Collections Policy

Policy Purpose

Wellington County Library (WCL) Collections Policy sets out the parameters for the development of the collections and decisions on the selection of materials and is the basis for collection evaluation, planning and budgeting.

Policy Scope

The Wellington County Library Collections Policy applies to all formats including print, non-print, audio-visual and digital, and complies with all applicable legislation. 


Inter-Library Loans are transactions in which library materials are made available by one library system to another.

Weeding is the systematic removal of resources from a library based on specified criteria.

Pools are collections of material or resources created by libraries, library associations or library services agencies to facilitate the sharing of materials or resources between libraries. 

Policy Statement

WCL provides a collection of books and other materials that is responsive to the needs and interests of the community and fulfills the Library’s key roles as a

a)       popular materials library,

b)      preschooler’s door to learning,

c)       independent learning centre, and

d)      reference library

The collections shall be balanced and represent diverse points of view and may include materials that some members of the public consider to be controversial in nature.

The presence of an item in the library does not indicate an endorsement of its content.

WCL does not keep, acquire or purchase material that the Canadian courts have found to be obscene, child pornography, or hate propaganda.

It may happen that materials in the collections meet the needs of students, but this is not the primary reason for their selection. It is the responsibility of schools to provide materials which support their curricula.

The library may participate in consortia and in pools to broaden the scope and size of the collection.

We seek to provide users with print disabilities access to accessible formats by working with the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) and other sources.

The WCL collection is shared among the system’s fourteen branches.  This allows us to meet the unique needs of each community library, while providing access to the greatest number of resources through floating collections.

WCL upholds the Canadian Federation of Library Associations- Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries.


Selection of Materials

The selection of materials is driven by WCL’s mission statement “To enhance the knowledge, skills, enterprise, and enjoyment of the people of Wellington County through the provision of high quality library service.”

The Chief Librarian has overall responsibility for the collection, will seek the input of the Information Services Librarian - Collections, and may delegate responsibilities for selection. In selecting materials, staff will use professional resources, judgement, knowledge and experience.

What material is ordered and what remains in the collection is based on the following criteria:


a)      recommendations by critics or reviewers

b)      awards won or nominated for

c)       authoritativeness of the creator and reputation of the publisher

d)      relationship to existing collection and other material on the subject

e)      artistic and literary merits

f)        suitability for meeting the needs and interests of the community

g)      accuracy of information

h)      local content of a significant nature

i)        public demand

j)        Canadian content/subject matter

k)      suitability and quality of physical form, layout and construction

l)        space requirements

m)    purchase price and other budgetary requirements


WCL collects English materials for all ages and French materials for children. WCL collects material in languages other than English and French to meet the needs of our diverse population, provided that this represents a critical mass of new immigrants to the County who speak the language at home.

All WCL patrons, including employees, are encouraged to place requests for the purchase of library materials.  Suggestions for purchase of books or other materials will be considered in accordance with the criteria for selection of materials.

Withdrawal and Replacement of Items

To ensure a vibrant, responsive collection, WCL staff regularly assess collections for condition, accuracy, currency, and usage, and will identify items for removal based on the following criteria:

  • Item’s subject is outdated, or information is incorrect
  • Item is no longer in demand or of interest
  • Overabundance of an item or subject compared to interest
  • Worn or damaged items

Items withdrawn from the collection for these reasons are discarded or sold, or may with the approval of the Chief Librarian be donated to a library in need within the province. 

Worn or damaged items that are still in demand or relevant may be repurchased at staff discretion and subject to availability.

Access to Collections

Except where limited by law, children are entitled to open and ready access to materials provided by the WCL. Responsibility for the use of the collection by children rests with their parents or legal guardians.

WCL is committed to making the collections accessible to people with disabilities by offering a choice of formats.

Resource Sharing/Inter-Library Loan (ILLO) Services

Books that fall outside WCL’s material selection criteria or that are “out of print” or otherwise unavailable, can be requested by Library patrons from other library systems through Inter-Library Loan services. 


We will make our best effort to acquire these materials from other Libraries, but may not always be able to.


WCL accepts donations of books, other materials, or money for the purchase of specific items, only when they are acceptable and needed for the collection. Acceptance and retention of donations and gifts shall be based on the same criteria used for purchasing materials.  Donations not included in the collection may be discarded or sold.

Gift Copies from Local Authors

In an effort to support local authors, WCL has established a Local Authors Collection.  WCL will accept gift copies of local authors’ work and evaluate them for inclusion in the collection using the materials selection criteria.

Additionally, for inclusion in the Local Authors collection:

  • Authors must reside in the County of Wellington
  • A submission form must be completed for each title
  • Any donated materials become the property of Wellington County Library
  • At the discretion of the Library, works may be considered for purchase if published reviews in standard sources are available or there is strong evidence of appropriateness
  • Books will be processed with a barcode and Wellington County Library ownership markings. They will not be jacketed, bound or covered.
  • Books will be entered in the Library catalogue with basic information to allow for search by author and title
  • Items will be clearly labelled as belonging to the Local Authors collection
  • Items may be withdrawn from the collection at any time at the discretion of the Library


Reconsideration of Materials

Individuals who object to materials in the collection may express their concern in writing to the Chief Librarian using the Request for Reconsideration form. Decisions made about challenged materials will be communicated to the originator of the request following completion of a formal staff review.

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909