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8.4 Statement of Concern

Engagement with community members is an important value of the Addison Public Library and the Library welcomes input from patrons on the provision of library resources including items in our collection, material used in library displays, and programs and services offered by the Library. Comments, suggestions, and concerns from community members about library resources frequently provide staff with useful information about interests or needs that may not be adequately met by the library. Staff are available to discuss ideas and concerns and will consider each patron’s opinion. Anyone can suggest an item for purchase or an idea for a program using forms on our website or by sharing their request with a staff member. 

Public libraries preserve and enhance access to a broader range of ideas than those held by any one citizen, publisher, organization, or government. There can be diverse opinions by individuals or groups as to what is appropriate for the library collection, programs, or services. Library collections, programs, and services are not limited to only those ideas and information one person or group believes to be true, good, and proper. 

The choice of library materials by users is an individual matter. While individuals may reject materials for themselves, they cannot exercise censorship or restrict access to materials for others. The library does not remove materials because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. The library is designed to serve the whole community. 

Parents or legal guardians who wish to limit or restrict the use of resources by their own children should personally oversee their children’s selection and activities. The library does not stand in the place of the parent or legal guardian (in loco parentis). 

If a patron’s concern is not satisfied through discussion with staff, the patron may submit a formal Statement of Concern to the Library Director. Statement of Concern forms are available on request at the library’s public service desks. The form must be completed in full. The patron submitting the request must reside within the Library’s service area and/or be eligible for a library card issued by the Addison Public Library. Current APL non-resident card holders, business card holders, and Addison Public Library employees may also submit statements of concern, but Statements of Concern will not be accepted from reciprocal borrowers who have library cards issued by their home library. An item, program, display, or service will only be evaluated for reconsideration once in a two-year period. Requests to relocate or remove materials or alter or eliminate programs or displays shall be considered within the context of the library’s mission and policies, the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, and the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement. 

A Statement of Concern shall receive due process under this policy and procedures established to implement this policy. The Library Director will form a three-person Review Committee consisting of relevant library staff. Staff from other government agencies or community organizations with expertise and experience may be invited to serve on the committee as well. Each committee member will individually consider the concern, the library’s mission, and policies, and locate supporting relevant literature. Each committee member will prepare a written opinion of the item, program, display or service and its place at the Addison Public Library. When the Review Committee has reached a decision the Library Director will issue a written response to the individual who filed the Statement of Concern. The written response will be issued no later than 30 days from the date the Statement of Concern was submitted to the Library Director. If the individual who filed the original Statement of Concern would like to dispute this decision, they can appeal to the Library Board of Trustees. The Board will review the Statement of Concern and the written recommendation of the Review Committee. The decision of the Library Board of Trustees is final. 

Any item which is involved in the formal Statement of Concern process will remain in the collection and available to patrons pending a final decision. Programs, displays and services will remain in place and continue as planned until a final decision is made.