March 15, 2007
Here’s the report from Rachel Harper at the Democrat-News on last night’s Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees meeting. My favorite bit is a passage quoting John Carton, director of a local youth services agency, speaking on behalf of Fun Home and Blankets:
“He told of the personal identity issues of the characters in the books and the isolation the characters went through.
“He said it requires strength to go through those experiences.
“‘We should encourage those processes, not discourage them,’ Carton said. Isolation can be devastating to kids, he said.”
March 15, 2007
Marshall Public Library director Amy Crump was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about last night’s Board of Trustees meeting via e-mail:
“Yes, the Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees adopted the new Materials Selection Policy last night. As stated in October, they then re-examined the books Fun Home and Blankets in light of the new policy, in order to decide what action should be taken.
“Fun Home had been shelved with the adult biographies and will be returned to that spot. Blankets had been shelved with Young Adult materials and will be moved to the adult general fiction.
“The Marshall Public Library does not have a special section for graphic novels. They are shelved in the appropriate area (fiction, non-fiction).
“I just want to say that I am so pleased with all the Board’s hard work on this policy. They have written a policy that will enable the Marshall Public Library to continue to add quality literature to the collection for the foreseeable future.”
The contested books are back on the shelves, and the library has a policy in place that will help them respond to these kind of issues in the future. Everybody wins!
March 15, 2007
The Democrat-News hasn’t posted its coverage of last night’s meeting of the Marshall, Mo. Public Library Board yet, but library director Amy Crump left a comment here that says:
“The Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees voted to return both ‘Fun Home’ and ‘Blankets’ to the library’s shelves on Wednesday, March 14, 2007.”
That’s great news, and I’ll try and e-mail Ms. Crump for more details.
March 14, 2007
The Marshall, Mo., Public Library Board will hold the second reading of its proposed materials selection policy at a meeting tonight, according to the Democrat-News.
Here’s a preview of the policy, and here’s a report on the first reading, held last month.
February 8, 2007
And here’s the Democrat-News report on the first reading of the materials selection policy at yesterday’s meeting of the Marshall Public Library Board. A final vote will follow at the next meeting of the board scheduled for March 17.
Two Marshall citizens contributed their views on the policy. One wore an “I Read Banned Books” button, and the other suggested that library patrons could “find these types of trash along I-70.” Ah, nuanced public discourse.
And here, for anyone curious, are the selection criteria that the library system uses:
“The factors are: constraints of budget; contemporary/social significance; critical acclaim; format and durability of material suitable for library use; local interest; patron requests; popular demand; reputation and significance of author, illustrator, editor, artist, performer, etc.; reputation/authority of author; scarcity of material on the subject and availability elsewhere; and/or timeliness and/or permanence or subject matter.”
Anyone care to play a round of Count the Applicable Criteria? I think Fun Home meets at least five, but I could never make it all the way through Blankets.
February 8, 2007
There was a more comprehensive preview of the Marshall Public Library’s proposed materials selection policy in yesterday’s Democrat-News.
Here’s the process the committee has designed:
A library patron submits a written request for reconsideration of material they find questionable.
After informing the library board of the request, the library director evaluates the material based on selection criteria, possibly seeking input from other parties.
The material in question will remain available on reserve for in-library use.
The library director will notify the patron of the decision regarding the request.
The patron can appeal the director’s decision to the library board if they disagree with the outcome, and the board’s decision will be final.
The library board was scheduled to review and possibly approve the policy proposal during last night’s meeting.
January 26, 2007
And the Marshall Democrat-News provides an update on last night’s final meeting of the library’s materials selection policy development committee. The group approved the new policy unanimously, and the draft will be brought before the library board Feb. 7 for discussion and possible approval.