The Library must act and appear to act in a non-partisan way at all times, especially during elections, while supporting the democratic process, freedom of expression and informed discussion on political issues.

This policy allows the Peterborough Public Library to balance the need for freedom of expression and assembly of candidates and its legal responsibility to ensure that no candidate, registered third-party advertiser or political party is provided with an unfair advantage. This preserves the public trust and allows the Library to maintain neutrality during election campaigns.  

Responsibility and application

This policy applies to Board members, employees, and volunteers of the Library in their dealings with candidates and political parties and the use of library resources during the campaign periods for municipal, provincial and federal elections.

Use of library resources and property
  1. It is the Library's responsibility to ensure that no candidate, registered third-party advertiser or political party is provided with an unfair advantage in the use of library resources at any time.  
  2. All candidates and political parties have equal access to publicly available resources and services of the Library.
  3. Meeting rooms may be rented following the Peterborough Public Library's Room Booking Policy.
  4. Candidates, registered third-party advertisers or political parties in an election cannot use the facilities, equipment, supplies, programs and services (including online services, social media, and email), staff, or other resources of the Library for any election campaign or campaign-related activities (except for facilities rented in accordance with the Room Booking Policy)
  5. The Library’s logo, slogan, or other intellectual property may not be printed, posted or distributed on any election-related campaign materials or included on any election-related website.
  6. Requests by a candidate, registered third-party advertiser or political party for personal meetings with the Library CEO or Board members, as well as requests for tours of library facilities may not always be accommodated due to resource and time constraints. If a meeting or a tour is organized, the Library will organize a similar meeting or tour for any other candidate, registered third-party advertiser or political party, upon request.
  7. All-candidates’ meetings can be held at the Library as a library program or sponsored by another group, provided that all candidates are invited to attend such meetings. A candidate cannot be featured or promoted in association with any other regular library program or event.
  8. Candidates, registered third-party advertisers, or political parties may not distribute campaign materials on or in Library facilities or at library events, but are permitted to distribute campaign materials outside the facility on public sidewalks and thoroughfares, and during ‘all-candidate’ meetings.
  9. Per the Canada Elections Act section 81.1(1), federal election candidates or their representatives can campaign in facilities that are available for free to the public. During municipal and provincial elections, candidates will be granted the same right to campaign in the Library.   
  10. No election sign or poster specific to a candidate or political party can be posted in the facility or on Library property.

11. This policy does not prevent the Library from being used as a polling station.

Campaign Contributions

The Library will comply with legislation on campaign contributions at all levels.

The Board may not contribute to the campaign of any candidate or political party in the form of money, goods or services.

Employee, Volunteer, and Board Member Participation in Election Campaigns

A library employee or volunteer involved in a political campaign must be politically neutral in carrying out their library duties and must not participate in campaign activities during their working hours.

Any library employee running as a candidate in the municipal election will comply with the Municipal Elections Act, the Municipal Act, and any other relevant legislation.  

Board members may continue their library board responsibilities when running for office.


Nothing in this policy prohibits the Peterborough Public Library from promoting awareness of or providing information on elections as long as no particular candidate, registered third-party advertiser or political party is promoted, supported or opposed at the event. This includes promoting awareness of activities or events in which all candidates in an election are invited to attend.


Policy approved by the Library Board April 12, 2022