Intellectual freedom is the right of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Intellectual freedom is one of the core values of the library profession; it promotes access to information and guides the defense against censorship.
The library fully endorses the principles documented in the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association. Materials available in the library present a diversity of viewpoints, enabling citizens to make the informed choices necessary in a democracy. The library also selects a wide variety of library materials that satisfy the diverse interests of our community. The library upholds the right of the individual to secure these resources, even though the content may be controversial, unorthodox, or unacceptable to some. The library’s varied collection is available to all; however, it is not expected that all of the collection will appeal to everyone.
Patrons who wish to request the withdrawal or reclassification of materials currently owned by the library are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the Director. If the patron is not satisfied with the response to their request, the Director will provide the patron with information and a form to request formal reconsideration of the library resource.
Within 15 business days of receiving a written request for reconsideration, the Director will make a decision and respond in writing stating the reasons for the decision.
If the individual is not satisfied with the decision, a written appeal may be submitted within 10 business days to the Board of Trustees, who will discuss the request at the next regularly scheduled board meeting. The concerned person is encouraged to attend, and will given the opportunity to express their concerns.
Whether during an informal complaint or a formal reconsideration of a library resource, library staff and trustees complete their work using general agreed-upon principles such as:
- Libraries have diverse materials reflecting differing points of view, and a library’s mission is to provide access to information to all users.
- All library users have a First Amendment right to read, view, and listen to library resources.
- The Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement of the American Library Association can be used as guiding documents.
- Any person has the right to express concerns about library resources and expect to have the objection taken seriously.
- When library resources are reconsidered, the principles of the freedom to read, listen, and view are defended rather than specific materials.
- A questioned item will be considered in its entirety, not judged solely on portions taken out of context.
- Parents or guardians have the right to guide the reading, viewing, and listening of their children but must give the same right to other parents/guardians.
- Questioned items will remain in circulation during the reconsideration process.
The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.