Collections Policy

Policy Purpose

  • To provide a statement of philosophy and identify key objectives that reflect the Mission Statement and Strategic Priorities of the Hamilton Public Library with regard to the collection management, and access to collections.
  • To define the delegation of collections responsibilities.
  • To establish procedures to address suggestions for purchase, gifts, donations and objections lodge

Key Points Summary

  • The library’s collections policy outlines the philosophy and key objectives of the library’s collections development.
  • The ultimate accountability for the management of Library collections lies with the Chief Librarian but in practice is delegated to the Director of Collections.
  • The collections policy outlines the key criteria for the selection and deselection of materials.
  • The collections policy addresses suggestions for purchase, gifts, donations and objections lodged against items in our collection by community residents or organizations.


Format is the physical form of material and applies to all literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works; sound recordings; and recorded performances. Formats include: print, audiovisual, digital and multimedia.

Interlibrary loans are transactions in which library materials are made available by one library to another; they include the provision of copies and microforms as substitutes for loans of the original materials.

Policy Details

Strong library collections are fundamental to public library service. The Hamilton Public Library (HPL) is committed to developing and maintaining diverse, relevant and responsive collections that meet and anticipate the changing needs of our customers.

The ultimate responsibility for the library’s collections lies with the Chief Librarian acting in accordance with the general policies established by the Library Board. In practice, this authority is delegated to the Director of Collections.

The Library Board, in establishing a Collections Policy, was cognizant othe Constitution Act, 1982, Part 1, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 2b, which guarantees everyone the following fundamental freedoms, freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication. The Hamilton Public Library endorses the Position Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries adopted by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations in 2016 and the Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual adopted by the Ontario Library Association in 1998.

The presence of materials in the Library collections does not constitute an endorsement of their content or viewpoints by the Library Board. The Board recognizes that this policy is carried out in compliance and with due regard for all applicable legislation.

Where appropriate, HPL participates in resource sharing initiatives and consortium purchasing to provide the greatest access to library materials.