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Since free access to information is essential not only to education but to our democracy, the library upholds the principles of the American Library Association's "Freedom to Read" statement (Appendix B) and makes every effort to provide materials representing all points of view, including those which are unpopular or unorthodox. To quote directly from the Library Bill of Rights (Appendix A), "Censorship should be challenged by libraries in the maintenance of their responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment." This responsibility also entails establishing formal procedures for persons or groups wishing to request reconsideration of any material in the library collection.
1. Should a library user encounter material he or she feels is objectionable, the user has the right to complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Media Resources form (Appendix C). The form may be obtained from the office of the Dean of Library/Media Services, and the completed form must be submitted to the Dean of Library/Media Services.
2. No material will be withdrawn, removed, or undergo a change in location or status until the entire review process is completed.
3. The patron's request will be received by the Dean of Library/Media Services who will review the request with the faculty librarians and prepare a written response that includes an explanation for the decision to retain, withdraw or relocate the material in question. The explanation may include how the material relates to the educational goals of the college and the Library/Media Center, criteria used for selection of this and similar items, published reviews, and/or patron requests for and use of the material. Copies of the response will be submitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
4. Within three weeks of the postmark of the response from the Library/Media Center, the complainant may forward a written appeal to the Dean of Library/Media Services. The Dean will then, within two weeks of receipt of the appeal, establish and call the first meeting of an ad hoc Review Committee, whose members will be:
A. Two tenured faculty selected by the Faculty Federation President (with at least one from the subject area of the material in question).
B. One division chair (selected by the Vice President of Academic Affairs).
C. One library faculty member (selected by the Dean of Library/Media Services) who is responsible for materials selection in the subject area of the material in question.
D. One student (selected by Student Government).
E. One librarian from the community (selected by the Dean of Library/Media Services).
F. The Dean of Library/Media Services.
The chair will be selected by the Committee.
5. The Committee will review the written request and the response, and will read, listen to, and/or view the material in question in its entirety. The library faculty member will provide information to the committee which may include:
A. Collection objectives that are met by the material.
B. Reviews from professionally recognized sources.
C. Statements by instructors whose students use or may use the material.
D. Any other information that could assist in defining the purpose or value of the material.
6. The Review Committee may rely on any resources of the college in arriving at a decision, taking into consideration the intellectual freedom documents of the American Library Association and Washington Library Association found in the appendices of this policy. The Committee may interview any other individuals, including the complainant, as well as seek counsel and advice from the Office of the Attorney General.
7. Within 45 days of receipt of the written appeal, the Committee will reach its decision with four or more concurring votes of the seven Committee members, and will forward the written decision and all documentation to the Dean of Library/Media Services for action. The Dean will notify the complainant in writing of the decision of the Committee and ensure the appropriate action has been complied with. Copies will be forwarded to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
8. Within two weeks of notification of the Committee's decision, the complainant or a dissenting member of the Committee may forward a written appeal to the President. Appeal decisions will be based on the material included in the file.
9. Material that has undergone a review may not be rechallenged for one calendar year from the date the Review Committee's recommendation is sent to the Dean of Library/Media Services.