Collection Management Policy

Purpose | Intellectual Freedom | Responsibility for Selection | Criteria for Selection | MPL and the Education Community | Suggestions to Purchase | Donations of Materials | Requests for Reconsideration | Access | Collection Maintenance | Ontario Library Association Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual


Milton Public Library's (MPL) collection supports MPL's stated mission to empower the community to read, learn, create and connect. The Collection Management Policy sets out the parameters for the development of the collection including the selection of materials, and is the basis for collection evaluation, planning and budgeting. The purpose of the policy is to provide direction to the selectors of library material that will reflect MPL's mission statement.


In pursuit of the mission statement, Milton Public Library will provide a collection in a variety of formats to support the varied interests of the community. Milton Public Library is one system with one collection. The Collection Management Policy applies to all formats in the collection, including print, non-print, audio-visual and electronic materials.

Intellectual Freedom

Milton Public Library adheres to a number of statements on intellectual freedom, including the Ontario Library Association's Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual (Appendix A) and The Canadian Federation of Library Associations' Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries (Appendix B).

Responsibility for Selection

Responsibility for selection and maintenance of the collection is at the discretion of the Chief Librarian and/or a staff delegate; it is their decision as to what is ordered and what remains in the collection.

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
  • Diversity and inclusivity
  • Representation

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

MPL and the Education Community

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

Textbooks will be obtained by MPL 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 MPL and will be handled according to MPL's procedures and regulations, including book sales and recycling of discarded items.

Tax receipts are not issued for donations of materials nor applied to pay fines.

Requests for Reconsideration

MPL 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's 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. MPL recognises 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 Reconsideration of Library Materials form (Appendix C).

The form will be forwarded to the Manager, Public Service, who will review the material in question with the staff person responsible for the selection of the material, and who will then submit a report to the Chief Librarian. A response will be sent to the complainant within thirty (30) days.


Milton Public Library believes that persons in a democratic society can make informed judgments only when they have free and open access to comprehensive information.

Unless in exceptional circumstances, MPL does not mark selected materials in order to indicate approval or disapproval of item contents or attempt to expurgate information contained in selected items.

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.

Milton Public Library users of all ages have open access to all materials in the collection. Selection of materials is not restricted by the possibility that youth may access materials considered inappropriate by members of their family or the community at large.

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 and spatial limitations. 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.

Related Documents:

Ontario Library Association. Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual  (Appendix A)

Canadian Federation of Library Associations. Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries (Appendix B)

Milton Public Library.  Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form (Appendix C)

Appendix A

Ontario Library Association Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual

 In affirming its commitment to the fundamental rights of intellectual freedom, the freedom to read and freedom of the press, as embodied in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Library Association declares its acceptance of the following propositions:

1) That the provision of library service to the public is based upon the right of the citizen, under the protection of the law, to judge individually on questions of politics, religion and morality.

 2) That intellectual freedom requires freedom to examine other ideas and other interpretations of life than those currently approved by the local community or by society in general, and including those ideas and interpretations which may be unconventional or unpopular.

 3) That freedom of expression includes freedom for a creator to depict what is ugly, shocking and unedifying in life.

 4) That free traffic in ideas and opinions is essential to the health and growth of a free society and that the freedom to read, listen and view is fundamental to such free traffic.

 5) That it is the responsibility of libraries to maintain the right of intellectual freedom and to implement it consistently in the selection of books, periodicals, films, recordings, other materials, and in the provision of access to electronic sources of information, including access to the internet.

 6) That it is therefore part of the library's service to its public to resist any attempt by any individual or group within the community it serves to abrogate or curtail access to information, the freedom to read, view and listen by demanding the removal of, or restrictions to library information sources in any format.

 7) That it is equally part of the library's responsibility to its public to ensure that its selection of material is not unduly influenced by the personal opinions of the selectors, but determined by the application of generally accepted standards of accuracy, style and presentation.

Updated and Approved,

Ontario Library Association

1998 Annual General Meeting

November 7, 1998


Appendix B

Canadian Federation of Library Associations Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries

Approval History: ~ CLA: June 27, 1974. Amended November 17, 1983; November 18, 1985; September 27, 2015. CFLA-FCAB: Adopted August 26, 2016; Reviewed April 12, 2019.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations recognizes and values the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the guarantor of the fundamental freedoms in Canada of conscience and religion; of thought, belief, opinion, and expression; of peaceful assembly; and of association.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations supports and promotes the universal principles of intellectual freedom as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which include the interlocking freedoms to hold opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

In accordance with these principles, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations affirms that all persons in Canada have a fundamental right, subject only to the Constitution and the law, to have access to the full range of knowledge, imagination, ideas, and opinion, and to express their thoughts publicly. Only the courts may abridge free expression rights in Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations affirms further that libraries have a core responsibility to support, defend and promote the universal principles of intellectual freedom and privacy.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations holds that libraries are a key institution in Canada for rendering expressive content accessible and affordable to all. Libraries are essential gateways for all persons living in Canada to advance themselves through literacy, lifelong learning, social engagement, and cultural enrichment.

Libraries have a core responsibility to safeguard and facilitate access to constitutionally protected expressions of knowledge, imagination, ideas, and opinion, including those which some individuals and groups consider unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable. To this end, in accordance with their mandates and professional values and standards, libraries provide, defend and promote equitable access to the widest possible variety of expressive content and resist calls for censorship and the adoption of systems that deny or restrict access to resources.

Libraries have a core responsibility to safeguard and foster free expression and the right to safe and welcoming places and conditions. To this end, libraries make available their public spaces and services to individuals and groups without discrimination.

Libraries have a core responsibility to safeguard and defend privacy in the individual’s pursuit of expressive content. To this end, libraries protect the identities and activities of library users except when required by the courts to cede them.

Furthermore, in accordance with established library policies, procedures and due process, libraries resist efforts to limit the exercise of these responsibilities while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups.

Library employees, volunteers and employers as well as library governing entities have a core responsibility to uphold the principles of intellectual freedom in the performance of their respective library roles.


Appendix C

Milton Public Library Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form

Milton Public Library Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form [PDF]

Milton Public Library Board
Issued: June 2009
Reviewed: March 2021