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PASCO COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM POLICY MANUAL

 
SECTION: ADMINISTRATION
POLICY TITLE: RECONSIDERATION OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
EFFECTIVE DATE: MARCH 2023

 

Philosophy:

This Policy establishes a procedure to hear and determine requests to remove or relocate library materials in the Pasco County Library System (the “Library”) collection.

Policy

Any Pasco County resident (“Customer”) may request a reconsideration of a Library material once every two years. Library materials subject to reconsideration under this Policy include all materials which are available to loan to a Customer, such as books, periodicals, DVDs/Blu-ray, videos, audiobooks, e-books, and other materials contained in the Library’s collection. Individual Library materials shall only be subject to reconsideration under this Policy once every (3) years regardless of the number of Customers requesting reconsideration.

Library supervisory staff have the primary responsibility to address requests for reconsideration of materials. Customer concerns that are not resolved by public service staff after discussion with the Customer should be referred to a branch librarian. If the branch librarian cannot address the Customer concerns, then the Customer is provided copies of the Reconsideration of Library Materials Policy and the Reconsideration of Library Materials Form. A formal reconsideration of the materials in question shall be undertaken in accordance with this Policy.

Customers may request reconsideration of multiple Library materials, but Library staff will treat each item to be reconsidered as a separate reconsideration request. The order of reconsideration of such materials will be determined by Library staff and reconsideration of a subsequent item shall only commence when the reconsideration for the process for the prior item has been completed. Requests for reconsideration of Library materials from different Customers will be processed in the order in which they are received. If a reconsideration of Library materials is in progress and a subsequent request for a reconsideration of materials is received from the same or a different Customer, Library staff will complete the reconsideration in progress before commencing a new review of another item. The Library will conduct no more than two (2) simultaneous reviews.

Resolution of Customer requests to remove the Library materials will be handled pursuant to the philosophy that a library is to represent the views of the various interests of the entire community, pursuant to Chapter 58, Article II of the Pasco County Code of Ordinances. The procedures below are to be followed when a Customer requests a reconsideration of Library materials. A process overview chart is included herein.

Procedure

Customers must submit a completed Reconsideration of Library Materials Form to a branch librarian, who will date the completed form, give a copy to the Customer and email a scanned copy to the Librarian III-System-wide Services (L3SS) and the Library Director.  The branch librarian will also send the original to the L3SS. The L3SS will send the Customer a written acknowledgement that the reconsideration request has been received and advise the Customer whether the reconsideration will commence immediately or in the order in which it was received. A copy of this Policy will also be enclosed.

The first level is review by two (2) librarians, selected by the L3SS, who each conduct an independent review of the Library material. Each may consult and rely upon the Pasco County Library Collection Development Policy, professional reviews, and other expert sources in their reconsideration process. These librarians will provide their recommendations to the L3SS, who will make a decision with respect to the materials within 30 business days.  The L3SS is not bound by any of the librarians’ recommendations when rendering a decision. The decision of the L3SS will be communicated in writing to the Customer by the Library within 45 business days of receipt of the Customer’s initial request. A copy of the decision will be forwarded to the Library Director.

If the Customer appeals the decision of the L3SS, the Library Director will present the decision of the L3SS along with the supporting materials to the Pasco County Library Advisory Board (LAB). To initiate the reconsideration, the Customer must send a written notice of appeal to the Library Director within seven (7) days of receiving the decision of the L3SS. The Library Director will present the decision of the L3SS along with supporting materials at a regular or special meeting as determined by the Chair or, in absence of the Chair, by the Vice-chair. The Customer must be given at least five (5) business days’ advance notice of the meeting date. 

The LAB may vote on a decision at its initial meeting or vote to continue its deliberations at a second meeting unless the Customer requests a later date. The second meeting may be a regular or special meeting. If a date for the second meeting cannot be decided upon at the initial meeting, the LAB Chair, or Vice-chair in the absence of the Chair, will schedule the meeting. The Customer must receive at least five (5) days’ prior notice of the date of the second meeting. If the LAB does not vote on its decision at the initial meeting, it must do so at its second meeting.

To assist the reconsideration process, the LAB Chair, or Vice-chair in absence of the Chair, may request the Library Director, Library staff, and other individuals be present at one or both meetings. Written notice of the LAB’s final decision will be sent to the Customer within seven (7) business days of that meeting date. The decision of the LAB in the matter is final pursuant to Chapter 58, Article II- Division 2 of the Pasco County Code of Ordinances.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Policy, the Customer may waive any of the time periods for notice to the Customer set forth in this Policy and procedures set forth herein. Delivery of written notice under this Policy may include, but is not limited to, delivery by email. Any written notice sent hereunder will be deemed given when delivered.