Expressions of Concern Policy
Reviewed: 8/18/2011, 3/19/2015
Ames Public Library strives to further the Library’s mission, “Ames Public Library: We connect you to the world of ideas.” The Library’s role is to provide opportunities that will allow individuals to freely examine subjects and make their own decisions.
Ames Public Library does not endorse particular ideas, beliefs, or views. While customers are free to reject for themselves what that they do not approve of, they cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of access to others.
The Ames Public Library Director and the Board of Trustees are aware that customers may take issue with the inclusion of specific items, programs, or practices, and they welcome the expression of concern by customers. Customer concerns will be dealt with promptly and courteously as detailed in the following process.
Expressions of Concern
- Ames Public Library staff will listen to the concern and direct customers to the appropriate Library staff member.
- The Library staff member will discuss the concern with the individual or group. After discussion with the Library staff member, a customer who requests further action will complete a “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form, which will be submitted to the Director.
- The Director will contact the customer and schedule an appointment to discuss the completed “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form.
- After discussion with the Director, an individual or group seeking further action will have its “Statement of Concern about Library Resources” form considered by the Board of Trustees at a regular meeting. Please note: the Board Meeting will be conducted in open session, as required by Iowa law, and the Statement of Concern Form will be made public.
- At the meeting, the individual or group may present their comments following the procedures outlined in the Ames Public Library “Public Participation” policy.
- The Director will present a response.
- The Board of Trustees will make a final ruling on the concern and send a written response to the individual or group.
This policy has been developed in concert with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations, as well as The Freedom to Read Statement, Freedom to View Statement, and ALA resources on Intellectual Freedom and Challenged Resources.