Library Complaint and Censorship Records (Lenox Library Association)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Lenox Library Association of Lenox, MA .
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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 State 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: 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 12, 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: Sharon Hawkes

I had followed up by email with Chris Peterson, the requester, but am including our formal written reply. Our reply is attached and below.

Sincerely,

Sharon Hawkes

Executive Director
The Lenox Library
18 Main Street
Lenox, MA 01240
(413) 637-2630
(413) 637-2115 FAX

The Lenox Library provides equal access to information and ideas through a wide variety of materials and programs for community members of all ages.

April 4, 2013

Chris Peterson, Research Assistant
Center for Civic Media
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Via email at requests@muckrock.com

Dear Chris:

I am responding to your Freedom of Information Act request of March 12, 2013, in regards to

“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.”

I have since exchanged emails with you as to the various nuances of censorship and challenged items in public libraries, and wish you all the best in your research. As to this library, however, there have been no written or electronic complaints about materials in The Lenox Library’s collection from January 2010 to the present time.

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