Skip to content

Collection Development


The Springfield Public Library is dedicated to providing public access to the resources required in facilitating life-long learning in our community. Public library services will be provided in an environment that encourages and supports all members of the public to develop their full potential.

1.2 Community Profile

Materials selected shall take into account the geographical, historical, and demographic nature of the area served.

Geographical: The tax-based catchment area of the RM of Springfield and Springfield Public Library covers 1058.66 km of the Eastman Region. The RM of Springfield’s population according to the RM website at September, 2009 was 14,892.The library district is agricultural, but contains a significant commuting component of rural-based tradesmen and professionals.

Historical: First created as the Rural Municipality of Springfield-Sunnyside in 1873, the Rural Municipality of Springfield is the oldest municipality established in Manitoba. Springfield and its surrounding rural municipalities share the history of the first European settlement in the province (Red River Colony), and its co-existence with the Aboriginal peoples of the region. From the earliest days of the fur trade, the Red River and Lake Winnipeg have placed a pivotal role in the history of the region, and have given it a distinctive story.

Demographic: Over the last eight years the RM of Springfield has experienced both a increase in its numbers and a change in its composition reflecting a proportionate increase in its mature population (35-54) sector.

The library service area is a multi-cultural one, reflecting the heritage of its first inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, and joined over two hundred years ago by French / Scottish / Orkney traders and settlers, and subsequently by migrations from Poland / Ukraine, the British Isles, Iceland, Germany, and other nations in smaller numbers.

Immigrants make up fourteen percent of residents and have produced a large number of German speaking residents. There are three Hutterite colonie throughout the municipality also of German speaking residents.

Aboriginals (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) make up eighteen percent of residents. A large portion of that percentage are Metis.

Immersion in both French and Ukrainian languages are offered in the Sunrise School Division.

To support the mission of the Springfield Public Library, materials and community information are selected in order to anticipate and meet the needs of the citizens the Library serves. Library materials refer to all items that constitute the intellectual content of the Springfield Public Library. The Library collects material in a variety of print, audio-visual and electronic formats.

The specific purposes of this policy are threefold:

  1. To state publicly the principles of selection upon which material is chosen
  2. To define responsibility for selection and to identify the delegation of that responsibility
  3. To provide direction for staff in collection development and maintenance


The Springfield Public Library Board assumes ultimate responsibility for the collection and for implementation of the Collection Development Policy.

The Library Board delegates this responsibility to the Manager of Library Services and the library’s qualified staff, who are therefore responsible for following the guidelines established to carry out collection development tasks. Suggestions from patrons are always welcome and are given due consideration. See our “Wish List” binder on the patron services counter to add your requests for library materials. Please check our catalogue first to ensure we do not already have the item in our collection.

Parents and legal guardians are responsible for children’s reading and viewing. Selection of materials for the adult collection is not restricted by the possibility that children may obtain, read or view such materials. Genres are identified as follows: Items from collection in the Easy Reader (Picture Books), Juvenile Literature and Young Adult sections have relevant labels affixed to the spine of the book, along with identification on the spine label in each category: “E”, “JF,” or “YA” along with the first three initials of the author’s name. All items not thus identified are part of the Adult collection. For more information in regards to our collection and appropriate materials for your family, our staff are happy to assist. The Springfield Public Library believes in the intellectual freedom of the individual and the right of parents and legal guardians to develop, interpret and enforce their own code of ethics upon their minor children.


3.1 Intellectual Freedom

The Springfield Public Library endorses the Canadian Library Association “Statement on Intellectual Freedom”

“Every person in Canada has the fundamental right, as embodied in the nation’s Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity and to express their thoughts publicly. The right to intellectual freedom under the law is essential to the health and development of Canadian society.”

Libraries have a basic responsibility for the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom. It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity, including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular, or unacceptable. To this end, libraries shall acquire and make available the widest variety of materials, except where prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada.

It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all of the library’s facilities and services to all individuals and groups that request them.

Libraries should resist all efforts to limit the exercise of these responsibilities while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups.

Both employees and employers in libraries have a duty to uphold these principles.

* Library Boards are responsible for the education and advocacy of the principles of intellectual freedom to staff, Council and the public.

* Endorsement of this statement does not supersede the Library Board’s right to establish rules and regulations as set out in the Public Libraries Act. For example, rules governing the orderly sharing of materials.

* The Intellectual Freedom Policy of the Board should be reviewed at least every three years.

3.2 Balance

The primary aim of selection is to establish a balanced collection which adequately represents various points of view on a subject. The Springfield Public Library Board recognizes that some materials in the collection may offend some individuals or groups because of language, moral implication, or religious or political points of view expressed. However, selection will not be made on the basis of any anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the evaluation by staff of the item’s merit, authenticity, honesty of presentation and use to the community. The Library Board does not advocate particular beliefs or points of view and the presence of an item in the collection does not indicate endorsement of its content.

3.3 The Library and the Education Community

It is the responsibility of institutions engaged in formal education to provide materials which support their curricula. It may happen that materials collected by the Library meet the needs of school projects, but this is not the primary reason for their selection. Textbooks will be obtained by the Library only when they provide the best coverage of a subject. A book will neither be excluded nor included solely on the basis that it is a textbook. Referrals may be made to the collections of local educational & institutional libraries.

3.4 Canadian Materials

Recognizing its responsibility to make Canadian materials available to the public, the Library endeavours to develop a collection which represents significant local and Canadian authors, artists, film makers and composers.

3.5 Selection Criteria

3.5.1 Library Collections

While a selection policy must be general, certain methods and principles can be followed.  All selections must be considered in terms of the following criteria: suitability for meeting the needs of the community and appeal to the interests of the community.

  • Artistic excellence/literary merit/technical quality/quality of presentation
  • Reputation and/or significance of the author generally and in the local community
  • Accuracy, authoritativeness, objectivity
  • Comments by reviewers
  • Originality of thought
  • Permanent value
  • Popular demand and current trends
  • Relation to existing collections and other material on the subject
  • Skill, competence and purpose of the author
  • Budgetary and space considerations
  • Contemporary significance/current usefulness
  • Suitability of physical form for library use
  • Availability of materials at other libraries
  • Items chosen for the collection should meet most but not necessarily all of these criteria.

Reviews are a major source of information about new materials. The primary sources of reviews are the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Winnipeg Free Press, Quill & Quire, and Canada A.M., plus online sites such as CM Magazine,, and magazines specific to particular interests.

The lack of a review or an unfavorable review shall not be the sole reason for rejecting a title that is in demand. Consideration is, therefore, given to requests from library patrons and books discussed through the public media. Materials are judged on the basis of the work as a whole.

Responsibility for a child’s literacy rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of children. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library material will be sequestered except to protect it from damage or theft.

The Springfield Public Library recognizes that some materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some patrons. Selection of materials will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the basis of the principles stated in this policy.

3.5.2 Designating Juvenile and Young Adult Material

Materials designated as Easy Readers shall include both “read to” and those designed for early readers.

Materials designated as Juvenile shall include those designed for independent readers.

Materials designated as Young Adult shall be those targeted for readers aged l3-21.

3.6 Format

Materials should be purchased in a variety of formats for Library patron use. Selection criteria, listed in Section 3.5 will be applied to selection and de-selection of all Library materials. The content of material, rather than the format will determine the use/status of the item.

Multi-media formats are considered and collections established when a significant portion of the community has access to the necessary technology to make use of the format. The Library will provide access to information in an electronic format as some material (i.e. government documents) may only be available in an electronic format.


4.1 Government Documents

Selection of these materials is based on the importance of the publication, its usefulness, and public interest. Efforts are made to collect municipal and regional government publications, although the Library makes no effort to be archival.

4.2 Local History

Materials regarding the history of the RM of Springfield and the surrounding area will be collected, with a special emphasis on Aboriginal Peoples, the Red River Settlement and agriculture.


The Library accepts gift materials with the understanding that such materials may be added to the collection only if they meet the same standards which are applied to the selection of materials. Those items which are unwanted may be offered to other libraries, non-profit organizations, sold or discarded. No condition may be imposed by the donor on the Library relating to any item after its acceptance.

Memorial gifts of books or money are also accepted and bookplates will be placed in the book. Specific memorial books can be ordered for the library on request if the request meets the criteria established by the Board. Special requests can be made to and in consultation with the Manager of Library Services. Book selection will be made by the Library if no specific book is requested. The Springfield Public Library encourage and appreciates gifts and donations.

By law, the library is not allowed to appraise the value of donated materials, thus cannot provide a receipt of the items if requested by the donor.


To keep the collection timely and attractive, materials are withdrawn when they are outdated, worn, or no longer useful. The criteria for selection are utilized in the removal of materials. Replacement of items depends upon current demand, usefulness, more recent acquisitions, availability of more current materials on the subject and the extent of the coverage of the subject in the collection.

Collection Maintenance including the withdrawal of materials is an ongoing process and is the responsibility of the Manager. Materials withdrawn will be handled in the same fashion as those donated.


The presence of an item in the Library’s collection is an affirmation of the principle of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom. It does not indicate an endorsement of its contents by the Springfield Public Library Board. The following will not cause an item to be automatically included in or excluded from the collection:

  • Race, religion, nationality or political views of an author
  • Frankness or coarseness of language
  • Controversial content
  • Endorsement or disapproval of an individual or group

The Library will not label or amend items to show approval or disapproval of content of materials. Physical access to materials will not be restricted except for the express purpose of protecting an item from damage or theft. Patrons of all ages have access to all of the Library’s collection.

The Springfield Public Library recognizes the right of individuals to express opposition to authors’ ideas or to their creative exercise of language in materials selected for the Library. However, the Springfield Public Library will not remove items purchased in compliance with this policy. Selection of material cannot be influenced by any anticipated approval or disapproval of its intellectual content by groups within the community. Although people have the right to reject for themselves material of which they do not approve, they do not have the right to restrict the intellectual freedom of others.

The Springfield Public Library will comply with laws enacted at all levels of government. Therefore it does not collect material which has been designated obscene or pornographic under the Criminal Code of Canada or has been banned by the courts.

Challenged Materials: Although materials are carefully selected, there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Patrons requesting that material be withdrawn from or restricted within the collection may complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form which is available in the library.  The inquiry will be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting of the Springfield Public Board of Trustees.