Reconsideration of Materials

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library supports intellectual freedom and subscribes to the principles of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, Libraries: An American Value and its statements on Freedom To Read and Freedom To View. The Library makes an effort to represent all sides and viewpoints of controversial issues and does not endorse particular beliefs or views. The selection of an item does not express or imply approval or disapproval of the contents. Library materials will not be sequestered except for the purposes of staff use or for protecting them from theft or damage.

Comments from members of the community frequently provide librarians with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the Library. The Library welcomes the expression of opinion by patrons on the collection as a whole, parts of the collection or individual items. While a patron may personally object to certain materials in the Library collection, he/she may not restrict access to those materials by other library users. Censorship of library materials must be challenged by the Library in maintenance of its responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment through the material.

If a patron objects to material owned by the Library, he/she may complete a Request for Reconsideration Form for submission to the Executive Director. The patron submitting the request must be a resident of Madison County and hold a valid borrower's card.

The following procedure will be followed when a Request for Reconsideration is submitted:

  • The Executive Director will appoint a staff committee to study the request and determine if the material meets the Library's selection criteria. The committee will prepare a written recommendation of its findings.
  • The Executive Director will consider the committee's recommendation and will respond in writing to the person who submitted the request.
  • In the event the person who initiated the reconsideration request is not satisfied with the decision of the Executive Director, he/she may request in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the decision that the matter be forwarded to the Board for final review.
  • The Executive Director will present the reconsideration request to the Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting. Based on the information presented, the Board will make a final determination of the matter.
  • The Executive Director will send a written response detailing the Board's decision to the person who submitted the request.

The decision on reconsideration of a specific title will remain in effect for three years.

During the review process the Library will take appropriate action to ensure that the item will continue to be available to the public.

Approved Date: 4/15/09