APL firmly believes in the principles of intellectual freedom and equity of access as put forth by the ALA. Intellectual freedom is the right of “library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. A publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of that community” (ALA 2011b).
The Atlas Public Library provides equity of access to information regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or geographic barriers. Equity of access pertains to all information formats, both print, non-print, and electronic. It is also vital that users be “free to exercise their right to know without fear of censorship or reprisal (ALA 2011a).
APL serves a large homeschooling population. Although the primary reason most homeschoolers choose to teach their children at home is due to concerns about the school environment, the second major reason is a “desire to provide religious or moral instruction” (Willingham 2008, 59). Some homeschoolers may take issue with the violence and the religious and/or moral values presented in Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology.
Collection Review Procedure
APL recognizes the right of individuals to question the inclusion of materials in the library collection. The library gives serious consideration to each patron’s opinion. As dictated by the OCLS, all complaints must be submitted on a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Form. The Library Director holds the responsibility to review all Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials Forms, as well as the authority to make decisions regarding challenged materials. Challenged materials will remain on the shelves during the reconsideration process. Patrons must utilize the following procedure to request a reconsideration of library materials:
1. A Request for Reconsideration of Library Material form must be completed and submitted to the director
2. The director and staff will review the material in question and respond in writing to the individual within 14 days of receiving the Reconsideration Request.
3. The individual may appeal the director’s response to the Atlas Public Library Board within 14 days of receiving the director’s decision.
4. At the next Library Board meeting, the appeal, the director’s response, the original reconsideration request, and the material in question will be received.
5. The individual is invited to the following board meeting, where the Board will review the request, deliberate, and make a decision.
6. The Board’s decision may be appealed to the Atlas City Council. City Council procedures for appealing a city commission’s decision to the City Council will be followed.