Materials and Electronic Resources Selection

As a vital community connection to the world of information and ideas, the Library provides the widest possible access to recorded knowledge, thought and creativity for information, learning, inspiration and enjoyment. To accomplish this, the Library provides a broad range of print, audio, visual, multi-media and electronic resources for patrons, of every age and ability, to access in many different ways.

Through its collections, the Library encourages reading and the development of essential literacy skills, and fosters life-long learning within the community. The collections support informal education and complement formal educational curricula.

The collections inform, entertain, enhance and enrich an individual’s enjoyment of life. They provide the community with rich and diverse resources to:

  • Support informational and recreational reading, viewing, listening and engagement
  • Stimulate the imagination and empower creativity
  • Increase an individual’s ability to succeed and actively contribute as a member of society

In considering materials for inclusion in the collection, Library staff exercise their professional judgment, using criteria such as currency, accuracy, imaginative quality, appeal, and the unique contribution that each individual item makes to the overall collection. The whole of a work rather than a part is always considered when making a selection decision.

Other criteria include:

  • The expressed and anticipated needs and interests of Calgary’s diverse community
  • Recommendations made by critics, reviewers and other authorities
  • The suitability of the subject, style, presentation and reading level to the intended audience
  • Representation of Canadian and/or a local perspectives
  • Representation of important movements, genres or trends
  • Insight into the human and social condition
  • Artistic presentation and experimentation
  • Budget priorities
  • Space priorities
  • The suitability of the form for library use
  • Availability
  • Copyright

The Library endeavours to ensure both depth and breadth of its collections. Content is collected in a variety of formats. The Library seeks new ways of making resources available to Calgarians by evaluating and implementing emerging formats and technologies when appropriate.

Ultimate responsibility for the policy that determines and guides selection of materials rests with the Board. The task of selection is delegated to the Chief Executive Officer who directs this activity to qualified and knowledgeable staff.

The Board recognizes that this policy is carried out in compliance and with due regard for all applicable legislation.

Intellectual Freedom

While Library staff may assist patrons, the ultimate right and responsibility for the choice and use of Library Materials rests with the individual.

The Library endorses the Canadian Library Association’s Position Statement on Intellectual Freedom, the City’s resolution on Freedom to Read Week, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom. 

The Library does not advocate the ideas and opinions found in its collections. The availability of an item within the collections does not indicate endorsement of its content by the Library. The Library recognizes that some resources may be regarded as controversial, unconventional or unpopular.

Parental Responsibility

Responsibility for children’s or teens’ choice and use of resources rests with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Selection for the adult collection is not restricted by the possibility that children or teens may access resources their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may consider inappropriate. The Library believes in the freedom of the individual, and the right and obligation of parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to guide, develop, interpret and maintain their own code of values in their family.

Collection Maintenance

Library staff carry out an ongoing program of collections maintenance to ensure that the collections remain current, relevant and in good physical condition.

Reconsideration of Library Resources

Requests for reconsideration of materials may be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. All such requests will be reviewed in light of the Materials and Electronic Resource Selection policy and a written response will be provided to the patron.

If the patron disagrees or is not satisfied with the decision of the Chief Executive Officer, the patron may make a further request for reconsideration to the Board, whose decision will be final.

Category Library Materials
Statutory Yes
Approval History 2015
Approval Janet Hutchinson