Library Complaint and Censorship Records (Hingham High School Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Hingham High School Library of Hingham, MA.
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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.


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

From: Katy Gallagher

At Hingham High School a web filtering software is used called Fortiguard, which sites many categories for blocking such as:
Abortion Adult Materials Advertising Advocacy Organizations
Alcohol Alternative Beliefs Armed Forces Arts and Culture
Brokerage and Trading Business Child Education Child Abuse
Content Servers Dating Digital Postcards Discrimination
Domain Parking Drug Abuse Dynamic Content Education
Entertainment Extremist Groups File Sharing and Storage Finance and Banking
Folklore Freeware Downloads Gambling Games
General Organizations Global Religion Government and Legal Organizations Hacking
Health and Wellness Homosexuality Illegal or Unethical Information and Computer Security
Information Technology Instant Messaging Internet Radio and TV Internet Telephony
Job Search Lingerie and Swimsuit Malicious Websites Marijuana
Medicine Miscellaneous News and Media Newsgroups and Message Boards
Nudity and Risque Peer-to-peer File Sharing Personal Privacy Personal Vehicles
Personal Websites and Blogs Phishing Plagiarism Political Organizations
Pornography Proxy Avoidance Real Estate Reference
Restaurant and Dining Search Engines and Portals Secure Websites Sex Education
Shopping and Auction Social Networking Society and Lifestyles Spam URLs
Sports Sports Hunting and War Games Streaming Media and Download Tobacco

Hope this is helpful to you.
Katy Gallagher

Katy Gallagher, M.A., M.Ed.
Library Teacher
WHHS-TV Director
Hingham High School
Hingham, MA
781-7411560 x2100


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