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Policy O.1 – The Collection2019-08-28T09:29:21+00:00

Board Policy

Policy O.1, The Collection


The Greater Victoria Public Library’s (Library) collection enriches the quality of life for its diverse community by anticipating the community’s need for information and recreation, facilitating lifelong learning, nurturing a love of reading, and providing a variety of formats and means of access.

This policy supports the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’/Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA/FCAB) Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries and explains the Library’s collection philosophy and selection principles.


This policy applies to Library management, Library staff and Library patrons.

Policy Statement and Details

Overall authority and responsibility for the collection rests with the Chief Executive Officer/Chief Librarian (CEO).

The collection is developed to present as many points of view as possible within the constraints of budget, space, and availability of resources. The presence of an item in the collection does not constitute endorsement of its contents by the Library.

As all resources are part of a single, system-wide collection, most material can be requested for borrowing at any branch.

Collection Philosophy

The Greater Victoria Public Library Board (Board) endorses the CFLA’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries, which states in part: 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.

The Library strives to anticipate and respond to the informational, educational, and recreational needs of various age groups and communities by taking into consideration such factors as: predicted popularity, demand, current trends, relevance to community needs, style and format. Monitoring of a minor’s use of the collection is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Principles of Selection

Resources are selected using professional judgement based on: reviews, collection knowledge, public demand, recommendations by subject specialists, reputation or significance of the creator, and customer requests.


  • Reputation and/or credentials
  • Clarity, quality, accuracy, style
  • Date of publication
  • Relevance to community needs and interests
  • Suitability of subject and style for intended audience
  • Representative of notable trends, genres, cultures
  • Relationship to existing collection and other material on subject
  • Budget and space priorities
  • Suitability of format for library use

Suggestions for Purchase

The Library welcomes suggestions from the public for the purchase of library materials. Suggestions for purchase are considered according to the same selection criteria as applied to all materials purchased.


The Library accepts gifts, which enhance its collections, subject to the same criteria for selection as purchased materials.  Details and guidelines may be found in Donating Books and Other Items.

De-selection and Discarding of Materials

De-selection of materials is an ongoing process, which maintains and improves the currency, accuracy, appearance, and efficiency of the collection. Frequency of circulation, community interest, reputation, and availability of more current information are factors considered when deciding whether to withdraw items, as is space required for new acquisitions.  Materials surplus to the Library’s needs may be offered to the Friends of the Library.

Review Process

Any individual may request that a selection decision be reconsidered. A Request for Reconsideration form 2019 may be made, using the prescribed form. Library staff will review each request and provide a response to the individual(s) who made the request.

Related Policies, Agreements, and Procedural Documents

Donating Books and Other Items
Request for Reconsideration

Policy Name: O.1 The Collection
Policy Type: Operational
Next Review Date: April 25, 2022
Date Amended: April 25, 2017
Last Reviewed: April 18, 2017
First Approved: September 23, 1986

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