Requests for Reconsideration Policy
The Genesee Area Library believes that reading is an individual, private matter. While anyone is free to select or reject materials for themselves, they can not restrict the freedom of others to read. Opinions may differ regarding the appropriateness of materials and services in any library and occasionally, well-intentioned individuals or groups may question the inclusion of items in the collection or the content of library services or programs.
The Genesee Area Library staff and Board of Trustees affirm the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to View, and Freedom to Read policy, in support of acquiring and managing collections. The Genesee Area Library will not automatically withdraw items from the library’s collection materials or cancel programs in response to a request from an individual or group.
The Genesee Area Library recognizes the right of community members within our service area to question library materials, programs, and/or services. Any individual or group seeking a reconsideration of an item in the collection, library program, or service, may submit a Request for Reconsideration Form to the Library Director. Upon receipt of the form, the Director will consult with staff, the person submitting the request if needed, and with other relevant sources that may provide useful information in considering the request. A copy of the request form, without identifying patron information, will be submitted to the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee as well as the Genesee Area Library Board of Trustees.
Requests submitted anonymously, or by individuals or groups outside of our services area will automatically be denied.
The Library Director will consider the nature and purpose of the item, program, or service; the Library’s mission, goals, and polices, and the American Library Association’s guidelines on intellectual freedom before making a timely decision. A written explanation will be provided with the reasons for the decision and a copy will be given to the Library Board of Trustees.
If an individual is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, they may appeal the decision in writing to the Board of Trustees. The Trustees will consider the appeal at their next scheduled meeting. If the circumstances present an immediate need, the Board may schedule an earlier meeting if able to do so. If circumstances prohibit the Board from meeting with sufficient speed, and time is of the essence (i.e. an event is scheduled to happen), the Board President will consider the appeal. The decision of the Board of Trustees, or in extenuating circumstances, the Board President, will be final.
Evaluation of an item, program, or services will be based on the item or presentation as a whole and not on selected individual sections. The Library does not alter or remove any section or sections of a work.
No item will be removed from the shelf or placed in a restricted area, no program or services will be abridged, modified, or cancelled, during the reconsideration process. Items that have become lost or damaged but are still deemed appropriate for the Library collection will be replaced.
Final responsibility for all Library policies lies with the Board of Trustees, who have approved this document. Implementation of policies and day-to-day operations, including collection development and program planning rests with the Library Director.
The Genesee Area Library does not have control over the content of certain collections including those administered by the North Central Library District, the State of Pennsylvania or other materials that are available through Inter-library loan from other libraries.
Library Bill of Rights:
Freedom to Read statement
Freedom to View statement
Code of Ethics:
Originally Approved: February 2022
Revised and Approved: June 2023