Procedure for Handling Requests for Reconsideration of Materials
District 105 prides itself on being responsive to the community needs and parent concerns. On the rare occasions where the needs or wishes of our community are not met, a procedure is in place to handle complaints or requests for reconsideration of library materials. Although we strive to resolve complaints to the satisfaction of the community member, it is ultimately the School Board, with recommendations from the reconsideration committee, who makes final decisions about the library’s collection. In addition, the district will consult with the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom to help guide committee findings. All challenges must follow the procedure for complaints as outlined below:
- All complaints or reconsideration requests made to faculty members shall be reported to the building principal or LMS involved, whether received by telephone, letter, email, or in personal conversation.
- The principal, together with the LMS, shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the school district and/or the library learning center.
- If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant shall be supplied with a packet of materials consisting of the District’s instructional goals and objectives, materials selection policy statement, and the procedure for handling objections. This packet also will include a Reconsideration of Materials Form, which shall be completed and returned before consideration will be given to the complaint.
- If the formal request for reconsideration has not been received by the principal or LMS within two weeks, it shall be considered closed.
- Copies of the completed form will be supplied to the building principal, the building library media specialist, and to the other library media specialists in the district.
- In accordance with statement of philosophy, no questioned materials shall be removed from the school pending a final decision. Pending the outcome of the request for reconsideration, however, access to questioned materials can be denied to the child (or children) of the parents making the complaint, if they so desire.
- If the request involves banning given material from the library, the library media specialist will forward the recommendation to the Principal, the district director of curriculum and instruction, and the Chairperson of the District 105 Reconsideration Committee. Since the library seeks to be responsive to readers’ rights, all requests to have materials removed from the library warrant the review by the District 105 Reconsideration Committee and they have the responsibility to respond to such a complaint.
- Before meeting, the Reconsideration Committee will review and examine the challenged material in its entirety, a copy of the reconsideration form, copies of professionally prepared reviews provided by a library media specialist member, and the Library Materials Selection Policy. This committee shall include, but not be limited to, the following people: the director of curriculum and instruction, the building principal, the building library media specialist, another district library media specialist, a faculty, and a PTO representative.
- The committee shall meet to discuss the materials, following the guidelines set forth in the Instructions to Reconsideration Committee. The committee shall weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the material and form opinions based on selection criteria, relevance to the curriculum, and the educational philosophy of the district.
- During this meeting or a subsequent one, the committee shall make its decision to remove or retain the materials. The vote on the decision shall be by secret ballot.
- Once a finding as been determined as to whether or not to withdraw the material in question, the committee will present to the School Board and Superintendent a formal written report, based on the Final Report Form of their findings. In answering the complainant, the committee shall explain the book selection system, give the guidelines used for selection, and cite authorities used in reaching decisions. If the committee decides to keep the work that caused the complaint, the complainant shall be given an explanation. If the complaint is valid, the committee will acknowledge it and make recommended changes.
- After the final decision has been made, the item will not be reconsidered for a period of five years after the original complaint.