Revised/Approved: October 14, 2015

Revised/Approved: November 8, 2017

Revised/Approved: May 11, 2022

Next Scheduled Review: May 2027