Library Complaint and Censorship Records (Franklin Elementary School Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Franklin Elementary School Library of Newton, MA.
Est. Completion None


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: Margaret K. Schoen


I saw a thread on the MSLA listserv that several school and public
libraries are receiving these (I will forward to you). Do you know who I
should send this to at the city?

From: Chris Peterson

Hi Margaret -

I'm afraid I'm not sure I understand your question; most librarians have had these records, if they exist, on site, or have forwarded the requests to the superintendent / district office.

I'm didn't get your MSLA thread if you forwarded it (it may have gotten lost in the MuckRock system). Please feel free to forward it to my person email address here (

Based on the number of calls I've received (or have been received on my behalf) it seems like some folks are a bit unsure why I'm asking for these records (or whether I'm an elaborate spam program!) I see from the MSLA website that membership is restricted to MSLA members, but if you or others think it would be helpful, feel free to CC me on a new or existing thread and I can join in the discussion. It may be really helpful for me as well to understand what I could have expressed more clearly next time.


- Chris


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: Chris Swerling


I am confused, is this email to you/from you> Why is the address for
Franklin School Andover? Can you shed some light?



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