Challenges to library materials

1. Policy on censorship


a. The primary purpose of the Ericson Public Library is to purchase, organize and make readily accessible books and other printed, recorded, electronic and filmed materials, to stimulate interest, and give guidance in their free use to everyone in the community regardless of age, sex, race, creed or social, economic and educational level.


b. In the provision of library materials, broad areas are considered:
     1) Informational—having to serve the community as a center of information by having available      authoritative materials for the answering of specific questions.
     2) Educational—to provide reliable materials available to help meet the needs of patrons in their   pursuit of formal and informal education.
     3) Recreational—to encourage reading for enjoyable use of leisure time.


c. The library welcomes comments, suggestions and criticisms of its materials. However, no citizen in a democracy has a right to prevent another from reading or viewing a specific item by demanding its removal from the library's shelves. The Ericson Public Library Board of Trustees declares as a matter of firm principle that no library material shall be removed from this library under any pressure, save after a determination held under procedures set forth herein.


d. The Ericson Public Library Board of Trustees believes that censorship of library materials is purely an individual matter, and declares that while anyone is free to reject for him/herself books or materials of which he/she does not approve, no person may exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom to read of other persons.

2. Requests for reconsideration of library materials


a. Serious question of any material in the library collection by any person or group in an effort to have the material removed from the collection must be submitted in writing and signed by an individual person, or an individual person representing a group, and given to the Library Director to be submitted to the Board of Trustees. Such written statement must be received at least two weeks prior to the regular monthly Board meeting. A copy of a form to be used for such submission is attached herein.


b. The Board of Trustees shall consider the material in question, and refer to the Materials Selection and other library policies for guidance concerning the material.


c. The Library Director shall, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, reply in writing to the person submitting the request for reconsideration within ten days of the date of such Board meeting, citing any decision or action taken by the Board.

 

d. If satisfactory resolution of a request for reconsideration is not achieved, a Citizens' Review Committee shall be enacted to consider the material in question, and to deliver an opinion. The committee shall be appointed by majority vote of the Board of Trustees and shall include seven people, including the following: a person in charge of library materials at a parochial school; a person in charge of library materials at a high school; a person in charge of library materials at an elementary school; a lawyer; and three others chosen by the Board of Trustees. The committee will select a chair, set a meeting time, and consider the material in question. All meetings will be open to the public. After all meetings deemed necessary by the committee, their opinion of the material in question will be delivered to the Board.


e. The Board of Trustees will review the decision of the Citizens' Review Committee and make a final decision on the material.

Adopted June 19, 2000
Reviewed and approved December 15, 2003
Revised and approved September 19, 2011
Reviewed and approved September 15, 2014

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.