Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Policies


Purpose, principles and responsibilities

Purpose and primary users of library collection

Camosun College Library builds and manages a collection to support teaching, learning, research, innovation and academic success at the College. The Library collection supports the curriculum and academic priorities and the strategic initiatives of the college. The Library also provides access to a broad array of academic, intellectual and cultural materials. The Library embraces the obligation to select materials covering a range of scholarship and viewpoints.  

Library collections are developed for its primary users:

  • students - through provision of course-related material
  • faculty - through provision of materials to support instruction, applied research and the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • staff - through provision of materials that support strategic objectives and enhancement of professional practice

The library’s collection includes a range of formats including books, eBooks, journals, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, electronic databases and streaming video.

The Camosun Library collection is developed as one collection, distributed across two campuses. Materials are located at the campus where highest demand is expected. Items can be moved between campuses based on individual requests or demonstrated need. 

All materials selected for the collection will be catalogued to enable access and use.


Collection development is guided by the following principles:

  • Intellectual freedom: The Library supports and abides by the Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom as it relates to the rights of library users to intellectual freedom, information access, copyright and privacy.

  • Equity, diversity and inclusion: The library collection will enhance equity by including materials that addressing the effects of colonization, economic and social disparity, and injustices against marginalized groups. The collection will affirm and celebrate diversity,  and foster inclusion by including resources that reflect experiences, perspectives, and identities of marginalized groups.

  • Indigenization: The Library supports the college’s Indigenization work and places priority on purchasing materials written, produced or published by Indigenous people, with special attention given to materials related to the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples where Camosun is located.

  • Accessibility: The needs of individuals with disabilities will be considered in collection development and where feasible alternate formats will be acquired.

Responsibilities and roles

The Director, Learning Services is accountable for the overall development and direction of the library collection, for budget allocation and approval of expenditures.

Librarians have the professional responsibility to manage the overall scope, breadth and depth of the collection, select materials and to maintain  the collection. Librarians are assigned a set of subject and/or format portfolios and facilitate collection development within those assigned areas of responsibility. Librarians liaise with faculty within their subject portfolio and seek their input regarding collection needs.  

The library accepts suggestions for purchase from students. Suggestions for purchase are considered by the librarian responsible for the subject area.


Selection and acquisition

Selection is the process undertaken to decide to add, by purchase or without payment, materials to the library collection.

In addition to adherence to the stated purpose and principles, decisions to select resources for the collection will be based on a set of overarching or comprehensive criteria, and criteria specific to a format.

Comprehensive criteria

  • provides new or additional content to the collection, does not duplicate existing collection
  • conforms with copyright, privacy, accessibility and other policy and legislative requirements
  • is primarily in the English-language
  • is reasonable in price, and can be acquired within existing budget parameters  
  • is at a level appropriate to the needs of Camosun students

Books (monographs)

The library collects books in print and digital (eBook). When making selections the following should be considered:

  • Relevance to curriculum and instruction
  • Relevance to research, scholarship and professional practice needs of faculty and staff
  • Provides materials on a current or emerging issue or topic
  • Content is current; date of publication is within last 5 years
  • Reputation of author/creator, publisher or producer
  • Literary merit or artistic quality
  • Accuracy of information and data
  • Appropriateness of format of book—including size and binding
  • Recommendations from professional journals, advertisers or publishers
  • Strength of current holdings
  • Local or regional content
  • Indigenous or Traditional Knowledge
  • Written or published by Camosun faculty or staff
  • Responds to trends in research queries and circulation statistics


  • Lost or damaged copies will not be automatically replaced. Replacement will depend on relevance to the collection, circulation statistics, special demands and availability of better, newer materials and editions
  • Where feasible and if readily available, eBooks will be purchased
  • The library supports limited collections of other language materials to support the college languages courses taught at the college
  • Books are typically purchased as a single copy; multiple copies may be purchased when there is a known significant demand, or it’s deemed necessary to have copies of the book at both campuses
  • Selection of out-of-print books will be limited. Additions of out-of-print titles will only be made if no other resource is available, or the replacement of a classic or seminal title is necessary
  • The library maintains a recreational fiction collection. Additions to this collection are made on an annual basis, using a bulk purchase process

Electronic resources

The library maintains a collection of electronic resources. This collection includes aggregated databases, reference sources, index and abstracting resources, image databases and specialized content.

The following criteria are considered when determining to add new electronic resources to the collection:

  • Cost effectiveness, including ongoing costs and price increases
  • Suitability of format
  • Ability to download and print
  • Remote / off-campus access
  • Number of simultaneous users
  • Availability of usage statistics
  • Reputation of the vendor to maintain reliable access
  • Licensing terms including whether the license supports ILL, course pack inclusion and persistent URL or DOI
  • Ownership (perpetual) versus subscription access to content
  • Authentication method - Preferred authentication method are EZproxy and IP authentication, and Single Sign On with Shibboleth. Other access methods, such as unique username/password are less desirable, but can be considered if the resource fulfills the selection criteria, and offers unique info/aligned to curriculum needs and college strategic objectives
  • Availability from ELN or eHLbc


Films, documentaries and instructional video content are a key area for collection development. Priority is given to streaming content, DVDs are also acquired.

Selection criteria includes:

  • Is a streaming option available?  
  • Does the streaming service provide for off-campus access using established authentication processes?
  • Technical and overall quality of the production
  • Do digital locks or other features limit the use of the media in the college setting
  • Are the licensing terms reasonable for an educational setting?
  • Availability of closed captions
  • Is a supplier of the content available; are there distribution rights in Canada
  • Is the content Canadian or Indigenous?
  • What is the expected demand or use

Serials (print and online)

Journals, magazines and newspapers are selected to support curriculum, to cover recent developments in a discipline, and to provide current events reading.

Selection criteria

  • Cover recent developments in a discipline or current events  
  • Newspapers selected for local and national coverage
  • Indexed in a source available at Camosun
  • Cost of subscription in relation to potential/actual use
  • Reputation of periodical
  • Usage data (for existing subscriptions)
  • Frequent Interlibrary loan requests  

The Library supports both electronic and print formats, but in general there is a preference for the electronic format. Specific criteria for determining print or online include:


  • All articles and content within a journal are provided, preferably no later than the paper version unless an embargo period is deemed to be acceptable
  • Remote access is supported with IP authentication (no id/passwords for individual journals)
  • Archive availability - access to the journal is available for the desired retention period
  • Technical requirements are met for factors such as site licensing, server reliability, accessibility, image quality, ease of navigation/good layout, and ease of searching
  • License is not overly-restrictive and allows such features as printing, emailing, interlibrary loan, electronic reserves
  • Usage statistics are available


  • Not available electronically or no site license option
  • Substantially cheaper than electronic
  • High general use for popular reading
  • High circulation
  • Usability better in print e.g. for browsing or theme issues
  • Good visuals or graphics critical for use
  • Important content missing from electronic version

The library’s subscriptions are reviewed yearly; at this time consideration is given to cancellations and new subscriptions. Cancellations are made upon review of usage and increased costs. Additions to the collection may be made if funds are available and space allows. In considering cancellations and additions consideration of online availability is a significant decision factor. If a journal is available to the library through its online databases, cancellation is more likely and purchase less likely. Print and online access are often purchased together.

Physical objects and kits

The library maintains a collection of objects and kits. Examples include sets of bones for the study of anatomy and puppets for early-learning and care programs.

Selection criteria for adding physical objects or kits include:

  • Practicality of loaning the items—reasonable number of pieces, not too fragile etc.
  • Space to house objects and kits
  • Feasibility of cataloguing

Textbook reserves

The textbook reserve collection provides convenient access through short-term loans. Access to textbooks enhances student academic success and minimizes the financial barriers many students face.

Textbooks adopted as required texts for class use may be purchased for the reserve collection. Demand is the key determining factor.

Instructors are encouraged to donate complimentary copies of textbooks provided by publishers to be placed on reserve. Examination, evaluation, review or desk copies of textbooks, intended solely for the use of an instructor, cannot be accepted. 

Textbooks may be purchased for the collection in any format, although commercially-published electronic versions of textbooks are generally not available for library purchase.

Open resources   

The library will actively seek to provide access to digital open resources including open education resources OER) such as textbooks, open access journal and books published in the public domain or with a Creative Commons license.   

Access will be facilitated through the library’s discovery platform (EDS).

Government documents

Print copies of relevant local, provincial and federal government documents will be selected for the library’s collection. Priced items will be acquired directly from the publishing government agency. Electronic access to specific relevant government documents will be facilitated through the library’s catalogue or online guides.

The library will maintain access to aggregated sources of Canadian government documents.

Unsolicited material

Unsolicited material (books, journals, media) will be reviewed using the same criteria, with attention given to the feasibility and costs (time and effort) of cataloging and processing the materials. Decisions to add unsolicited materials to the collection will be highly selective, most unsolicited materials will be disposed of using standard procedures.


When an item is selected all reasonable attempts will be made to acquire the item. The Acquisitions Technician will submit orders to established vendors based on established procedures.

The library will have a primary vendor where most book orders are sent. The primary vendor will provide value added services such as catalogue records, processing, consolidated invoices and cost-effective shipping. The library will also have a primary serials vendor, with value added services such as renewal and invoice consolidation, claiming, facilitation of electronic access. 

If a primary vendor cannot supply an item or resource, orders can be sent directly to the author or publisher.   

When items are needed quickly, purchasing from an online or local bookstore may be considered.

For electronic resources consortial purchases (ELN or eHLbc ) will be explored first. If no consortial option is available, orders will be sent directly to publisher/content provider.

Collaboration with other libraries

Camosun Library actively pursues cooperative arrangements and consortial arrangements with other libraries and library organizations to enhance the collection, and to improve access to information resources.

Reciprocal borrowing

Camosun Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements with other publicly funded B.C. post-secondary institutions. Camosun students and employees can borrow directly from these institutions.    

Users are encouraged to register with GVPL or VIRL (depending on place of residence) to borrow materials from the public library.

Interlibrary loans

For materials not in the Camosun collection, users can request an inter-library loan. The library uses provincial and national networks to source materials. Costs for inter-library loans are assumed by the library, so requests requiring payment from the lender are carefully reviewed and are pursued at the discretion of the library. Users may be limited to a specific number of inter-library loan requests each academic year.

Consortial Licensing

Camosun Library participates in consortial purchasing and licensing agreements in order to acquire electronic resources on the best possible terms.The BC Electronic Library Network (ELN) and Electronic Health Library of BC (eHLbc) are the key consortium agencies.


Collection maintenance

The physical collection is regularly assessed by librarians to remove/weed items that are obsolete, damaged beyond repair, poorly circulated, duplicated and out of scope of curriculum. This work is supported by ILS generated reports of usage and collection age.

Library staff can bring to the attention of librarians items for consideration for withdrawal, including superseded editions, multiple copies, items in poor physical condition, incomplete set or missing parts.

Electronic resources are regularly assessed by the librarians, and cancellation is considered for resources that have low usage or which are no longer relevant to curriculum.

Back copies of print journal and newspapers are maintained on a limited basis dependent on space and expected demand.  Back-copy runs of journals should be reviewed annually for withdrawal.  



Camosun College Library accepts donations of books that will enhance the collection and support the college's learning, teaching and research needs.

The acceptance, acknowledgement and disposal of donations is subject to the following guidelines:

  1. It is the responsibility of the donor to deliver items to the library, and pick up any items not accepted. Donors are asked to contact the library in advance of delivering any materials. For donations of more than 10 books, the donor must provide a title list (with edition and publication date information) for review.
  2. Donations must enhance the library collection and support the college's learning, teaching and research needs. Gifts must be in excellent physical condition and align with selection criteria.
  3. Donations are reviewed by a librarian who will determine whether the item will be added to the collection or not.
  4. The library will dispose of donated books not accepted for the collection, unless the donor specifically requests return of the item(s)
  5. Donations approved for the collection will be catalogued, classified and processed based on established procedures. 
  6. Once a gift is accepted, the item becomes the property of the library. The library determines how long the item is retained.

A donor may choose to request a tax receipt for items the library adds to the collection.

Donors must indicate their desire for a letter of acknowledgement, a tax receipt and/or gift plates at the time of donation by completing the Library gift in kind form PDF

Donors who choose not to complete the form give the library authority to accept or dispose of the items.

For tax receipts, books are evaluated by a librarian using standard in-print and out-of-print bibliographic sources to determine value. A purchase receipt issued within one year of donation may be provided as evidence of the gift's value.

In accordance with Canadian tax regulations, collections valued at more than $1,000 must be evaluated by an external appraiser. The cost of an external appraisal is borne by the donor.

Tax receipts are issued by the Camosun College Foundation.

Financial donations to support the purchase of collections are coordinated through the Camosun College Foundation.


Challenges and complaints

The library adheres to the principle expressed in the Canadian Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom. If a library user wishes to challenge the appropriateness or the value of an item in the collection they must submit their complaint to

All complaints or challenges will be considered carefully with consultation and research.