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Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques Position Statement on Corporate Sponsorship Agreement in Libraries

Approved by Executive Council ~ June 21, 1997


Libraries enrich lives, provide information needed for work and daily living, and foster informed communities which are essential to a democratic society. In recognition of this important function, communities support libraries through public funding. The library's first priority is to ensure the continuation and growth of this primary relationship -- public funding for the public good.

CLA encourages and supports advocacy to maintain and develop public funding as the principal source of support for public, school, academic and government libraries.

Publicly funded libraries can and do explore other sources of funding, such as grants, gifts, donations, partnerships and sponsorships, to ensure that they provide the best possible services to their communities. Corporate sponsorships are one source of additional support that allows libraries to enhance the level, extend the range, or improve the quality of library service.

To ensure that partnerships enhance the library's image and add value to library services, libraries need to develop policies and sponsorship agreements that outline the conditions and the benefits of the sponsorship arrangement.

CLA believes that the following principles are important in developing sponsorship policies and agreements. Libraries have a responsibility to:

  1. demonstrate that sponsors further the library's mission, goals, objectives and priorities, but do not drive the library's agenda or priorities.
  2. safeguard equity of access to library services and not allow sponsorship agreements to give unfair advantage to, or cause discrimination against, sectors of the community.
  3. protect the principle of intellectual freedom and not permit sponsors to influence the selection of collections, or staff advice and recommendations about library materials, nor require endorsement of products or services.
  4. ensure the confidentiality of user records by not selling or providing access to library records.
  5. be sensitive to the local political and social climate and select partners who will enhance the library's image in the community.
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