The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. Responsibility for the use of library materials by minor children rests with their parents or legal guardians. While a person may reject material for themself and for their minor children, an individual may not exercise censorship to restrict the freedom of others to read, see, or hear.
1. Any person residing in St. Tammany Parish who has reached the age of majority and who holds a St. Tammany Parish Library card and wishes to express concerns about library materials, programs, or displays may complete a “Statement of Concern About Library Resources” form, also referred to as a “Request for Reconsideration” pursuant to La. R.S. 25:225, opens a new window. However, processing a Statement of Concern form entails significant cost and time commitments. Therefore, anyone who has a concern about library resources is encouraged to discuss their concerns with a library staff member before filing a Statement of Concern form.
The Statement of Concern form 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 to the complainant(s). Statements of Concern that do not meet the submission criteria will not be considered.
2. Any Statement of Concern seeking to restrict access by a minor to a digital resource categorized as Adult and thus only available to Adult, Juvenile, and Juvenile Unrestricted cards, shall not be considered.
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 decision will be made 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.
3. 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
- Publisher, vendor, and/or reviewer audience recommendations
- Indication that purchase was made per patron request, if that information is available
- Number of copies sold in the United States, if that information is available
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 decision
f. Submit a written report to the Director with the decision made based on the result of the committee’s efforts.
4. The Director shall notify the complainant in writing of the committee’s decision and their right to appeal that decision to the Library Board of Control, except as provided in La. R.S. 25:225C(2)(d)(ii), opens a new window. A copy of the decision will be mailed to each member of the Library Board of Control.
5. Pursuant to La. R.S. 25:225C(2)(d)(ii), opens a new window, any Statements of Concern of a library material that may include sexually explicit material available to minors shall be reviewed by the Library Board of Control under the procedures outlined in Subsection C(2-5) of this Section.
C. Right to Appeal
- The complainant may appeal to the Library Board of Control by contacting the Assistant Director within 30 days of mailing of the committee’s decision and requesting to be placed on the agenda of the next available scheduled board meeting. The Assistant Director must notify the Library Board of Control of the appeal being placed on the agenda.
- A complainant will have five minutes to address the Library Board of Control about the specific challenged material on the original Statement of Concern form.
- A period of public comment will precede any action taken by the Board.
- The Library Board of Control shall vote to affirm, modify, reject, or take under advisement the committee’s decision. Matters taken under advisement shall be renoticed for a future meeting. Upon modification or rejection of the decision of the committee, the Board shall decide 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 committee’s decision is affirmed.
- The complainant(s) will be notified in writing of the decision of the Library Board of Control.
D. The decision on a Statement of Concern about specific materials, programs, or displays will remain in effect for five years. Within this five-year period complainants submitting a new Statement of Concern on a decided title, program, or display shall receive a copy of the current decision.
Statement of Concern about Library Resources Form 12-190 - You may print out the form and turn it in to any branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library, email as an attachment to the Library Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to: