Alabama Library Challenges (Alabama School Of Fine Arts)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Alabama School Of Fine Arts of Birmingham, AL.


From: Chris Peterson

To Whom It May Concern:

We are a team of academic researchers studying information access and availability in public schools and libraries. We are contacting you as part of a national effort to help us better understand the scope and substance of the various challenges which arise in the course of administering a public library system or public school system.

Under Alabama's Public Records Law, we are requesting copies of the following public records:

-any complaints, requests, and/or challenges for removal, reclassification, and/or reconsideration of publications including books, magazines, movies, music, and/or other media, along with any associated records, petitions, and/or correspondence since January 1, 2003

-any current collection or curriculum development policy or policies governing your institution(s)

-any records related to Internet filtering, including but not limited to:

-any current acceptable use policies, web publishing policies, or equivalents

-any current contracts with Internet filtering services and/or providers

-any current categories of content which your provider offers to block, along with which categories your library or libraries currently block

-any modifications to the standard configuration of your filter, including lists of sites, services, URLs, keywords, or other identifiers which have been specifically configured as forbidden or allowed (i.e. "blacklists/whitelists")

We will use these records in our research. Please note that we are not asking for registration, circulation, or other private records protected by state law, and you should feel free to redact personally identifiable information from the records you send us, at your discretion.

You may respond to this request by sending electronic documents (e.g. emails, screen captures, spreadsheets, etc) or high-quality scanned PDFs to this inbox. If you cannot respond by email, please fax copies to 206-984-9551, with “MIA” written clearly at the top of the first page. If you do not have any documents responsive to our request, or if you have questions about how to respond, then you may email us at this inbox. In order to assist you in responding to our request, we have also posted guidelines and examples at

We understand that there may be fees associated with responding to our request. We ask that you waive any such fees in light of our project’s character, which is non-commercial, academic, open, and firmly in the public interest. If you are unable to waive fees, and if they are in excess of $20, please contact us with an estimate of fees before responding.

Thank you in advance for helping us better understand the important work that you do. If you have any questions about our request or our project, please email us at: team [at] mappinginfoaccess [dot] org.


Emily Knox
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Library & Information Science
University of Illinois

Shannon M. Oltmann
Assistant Professor
School of Library & Information Science
University of Kentucky

Chris Peterson
Center for Civic Media, Media Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Michael Meeks

As a fellow professional educator with a former robust research agenda, I appreciate the scope of what you are asking us to do. However, if this represents a "request," I respectfully decline. If a "Freedom of Information Request" carries penalties for our not responding, please advise.

If we must meet your demands under federal or state penalties, we cannot begin to process this request until the end of our school term. At that time it would have to be accomplished by paying a stipend to a faculty member beyond their current contracted time, with no suggestion on your part to reimburse my budget for such expenses.

The Alabama School of Fine Arts is a single, very small magnet school for 7th-12th grade students in Fine & Performing Arts and Math/Science. We have an extremely limited faculty/staff, only 350 students and operate on a state allotted, line-item budget figure (publicly posted on that simply does not address our current personnel necessities, nor our personnel wish list. Our library/media support personnel consist of one person who also carries a teaching load. While all of the documentation can be pulled together to meet your request, doing that during the instructional year would become a priority with direct, negative impact on instruction.

Thank you and please advise.

Dr. Michael W. Meeks, Exec. Director
Alabama School of Fine Arts
1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Birmingham, AL  35203
205.251.9541 (fax)

From: MuckRock

Dr. Meeks,

Thank you very much for your response.

As a public agency, the Alabama School of Fine Arts is obliged to respond to requests submitted under the Alabama Public Records Law. More information on the Alabama Public Records Law is available here:

We have no desire to impose an undue burden on you or your staff, and would be eager to discuss which portions of this request are likely to be most difficult to fulfill. A number of public libraries and school districts across Alabama, large and small alike, have already fulfilled this request without trouble, but we would like to better understand which portion carries the greatest difficulty for you and your staff.

If you have any questions about our research, please consult the project website:

Thank you very much for your assistance with our research and for your commitment to open government. Have a fantastic weekend!

From: Michael Meeks

My previous response is copied below.
Take me off your mailing list immediately.

Dr. Michael W. Meeks, Exec. Director
Alabama School of Fine Arts
1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Birmingham, AL  35203
205.251.9541 (fax)


There are no files associated with this request.