Public Library Safety & Security Toolkit



Policies for Political Use of Library Space 

The public library is a foundational institution for informed and inclusive democracies, and it plays an important role in civic dialogue and debate.

Calgary Public Library

The Calgary Public Library has an administrative policy for Political Use of Library Space. Key elements of the policy related to elections include:

  • CPL must always act and appear to act in a non-partisan way, especially during elections and referendums, while supporting the democratic process, freedom of expression, and informed discussion on political issues.
  • The Library may engage in non-partisan activities that encourage political participation and voter awareness (e.g., using library space to serve as polling stations or to host all-candidate meetings or to host programs and discussions about relevant current issues).
  • Posting or distributing partisan election or campaign material in Libraries or on Library property is not permitted.
  • A document with text and numbers
  • Description automatically generatedOnce the writ is dropped (Nomination Day in municipal elections) no elected official or candidate from that level of government will be invited to speak or present at library events, except for at all-candidates meetings, until after the election has concluded. Candidates, political parties, and registered third-party advertisers may not book any library spaces for meetings or other activities related to the election underway.
  • The Library’s logo, slogans, or other intellectual property may not be printed, posted or distributed on any election-related campaign materials.

Key elements of the policy related to demonstrations and petitions include:

  • The Library and its grounds are not available for use by the public for the purpose of distributing petitions or literature, canvassing, surveying, or protesting.
  • Individuals who are conducting activities covered by this policy must not intimidate or harass library users; must not block, hinder, or impede travel to or from the Library, and must not disrupt the orderly operation of the Library and its services.