Collections Management Policy

Purpose | Mission | Collections Goal | Intellectual Freedom | Responsibility for Selection | Criteria for Selection | The Library and the Education Community | Suggestions to Purchase | Donations of Materials | Requests for Reconsideration | Access | Collection Maintenance | Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom


The purpose of the policy below is to provide direction to the selectors of Library material that will reflect the Library's Mission Statement and its community, and to inform the public of the policy underpinning the selection of this material.

Mission Statement

The Milton Public Library empowers the community to: Read. Learn. Create. Connect.

Collections Goal

In pursuit of the mission statement, the Milton Public Library will provide a collection in a variety of formats to support lifelong learning, research, popular reading, cultural pursuits and the creative use of leisure time of the community. The Milton Public Library is a multi-branch system with one collection serving the community needs at each service point.

Intellectual Freedom

The Milton Public Library Board adheres to the Canadian Library Association statements on intellectual freedom (Appendix A)

Responsibility for Selection

Responsibility for selection and maintenance of the collection rests with the Chief Librarian/ Chief Executive Officer. While it is ultimately the CEO's decision what is ordered and what remains in the collection, the decision-making is delegated to the Manager, Information Services and selection staff in the Information Services Department.

Criteria for Selection

  • Suitability of subject, style, and reading level for intended audience
  • Authority or significance of author
  • Quality of writing, production, and illustration
  • Authority and standards of publisher
  • Recommendations by critics or reviewers
  • Suitability of format for library use
  • Relationship of subject to existing collection
  • Public demand
  • Importance of subject matter in relation to community needs
  • Timeliness and/or permanence
  • Availability of materials through other libraries or institutions
  • Canadian content
  • Purchase price and other budgetary considerations

Items need not meet all criteria to be acceptable. The presence of a book, periodical or other material in the Library does not indicate an endorsement of its content.

The Library and the Education Community

It is the responsibility of institutions engaged in formal education to provide materials which support their curricula. It may happen that materials collected by the Library meet the needs of school projects, but this is not the primary reason for their selection.

Textbooks will be obtained by the Library only when they provide the best coverage of a subject. A book will neither be excluded nor included solely on the basis that it is a textbook.

Referrals may be made to the collections of local educational institution libraries.

Suggestions to Purchase

Every attempt will be made to respond to public suggestions for purchase of books or other materials, in accordance with this policy.

Donations of Materials

For addition to the collection, any gifts and donations must meet the general selection criteria and guidelines and be added at the discretion of the selector(s). If accepted, the materials become the property of the Library and will be handled according to Library procedures and regulations. Tax receipts are not issued for donations of materials nor applied to pay fines.

Requests for Reconsideration

The Library believes that a vital society encourages members of its community to actively participate in an open exchange of ideas and opinions. Material selectors consequently strive to provide the widest possible range of resources within Milton Public Library collections.

The content or manner of expressing ideas in material that is purposely selected to fill the needs of some Library users, may, on occasion, be considered to be offensive by other Library users. The Library recognizes the right of any individual or group to reject library material for personal use, but does not accord to any individual or group the right to restrict the freedom of others to make use of that same material.

Library users who object to materials located in the collection are asked to complete a written "request for the reconsideration" of the materials.

Decisions made about challenged materials will be communicated to the originators of the requests following completion of a formal staff review. The final decision concerning Library materials rests with the Chief Librarian, Chief Executive Officer, upon consultation and consideration of the Library Board.


The Library believes that persons in a democratic society can make informed judgements only when they have free and open access to comprehensive information. Access to library collections is not restricted by age. Responsibility for the use of the collection by children rests with their parents or legal guardians.

For user-information purposes and the guidance of borrowers, movies owned by Milton Public Library are labeled with viewer classification codes outlined in the Film Classification Act available from the Ontario Film Review Board. If a viewer classification code is not available from the Ontario Film Review Board, the Library may use Canadian Home Video Association and the Motion Picture Association of America classification codes.

The Library does not mark selected materials in order to indicate approval or disapproval of item contents or attempt to expurgate information contained in selected items.

Collection Maintenance

Evaluation techniques are used to measure collection usefulness in terms of scope and depth, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Withdrawing materials, or de-selection, is based upon the elimination of unnecessary items, outdated materials, materials no longer of interest or in demand, duplicates, worn or damaged copies. Frequency of circulation, community or regional interest and availability of newer and more up-to-date materials are of prime consideration. Material of local historical importance and interest is retained where the content has enduring worth to the community.

Appendix A

Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom:

  • All persons in Canada have the fundamental right, as embodied in the nation's Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity, and to express their thoughts publicly. This right to intellectual freedom, under the law, is essential to the health and development of Canadian society
  • Libraries have a basic responsibility for the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom.
  • It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable. To this end, libraries shall acquire and make available the widest variety of materials.
  • It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all the library's public facilities and services to all individuals and groups who need them. Libraries should resist all efforts to limit the exercise of these responsibilities while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups.
  • Both employees and employers in libraries have a duty, in addition to their institutional responsibilities, to uphold these principles.

Milton Public Library Board
Issued November 1991
Revised June 2016