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Operations Policies

Purpose Statement

Oakville Public Library (OPL) provides exhibition space in its facilities to individuals or groups wishing to temporarily display artwork. These spaces allow the library to share the creative life of the community and foster a dialogue with the public at large. 

The purpose of the policy is to establish the conditions governing the temporary display of artwork.


This policy applies to individuals, groups or organizations that wish to exhibit their/its artistic works at any facility operated by OPL.

Policy Statement

OPL respects the principles of intellectual freedom and freedom of expression as outlined by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations in the Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries.

OPL is committed to working collaboratively with the artist or arts organization to maintain professionalism and the integrity of their exhibition. The allocation of space and length of exhibition will vary depending on the location. Local individuals, groups or organizations will be given preference.

To be considered for display in any facility operated by OPL, a proposed exhibit must:

  • Align with the library's business and community goals, as defined by the Strategic Plan;
  • Reflect and respect the diverse interests of the community and foster community and individual expression;
  • Respect the tenants of freedom of expression and human dignity;
  • Not infringe on any member of the public's right to feel safe and respected in the space;
  • Comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws, by-laws, library or Town of Oakville policies and regulations;
  • Not be primarily intended as advertising or soliciting for business, political, campaigning or fundraising.

Exhibited artworks may be available for sale and sales are coordinated through the artist or exhibiting community group.


A new application must be submitted for each exhibition. Previous approvals do not grant the applicant automatic approval for subsequent exhibitions. 


OPL retains the right to deny requests for exhibition space or change, cancel, or remove the exhibit, in part or in whole, for any reason.  Applicants who are denied permission to exhibit may, upon request, appeal to have the decision reviewed by the CEO, whose decision is final.

Members of the public who object to any portion of an exhibit are required to contact OPL in writing, clearly outlining their objections. Decisions will be communicated in writing following a review.

Related documents

Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries - Canadian Federation of Library Associations

Policy Number:          OP-003
Policy Category:        Operations
Approved by:    OPL Board 
Accountability:    Director, Customer Experience
Approval Date:           July 25, 2019
Effective date:            July 26, 2019
Next Review Date:     July 2022

Policy Statement

Library resources, assets or funding may not be used for any election related purposes, except as identified in this procedure.

  1. Election campaigning

    1. Election campaign materials may not be displayed at Library facilities, unless otherwise outlined in this procedure.

    2. Library owned, rented or run assets and facilities may be rented in accordance with Library policy and procedures and current rates and fees for election campaign activities providing the rental is available to all candidates and third parties. Use of rentals are subject to the following conditions:

      1. All election campaign materials must only be displayed within the allotted rental period in the allotted rented area designated in the rental agreement; and

      2. Rentals for campaign related activities are not permitted from the first date of advance voting to the day after voting day

      “All candidates” meetings can be held at the library, either as a library program or sponsored by another group, provided that all candidates are invited to attend such meetings. A candidate cannot be featured or promoted in association with any other regular library program or event.

    3. Candidates and registered third parties may attend Library organized or funded events during a campaign period, but may not display or distribute any campaign materials.

  2. Use of corporate identifiers and resources

    1. The Library logo, crest, coat of arms, slogan or other identifiers is permitted for use by the Library only and shall not be used by any other body or person for any election campaign-related purposes.

    2. Board resources shall not be used for:

      1. the printing or distribution of any material that illustrates that a member of Council or any other individual is registered or intends to run for office; or

      2. the printing or distribution of any campaign material that makes reference to, or contains the names or photographs, or identifies registered candidates for municipal office.

    3. No Library consumable materials, such as toner and paper, associated with computer systems shall be used for election campaign-related purposes.

    4. The Library will not publish any material used to promote individual political opinions or campaigns.

  3. Oakville Pubic Library Staff and Volunteers

    1. In accordance with the Employee Code of Conduct, Library staff and volunteer, including any contractor providing services to the Library shall not canvass or actively work for any candidate or registered third party during hours in which the staff/contractor is receiving compensation from the Library.

  4. Library services

    1. The following Library based services shall be discontinued for Members of Council as of nomination day:

      1. all forms of advertising, including advertising in Library publications; and

      2. all printing, photocopying and distribution, including printing and general distribution of newsletters unless so directed and approved by the Library

    2. Library resources (such as Library issued phones and email addresses) shall be provided to current members of council for council related purposes and to serve their constituents and shall not be used to support an election campaign.

  5. Technology related provisions

    1. Any links to external personal sites from an individual Member of Council serving on the Library Board on the Library website will be removed the date nomination papers are filed during a municipal election year. These links may include election-related web sites, social media links or domain names.

    2. Websites, domain names, emails, or other corporate systems that are funded by the Library shall not include any election-related campaign material or links to sites that feature election-related campaign material.

    3. Candidates and Members of Council may not use the Library website, domain names, and other systems, for campaigning or display of any election-related materials. Links to the Library’s website are permitted from a candidate’s election website for the purpose of obtaining information about the election or sharing program/service information.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this policy is to outline the requirements for persons entering the enclosed public place of Oakville Public Library (OPL) to wear a non-medical mask/face covering as deemed a necessary, recognized, practicable, and effective method to limit the spread of COVID-19, and thereby help protect the health, safety and well-being of the Halton Region community under the temporary Region of Halton By-Law No. 47-20.


This policy applies to all library employees, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, workers and every person accessing the library for services.

Purpose Statement

OPL requires employees, volunteers, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, workers and every person accessing the library for services to wear a non-medical mask/face covering when entering and remaining inside enclosed public place within OPL. The non-medical mask/face covering must cover the nose, mouth, and chin without gaping. 

The following are exemptions from the requirement of wearing a non-medical mask/ face covering in enclosed public place within OPL and will not be required to provide proof of such exemption: 

  1. the person is under three years of age chronologically; 
  2. the person is under three  years of age developmentally and they refuse to wear a Mask or Face Covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver; 
  3. the person has an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way; 
  4. the person may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health; 
  5. the person has a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;
  6. the person has a disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;
  7. the person is unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;
  8. persons temporarily removing their Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering when necessary for receiving services (such as having a meal), or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity; and
  9. employees and agents of the person responsible for the Public Place within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

No person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask / face covering due to an exemption. 

Employees will not be required to wear a non-medical mask/ face covering in staff-only areas within a public place unless outlined in the Health & Safety Standard Operating Procedures for the Use of Masks and Gloves During a Pandemic. 

Signage regarding the by-law and the mandatory use of non-medical masks/face coverings shall be posted at all entrances and reinforced by staff. 


Public Place - means all places that the public has access to within the library facilities

Policy Number:    OP-006
Policy Category:
Approved by:        OPL Board 
Accountability:    Chief Executive Officer
Approval Date:          January 28, 2021
Effective date:           January 29, 2021
Next Review Date:     


Oakville Public Library (OPL) is committed to keeping its community informed, and ensure its messages to the media are clear, consistent and accurate. The Media Relations Policy provides a clear list of individuals who are permitted to speak to the media on behalf of OPL. 


This policy applies to all OPL stakeholders including, but not limited to, OPL staff, board members, volunteers, partners, and sponsors. In order to speak or write to the media on behalf of OPL, one must obtain written authorization from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or their designate.

Policy Statement

The library's Integrated Marketing and Communications department is the central contact point for all requests for information from the media. All such information requests received by staff members, OPL board members, or volunteers shall be forwarded to, and fielded by, the Manager of Integrated Marketing and Communications or designate.

The following designated spokespersons are permitted to speak on behalf of the OPL:
  • Chair of the board
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Director, Innovation & Integration
  • Manager, Integrated Marketing & Communications
 No one else is authorized to speak or write to the media on behalf of OPL without prior written authorization from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or their designate.

The Manager of Integrated Marketing and Communications, will confer with the CEO or designate to determine the appropriate course of action. The Chair of the board will be consulted as required.

On occasion, the CEO, Chair of the board, Director of Innovation and Integration, and/or Manager of Integrated Marketing and Communications, may authorize a board member or a staff member to speak to the media with respect to a specific issue relative to his/her area of expertise. These appointments shall be limited, and for a designated time period.

If, at any time, OPL staff members, board members or volunteers identify themselves to the media, are identified by the media, or identify themselves through a social media platform, it must be indicated that the views expressed are personal views, and not necessarily those of OPL.

The Chair of the board shall be notified immediately when responses are made to the media on behalf of OPL. All board members shall be notified within 24 hours after a statement has been made to the media.

Policy Number:          OP-005
Policy Category:        Operations
Approved by:    OPL Board 
Accountability:    CEO or designate
Approval Date:           February 20, 2020
Effective date:            February 21, 2020
Next Review Date:    January 2024
Supersedes:              September 25, 2008, June 23/05, May 23, 2002 June 29, 1988                                            (Motion #: 08.09.83, 05.06.76, 02.05.69, 88.53)

Policy Statement

Purpose Statement

The Oakville Public Library is committed to developing impactful partnerships that serve to engage the community, advance OPL's strategic goals and reflect its vision, mission and values. 
The purpose of this policy is to formalize a framework within which the Oakville Public Library may work together with public or private organizations, community groups and agencies, or individuals.


This policy applies to a variety of partnerships in which the Oakville Public Library may engage. 
A Partnership is defined as a mutually beneficial collaboration between the Library and an external organization(s). Partner contributions provide support for and/or promote activities, services, events and programs to the public in ways that are mutually beneficial.

This policy does not apply to: 

  • Philanthropic gifts or donations 
  • Grants or funds obtained from other levels of government 
  • Arrangements where the Library sponsors or contributes to external projects of other organizations


The following criteria guide OPL's judgements related to how, when and with whom OPL will engage in a partnership. 

For consideration, the partnership must: 

  • result in increased awareness of OPL's services, resources, programs, events or brand image in a positive way; 
  • contribute to enhanced coordination and/or reduced redundancies in services delivered to customers; 
  • be mutually beneficial for both the individual, organization or brand and OPL, as defined by OPL; 
  • advance OPL's business and community goals, as informed by the Strategic Plan; 
  • extend and/or enhance any OPL programs, resources, services or events in a sustainable and measurable way;
  • support or reinforce the Town of Oakville's Strategic plan. 

For consideration, the individual, organization or brand in question must: 

  • demonstrably align with OPL's mission, vision and values (including core organizational tenants such as intellectual freedom, inclusiveness and respect); 
  • commit to ongoing evaluation/measurement of the product of the partnership in question;
  • be in good financial standing with the Library or Town and not in litigation with the Library or Town; 
  • be legally entitled to operate/exist in Canada; as defined by Canadian law;
  • in collaboration with OPL, consider all potential financial implications resulting from the partnership.

Small or local partnerships may be informal in nature; however, as partnerships grow, formal memorandums of understanding or agreements will be developed and regularly reviewed.

The Chief Executive Officer or designate has the authority to approve or deny the development of partnerships as defined in this policy. An individual/group or organization who questions these decisions may appeal to the Oakville Public Library Board.

Policy Number:          OP-001
Policy Category:        Operations 
Approved by:    OPL Board 
Accountability:    Director, Innovation and Integration
Approval Date:           April 25, 2019
Effective date:            April 25, 2019
Next Review Date:     2022

Purpose Statement

Oakville Public Library (OPL) charges fees in accordance with the Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990, c. P.44. In doing so, OPL strives to balance its philosophy of equitable access with its obligation for financial accountability. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that staff and the public are aware of the nature of the fees charged, the approval process and where a record of the fees can be found.


This policy applies to all services and programs delivered by the OPL on its own or in partnership with other organizations.

Policy Statement

As of January 1 2021, OPL no longer charges overdue fines on most items.  This initiative supports barrier-free access to literacy for all. Customers will be notified of overdue materials via phone or email. Customers are asked to return materials in a timely fashion. Overdue items may result in restrictions placed on customer accounts.  

Fees are levied on a cost recovery basis for, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Late return of materials borrowed (in select circumstances only such as fast lanes); materials damaged or lost
  • Non-resident membership fees 
  • Replacement library cards
  • Photocopying, printing and scanning
  • 3D printing, laser cutting and other Creation Zone services 
  • Registration for fee based programs
  • Exam proctoring
  • Merchandise
  • Room and equipment rentals
All rates and fees are approved on a yearly basis by the OPL as part of the annual operating budget planning process and listed on the Town of Oakville website, as well as on the relevant pages on the OPL website. 


Public Libraries Act, RSO 1990, c. P.44

Policy Number:           OP-007 
Policy Category:         Operations 
Approved by:     OPL Board 
Accountability:     CEO or designate
Approval Date:            May 27, 2021
Effective date:             May 28, 2021
Next Review Date:      May 2024
Supersedes:    Fees for Service Policy approved June 27, 2013




Oakville Public Library has rooms that are used to conduct library business such as programs, events or meetings.  When not required for library use, select rooms are available for rental to individuals, groups and organizations.  The purpose of this policy is to promote the library’s goal of providing equitable access to services and maintaining a welcoming, safe and supportive environment and to outline the conditions of use and the fees.  Permission to use these spaces does not imply any endorsement of the aims, policies or activities of any group or individual.


This policy applies to individuals, groups or organizations that rent rooms or space from Oakville Public Library.  The term “client” refers to the organization, group or individual that has paid and/or entered into a contract to book one of the Oakville Public Library's select spaces.

All room rental bookings are subject to meeting the requirements laid out in this policy and the Room and Space Rental Terms of Use.



  • Room / Space:  any Oakville Public Library meeting room / space at any location that has been booked for / by the client and is specified in the booking.
  • Client:  the organization, group or the individual that has entered into a contract to book one of the Oakville Public Library spaces.

Use and fee structure:

When not required for library business, rooms can be rented to individuals, non-profit community groups and organizations and to commercial entities.  The fee schedule outlines the regular and non-profit rates.
Conditions of use:
  • The library grants to the client the non-assignable right to use the room and any supplied equipment solely for the purposes of, and on the dates and times stated in the booking. Topics of discussion and the names of speakers including their affiliation must be disclosed at the time of booking. 
  • In using the room and the supplied equipment, the client and all persons admitted in the room during the client's use will comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws, by-laws, policies and regulations including the library's Customer Code of Conduct and the Room and Space Rental Terms of Use.
  • Library staff reserves the right to access the room at all times and may attend any event being conducted by the client in the room for the purpose of auditing or reviewing compliance with library policies.
  • Preparation and distribution of all publicity or marketing materials regarding any event to be held in the room are the sole responsibility of the client. Unless approved in advance by the library in writing, the use of the library logo or any mark identified as library-related on such materials is not permitted. Any advertisement, publicity or media of any kind must not imply endorsement by the library of content of the program or event in any way.
  • Sales of any goods and/or services by commercial organizations are not permitted unless approved in advance by the CEO or designate. 
  • No games of chance, including lotteries, are permitted as the primary use.

Denial of use:

The library reserves the right to interrupt, deny or cancel a booking as may be determined by the following:
  • The client does not comply with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws, by-laws, policies and regulations including the library's Customer Code of Conduct and Room and Space Rental Terms of Use. 
  • The activities conducted pose a risk to the health and safety of the public or staff.
  • There is a likelihood that the premises or the equipment will be misused.
  • It is deemed that the client misrepresented anything for the purposes of the booking.
  • The activity conducted in the room conflicts with library program or event offerings.
  • The library becomes aware that the room is intended to be a regular location for the client's activities.
  • Past misuse of the space.
If the library interrupts, denies or cancels a booking for the reasons listed above, it is under no obligation to provide a refund or to allow the client the use of the room or any other library facilities or property in the future. The client waives the right to any damages or compensation of any kind should its use of the room be so interrupted, denied or cancelled. 


Applicants who are denied permission to use these facilities may, upon written request, have the decision reviewed by the CEO, whose decision shall be final.

Policy Number:    OP-002
Policy Category:    Operations
Approved by:        OPL Board
Accountability:    Director, Customer Experience
Approval Date:    June 27, 2019
Effective date:    June 28, 2019
Next Review Date:    June 2022
Supersedes:        Room Rental Policy effective February 6, 2014


This policy sets out how the Oakville Public Library will use social media channels to address stated
business objectives in a manner consistent with OPL’s mission, vision and values. The Social Media
Policy will:
  • foster the effective and efficient use of social media to support excellence in customer service, promote library programs, events and services, engage in best practices in online communication;
  • outline expectations for OPL staff who post on behalf of the OPL brand;
  • minimize risks by setting out guidelines for use and participation.


Oakville Public Library's Social Media Policy applies to the Library's social media activities on all owned,
official platforms. This policy applies to all Library staff who post on behalf of the OPL brand.


Online communication and service delivery are essential to support Oakville Public Library's mission of
providing access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information and ideas, in a
welcoming and supportive environment.

The Library supports the responsible and effective use of social media for Library purposes, including:
  • engaging in promotion, outreach, awareness raising and branding;
  • providing information on Library programs, events and services;
  • improving and supporting customer service excellence;
  • supporting media and public relations activities;
  • creating engaging content to accomplish stated business objectives
The Library does not accept any responsibility for any content that appears on its social media channels
that does not originate from Oakville Public Library or Town of Oakville employees, who have received
the formal training and have been approved.

Roles and Responsibilities

Oakville Public Library employees are committed to high standards of professional communication, and
OPL expects this level of professionalism and good judgement to extend into social media.

Social media is an extension of the Library's traditional channels, however, the tactics, messaging and
content may differ from traditional or other online assets.

Postings, comments, likes and shares should reflect the mission and values of the Library, and adhere to
the guidelines and best practices outlined by the Oakville Public Library.

An employee who becomes aware of an online incident or any content on an OPL channel that
contravenes this policy must report it to the Marketing and Communications Coordinator immediately.

Staff are prohibited to post content on OPL’s digital assets that contravenes the Library’s mission and
values, including (but not limited to)
  • Hateful or derogatory content
  • Content with inflammatory or offensive language
  • Content that incites harassment or violence

Staff are encouraged to promote OPL on personal social media accounts as appropriate and relevant.
When using social media for personal use and when recognisable as a Library employee, staff must be
aware of the potential impact of their communications on the OPL brand and reputation and act
appropriately and with good judgment. Likes, retweets, postings or shares on content by OPL employees
on their personal accounts do not represent endorsements.

Risk Management

Social media is dynamic and interactive with inherent opportunities and risks. Messages and behavior are
permanent, and have the potential to harm the OPL brand. This policy, along with guidelines and training
for staff, are intended to prevent incidents or problems that may occur when communicating online.
The Library will develop and maintain risk management protocols in the event of social media incident. In
the event that an issue or an incident occurs, OPL will investigate the matter and take appropriate action. 

Policy Number: OP-001
Policy Category: Communications
Approved by: OPL Board
Accountability: Chief Executive Officer
Approval Date: November 22, 2018
Effective date: November 2018
Next Review Date: November 2022
Supersedes: Social Media


Oakville Public Library (OPL) supports a volunteer program that supplements the efforts of paid library employees and enhances services to the public. The volunteer program creates opportunities for community members to actively participate in the operation of the library, welcoming the extended knowledge, talents and skills of volunteers. 


This policy applies to volunteers in all programs and services authorized by and undertaken on behalf of the library, with the exception of the OPL Board and the volunteers and members of the Friends of the Oakville Public Library (FOL). This policy applies to all individuals performing work for the library without wages, benefits or expectation of compensation of any kind, including but not limited to:

  • Students completing community hours requirements/placements/internships;
  • Individuals referred by social service agencies/institutions;
  • Community members delivering books and other materials to homebound customers; 
  • Community members assisting in the delivery of programs or events to library customers on a voluntary basis.
  • Individuals engaging in philanthropy on behalf of OPL.

Volunteers do not replace or displace library employees. Volunteer tasks are such that they can be performed satisfactorily with reasonable in-house training.

Policy Statement

  • It is the policy of the OPL to support a volunteer program to enhance and enrich the services which it provides to the community. This is done by actively engaging members of the community who wish to support the library’s vision, mission and values and contribute to their community through volunteerism.
  • Volunteers do not replace paid employees and shall not be considered as library employees.  Opportunities for volunteer placements are identified by library employees. These placements are not permanent and will be reviewed and revised according to the needs of the library.
  • The minimum age for volunteers is 14 years, however some volunteer positions require volunteers to be at least 18 years of age. All volunteers ages 18 and up must obtain a Police Vulnerable Sector Check, for which the fee will be reimbursed by the library.  All volunteers will be recruited and undergo a formal screening process, including inperson interviews and reference checks. Acceptance into a volunteer position is not automatic.
  • Volunteers are guided and bound by the same policies and procedures as library employees. OPL can discontinue the service of volunteers who do not adhere to the policies and procedures of the library or who fail to satisfactorily meet the expectations of their volunteer assignment.
  • All library volunteers are covered by the Town of Oakville’s insurance policy for third party liability. Volunteers are excluded from WSIB benefits under the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

Policy Number:      OP-004
Policy Category:    Operations
Approved by:         Oakville Public Library Board    
Accountability:      CEO or designate
Approval Date:       February 20, 2020
Effective Date:        February 21, 2020
Next Review Date: 4 Years from Effective Date
Supersedes:          Policy dated May 29, 2014 (Motion # 14.05.52)