Library Complaint and Censorship Records (Middlesex School Warburg Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Middlesex School Warburg Library of Concord, MA .
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Chris Peterson

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10) for a copy of the following records:

Copies of written and electronic complaints and challenges for removal, reclassification, or other reconsideration of publications including books, magazines, movies, websites (e.g. filtered from library computers), or other media from January 1, 2010, to present, as well as records, petitions, and correspondence related to these challenges.

We seek such records as, for example, are classified by the Massachusetts’ Supervisor of Public Records Municipal Records Retention Manual under Section 17.004: Complaint and Censorship Records, though we do not limit our request to those so classified.

According to 950 CMR 32.06(5), every custodian of records is encouraged to waive fees where disclosure would benefit the public interest, as we believe these will. This request is part of a research project by the Center for Civic Media to better understand how and why library materials are challenged in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We are committed to open access and plan to make our findings broadly available to the public. If fees cannot be waived please inform me in advance.

We ask that, if possible, you please respond via email with text documents or clear, high-quality scanned PDFs. If you cannot reply electronically, please mail us the best quality copies you reasonably can. Your efforts helps us ensure broad accessibility and equity.

The statute requires your response to this request within 10 business days. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in helping us better understand this important aspect of the work that you do. Please feel free to email me directly if you have any further questions.

Best,

- Chris Peterson
Research Assistant
Center for Civic Media
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

From: Jeffrey Smith

Dear Chris,

I have received no challenges or complaints over the last few years. I can
pretty much buy whatever I like and classify it as I like. The real
problem is getting people to read what I buy. Having said that, I can
think of one instance in which a fellow staff member challenged me on one
of my purchases, but I would need you to reply in order to make sure that
this is not SPAM. There were in fact, two instances, one of which was
purchasing an R rated DVD for a school library.

From: Chris Peterson

Hello,

This request is not SPAM. It has been sent out to libraries across Massachusetts through MuckRock, a website that automates Freedom of Information requests.

Thanks

Tom
MuckRock

From: Jeffrey Smith

OK Tom.

The following DVDs were challenged:

Sin City
Seven
American Psycho

for putting R rated films in a high school library catering to ages 14-17.

The following book was challenged:

Darwin's Black Box: the biochemical challenge to evolution by Michael Behe

for putting a clearly "unscientific" book in Dewey 575 along with other
books on evolution. The suggestion was to reclassify in the 200s under
"religious belief".

From: Chris Peterson

Thank you Jeffrey!

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 March 19, 2013. 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 March 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Jeffrey Smith

Dear Tom,

I think I have already replied to you. What further clarification do you
need?

Files

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