The choice of library materials by a library user is an individual matter. While a person may reject materials for oneself, he or she may not restrict access to those materials by other library users.
The Library recognizes that certain materials are controversial and that any given item may offend some library users. The procedures enumerated below have been developed to assure that the requests of those who disagree with the inclusion of specific items in the collection are handled in an attentive and consistent manner.
A library user who requests the reconsideration of library material will be referred immediately to the Director or the librarian in charge. This staff member will discuss the Materials Selection Policy and the application of selection principles.
If a library user persists in requesting that an item be withdrawn from the collection, the Library’s procedure for reconsideration will be carefully explained and followed. A separate Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form must be filled out for each item.
The procedure for the reconsideration of library materials consists of the following:
- The library user must complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form (PDF) and submit it to the Library Director. This request may not be submitted anonymously.
- The Request for Reconsideration will be referred to a committee consisting of the Director, Assistant Director and a subject specialist librarian to determine whether retention of the item would be in violation of the Materials Selection Policy.
- The committee will reconsider the item using the general criteria of the Materials Selection Policy and reviews from recognized sources, and then make a written decision.
- The Director will inform the Library Board of Trustees of the committee’s decision.
- The Director will respond in writing to the library user regarding the committee’s decision. Committee members’ comments will not be attributed, although brief quotes may be used in the Director’s response.
- An appeal of this decision may be made to the Library Board of Trustees. Such appeal shall not exceed two pages and should include copies of the original Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form and the committee’s written recommendation. The Library Board will reconsider the decision based on whether or not the particular item conforms to the General Criteria outlined in the Board-approved Materials Selection Policy. In addition, the Library Board may, at its discretion, appoint an independent advisory panel to review the submission and to make a recommendation to the Board. The Board of Trustees shall then make the final determination of the matter, notifying the library user in writing of this action, in a timely manner.
- The completed decision on reconsideration of a specific title shall remain in effect for three years.
During the review process the Library will take appropriate action to insure that the item will continue to be available.
Approved by the Scarsdale Public Library Board of Trustees October 2006
Updated June 2020