First reading

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.

Nearing the finish line

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.