Library Fundamentals

Within this section, you will find useful information regarding the fundamentals of library service and operations, such as:

Collection Development 

Collection development is the process of building or improving a collection of library materials. It is a process whereby each purchase, and each candidate for discard, is carefully evaluated in terms of the needs it meets and its place in the collection. It is an on-going process that changes as the community changes.

Plan of Service 

The Libraries Regulation requires boards to have a current plan of service, including a mission statement and goals and objectives, based on a community needs assessment. It helps a board to govern at a strategic level, aligning the library with the community which results in increased community support, fundraising, advocacy and overall use. It helps a library measure its success and identify improvements.


Public library service in Alberta is bound by legislation from Municipal Affairs. The Libraries Act is the law. The Act allows the Minister to set Library Regulation to guide and direct how the law is operated. This section will help guide you through the number of policies required for libraries.

Space Planning

Space planning is the process of determining the most effective use of the space within your library, keeping both function and aesthetics in mind. A library needs to be attractive and inviting, but it also needs to function effectively and efficiently. This page will provide you with useful direction and tips.


Weeding is an important part of any library’s collection maintenance program. Weeding involves removing outdated, unused or worn-out items so that current, information-rich and visually appealing materials are easily seen and accessed. This section outlines procedures that are necessary to make the process a success.