Request for Reconsideration of Materials or Programs Policy


Updated 09/20/10

The Derry Public Library (DPL) is committed to upholding the American Library Association Right to Read Statement and state and national library organizations’ resolutions concerning Internet use.  (See attached) Derry Public Library defends the Constitutional rights of all individuals, including children and teenagers, to use library resources and services.  We affirm the right and responsibility of all parents and guardians to guide their own children’s use of the library, its resources and services.

The DPL Board of Trustees is the governing board of the library.  According to state law RSA 202-A:6, “the library trustees shall have the entire custody and management of the library and all the property of the town relating thereto…”Only the Board of Trustees may remove or restrict materials in the collection in response to a written request by a patron based on the patron’s perception that the material is inappropriate or offensive.  All resources will remain in use, pending resolution by the Board of Trustees.

The Derry Public Library protects the rights of individuals to express their opinions about library resources and services.  We encourage dialogue and discussion about any material in the collection or program held by the library.  Every patron shall have access to the material selector, department head and/or director to engage in this discussion.

If, for any reason, the discussion cannot take place or the patron is not satisfied, the patron shall be encouraged to file a Request for Reconsideration Form.  The procedure for responding to the written request shall be as follows:

  1. The form shall be sent to the director who will initial and date it.  The director will call the patron to acknowledge receipt of the form.
  2. The director will appoint a Materials and Program Review Committee consisting of the selector, department head, and such other staff as the director deems advisable.  Each committee member will be provided with a copy of the request and will review the materials in question.
  3. The Materials and Program Review Committee shall convene to discuss their individual written assessments on the earliest possible date.
  4. If the Committee majority disagrees with the patron, the director or his/her designee shall provide a written assessment to the patron and note that the material will remain in the collection.  The patron shall also be informed of his/her right to request that the complaint be brought to the Board of Trustees.
  5. If the Committee majority agrees with the patron or the patron requests the complaint go to the Board of Trustees, the director will notify the chair of the board and immediately provide each trustee with copies of the complaint and staff assessment.  No staff assessment shall be sent to the patron.  The director shall notify the patron the date and time of the Board meeting when the complaint will be discussed.
  6. The Trustees shall review the material or program in question immediately.  The discussion and vote shall be held at a public Board meeting.  A written assessment and decision of the material or program shall be executed by the Board, one copy sent to the patron and one to be filed.  The decision of the Board of Trustees is final.