Alabama Library Challenges (Washington County Public Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Washington County Public Library of Chatom, AL .
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Completed

Communications

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 http://mappinginfoaccess.org.

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.

Sincerely,

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
Researcher
Center for Civic Media, Media Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

From: MuckRock.com

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: MuckRock.com

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: j ross

Sorry for the delay Mr. Peterson. I did not recognize your email address
and the previous emails were filtered out. I will try to gather this info
for you and send it to you as soon as I can.
Thank You- Jessica Ross

*Jessica M. Ross*
Director
Washington County Public Library
P.O. Box 1057
14102 St. Stephens Ave.
Chatom, AL 36518
(251) 847-2097
jross@wcpls.org

From: MuckRock.com

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: MuckRock.com

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: j ross

Mr. Petterson and Research Team,

Thank you for the work you are doing. Your inquiries have helped our
library identify several policy areas in need of updates. Attached are
copies of some of the policies that we currently have on file at our public
library.

I have served as Director at WCPL for more than 10 years and we have never
had a formal complaint or request for removal of materials from our
collection. We have had 1 verbal suggestion for removal of a juvenile level
book of the human body from our Bookmobile collection, due to the
anatomical images in the book and the very young age and lack of maturity
of the children accessing materials through the bookmobile visits to public
schools in the county. The book was moved from the Bookmobile to the
juvenile non-fiction collection in the main library because other less
graphic materials on the subject matter were also available in the
bookmobile collection.

Our Internet Vendor Contract includes:
CIPA content filtering - Dans Guardian software.

Our filter blocks based on content that is on a webpage. It has a set of
words it considers inappropriate for public spaces where children are
present. It scores a web page based on the words used on the page and if
the score is high enough, it is blocked. We also block some
groups.google.com and dir.groups.yahoo.com/dir/Romance___Relationships

I hope this information is helpful. Best wishes in your research endeavors!
-Jessica Ross

*Jessica M. Ross*
Director
Washington County Public Library
P.O. Box 1057
14102 St. Stephens Ave.
Chatom, AL 36518
(251) 847-2097
jross@wcpls.org

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