Library service charter

Access & Environment

  • Buildings which are safe, welcoming, attractive, well maintained, clearly signed and accessible to people with disabilities.

Wide Choice of Library Stock

  • A range of materials of interest and value to all sections of the community.

Reference & Information Services

  • The provision of or referral to information on any subject.

Quality Service

  • Well trained, courteous, efficient, knowledgeable and identifiable staff.

Service Availability

  • Membership available to everyone.
  • Libraries open at convenient and at their advertised times.

You can help us by:

  • By being considerate of other library users and staff.
  • Taking care of library materials, equipment and facilities.
  • By returning or renewing borrowed materials by or before their due date.
  • By letting us know whenever you have a problem with our service or wish to make a complaint.

Internet Usage Conditions

1. Summary

These Internet Usage Conditions outline acceptable behaviour of clients when using the internet through Library computers or through wifi. It also covers security and access, copyright, indemnity, and privacy. Clients must accept these usage conditions in order to gain access to the internet.

2. Position

City of Cockburn provides free access to the internet through its libraries’ public computers and wifi. Consequently, free access to the Internet is available to those users who agree to abide by the library’s usage conditions. Access to the internet by children under the age of 16 is the responsibility of the child’s parent or guardian.

Failure to comply may result in exclusion from the Library and its services. The Library has the right to direct any client engaged in unacceptable usage to leave the Library and not to re-enter the Library for a specified period. Legal prosecution may result from a breach of these conditions and unlawful conduct will be reported to the relevant authorities.


  • Clients must not use the Library computers or network to access pornographic, offensive or objectionable material, or for anyunlawful or inappropriate purpose.
  • The Library reserves the right to determine if particular material is offensive, objectionable or otherwise inappropriate forviewing/accessing in the Library.
  • Clients must be sensitive to the values and beliefs of others when displaying potentially offensive or objectionable informationor images on computer screens located in public areas.
  • Clients must not modify or gain access to restricted files or data belonging to others. This includes using someone else’sLibrary card number to access resources.
  • Clients must not damage equipment or alter the configuration of the Library computers.
  • Clients must not use their personal software on the Library’s computers.


  • Security on the internet cannot be guaranteed. The Library takes no responsibility for any consequences, direct or indirect,arising from clients’ use of particular sites.
  • City of Cockburn uses filtering software on its internet services. No filtering software is totally accurate, so not alloffensive and inappropriate sites are blocked, and sometimes other sites that shouldn’t be blocked are.


Material on the internet may be protected by copyright. Copyright should always be assumed, unless the content owner has indicated otherwise. Clients must ensure any copying or printing complies with copyright legislation and with any copying directives given by the content owner.


Access to this service is provided in a public place and through publicly available facilities you should be aware that no guarantee of privacy or security can be made while you are using the facility.

City of Cockburn reserves the right to monitor the use of the Library computers and Wifi. Where necessary data may be accessed or intercepted to maintain security and to prevent or detect crime or unauthorised use of the computer hardware, software, network or systems. In the event of an investigation, the City of Cockburn will provide data access to any law enforcement agency that may exercise a warrant to inspect the data.


You acknowledge that in the event that any legal action is threatened or commenced the City of Cockburn bears no responsibility whatsoever for the conduct or outcome of the legal action, arising out of or connected with your use of this Internet service. You also agree to indemnify the City against any and all damages, costs and expenses arising out of any action, settlement or compromise, arising out of or connected with your use of this Internet service.

3. Legislative Framework

Relevant legislation

Last updated: April 2016; Reviewed July 2016

Privacy statement


The City of Cockburn Public Library & Information Service is committed to safeguarding the personal information it may hold at any time in respect to an individual. “Personal Information” for the purposes of this statement is information whether true or not about an individual that can reasonably be expected to identify that individual.

The Library Service is also committed to maintaining the confidentiality of the library materials that a client may have borrowed, for which a request has been placed and of any information accessed by any means including electronic.

What the Library Service collects

The Library Service only collects the personal information it requires to carry out its statutory and legal responsibilities, to deliver its services to its clients and to ensure the security of its collections. (*Formal documentary evidence is required such as: driver’s licence, rate notice, bank statement etc.) Sensitive personal information is not collected.

Personal information is usually collected at the time a person joins the library. It consists of the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Telephone: personal fixed line, mobile and work
  • Email

The Library Service will only collect personal information from the individual concerned or in the case of a child from its parent, guardian or guarantor. In cases where it is necessary for personal information to be provided by a third party the library will make every reasonable endeavour to ensure that the individual is aware that his/her information is being provided.

Use and disclosure:

The Library Service will not make available or disclose personal or transactional information to any outside persons or agency other than to the library’s contracted debt collection agency for the purpose of recovering outstanding materials or monies or where properly required to by law. The information collected from and maintained about its members is only used by the Library Service to carry out its main function of providing service to them. These include: managing loans, reservations, accounts, computer bookings and surveying and eliciting feedback from members.

Wherever possible, library users are not required to identify themselves. Identification by means of a library card which bears that member’s unique identifier is required to borrow materials or access library computers. The Library Service holds members’ mobile phone and email information and offers various services by these means. It will not do so or place a member on an email or SMS distribution list without the expressed permission of that member.

A member may access his/her own information and online services by means of his/her unique identifier (library card) and PIN.


The Library Service takes all reasonable steps to ensure the protection of all the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. This protection applies irrespective of whether the information is stored in electronic or hard copy forms.

Data quality:

The Library Service takes reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information collected is accurate and up-to-date. Membership is updated every two years; at the first presentation following the anniversary date. It is however the responsibility of members to advise the library of any material changes to their personal information such as address, name, telephone or email. Incorrect information will be made good for any member upon his/her production of sufficient identification and proof of the changes to be made. (*This may also include the personal knowledge or surety of an authorised Library Service officer)

Availability and currency:

The Library Service’s privacy statement may be accessed from the library’s website and is available in hard copy from any branch of the Library Service. The statement will be periodically reviewed and updated in line with legislative requirements and changes in technology. Last updated: Friday 21 January 2011; Revised: Friday 25 January 2013

Print version of privacy statement. [PDF – 51Kb]

Website privacy  statement

Library website –  Privacy Statement This statement should be read in conjunction with the City of Cockburn Public Library & Information Service’s Privacy Statement (above).

Privacy and Disclaimer:

The Library will only collect what personal information it requires from you in order to carry out its statutory and legal responsibilities and to deliver its services. We have implemented procedures to ensure that your personal information will be protected and kept only as long as it is absolutely required by the Library Service or the law. Visitors to our website will not be required to disclose personal information. Tracking of visits to the site will only be conducted for the purpose of collecting statistical information and will not identify you personally. The website contains numerous links to other sites. The library takes no responsibility for the content or privacy practices of these sites. When you leave the Cockburn Libraries’ site you are no longer protected by these privacy conditions.

If you send an email to the Library, it will only be recorded to fulfil the purpose for which it is sent. Your details will not be added to a mailing list beyond that which is specifically stated in the Library Service’s Privacy Statement – Use and disclosure; without your permission.


The Library Service’s website uses “cookies” to help you personalise your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalise Library Service pages, or register with a library site or services, a cookie helps the library recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information. When you return to the same Cockburn Libraries website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the features that you customised. The Library Service does not use cookies to gather personal information about users. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the library’s online services or websites you visit.

Security of your Personal Information:

Cockburn Libraries secures your personal information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. Cockburn Libraries secures the personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. When personal information (such as credit card number) is transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption.

Availability and currency:

The Library Service’s Internet Access Privacy and Disclaimer Statement may be accessed from the library’s website  and is available in hard copy from any branch of the Library Service.

The statement will be periodically reviewed and updated in line with legislative requirements and changes in technology.

Created: Friday 21 January 2011; Revised: Friday 25 January 2013

Website Disclaimer and Copyright statement


While the Library Service has taken every care in the preparation of its website and the pages that are included in it, it takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided. The information in the website is of a general nature. While the information contained herein is believed to be correct, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of any article and/or any matter which is discussed therein. The Library Service does not accept any liability for any statements or any opinion, or for any errors or omissions contained therein.


The information contained in the library’s website is the property of the City of Cockburn Public Library & Information Service. Other than as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of it may be reproduced, copied, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or means without prior written authority of the City of Cockburn Public Library & Information Service.

Bags & Valuables policy

City of Cockburn Public Library & Information Service  Bags & Valuables Policy & Disclaimer

Our objective is for your visit to the library to be positive and enjoyable for you. We are also required to ensure the integrity of the library’s collections and facilities and the safety of our staff. We therefore reserve the right to ask you to present your bags for inspection before you leave the library. Alternatively, we may request that you leave your bags behind the staff counter during your visit.

We recommend that you keep valuables such as money, jewellery and mobile phones with you at all times. Neither the staff, the Library Service nor the City of Cockburn can accept responsibility for any loss of valuables.

Last reviewed 18 April 2011

Unattended Children Policy

Parents who leave a child unattended in a public library are exposing their child to potential harm. No child should be left unattended in libraries within the City of Cockburn. (A child is defined as a young person aged from birth to twelve years inclusive)

For the security and wellbeing of children, a responsible adult must accompany them while they are using the library. The library and its staff are not equipped, nor do they have a role in providing long or short term child care. Therefore, library staff cannot supervise unattended children in the library at any time. Parents and care givers are responsible for setting boundaries or restrictions for their children and regulating their behaviour in the library, this includes children attending library programs and events and children using the internet.

Unattended children and young adults can be at risk in public places including public libraries as they may

  • Leave the library at any time
  • Hurt themselves
  • Become bored and disruptive to other customers
  • Become ill or distressed
  • Be approached by strangers

Parents will be contacted if –

  • children in the library are unattended.
  • children or young people behave in a disruptive manner.

If the library cannot contact parents, police may be called.

Last reviewed June 2011

Library censorship policy

Council and the Public Library & Information Service while recognising that powers of censorship exist and are legally and exclusively vested in the state and federal governments will resist any attempts by individuals or organized groups to determine what library materials or access to information is to be, or not to be available to the users of the library.

Library staff will not exercise censorship in the selection of materials by rejecting on moral, gender, individual lifestyle, political, racial or religious grounds alone material which is otherwise relevant to the purpose of the Library and meets the standards, such as historical importance, intellectual integrity, effectiveness of expression or accuracy of information which are required by the Library Service. Material will not be rejected on the grounds that its content is controversial or likely to offend some section of the Library’s community.

Agencies responsible for censorship in Australia:

Commonwealth of Australian 

Australian Classification (Classification Board & the Classification Review Board) – Contact Details


Western Australia

Censorship Registrar via the  Department of the Attorney General

Last updated: 5 Dec 2014.

Collection Development Policy


Cockburn Libraries Mission

To strengthen and enrich our community through inclusive, sustainable, and responsive library services that support the vision of the City of Cockburn, and which promote and celebrate diversity, community connection, literacy, learning, and lifestyle.

Objective of the Policy

The policy provides a framework for the selection, maintenance, weeding and evaluation of the Cockburn Libraries’ collection.

This Collection Development Policy will be used to ensure the Cockburn Libraries’ collection remains vibrant, useful, popular and informative: an asset to the community.

The Community

The City of Cockburn is a largely suburban council district that lies south of Fremantle. Its heritage – both Indigenous and colonial – is rich and varied. The current population comprises families who have long ancestral association with the district, as well as many young families moving into the area to access affordable housing and local resources, and a large migrant population. In 2013, the population reached 100,000 people and continues to grow.

The Cockburn Libraries

There are three branches within the Library and Information Service: Coolbellup, Spearwood and Success. Each branch is unique in size, collections, location and community served. While this document provides an overarching strategy for collection development, each branch will work within its boundaries to provide the best service to their own communities, using knowledge gained by working with those communities every day.

The Collection

The collection, spanning all three library branches as well as significant online resources, is composed of books, dvds, CDs, talking books, CD ROMS, magazines, and toys. With the exception of toys, all collection items are divided into age-appropriate categories, with the major segments being Adult, Young Adult, and Junior.


State Library stock

Western Australian public libraries work in close relationship with the State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) to build and maintain their collections. Annual financial allocations to each library, based on the council area’s population, are used by SLWA to purchase stock through library suppliers. That stock is provided, shelf-ready, to each public library directly from the suppliers.

Stock is selected by librarians at a branch level, from lists provided by SLWA each week. Selection is divided into Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction, and Junior. Stock is provided in book, DVD, talking book (CD or MP3 disc), graphic novel, and large print formats. Librarians use their own skills, knowledge and discretion when selecting stock.

Local stock

A significant portion of the libraries’ stock is purchased with funds allocated by the City of Cockburn. This money is used for purchasing stock that is not provided by SLWA, specifically CDs and magazines. It is also used to purchase extra copies of popular items, items requested by clients that cannot be obtained through SLWA, and to fill gaps in the collection as needed.


Selection of stock is based on a number of factors. While there will always be room for flexibility, selection will mainly be against the following criteria:

  • The popularity of a title, author or series.
  • The usefulness and relevance of the title to library clients.
  • The likelihood of the item being used.
  • The available formats.

To determine these factors the librarians draw on their own expertise and knowledge, professional publications, and reports that can be generated from the library catalogue.

Other considerations

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Content created by local authors and artists.
  • Australian, and particularly Western Australian, content.
  • Award winners, shortlists for prizes, and other significant accolades.

The library will not purchase:

  • Academic textbooks.
  • Highly specialised technical manuals.
  • Any item that has been banned by the Australian Classification Board.

Maintenance & processing


Items selected through SLWA arrive from the suppliers already processed. Staff in the libraries add collection-specific labels and initialise the item on the library’s RFID system.

Items purchased as local stock need to be fully processed before being lent. Processing includes cataloguing, generating spine labels, tagging with RFID tags, and applying any collection-specific labels. Collection labels can include:

  • Genre labels for both fiction and non-fiction books.
  • Collection and letter labels for DVDs and CDs.
  • Letter labels for Junior Kindergarten books.


All library staff keep a watching brief on items that pass through the system. If items are damaged or worn, staff will use their own initiative to decide whether the item can be loaned or needs repair work.

It is expected that library items will be subjected to fair wear and tear. Issues such as loose or torn pages, cracked DVD covers, lightly scratched discs, and other potentially fixable problems can be referred to repairs staff.

If an item is damaged or worn beyond repair, it will be removed from the collection and considered for replacement.

The objective should always be to keep an item in the collection unless it is no longer fit for purpose.

Weeding & Evaluation

Weeding refers to the systematic deselection of stock from the shelves. In most situations, it is carried out to ensure the shelves are not overstocked, and to make space for new stock. The majority of weeding done will be of State Library stock, as the system currently in place allows libraries to send their weeded stock back to SLWA.

Weeding guidelines

Weeding is carried out by librarians, or by other library staff under the direction of librarians. The criteria for weeding can change, but stock is usually deselected under the following guidelines:

  • Age and condition of the item.
  • Length of time since last loan.
  • Currency of information.
  • Presence of multiple copies in collection.
  • Adequate representation of the subject on shelves.
  • Need for space.

Special consideration

When weeding, librarians will be conscious of contributing factors to an item’s reason for being in the collection. These factors will influence whether some items are judged by the same standards as the majority. Special consideration will be given to items that:

  • Have Indigenous content, or are by Indigenous authors or artists.
  • Have a heavy focus on the local area, particularly Fremantle and Cockburn.
  • Are hard to replace, such as out-of-print or rare books.
  • Are considered classic, core parts of any collection, such as the works of Shakespeare.


If weeded items belong to SLWA, they will be sent back for redistribution or donation to charity. SLWA makes arrangements with charities to hold book sales for all old stock no longer required by libraries.

If weeded items belong to the Cockburn Libraries, they will either be put out for sale or recycled.


The most important collection evaluation happens on a weekly basis, as each selecting librarian makes decisions about what stock to order for the library, evaluating the current collection for use, coverage, currency and popularity. Evaluation methods such as list-checking are used for segments of the collection; for example, the shortlist for a literature prize, the top 100 Australian books, or current bestsellers.

More formal and organisation-wide procedures, such as stocktake, are also part of the evaluation cycle . The last stocktake was completed in 2012.

Collections : Books

Adult collections

  • Fiction (AF): The adult fiction collection aims to provide an appropriate balance of popular recreational reading, contemporaryliterature, genre fiction, and classics. Every effort is made to acquire fiction which is representative of the community the library serves and to satisfy the diversity of interests and needs of its users. Requests from clients and the use of titles already in stock will strongly influence selection of adult fiction. When necessary multiple copies of popular and heavily reserved items will be purchased.

    Adult fiction is arranged by the first three letters of the author’s surname. However, some branches divide their fiction into genres to enhance the browsing experience for clients. These genres include Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Romance, and Thrillers & Crime. Not all categories apply to all branches.

  • Non-fiction (ANF): The non-fiction collection aims to provide information for lifelong learning, personal development and pursuits,practical support, and recreational and cultural enrichment. Disciplined selection aims to provide depth in the areas of need and demand. The use and size of the physical non-fiction collection is continually being reviewed. Non-fiction circulation has declined as more people source information from the internet and other electronic formats.

    The Library is not responsible for supporting educational curricula through the purchase of textbooks; however some may be added to the collection if they are regarded as a good source of information to enhance a subject area.

    The libraries use the Dewey Decimal System (DDC) to arrange non-fiction. However, all library branches have developed different categories within the DDC to make browsing and finding easier for clients. In addition to their DDC number, items may be assigned a further collection label to aid shelving and retrieval. Examples of these collections include Food & Drink, Health & Wellbeing, Family & Parenting, and Sport & Recreation. Not all categories apply to all branches.

Junior collections

  • Junior kindergarten (JK): The junior kindergarten collection consists mostly of picture books and board books for infants and preschool-agechildren. This collection aims to cater for a range of ages and reading levels and includes fiction and some non-fiction.
  • Easy readers: Easy readers comprise a range of introductory fiction intended to cater for new and reluctant readers. Thecollection also forms an intermediate stage between books for preschool and primary school-aged children. Books are divided into three levels based on reading competence.
  • Junior fiction (JF): The junior fiction collection is provided principally for primary school-age children. Selection is on a similarbasis to adult fiction, balancing new and noteworthy titles with the need for popular recreational reading and classics. Consideration is given to the acquisition of popular film and television tie-ins to meet demand. Similar to Adult Fiction, the JF books are arranged by author surname; however, some branches also apply genre labels to enhance the finding experience for children and parents.
  • Junior non-fiction (JNF): Junior non-fiction materials are selected on the basis of usefulness to younger clients in reflecting popularinterests and hobbies, as well as supplementing resources for schoolwork. The non-fiction collection must also cater for a range of reading levels within subject areas.

    There has been a significant drop in the circulation of non-fiction items as children have increasingly used the internet and other electronic resources for completion of school assignments. However, there is a noticeable trend in students being asked to complete assignments using at least one book in addition to online sources.

  • Young adult: The young adult collection is aimed at the twelve to seventeen year age group. It is a transitional collection forthe reader moving from children’s books to adult books. Young adult materials are selected by the same criteria as adult materials but with the focus on the interests of young people. In recent years the popularity of young adult titles has grown exponentially, and many titles are now read by adults as much as by teenagers.

Special collections

Community language collection

The community language collection contains materials in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese and includes both fiction and non-fiction adult titles.

There is a small collection of LOTE junior picture books that are in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Serbian, Spanish, and Russian. Other language materials will be added as demand is identified and materials become available.

Cockburn collection

Items that relate directly to the Cockburn area, including ephemera produced by the Council and locally-produced information and history, are collected with the aim of preserving local information for current and future interest. Most items will be made ‘Not for loan’ to reflect their irreplaceable nature. There is currently no true Local History collection.

Collections : Other formats

The libraries provide a wide range of fiction and non-fiction in multiple formats. The criteria for these are the same as for books, with caveats depending on cost, popularity and availability. The following formats are all provided in both Adult and Junior collections:

  • DVDs (in Australian region format with Australian classifications):
    • Movies.
    • TV series.
    • Documentaries and instruction.
  • Music CDs.
  • Talking books:
    • On CD.
    • On MP3 disc.
  • Large print books.
  • Magazines and newspapers.
  • CD-ROMs.
  • Graphic novels.

Toys & games

The libraries currently provide soft toys and hand-puppets for loan. There are no longer any puzzles or other physical games provided for adults.

Digital collections

There are many options available for internet users on the library website. Through the SLWA partnership, all Western Australian public libraries have access to large collections of ebooks, e-audiobooks, and emagazines. These are provided through subscription services with which library clients must create an account using their Cockburn Libraries membership number.

These digital collections are selected by a committee of librarians throughout the state. Any suggestions for addition can be emailed to a committee member by library staff.

Collections : Other considerations


The libraries will accept donations of materials from members of the public. Discretion by librarians will be applied in the acceptance of donations, and the libraries reserve all rights over the items after they have been accepted.

Criteria for acceptance may include:

  • Condition of the items – old, damaged or otherwise imperfect items will be declined.
  • Popularity of the items – if the library already has several copies of an item, or if the item appears unlikely to be popular, the items may be declined.
  • Volume of donations – the libraries are unable to receive large quantities of donations due to space restrictions.
  • Requirements of the branch receiving donations – collection requirements fluctuate with time.

If items are accepted for donations, they may still be judged unnecessary or unsuitable for the collection and disposed of, either by selling with library discards or by recycling.

Purchase requests

Wherever possible, client requests will be satisfied with reservations on locally-held items or by placing inter-library loan (ILL) requests. If the request cannot be satisfied by either of these options, a purchase request can be made by patrons through the library website, or by speaking with a staff member. Library staff may also create a purchase request when they are certain an item cannot be found any other way.

Purchase requests are treated as selection for the library service, and selection will be guided as outlined in the section above. Where an item is not available for purchase through any of the library’s available channels, the client will be notified and the request will be cancelled.

The librarians in charge of purchasing will be notified about the request and will try to find the requested item in a timely manner; however, there is no guarantee of receiving the item within a set time-frame.

Last updated: Monday 29 August 2016

Print version of Collection Development Policy. [PDF – 493Kb]

Please Contact Us for more information about our policies.

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