Display and Distribution of Information to the Public
Effective Date: February 17, 2015
1. Policy Objective
To establish the conditions and context within which Toronto Public Library supports the distribution and posting of community information from individuals, community groups, agencies, institutions and government.
This policy applies to all materials displayed and/or distributed on library premises from external individuals, community groups, agencies, institutions and government.
This policy does not apply to:
- Commercial Advertising (see Advertising Policy);
- Sponsorship (see Sponsorship Policy).
Commercial advertising, which allows the display of commercial materials for a fee, is covered by the Advertising Policy. The recognition of sponsors, including the display of the sponsor's name, is covered by the Sponsorship Policy.
- The Library may display or distribute materials from any individual or group wishing to display and/or distribute information on library property (including in branches, on outdoor signage and the Library's online channels) subject to the restrictions specified in this policy. This includes materials from:
- Toronto Public Library Foundation;
- library partners in programming or marketing;
- City of Toronto;
- agencies, boards, commissions, corporations of the City of Toronto;
- local elected representatives (subject to restrictions outlined in the Municipal Election Campaign Policy);
- provincial or federal government or a government agency;
- organizations distributing bulk publications that are free of charge;
- any other individuals or community organizations.
- The Library will not display or distribute any material, from any source, that is:
- contrary to any law, including the Ontario Human Rights Code;
- contrary to any library policy;
- promoting or affiliated with any faith or religion;
- primarily political in nature (including election campaign materials);
- primarily devoted to the sale, advertising, solicitation, or promotion of commercial products or services (including rentals), except as permitted under section 3;
- primarily devoted to promoting an event or activity that requires a fee to participate in, except as permitted under section 3;
- a personal ad;
- an invitation to participate in medical research;
- a survey or contest;
- a petition or pledge form;
- for the purposes of fundraising, except from the Toronto Public Library Foundation or for the Royal Canadian Legion's Poppy Campaign.
- The Library may only display materials that are commercial, or that promote events or activities with a fee:
- from the Toronto Public Library Foundation;
- from partners in library programming or organizations with library partnership marketing arrangements;
- for events, programs or services directly delivered by the City of Toronto or its agencies, boards, commissions, or corporations. This excludes events or programs delivered by third-party organizations (including rentals) being held at properties or venues owned by the City of Toronto or its agencies, boards, commissions or corporations.
These materials are subject to the directives specified in the Library's Advertising Policy.
- All requests to display and distribute materials will be handled in a fair and consistent manner.
- Priority is given to display or distribute materials from the Toronto Public Library and Toronto Public Library Foundation.
- Because space is limited at branches, it may not be possible to display all materials that are acceptable under this policy at a given time. The Library will display and distribute materials in appropriate locations for a limited time, subject to the availability of space.
- All materials must be in a suitable format for display. Toronto Public Library reserves the right to refuse materials that are unsuitable including, but not limited to, oversized materials or materials with tear-away segments.
- Toronto Public Library will accept material in languages other than English. Information in English about the content of the material, organization and event may be required.
- All material becomes the property of the Toronto Public Library Board and the Library reserves the right to dispose of the material as it sees fit.
- The display of materials does not constitute an endorsement of any group or its views.
- The Library reserves the right to reject material that, in the Library's sole opinion, may adversely affect public confidence in the Library or the value of the Library brand. This includes material that is not aligned to the directives in the Advertising Policy; in particular, material that could be construed as being targeted to children by its manner, the space that it occupies, and the intent of the advertised product or service.
- Decisions to refuse display or distribution of materials may be appealed. An appeal must be made in writing to the City Librarian.
AccountabilityCity Librarian is responsible for:
- receiving appeals and notifying appellants of the decision in writing.
- reviewing and approving materials for system-wide distribution within the criteria set out in this policy;
- communicating with publishers for bulk publications distribution;
- reviewing and approving material received from branches and providing either distribution instructions or reason for declining.
- communicating this policy and procedure to all employees;
- approving materials within criteria set out in this policy;
- approving the selection of bulk publications for branches in their jurisdiction;
- responding to customer comments about materials that are posted/distributed.
- approving requests that comply with the policy to post/distribute materials from their branch or outdoor signage only;
- seeking guidance from Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement regarding the acceptability of materials to determine whether or not materials comply with the policy;
- forwarding requests to post/distribute materials to more than one location to Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement for approval.
- Appendix 1 - References
- Appendix 2 - Definitions
- Appendix 3 - Enquiries
Appendix 1: References
Toronto Public Library Policies
- Auditorium, Meeting Room and Theatre Rental Policy
- Communications Policy
- Materials Selection Policy
- Rules of Conduct Policy
- Use of Library Space for Art Exhibits Policy
- Ontario Human Rights Code, 1990, c. H.19 as amended
- Criminal Code (R.S., 1985, c. C-46) as amended
Appendix 2: Definitions
- Bulk Publications:
- Community newspapers and other publications (e.g., magazines, cultural brochures, continuing and full-time education calendars) that are delivered in bulk for pick-up from the branches and are distributed in the Library free of charge.
- Any particular activity, transaction, act or conduct connected with trade and commerce - including, but not limited to, the buying and selling of merchandise and the exchange of goods or services - whether or not the person or organization who carries it out does so in the expectation of profit.
- Library Property:
- All library branches, buildings and property of the Toronto Public Library whether leased or owned. For the purposes of this policy, library property also includes indoor and outdoor signage, and the online environment.
- For the purposes of this policy, any information about community activities, events, products and/or services. Information can be presented in a variety of formats, including posters, bulk publications, outdoor signage or online content.
Appendix 3: Enquiries
Director, Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement
Manager, Communications, Programming and Customer Engagement