Library Complaint and Censorship Records (Montague Elementary School Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Montague Elementary School Library of Montague, 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 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: Jessica Rigollaud

Since you have contacted so many libraries across the state, could you please tell me (and others) who you are, why you want this information, and what information in particular you want? Do you just want formal complaints against library materials, or anecdotes? You mention websites that have been filtered from library computers; are you considering computers across the school, or only in the library?

From: Jessica Rigollaud

As far as we know here, there have been no complaints or challenges in Montague Elementary School Library since 2010. I have re-classified some books based on their genre, but do not have a record.

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