Statements of Concern About Library Resources Policy

The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the use of library materials by children rests with their parents or legal guardians.
While a person may reject material for themselves and for their children, an individual may not exercise censorship to restrict the freedom of others to read, see, or hear. No one, least of all the public library, has the right to judge what another may read, view, or hear.

Process

Any person residing in St. Tammany Parish and wishing to express concerns about library materials, programs, or displays shall complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form. The Statement of Concern about Library Resources Form , opens a new window shall be available at the library circulation desk, the library’s website, by email request, and at all Library Board of Control meetings. All completed Statement of Concern Forms will be forwarded to the Library Director and to each member of the Library Board of Control. Upon receipt of the Statement of Concern Form the Director will confirm receipt in writing to the complainant(s).

The Director will select two or more staff members to serve on an internal committee to review each Statement of Concern and the subject of the concern. Committee members will be chosen by the Director based on the type of material under review and taking into consideration the staff member’s education and experience. A recommendation regarding which
action to be taken, if any, will be made by the committee within 45 days of the Director receiving the Statement of Concern Form, unless a longer period is authorized by the Library Board of Control, in which case the complainant(s) shall receive notice.

The committee members shall:

a. Review the material in its entirety

b. Create and consider a resume of the material which can include:

● A brief synopsis
● Reviews in standard evaluation guides
● Topical information concerning the material
● Circulation information
● Information about holdings in other public libraries
● Awards received
● Biographical information about the author/producer
● Library of Congress Subject Headings

c. Consider the suitability for age level of current placement

d. Consider present and potential relevance to community needs

e. Conduct a discussion to reach a recommendation

f. Submit a written report to the Director with recommendations

based on the result of the committee’s efforts.

4. The complainant(s) shall be notified of the date of the Library Board of Control meeting at which the committee’s report and recommendation will be on the agenda. A copy of the correspondence to the complainant(s) shall be forwarded to each member of the Library Board of Control.

5. The Director will present the committee’s recommendation to the Library Board of Control at a properly noticed Board meeting report.

6. The complainant(s) will have five minutes to address their concern to the Library Board of Control prior to any action taken by the Board. In lieu of addressing the Board in person at the meeting, the complainant(s) may submit a written statement to the Board. A period of public comment will precede any action taken by the Board.

7. The Library Board of Control shall vote to affirm, modify, reject, or take under advisement the committee’s recommendation. Matters taken under advisement shall be re-noticed for a future meeting. Upon modification or rejection of the recommendation of the committee, the Board shall make a decision on what action will be taken in response to the Statement of Concern. The decision of the Board shall be rendered by a majority vote. In the event there is a tie, the recommendation is affirmed.

8. The complainant(s) will be notified in writing of the decision of the Library
Board of Control.

 
 Statement of Concern about Library Resources Form 12-190- This form is a fillable PDF. You may download the form, fill it out electronically, and email as an attachment to the Library Director at kelly@stpl.us. If you need more space, please attach an added page. Or, you may print out the form and turn it in to any branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library or mail it to:
Library Director
St. Tammany Parish Library
1112 W. 21st Ave.
Covington, LA 70433
 
 
 
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