Policy List for Public Libraries

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.

Libraries Act
Libraries Regulation

Required Policies
The Libraries Regulation, Part 1, section Policies states:

7(1) Subject to section 36 of the Act, every board shall establish policies with respect to the following:

(a) Confidentiality of user records, except where disclosure is required by law;
(b) Orientation and continuing education of board members and staff, including expenses for attendance at library meetings, conference workshops and courses and for memberships in library associations
(c) Finance, including designation of expense for which board members and staff will be reimbursed, the form in which those expenses shall be claimed and the appointment of signing officers for the board

(2) Every board that operates a library service point shall, in addition to establishing policies under subsection (1), establish policies with respect to the following:

(a) Personnel, including job descriptions and performance appraisals for employees and volunteers, qualifications for staff positions, working hours, conditions of employment and grievance procedure.
(b) selection, acquisition, purchase and disposition of library resources, including a policy respecting gifts and donations;
(c) resource sharing, including participation in a provincial resource sharing network and the conditions that apply to the acquisition of library resources and information from other sources, including inter-library loans and information in electronic databases;
(d) provision of library resources to persons unable to use conventional print resources, including provision in cooperation with community agencies;
(e) the terms and conditions under which library resources will be loaned to members of the library for use in a location other than the library;
(f) hours of service at each library service point;
(g) the terms and conditions for use of any areas of a building managed by the board that are not normally used for library purposes, including who may use those areas.

In addition to these requirements, we recommend including statements on the following:

  • Breaks, overtime, weekends
  • Leaves for vacation, sickness, jury duty, etc.
  • Staff evaluation, probation, promotion, termination, retirement
  • Fringe benefits, staff privileges
  • Conduct and attitude

Also see Alberta Employment Standards.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) (Alberta)

The library board must appoint a FOIP officer (usually the library manager) to oversee:

  • Personal information banks (PIB)
  • Records retention

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S)

The board must do a hazard assessment of the worksite. The library must have a First Aid kit on-site and it must meet Alberta’s guidelines for what is required; it can be self-made or purchased (available through NLLS). One staff member must be trained in First Aid. The library must hold fire drills 2 times per year. More information is available at the OH&S website.

  • Workplace violence and harassment
  • Staff working alone
  • Disaster recovery plan
  • Staff training to train other staff about OH&S and access to proper documents and safety guidelines

Revenue Canada

  • Copyright
  • Applicable tax law (only if the library has a Friends group or other body with charity or society status)

Recommended Policies

  • Internet and public access computer use
  • Care and use of the library’s own website
  • Unattended children
  • Library objectives and services offered
  • Cooperation with other libraries, if applicable (i.e. not members of the system)
  • Public relations, marketing, advocacy and communications
  • Policy on policies - establishing, reviewing and revising policies


For more information and examples, please visit the Public Libraries Services Branch website or contact Client Services at Yellowhead Regional Library.