Library guidelines and information

Library reading materials

Hillingdon Libraries invite everyone to share and enjoy our passion for reading.

We endeavour to provide and promote comprehensive, regularly-updated stock collections to suit a variety of tastes and interests, support reading, information and learning, in formats appropriate to user needs.

Reading materials are purchased for Hillingdon Libraries as a whole, rather than specific libraries, and are circulated to meet the needs and interests of our residents. 

Decisions on our stock selection take into account various criterion, which is reviewed at least once a year.

View our library catalogue (opens new window)

    Accessibility of stock

    • Library members can use our library catalogue 24/7 to search and reserve items.
    • Stock is made available in formats including large print, audio and foreign languages, as appropriate to user and community needs. 
    • Hillingdon residents can reserve any item from our catalogue for free and collect at their preferred branch.

    Freedom of choice/controversial material  

    • We know that sometimes individuals may find items in our collections offensive or controversial. However, to reject stock solely because it is considered controversial or offensive would not be in the interests of intellectual freedom.
    • Publications that are legally available will not be excluded.
    • Each item will be evaluated and judged by our standards and selection criteria.
    • It remains the responsibility of parents, guardians and carers to determine the suitability of printed and online materials used by their children.

    Religious materials

    • Sacred texts purchased by Hillingdon Libraries will be managed in the same way as other stock items. They will be shelved in the same way as other items (in accordance with the cataloguing system) and may be withdrawn or replaced as part of the routine stock management process. 

    Unsolicited items

    • Our stock is selected and purchased through our contracted suppliers. Unsolicited items sent to the library service will not be considered for purchase by library service staff and will not be returned to the sender.

    Withdrawal of stock

    • It is necessary to withdraw stock items that are tatty, damaged, out of date or have not been used for a long period and to ensure each branch has space to add new items to collections.
    • Withdrawn stock is disposed of in a number of ways, including public book sales and recycling.

    Stock suggestions

    • We welcome stock suggestions from members of the public, as a way of shaping our library collections.
    • Suggestions can be submitted online or in branch and will be reviewed individually, taking into account current stock resources, available budgets, subject matter and likely public demand.
    • An item will only be purchased if available through our contracted supplier and considered value for money in terms of potential use.
    • Library staff are not able to confirm whether a suggested title has been purchased or not.

    Make a library stock suggestion


    • Our policy is not to accept donations. However, if specific items are deemed to be highly desirable, we may consider including them in our collections. 
    • If and when donations are accepted, this is on the agreement and understanding that they become property of Hillingdon Libraries; we are not bound to add them to stock or keep them beyond our normal stock withdrawal processes; and they may be sold or disposed of as appropriate. 

    Online resources

    • The use of online resources is monitored and reviewed annually to ensure that they remain aligned to the library service's priorities and users' preferences. As a result, new electronic resources might be added and others discontinued.

    View Hillingdon's Digital Library

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    Page last updated: 25 Jul 2023