Challenged Book Policy

I. Policy

This policy applies to materials owned by the Quarryville Library Center.

Quarryville Library Center recognizes the principles of free library services and free inquiry as fundamental concepts of the democratic heritage of the United States of America. The latter principle requires the library to offer different, and sometimes widely divergent, points of view in many areas of knowledge. The library does not approve or endorse any particular viewpoint or belief represented in its collection. The library considers reading, listening and viewing to be individual, private matters. The library believes that full, confidential and unrestricted access to information is essential for citizens to exercise their constitutional rights. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves or their own minor child(ren), the freedom of others to
read or inquire will not be restricted. Only parents and guardians have the right and responsibility to guide and direct the reading, listening, and viewing choices of their own minor child(ren). The library does not stand in place of parents (in loco parentis). The library considers all materials in its collections to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution. The library’s role is to provide materials that will allow individuals to freely examine issues and make their own decisions. In this connection, the library endorses and incorporates by reference herein the “Library Bill of Rights” and the “Freedom to Read” and “Freedom to View” statements adopted by the American Library Association. Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of the contents, nor will items be sequestered except for the purpose of protecting them from theft or damage. Individuals may raise concerns about library material that does not support their tastes and views. Staff members are available to discuss concerns and identify alternate material that may be available. Patron concerns will be dealt with promptly and courteously.

II. Procedure

  1. A staff member will listen to the patron’s concerns. This discussion may be referred to a manager, an administrator or the assigned in-charge person at either the staff member’s or the patron’s request.
  2. If this discussion proves unsatisfactory to the patron, the patron may make a formal, written request using the “Patron Request for Reconsideration of a Work” form (the “Form”). This form will be provided by a manager, administrator or the assigned in-charge person.
  3. For the request to be considered, the Form must be completed in full including signature. Only specific works or titles will be considered for reconsideration; requests for reconsideration of general topics or subject areas will not be considered.
  4. The patron submitting the Form must be a resident of the Quarryville Library Center’s service area and hold a valid Lancaster County library card. Patrons may only submit two requests for reconsideration per calendar year.
  5. The material under consideration will remain in the library’s collection pending the outcome of the patron’s request. If the material under consideration is lost during the evaluation process, replacement materials will be purchased until a final determination has been made.
  6. Upon receipt of a completed Form, the Form will be forwarded to the Library Director, who will evaluate the material and render a decision.
  7. The Director’s decision will be communicated in writing as soon as possible to the patron who initiated the request for reconsideration. The response will indicate the action to be taken and reasons for or against the request.
  8. Requests for reclassification of library material will be considered by the Director in consultation with library staff. The Director will decide what action, if any, is to be taken and will notify the patron of this decision as soon as possible.
  9. An item will only be evaluated for reconsideration and/or reclassification once in a threeyear period.
  10. The Director will inform the Library Board of all requests for reconsideration of library materials and their disposition.
  11. If the patron is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, the Director will appoint an ad hoc committee including, but not limited to, the selector of the material in question and a member of the Library Board.
  12. Based on all applicable library policies and procedures, the committee will evaluate the material and make a written recommendation to the Director, who will then decide the disposition of the material.
  13. If not satisfied with the ad hoc committee’s decision the patron may file an appeal with the Library Board within three weeks (21 days) of issuance of the written decision. The appeal should be presented in writing to the Director and the President of the Board.
  14. In the event of an appeal, the Library Board will be given a copy of the patron’s completed Form, the committee’s recommendation, and the Director’s response to the patron. The Library Board will hear an appeal during their regularly scheduled meeting.
    The Board reserves the right to limit the length of the presentation and number of speakers at the hearing.
  15. The Board will determine whether the request for reconsideration has been handled in accordance with the decision and conforms to all applicable policies and procedures of the Quarryville Library Center. Based on this determination, the Board may vote to uphold or override the decision of the Director.
  16. The decision of the Library Board is final.