The purpose of this policy is to set high-level direction for library collections.

Policy Statement and Details

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the free expression of ideas and the private reading rights of individuals. The success of a democracy is dependent on the full range of human ideas being accessible to all members of the community.

Burnaby Public Library will select material for its collection that supports individuals in their quests for access to a diverse range of the world’s stories, ideas and information.

As the Burnaby Public Library Board has endorsed the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries, library staff will develop collections to represent as many viewpoints as possible within constraints of budget, space, and availability of resources. The presence of materials in the library does not constitute endorsement of their contents by the Library Board.

The library will provide materials, including those that may be infrequently requested, through which individuals may discover original and possibly controversial ideas.

The library will provide a user-oriented collection which anticipates and responds to the life-long learning, cultural, leisure and information needs of the community of Burnaby. The library will not sacrifice its ability to provide the full range of subject coverage and material of lasting significance in order to fully satisfy the immediate demand for popular material.

The library realizes some materials are controversial and may offend some patrons. The ultimate responsibility for the choice of material lies with the patron.

The library provides access to its materials to all. Materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents. Videos rated as Restricted will be labeled as such, in accordance with the Motion Picture Act of BC.

Children and Teens

Children and teens have a right equal to adults to access library collections and services. The library provides children and teens with open access to adult collections under the same regulations that apply to adults, with the exception of films with a restricted rating which are not loaned to those under the age of 18, in accord with The Motion Picture Act of BC. It is the responsibility of a child’s parent or guardian to monitor their child's use of library services and collections.

Request for Reconsideration

The Library recognizes the right of an individual or group to make a complaint about the inclusion of material in the library’s collection. An individual or a group objecting to material located in the collection is asked to complete a written request for the reconsideration of the material. Request forms are available for this purpose at all library branches.

Decisions made will be communicated to the originator of the request following completion of a formal staff review. Any decision made by staff will reflect the principles outlined in this policy.

An annual report on requests for reconsideration of library material is provided to the Board.

Last reviewed 2019-12-12