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Ely Library at Westfield State University

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About the Library: Request for Material Reconsideration

Request for Material Reconsideration

This draft procedure will be in effect until superseded by the Collection Development Policy currently making its way through the University governance process.

Process Overview

Ely Library is committed to enabling access to a broad range of ideas and opposes censorship of the library’s materials and resources. The nature of academic scholarship and academic freedom requires that the library offer a wide array of materials that support the Library's mission.

Westfield State University community members who object to the inclusion of particular materials in the library collection may fill out the Material Reconsideration Form in its entirety and submit it to the Head of Library Collections and Content for review. Review of any materials will be undertaken with the ALA Library Bill of Rights and Westfield State University’s Academic Freedom and Responsibility Policy in mind. It is important to note that the library will not remove items from the collection due to the background, origin, political or other views of the author, and the library aims to provide materials covering all points of view. The library will also not remove items because they conflict with the views of the person submitting a reconsideration claim or of the library staff reviewing the claim.

Once received, and upon confirmation that the form has been completed in its entirety, the Head of Library Collections and Content will convene the Library Materials Review group, which will include:

  • The Library Director;
  • Two tenured librarians*

*The Head of Collections and Content is a permanent member of the group. If they are tenured, they will serve as one of the two tenured librarians. If they are not tenured, they will serve in an ex officio non-voting capacity.

The Library Materials Review Group will review the completed Materials Review Form and gather relevant information from constituents that may include subject librarians, faculty, and other impacted library users. Following review, the group will make a determination:

  • The item will be retained
  • The item will be withdrawn

In addition, the Library Materials Review Group may recommend that materials be purchased to provide additional viewpoints or context, or to provide more current information. Any materials selected for purchase must meet the selection criteria outlined in the full Ely Library Collections & Content Development Policy.

The Library Materials Review Group’s determination, with rationale, will be provided to the WSU community member who submitted the Reconsideration Form within 6 weeks of the date that a complete form is received. The decision of the Library Materials Review Group is final. During the review period, the material will remain in the collection.

Duplicate and Multiple Requests for Reconsideration

The Library Materials Review Group will not review the same material again for at least 12 months after a decision has been issued. However, the Library Materials Review Group will provide the rationale and decision to any Westfield University community member who submits a duplicate request for reconsideration within that 12-month window. Duplicate requests for reconsideration submitted by the same person will not be accepted.

577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086

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