Intellectual Freedom & Request for Reconsideration Policy

As part of its mission, Vail Public Library (Library) ensures freedom of information for all. The selection of library materials is predicated on the patron’s right to read, listen or view, free from censorship by others. The Library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free to reject books and other materials of which he does not approve, he may not restrict the freedom of others.

Many books are controversial and any given item may offend some person. Selections for the library will not, however, be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the material in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interests of the reader.

Responsibility for materials selected and read by children and adolescents rests with their parents or legal guardians. The Library does not stand in loco parentis. Selection decisions are not influenced by the possibility that materials may be accessible to minors.

Genre and shelf labels on materials exist to indicate various collections but will not be used for the purpose of restricting access or endorsing content. No items are sequestered except to protect them from damage or theft.

Vail Public Library recognizes that a collection of diverse materials may result in some complaints or requests for reconsideration. The following procedures have been developed to assure that complaints are handled in an attentive and consistent manner. The Library will consider patron objections to material in its collection by using the following procedure:

  1. The Director of Library Services will explain the selection policy to the patron. If the patron wishes, a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources may be submitted to the Director of Library Services.
  2. The completed form is reviewed by one or more members of the Library staff who have responsibility for materials selection, and by the Director of Library Services. The resource in question will be objectively reviewed to ascertain that the selection criteria and principles stated above were applied in the selection process.
  3. The Director of Library Services or a member of the Library staff shall make a written response to the requester within 14 days of the date that the reconsideration form was submitted. The Director of Library Services shall also notify the Library’s Advisory Board of each Request for Reconsideration submitted.
  4. Should the requester wish to appeal the Director of Library Services’ decision, a final appeal in writing may be made within 14 days directly to the Library Advisory Board. The Library Advisory Board will review the selection criteria (described above in this document and the Collection Development policy) and consider other appropriate information, including professional reviews and recommendations, comments from the Library staff, and comments from the requester. The Library Advisory Board shall reach a final decision by majority vote within 60 days after receiving the written appeal.

Library resources will not be removed from the collection until a final decision has been made.

Please refer to the Collection Policy for more information.  The Library is further guided by:

ADOPTED: August 20, 2019