Library Policies

Code of Conduct

The Richmond Public Library and the City of Richmond are committed to providing a safe, welcoming and respectful environment for all visitors, staff and volunteers.
Unacceptable behaviour may include such conduct as:

  • A display of racist or sexually explicit images;
  • Abusive, offensive or foul language, or name calling on telephone, in person or in writing;
  • Behaviour that is illegal or violates policies and procedures of the Richmond Public Library or City of Richmond;
  • Hurtful or humiliating comments, jokes or taunting about a person’s race, skin colour, anatomy, sexual attractiveness, attire, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, etc.;
  • Intimidation that includes staring or stalking;
  • Persistent rudeness, bullying, taunting or patronizing behaviour;
  • Physical assault or violence;
  • Refusal to follow the directions of staff;
  • Unwelcome physical contact including sexual advances;
  • Vandalizing personal belongings or property of the City of Richmond or Richmond Public Library;
  • Words, gestures, actions, images or displays that may humiliate, ridicule, insult or degrade.

Please report unacceptable behaviour to library staff.
All visitors are expected to behave respectfully towards others. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct may result in being asked to leave, and possible suspension.

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Collection Development Strategy

The purpose of Richmond Public Library’s (RPL) Collection Development Strategy is to uphold RPL’s Vision, Mission and Values and to provide guidance to library staff for decision-making related to library collections. It also serves to inform the residents of Richmond of the principles by which materials are selected for inclusion in the library’s collections and is guided by the Richmond Public Library Board Collection Policy.

This strategy supports the development of collections in all formats, both physical materials and digital resources, held by the Richmond Public Library, and includes items acquired by purchase or donated items that may have been added to the collection.

In order to fulfill the Library’s mission of “Creating opportunities to learn, connect and belong,” the Richmond Public Library develops and maintains collections that:

  • Provide access to a wide range of informational, educational, cultural and recreational materials and resources in a variety of formats and technologies for all ages
  • Respond to the public library needs of the community and are relevant and useful
  • Uphold the public’s freedom of access to information
  • Feature special collections unique to the community of Richmond

The collections support Richmond Public Library’s role as a popular lending library, a resource centre for lifelong learning, and a gathering place to build community and promote literacy and the enjoyment of reading.

Providing a collection is a vital and dynamic service that is developed according to RPL’s guiding documents, community needs, staff capacity, and financial and spatial considerations.

Guiding Principles

  1. RPL adheres to the Canadian Federation of Library Associations Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries and supports and promotes the universal principles of intellectual freedom as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Richmond Public Library abides by these principles and considers freedom of access to information as a fundamental quality of a democratic society that is crucial for personal intellectual development and the overall health of the community.
  2. The Library respects a diversity of ideas and opinions. The library makes available a wide range of materials representing different points of view. Inclusion of materials in the library’s collections does not imply endorsement of their contents by the library.
  3. RPL is committed to youth and families and selects materials to support literacy, encourage reading, and promote lifelong learning. The library upholds intellectual freedom and believes in the right of parents or legal guardians to maintain their own code of values within their family. The responsibility of a child’s selection and use of library resources rests solely with their parents or legal guardians.
  4. RPL is committed to supporting learning and action for Truth and Reconciliation by providing strong Indigenous collections by Indigenous voices and by working with Indigenous community to build the collection and support Indigenous publishers.
  5. The Library strives to provide accessible collections and services to facilitate equity of access to persons with disabilities.
  6. RPL recognizes the importance of language as a factor that shapes access to the information found in collection materials. To support this access and to reflect local linguistic diversity, RPL collects materials in a variety of languages based on the presence of population and community interest.
  7. The Library strives to serve the literacy needs of English Language Learners (ELL) of all ages and abilities.
  8. RPL encourages the submission of books by Richmond authors or books about Richmond for consideration in the collection. Selectors consider these items based on the same criteria as other collection materials and make the decision accordingly.
  9. RPL collects material in a variety of formats. The nature of these formats may change over time as technology and customer use change. Reduced demand and/or technological obsolescence informs the Library’s decisions to no longer collect or retain materials or resources.
  10. Where appropriate, the Library provides access to materials and resources through cooperative services with other library systems such as interlibrary loan and consortium purchasing.

Collection Selection and Acquisition

RPL’s collection development strategy is supported by key roles in management and leadership in addition to a collections team that includes librarians and library technicians. All library staff have a role in providing recommendations and purchase suggestions to the library’s collections team. RPL’s collections are funded by capital and operating budgets in addition to donations.

Selection of RPL collection materials occurs based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy and reliability
  • Available space
  • Canadian, Indigenous and local authorship content or relevance
  • Community interest
  • Cost and availability
  • Critical reception
  • Currency
  • Existence of other versions
  • Existence of similar content
  • Literary merit and contribution to field of knowledge
  • Existence of digital or physical formats
  • Popular demand and current trends
  • Present and potential relevance of the material to community needs including library programming and early literacy
  • Quality, competence, significance and purpose of the originators of the work
  • Readability
  • Relationship of the item to existing collection
  • Subject, style and formats suitable for intended audience and use
  • Suitability and durability of the physical format for library use

Selection criteria for digital resources also takes into consideration:

  • Cost and pricing model
  • Hardware, software and licensing requirements
  • Demand (use patterns or anticipated use)
  • Privacy
  • Comparison of content with other available formats
  • Networking capability
  • Ease of access
  • Staff training and customer assistance requirements

Selectors take many sources into account when deciding whether an item meets these criteria, including professional judgement, personal knowledge, community conversations, community requests, collection data, vendor suggestions, publishers, bestseller lists, and critical reviews. Not all criteria apply to a given item, and additional criteria may exist for items in specific collections. The Library does not purchase or add materials and resources that contravene the provisions of the Canadian Criminal Code with regard to distribution of illegal material.

Suggestions from library users for additions to the collections are welcome. Their suggestions for purchase are reviewed by library staff and may be acquired if they fit the Library’s selection criteria.

Collection Maintenance

To maintain a useful, relevant, and dynamic collection, RPL engages in regular, systematic, and ongoing review and weeding. This process helps to support current use and interests, maximize available space, find items for replacement or repair, and improve access to library materials. Decisions on whether to remove an item from the collection are based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy and reliability
  • Circulation frequency
  • Condition
  • Currency
  • Relevancy
  • Existence of copies at other branches or systems
  • Existence of multiple copies
  • Existence of newer versions
  • Existence of similar content
  • Last Activity Date
  • Request by Publisher

The library reserves the right to determine the method of removal for withdrawn items.

Item Reconsideration

Refer to staff guidelines for Request for Reconsideration. Community members may submit a written request for reconsideration of the specific items. A Request for Reconsideration form must be completed for each item. A formal staff review is initiated and a written decision will be sent to the person or organization making the request.

Gifts and Donations of Library Materials

Refer to Richmond Public Library Board Donation Policy. The library may accept select donations. All donations added to the collection are subject to the same selection criteria as purchased material.

Collection-Related Library Policies and Resources

  • Collections Policy
  • BC Human Rights Code
  • Canadian Criminal Code
  • Canadian Federation of Library Associations Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
  • Donation Policy
  • Privacy Statement
  • Staff Guidelines – Request for Reconsideration for Library Material
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Diversity and inclusion statement

The Richmond Public Library is committed to fostering an environment of respect, tolerance and understanding. Libraries have a responsibility to support a culture that recognizes diversity and fosters social inclusion.

The library strives to deliver inclusive service, recognizing and affirming the dignity of those we serve, regardless of heritage, education, beliefs, race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental capabilities, or income. The library takes action to ensure that people can enjoy our services free from attempts by others to impose values, customs or beliefs.

The Richmond Public Library makes diversity and inclusion a priority in planning and decision making related to staffing, collections and service development.

Library staff will work with our communities to create services that our diverse communities identify as respectful, inclusive and accessible.

The Richmond Public Library Board endorses the Statement on Diversity and Inclusion as set out by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations.

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Privacy Statement

At Richmond Public Library, we strive for the highest level of customer service in all areas of the library, including our website When you visit our site, some personal information is collected and used to provide better and more convenient service.

This privacy statement describes what happens when you visit and use our website. This statement abides by the privacy guidelines outlined in the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).

Collecting Personal Information

Some areas of the site that ask for personal information include our 1-on-1 Help FormLibrary Card Application and the Purchase Suggestion Form. Also, when you register for library programs through our website, your name, contact information, and the program description is recorded in our database. This allows us to verify and secure your spot in the program.

Disclosure of Personal Information

We will not sell or otherwise make available personal information that we have collected about you to outside parties. We may disclose personally-identifiable information in response to a subpoena, court order or a specific request from a law enforcement agency to assist in an investigation, or as required by law. As a public body, we abide by the privacy guidelines outlined in the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).

Photo Procedure (Promotional photo-taking in library spaces)

During library programs and events, library staff may take photos and videos to be used for promotional purposes by the library. If you would prefer not to have your picture taken, please speak to a library staff member. Participants of online programs and events are asked to not take screenshots and/or record programs.

Web Log

When you visit the library’s website, the web server automatically logs and stores the date and time of your visit; the IP address assigned to your computer; the type and version of the browser you use; the operating system on your computer; and the Web address of the site that referred you to our site. This information is kept for statistical purposes to improve web services.

Google Analytics

As the library uses Google Analytics for the purpose of website use analysis, the following statement is mandated by Google’s terms of service:

“This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.”

Please note that if you choose to block Google’s cookie you will not lose any library website functionality as is suggested above.

External links

Our website contains links to external sites not maintained by Richmond Public Library. We are not responsible for the content of external sites or for your privacy when you disclose information to other websites.


All online transactions involving sensitive information, such as your credit/debit card number, are conducted using a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol connection. This connection provides increased security to the information as it is transmitted to our website.


Any significant changes to this privacy statement will be highlighted on the website prior to the change taking effect, to allow time for feedback and comments from the community.

Privacy in Other Library Service Areas

This statement covers privacy on the website. Privacy statements for other areas, such as circulation information, are being developed and will be posted as soon as they are complete.

Last Updated: June 2017.

Public Internet and Technology Policy


Richmond Public Library (the “Library”) provides access to the internet, public computer stations, and other electronic devices to:

  • Support both individual and self-conducted education as well as formal education at all levels.
  • Ensure access for citizens to all sorts of community information.
  • Facilitate the development of information and computer literacy skills.

from UNESCO Public Library Manifesto

The Library’s Public Internet & Technology Policy applies to all types of computers and mobile devices, both owned by the Library and used on the Library’s premises or network.

The Library reserves the right to modify these policies and guidelines when and where appropriate.


As the Internet is an unregulated, worldwide environment, the Library takes no responsibility for the content or quality of information. Customers should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information about customers’ activities.
The Library does not manage or filter the content of the information accessed on the internet on its public workstations or Wi-Fi network, with the exception of designated children’s workstations. This policy is in keeping with the Library’s long-standing tradition of providing a safe and welcoming environment for children where they may find materials that are both age-appropriate and of interest to them. However, the Library assumes no responsibility for the accuracy and effectiveness of any installed filter. Unfiltered internet access will continue to be provided in other areas of the Library, and the Library will not limit children’s access to these stations. Parents and guardians are reminded that the restriction of a child’s use of a Library computer, including internet and wireless access, is their responsibility.


The Library provides access to the internet, computers, and other electronic devices because of their overwhelming value to the community. Safe, effective use of the Internet is best achieved when the Library and customers co-operate in providing a learning environment that is safe and comfortable for all. Both the Library and internet/technology customers have responsibilities in this regard.

The Library will:

  • Make available an open Wi-Fi network, as well as public workstations for internet access, word processing, and other public information needs.
  • Provide a workstation use policy that ensures equitable access to the Internet and efficient use of resources.
  • Provide a safe, welcoming environment for all its members.
  • Protect the privacy of its customers and maintain the confidentiality of their legitimate use of internet and technology resources by implementing reasonable security and confidentiality measures to the best of its ability.
  • Train library staff in the effective, safe use of the internet, how to provide effective internet orientation training programs for the public; and how to effectively carry out this Public Internet & Technology Policy.
  • Promote public awareness of the Public Internet & Technology Policy.
  • Enforcing this policy and taking appropriate action in response to violations.

Customers will:

  • Use the library’s internet and technology resources in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. Follow all applicable laws, regulations, and library policies related to internet and technology use.
  • Recognize that the internet contains a wide variety of resources, including those that some may consider controversial or offensive. Respect the sensibilities of others when accessing sites that may reasonably be offensive to others.
  • Be knowledgeable of what the internet contains and develop skills in navigating the internet to ensure they are accessing the sites they want.
  • Exercise caution when sending personal and financial information via the internet.
  • Assume responsibility for supervising their child’s access to the internet and ensure that the child is educated on internet safety and navigating skills.
  • Assume responsibility for saving their work and protecting their privacy by logging out at the end of their session.
  • Be aware that use of the internet for illegal purposes, including copyright violation, is prohibited and may result in prosecution.
  • Not install or use any software or hardware that may compromise the security or confidentiality of the Library’s internet and technology resources or the data stored on them, including but not limited to tracking devices such as keyloggers.
  • Report any suspected security breaches or other violations of this policy to library staff.
  • Respect the confidentiality of any information they may access or receive through the Library’s internet and technology resources, and must not disclose this information to unauthorized individuals.
  • Agree to follow the Terms of Use, and know that failure to follow them will result in suspension of library privileges.

Terms of Use

Account Policies

  • Computer access is available to library customers with a valid library card, or with a One Day Pass.
  • Library cards are non-transferrable – you must use your own card to log in.
  • Library cards with fines in excess of $25 and/or outstanding billed items must be paid at the 1st Floor Ask Me desk in advance of computer use.
  • To maintain a safe computer environment, the library retains web logs and log in information for identification purposes in case of misuse.

Sessions and Time Extensions

  • Initial computer sessions are 45 minutes each, extensions are allowed.
  • You have a maximum of 180 minutes of computer use per day.
  • Depending on availability of computers, additional time may be allowed at the discretion of staff.

Acceptable Use

Library customers must use the internet and technology resources provided by the Library in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. Customers must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and library policies, and must not engage in any activity that is illegal, harmful, or interferes with the rights of others.

Improper Use

Improper use of computers will result in suspension of library privileges. Examples of improper use include but not limited to:

  • Accessing sites or transmitting materials that violate any Canadian federal or provincial law, such as defamatory, discriminatory, or obscene materials.
  • Installing or using any software or hardware that may compromise the security or confidentiality of the Library’s internet and technology resources or the data stored on them, including but not limited to tracking devices such as keyloggers.
  • Engaging in any activity that disrupts or interferes with the normal operation of the Library’s internet and technology resources.
  • Viewing sexually explicit materials.
  • Sending fraudulent, harassing, or obscene email messages.
  • Violating the privacy of another library customer.
  • Swearing and/or offensive language.
  • Making excessive noise.
  • Using other people’s library cards.


The Library cannot guarantee the security of its internet and technology resources. There is a risk that third parties may attempt to access users’ personal information, install tracking devices such as keyloggers, or engage in other malicious activities. Customers should take appropriate precautions to protect their personal information and devices.

Monitoring and Enforcement

The Library reserves the right to monitor and audit all use of its internet and technology resources. Any violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including revocation of library privileges and/or legal action.


Customers must respect the confidentiality of any information they may access or receive through the Library’s internet and technology resources, and must not disclose this information to unauthorized individuals.


  • The Library is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers and will only collect, use, and disclose personal information in accordance with applicable privacy laws and its privacy policy.
  • If you have finished your work before the end of your allotted time, log off before leaving the computer to protect your privacy. The computer will automatically log you off at the end of your session.


The library is not responsible for any damages or losses that may arise from the use of its internet and technology resources, including but not limited to loss of data, viruses, or unauthorized access.


Parents and legal guardians are responsible for their children’s use of the Library’s internet and technology resources. The Library recommends that parents or guardians monitor their children’s internet use.

Policy Updates

This policy may be updated or amended from time to time as required by changes in technology or applicable laws and regulations. Customers will be notified of any changes and must review and agree to the updated policy before continuing to use the Library’s internet and technology resources.


  • For hygienic reasons the library does not lend headphones.
  • Sound cannot be on without the use of headphones or ear buds.
  • The Library accepts no responsibility for loss of your work or for damage to CDs, DVDs, flash drives, or disks caused by library computers or software.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages in covered containers are allowed, but food is not.

Save Your Work!

You will receive warnings at 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute before the end of your session. Work that is not saved or printed before the end of your session will be lost. Files cannot be saved onto the hard drive of this computer.

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