Policies & privacy
Membership, internet usage & other policies
Membership and lending conditions
Membership to Cockburn Libraries is free. You must be a resident of Western Australia.
Join online or visit a branch of Cockburn Libraries to become a library member.
Join online gives instant access to our eLibrary – eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, streaming music and streaming movies. To borrow physical items you will need to visit any branch of Cockburn Libraries to have your membership upgraded on presentation of identification with your current address. If you are under 16 years, you will need a parent or legal guardian to present ID.
Conditions of membership
- You must be a resident of Western Australia.
- To borrow physical items you must present your library membership card (the physical card or a digital version stored on your mobile phone).
- Your library card or borrower ID should not be given to anyone else. You are responsible for all items borrowed. Please notify the library immediately if your card is stolen or lost.
- Your membership will require updating every two years from the date of joining. At that time please contact the library to confirm your contact details and to renew your membership for another two years.
- There is a charge of $3 for replacement of lost library cards.
- Physical items may be borrowed for three weeks and can be renewed twice if not required by another member.
- If you change your address or other contact details please notify the library immediately to update your membership details.
- Items may be borrowed at or returned to any branch of Cockburn Libraries. Items returned through the After Hours Chute are regarded as having been returned on the next open day.
- You must take care of the items you borrow and pay for any loss or damage that occurs. Do not attempt to repair a damaged item, advise library staff of the damage when you return the item.
- It is your responsibility to return items by the due date, irrespective of whether or not you receive a reminder notice from the library. If loans becomes 4 weeks overdue you will be invoiced for the replacement cost of the items and your borrowing rights suspended until items are returned or paid for. Failure to respond within 14 days of the date of this invoice may result your account being referred to a materials recovery agency. In this event, your name, contact details, and amount owing will be passed on to a US based materials recovery agency and an additional recovery fee will be applied to your account.
- Lost items that have been paid for can be returned within 1 year of the date that the ‘Lost’ status was applied for a full refund.
- Your membership details / personal information are managed as per the City of Cockburn Privacy Statement.
Code of conduct
- Don’t leave your valuables & belongings unattended
- Look after those in your care and monitor their behaviour
- Respect library equipment and spaces
- Use G-rated language and good manners
- Respect staff and other customers
- No excessive noise
- Place rubbish in the bin
- No food or drink at the computers
- Use headphones when listening to audio
- Protect passwords and logout of your accounts
- Access only websites suitable for public viewing
- Report cyberbullying
Library Staff Will Be…
- Available to assist with your enquiry
- Considerate of your privacy
Library Service charter
Access and 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 and Information Services
- The provision of or referral to information on any subject.
- Well trained, courteous, efficient, knowledgeable and identifiable staff.
- 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
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.
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 any unlawful or inappropriate purpose.
- The Library reserves the right to determine if particular material is offensive, objectionable or otherwise inappropriate for viewing/accessing in the Library.
- Clients must be sensitive to the values and beliefs of others when displaying potentially offensive or objectionable information or 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’s Library 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 and access
- 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 all offensive 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.
Notice of indemnity
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.
When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.
Comments may also be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Embedded content from other websites
Posts on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
Full privacy statement
Please refer to the City of Cockburn Privacy statement.
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.
Content published on this website, unless otherwise referenced, is copyright of City of Cockburn. This excludes some images (including book covers) used under license or under usage allowed under the Copyright Act 1968.
Material, owned by the City of Cockburn, from the website can be reproduced for personal and non-commercial use, without permission providing it remains unaltered in its original form.
City of Cockburn Library Services Strategy 2020-2025
Cockburn Libraries are well-loved well-used community hubs that provide a diverse range of collections, programs and services to people of all ages, circumstances, interests and lifestyles. Every day and in many ways libraries change the lives of people who live and work in Cockburn.
The City of Cockburn is growing and changing, so the libraries must change too. This Strategy Plan sets a vision for Cockburn Libraries over the next five years. Informed by demographic analysis, community consultation and industry research the Plan will ensure library services respond to current and emerging community needs and will serve as a tool to proactively guide future directions and decision-making. Through this Plan we will:
- promote the library to increase service use and reach people who aren’t aware of what services we have to offer
- expand our programs for adults and young people
- develop a collaborative approach with other services in the City and the community to deliver more efficient and impactful outcomes.
- Deliver great customer experiences.
- Reach out to and connect more strongly with the Cockburn community.
- Explore innovative approaches to ensure library services reflect best industry practice.
Read the full City of Cockburn Library Services Strategy
Bags and Valuables Policy
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.
Children Under 13 Should Not be Left Unattended
Parents who leave a child unattended in a public library are exposing their child to potential harm. No child (aged 12 years or younger) should be left unattended in libraries within the City of Cockburn.
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.
Library Censorship Policy
Cockburn Libraries 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
Censorship Registrar via the Department of the Attorney General.
Collection development guidelines
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 Guidelines
The guidelines provide a framework for the selection, maintenance, weeding and evaluation of the Cockburn Libraries’ collection.
This Collection Development Guidelines will be used to ensure the Cockburn Libraries’ collection remains vibrant, useful, popular and informative: an asset to 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, 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.
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.
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 and 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 and 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 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.
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
- 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 and Fantasy, Romance, and Thrillers and 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 and Drink, Health and Wellbeing, Family and Parenting, and Sport and Recreation. Not all categories apply to all branches.
- 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 (YA): 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.
Collections: 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.
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):
- TV series.
- Documentaries and instruction.
- Music CDs.
- Talking books:
- On CD.
- On MP3 disc.
- Large print books.
- Magazines and newspapers.
- Graphic novels.
Toys and 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.
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.
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.