Review & Reconsideration Policy & Procedure

The Library acknowledges that in seeking to develop a set of resources that represents many viewpoints and provides information, events, and entertainment to a range of users, the library may acquire materials or plan events that are not acceptable to the beliefs of everyone. 

The Library welcomes citizens’ expressions of opinion concerning materials, services, and resources and will accept requests to review and reconsider materials from residents of Augusta County, the City of Staunton, and the City of Waynesboro. However, if the item requested for reconsideration is owned by either the Staunton Public Library or the Waynesboro Public Library, the library patron will be referred to the respective library and that library’s review and reconsideration policies and procedures will be followed. 

Requests to Review and Reconsider materials for Augusta County Library material will be considered within the context of the policies set forth in the Collection Development Policy and the principles outlined in the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read statement and Intellectual Freedom policies. 

Anyone who wishes to request that an item, display, or program be reconsidered should complete and sign the Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration form. The completed form will be forwarded to the appropriate Librarian II (Adult or Youth Services) and the Request for Review and Reconsideration procedure will be followed. For the duration of this process, the item in question will remain in circulation or on display and an event/program will continue as scheduled. 

The following steps will be followed in receiving a request for review and reconsideration: REVIEW AND RECONSIDERATION PROCEDURE 

  1. After a completed “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form is received by the library from a protesting library patron, a review committee consisting of the Library Director, the Assistant Director, and the Librarian II who ordered the material will take the following steps: 
  2. The Library Director will notify the individual submitting the Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration form, that the request has been received and explain the steps in the process. 
  3. Each review committee member will individually review the “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. 
  4. Each review committee member will individually read (view, etc.) the material in question in its entirety. 
  5. Each review committee member will individually consult journals, magazines, or newspapers for opinions on the material in question. 
  6. The review committee will hold a joint meeting to discuss the material in question and to express their position on it. This meeting shall be held within two months of the filing of the protest. The protesting library patron will be notified of this meeting and shall have the right to speak at that meeting. 
  7. Following the meeting, each review committee member will submit, in writing, their recommendations to the Library Director. 
  8. The review committee will meet again to discuss and consider the recommendations. A vote will be taken, and the majority will rule.

During the duration of the review committee’s work, the material in question will remain in the library collection and will be treated the same as other library material. 

The Library Director will communicate the review committee’s final decision and justification via email (or by mail if necessary) to the individual that submitted the Citizen’s Request for Review and Reconsideration form. 

If the protesting library patron is not satisfied with the decision of the review committee, they may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Library Board Chair, who will refer it to an Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee will consist of the Library Director, one of the other members of the review committee (drawn at random), the Library Board Chair and two Library Board members (drawn at random). This appeals committee will take the steps 1b – 1h as noted above and the majority will rule. 

The Library Board Chair will communicate the review committee’s final decision and justification via email (or by mail if necessary) to the individual that submitted the Citizen’s Request for Review and Reconsideration form. 

4. The decision of the Appeals Committee will be final and not subject to further appeals.

 

Adopted by the Library Board 12/1/2021