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 cannot restrict the freedom of others to read. Parents have the primary responsibility to guide and direct the reading of their own minor child and the library does not act in loco parentis.

Censorship of books must be challenged by libraries in the maintenance of their responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment.

Opinions may differ regarding the appropriateness of materials in any library. In an attempt to ensure the rights of all people, the Genesee Area Library has established procedures for dealing with complaints against materials housed within the library.

The Genesee Area Library staff is responsible for the selection of resources for the library. The Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement will always be important foundation statements underlying selection questions.

Once a formal request/complaint has been lodged, at least 3 members of the 5-member selection committee will read or review the questioned materials and research reviews and evaluations within professional literature. The five-member committee shall be comprised of one current board member, 3 members of the community, and the library director.  The consensus of an item, as well as a recommendation for action, will be given to the Library Director and an answer will be sent to the complainant. No items shall be removed from Genesee’s collection during the consideration process. No items will be removed from the collection if deemed appropriate for the collection. Conversely, no items shall be added to the collection if it is deemed inappropriate for the collection.

All complaints, informal and formal will be submitted to the ALA using their online Challenge Reporting Form.

Informal Requests:

Initial concerns or oral complaints regarding library materials will be addressed by the Library Director. Every attempt will be made to resolve specific issues in a timely and professional manner. The selection policy will be reviewed with the complainant and a discussion will be held to explain how the material meets the library’s needs as well as supports the Freedom to Read Statement. If the concerns are not addressed to satisfaction, the complainant can request to file a formal complaint.

Formal Requests:

The following documents will be provided to anyone filing a formal complaint and are included in this document.

  • Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form
  • The library’s selection criteria
  • ALA Bill of Rights
  • ALA Freedom to Read Statement

The reconsideration committee will read and follow the Freedom to Read statement and apply them as guidelines for their decision making.
Information regarding the challenged materials shall be gathered, within 10 days of receipt of the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form.
The committee will review all documentation presented and determine if the material should be removed from the collection.
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom may be contacted for support.

Reconsideration Outcome:

A written report of the findings will be provided to the Library Director and the complainant within 30 days from receipt of the reconsideration form.

Approved: 2/22/2022

You can download a paper form by clicking here.