Collection Development Policy


To provide general principles and criteria for developing and maintaining collections for the East Gwillimbury Public Library (EGPL) that support the Library’s Strategic Plan and Mission Statement


The primary aim of selection is to provide patrons with a broad selection of material to meet their education, recreational, cultural and information needs to enrich the lives of community members.

Resource sharing is the cornerstone of the Library’s service. All Library patrons have access to the collection through interbranch loan and through regular exchange of materials between branches to refresh collections. The size of a branch collection, and the formats of material in the collection, will vary based on community needs, available resources, hours of operation, and available space.

Responsibility for Selection and Deselection of Materials

The East Gwillimbury Public Library Board (the “Library Board”) assumes ultimate responsibility for the collection and for implementation of the Collection Development Policy.

The Library Board delegates this responsibility to the Chief Executive Officer (the CEO) who may in turn delegate it to qualified Library staff. The CEO is also responsible for ensuring that the collection is properly maintained and organized and that effective collection control systems are in place. 

Principles of Selection


1.         Intellectual Freedom

The Library Board endorses the Ontario Library Association Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual (as amended in 1998), which is attached as Appendix A, and the Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom (as amended in 1985), which is attached as Appendix B. The Library Board believes in the freedom of the individual and in the right and obligation of parents to develop, interpret, and enforce their own code of acceptable conduct within their own households. 


2.         Selection Criteria

To build collections of merit and significance, materials must be measured by objective guidelines. Clearly, however, an item need not meet all of the criteria in order to be acceptable. When judging the quality of materials, several standards and combinations of standards may be used, as some materials may be judged primarily on artistic merit while others are considered on the basis of scholarship, their value as human documents, or their ability to satisfy the recreational and entertainment needs of the community. Materials that are prohibited under Canadian law will automatically be excluded from the Library’s collections.


3.         Balance

The primary aim of selection is to establish a balanced collection which adequately represents various points of view on a subject for a diverse population.


The Library Board recognizes that some materials are controversial and that a given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval by any sector of the community, but solely on an evaluation of literary or artistic merit, authenticity of the material, honesty of presentation, use to the community, and the other criteria set out in this policy. In the case of controversial issues, an effort is made to see that all points of view are represented.


The Library Board does not advocate particular beliefs or points of view. The presence of an item in the Library does not signify an endorsement of the ideas it contains.


The Library Board’s position is that people have the right to reject for themselves material of which they do not approve, but that they do not have the right to restrict the freedom of others.


Responsibility for the reading activities of children and young adults rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of materials for the collection will not be restricted by the possibility that children or young adults may obtain materials that their parents consider inappropriate.


4.         Considerations in Selection of Material

Library staff responsible for collection development will consider the following general points when making purchasing decisions:

·         Suitability for meeting the needs of the community or appeal to the interests of the community

·         Artistic excellence, literary merit, technical quality, or quality of presentation

·         Reputation, skill, and competence of the originator of the work

·         Accuracy, authority, and objectivity

·         Balance of viewpoints in the collection (challenging, extreme, or minority points of view may be represented though the quantity may be limited)

·         Clarity, accuracy, and logic of presentation

·         Comments by reviewers or critics

·         Patron suggestions

·         Originality of thought

·         Permanent value

·         Popular demands and current trends

·         Relation to existing collections and other material on the subject

·         Budget and space considerations

·         Suitability of physical format for library use


5.         Format

The selection criteria set out in this policy will be applied to selection and deselection of all Library materials, regardless of format. The content of material, rather than format, will determine its appropriateness for the collection.


The selection of material in a new format may result in the Library’s decision to retire specific items or material formats from its existing collections in order to accommodate trends in user demands and/or changes in technology.

Special Collections


1.         Canadian Materials

The Library Board recognizes its responsibility to make Canadian materials available and therefore endeavors to develop a collection that includes works by significant national and local authors, artists, filmmakers, producers, and composers.


2.         French Language Materials

The Library recognizes the need to provide information in both of Canada's official languages. Any demand for such materials will be met through the Library’s participation in the interlibrary loan network. Census figures on home language and mother tongue for the Town of East Gwillimbury will be used as a guide when considering the need to purchase French materials for the collection. The Library currently maintains a collection of children’s French language materials to support the needs of students.


3.         Other Languages

The Library will attempt to meet the needs of patrons requiring materials in languages other than English or French through its participation in the interlibrary loan network. Purchase of such materials will be balanced against budget considerations and the overall needs of the community. Census figures on home language and mother tongue for the Town of East Gwillimbury will be used as a guide when considering the need to purchase such materials for the collection.


4.         Government Documents

The Library purchases some government publications based on the importance of the publication, its usefulness to the community, and public interest. Some municipal and regional government publications are also collected, but the Library does not attempt to maintain complete archives of publications for any government level.


Governments publish most items only in electronic format, for distribution on the Internet. The Library provides access to these publications through the public Internet workstations that are located in both branches.


5.         Local History

As part of its mandate to celebrate East Gwillimbury’s heritage, the Library collects materials concerning the history of East Gwillimbury. The Library does not attempt to maintain an all-inclusive or archival collection of local history materials, nor does it carry out a comprehensive program of restoration or conservation of rare local history materials.


Items in the collection may include:

·              Works and primary source material documenting local history and genealogy

·              Local research in various formats

·              Memorabilia and clippings

·              Oral histories

·              Cemetery records

·              Photographs and negatives, and copies of photographs

·              Monographs

·              Newspapers and other local publications

·              Posters, brochures, pamphlets, and event program

·              Personal papers, including correspondence

·              Maps

·              Information in electronic or digital format, when appropriate


The local history collection is non-circulating. Duplicate copies of some material may be acquired for the circulating collection.


6.         Literacy Materials

The Library strives to assist members of the community who wish to increase their English literacy competency. A collection of literacy materials is maintained to meet the needs of independent learners, new readers, ESL students, and tutors.


7.         Textbooks

The Library does not proactively select textbooks used in schools, colleges, or universities, except when they provide the best coverage of a subject and are also useful to the general public. A book will neither be included nor excluded solely on the basis that it is a textbook. When appropriate, referrals may be made to the collections of local educational institution libraries.


The Library accepts donations of books and other materials but reserves the right to refuse any donation. The Library retains exclusive ownership of all donated materials, and no condition may be imposed by the donor relating to any item after its acceptance by the Library.

Donations of materials are evaluated according to the same criteria that govern the selection of purchased materials. Donated materials not added to the collection may be discarded, donated, or sold. The Library is not responsible for informing the donor of such disposition.

Cash donations and bequests for the purchase of materials may be made to the Library. The donor may request that such funds be used for the development of specific collections, but the Library reserves the right to select materials that it deems appropriate. Selection of specific titles will be made by Library staff in accordance with the criteria set out in this policy.

Local Authors

The Library accepts donations of books and other materials by local authors. Consideration for adding the material the Library collection is at the sole discretion of the Library and will be evaluated based on the Selection Criteria outlined in the Collection Development Policy. The Library retains exclusive ownership of all donated materials, and no condition may be imposed by the donor relating to any item after its acceptance by the Library.

The Library will consider purchasing items by local authors, provided it contains an ISBN number and is available to purchase through the Library’s book vendor. Consideration for adding the material the Library collection is at the sole discretion of the Library and will be evaluated based on the Selection Criteria outlined in the Collection Development Policy.

Collection Maintenance

In order to maintain a high-quality and active collection, the following materials will be withdrawn from the collection:

·         Materials that no longer meet the selection criteria set out in this policy

·         Materials that are outdated

·         Materials which are no longer of interest to the community

·         Damaged or worn out material

External Resources


1.         Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan is a service where EGPL can request materials from other libraries (provincially and nationally) to provide materials EGPL does not own.  Patrons with a valid EGPL card may request interlibrary loans.


2.         Shared Resources

Opportunities to access external resources via consortia/pools will be considered and selection/addition of items will be in accordance with the criteria of this policy.

Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials

The Library recognizes the right of an individual or group to make a complaint to the Library about the inclusion of material in the collection. Requests for reconsideration of items in the collection should be submitted to the Library for review and appropriate action on the form called "Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials" (Appendix C). The Library will respond formally in writing.


The Library is committed to meeting the needs of patrons with disabilities and will provide, upon request, alternate formats and communication supports, in compliance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Ontario Regulation 191/11 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).