Alabama Library Challenges (Ohatchee Public Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Ohatchee Public Library of Ohatchee, AL.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Chris Peterson


To Whom It May Concern:

We are a team of academic researchers studying information access and availability in public schools and libraries. We are contacting you as part of a national effort to help us better understand the scope and substance of the various challenges which arise in the course of administering a public library system or public school system.

Under Alabama's Public Records Law, we are requesting copies of the following public records:

-any complaints, requests, and/or challenges for removal, reclassification, and/or reconsideration of publications including books, magazines, movies, music, and/or other media, along with any associated records, petitions, and/or correspondence since January 1, 2003

-any current collection or curriculum development policy or policies governing your institution(s)

-any records related to Internet filtering, including but not limited to:

-any current acceptable use policies, web publishing policies, or equivalents

-any current contracts with Internet filtering services and/or providers

-any current categories of content which your provider offers to block, along with which categories your library or libraries currently block

-any modifications to the standard configuration of your filter, including lists of sites, services, URLs, keywords, or other identifiers which have been specifically configured as forbidden or allowed (i.e. "blacklists/whitelists")

We will use these records in our research. Please note that we are not asking for registration, circulation, or other private records protected by state law, and you should feel free to redact personally identifiable information from the records you send us, at your discretion.

You may respond to this request by sending electronic documents (e.g. emails, screen captures, spreadsheets, etc) or high-quality scanned PDFs to this inbox. If you cannot respond by email, please fax copies to 206-984-9551, with “MIA” written clearly at the top of the first page. If you do not have any documents responsive to our request, or if you have questions about how to respond, then you may email us at this inbox. In order to assist you in responding to our request, we have also posted guidelines and examples at http://mappinginfoaccess.org.

We understand that there may be fees associated with responding to our request. We ask that you waive any such fees in light of our project’s character, which is non-commercial, academic, open, and firmly in the public interest. If you are unable to waive fees, and if they are in excess of $20, please contact us with an estimate of fees before responding.

Thank you in advance for helping us better understand the important work that you do. If you have any questions about our request or our project, please email us at: team [at] mappinginfoaccess [dot] org.

Sincerely,

Emily Knox
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Library & Information Science
University of Illinois

Shannon M. Oltmann
Assistant Professor
School of Library & Information Science
University of Kentucky

Chris Peterson
Researcher
Center for Civic Media, Media Lab
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 Jan. 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: April Smith

Mr. Peterson,
I apologize for not responding to your earlier request. I thought you were
doing a voluntary study of policies. As we are quite small, there is little
of note that I believed we could offer to your study.

Here is the information that you requested:

1. Complaints, requests, and/or challenges for removal, reclassification,
and/or reconsideration of publications including books, magazines, movies,
music, and/or other media, along with any associated records, petitions,
and/or correspondence since January 1, 2003
We have had no challenges to our collection or to any titles.

2. Any current collection or curriculum development policy or policies
governing your institution(s)

6. Collection Development Policy

6.1 Policy

The library seeks to provide access to reference, informational,
educational, and recreational materials to persons of all ages in the
community. The library does not discriminate based on religious beliefs,
nationality, race, or political views. Materials are selected based on
reviews from library journals, national popularity, community interests,
usefulness of information, ease of use, authority of author, accuracy of
facts, expected use, and available funds.

Specific library collection development focus includes basic reference,
popular fiction, popular non-fiction, local history, genealogy, Alabama
authors, and Southern authors.

6.2 Books

The library collects books for adults, young adults, and children. In order
to provide access

to as many patrons as possible, the library acquires regular print, large
print, audiocassette, and audio compact disc books. Not every title is
purchased in all available formats.

Patrons may request items or subjects be added to the collection. Staff
attempts to fill any

reasonable request within the guidelines of these policies, expected use,
and available funds.

At this time, the library does not collect personal documents, manuscripts,
photographs, maps or

other non-book materials. Staff may be able suggest other libraries that
might be interested in collecting such materials.

6.3 Digital Video Discs (DVDs)

The library collects entertainment, educational, and documentary works on
DVDs. Videotape

materials are not collected.

6.4 Weeding/Culling

Materials in all areas of the library are reviewed regularly for accuracy
and currency of the

information, physical condition, use, and lasting value. Culled materials
may be sold or discarded.

Disposal of all items owned by the library, whether circulating materials or
non-circulating

equipment or furniture, is at the discretion and consent of the Library
Board.

6.5 Gifts

Memorial gifts may be donated to the library. If requested, a bookplate is
placed in the gift

book showing the name of the person being honored. See Form 9-3.

The library reserves the right to evaluate and refuse any gifts to the
library according to these

policies and criteria. All gifts become the sole property of the library
and may be used, stored, or disposed of at the discretion and consent of the
Library Board. Staff may not accept any gift that has any conditions on
storing, access, use, or ownership of the gift, except at the direction of
the Library Board.

For items of monetary value, the donor must sign a legal agreement
transferring ownership (to

include copyrights and reprint authority) of the gift to the library. See
Form 9-2, Gift Rights Statement.

The library does not assess monetary value of gifts; however, for a record
of a donation for tax

purposes, the library provides a gift statement. See Form 9-1.

6.6 Donations

All donations (whether book, audio book, cash, or other) become the sole
property of the library.

The library accepts recent book publications that are in good condition
(preferably with dustcovers) and which meet the collection development
guidelines.

The library does not assess the monetary value of donations; however, for a
record of a donation

for tax purposes, the library provides a donation statement, Form 9-1.

6.7 Request for Reconsideration

The library does not restrict materials because subject matter may be of a
controversial nature or

due to subject appropriateness for one age group or another. See paragraph
1.4, Freedom to Read.

A patron believing an item should not be in the library may request the item
be reconsidered.

The patron is provided a Request for Reconsideration (Form 9-5) that may be
filled out and returned to the Library Director.

When the Request for Reconsideration is filed with the library, the Library
Director notifies

the Library Board and provides copies of the request. The book or item is
provided to all members of the Board for review and evaluation. The request
is added to the agenda of the next Board meeting, which is open to the
general public for discussion and debate. After consideration of community
comments and the intrinsic value of the item, the Library Board makes a
determination whether the item is to be removed from the library.

Filing a Request for Reconsideration does not guarantee the item is removed
from the library.

Removing any item is at the discretion of the Library Board.

3. Any records related to Internet filtering, including but not limited to:
a. Any current acceptable use policies, web publishing policies, or
equivalents
5. Equipment and Computer Use

5.1 Computer Use

Equipment and loaded software is available for use in the library at no
charge. A person does not have to be a library cardholder to use the
equipment. Equipment and software is for personal use only, and commercial
use is not permitted.

5.2 Misuse of Equipment

The library offers equipment and computer use to patrons and the public, but
this equipment is costly to maintain and repair; therefore, the library
reserves the right to refuse use to any person who:

- Deliberately misuses the equipment or software

- Tampers with hardware or software so as to disable security mechanisms or
to alter

hardware or software

- Introduces any software or virus into the system or software that may in
any way cause

damage or allow for spying

- Violates equipment rules and regulations

- Uses equipment or software for any illegal purpose

- Engages in computer hacking of any kind

- Distributes mass e-mailings

The library does not provide chat software, newsgroup services, or e-mail
accounts.

In the event of equipment failure, the library is not responsible for damage
to files or documents.

The library encourages users to frequently save or to print changes and
updates to documents.

5.3 Computer Programs

A computer may be used for 20 minutes at a time, if there are other patrons
waiting to use it. If there is no one waiting to use the computer, a patron
may continue doing so until another user arrives. A patron may only sign up
to use the computer once per day. Patrons may not make a reservation to use
a computer at a specific time.

Staff provides limited assistance for equipment and software use, but is not
able to provide

in-depth or time-consuming assistance or training. Staff provides
assistance on how to use the software or equipment, but does not perform
other duties or software functions for any user.

Saving any documents or files to the hard drive is not permitted. Users who
wish to preserve

documents or files may print them or save them to their own floppy disks or
CDs.

Patrons may not download or install software or programs to any computer at
any time.

5.4 Other Equipment (Printer, Scanner, Photocopier, Facsimile/FAX)

A printer and a scanner are available for public use with a fee of ten cents
($.10) per page.

The photocopier is available to the general public. A fee of ten
cents ($.10) per page is charged

for 8x11-size paper. For copies of other sizes, a fee of twenty cents
($.20) is charged.

The FAX machine is available to the general public. A fee of two dollars
($2.00) for the first

three pages and one dollar ($1.00) for each page thereafter is charged.

The library is not responsible for confidentiality of the documents,
security, or delivery.

5.5 Internet Access

Users may access the Internet through library computers at no charge.

There is a filtering device that blocks some websites, and such device is
installed to comply with

federal regulations to protect children from viewing age-inappropriate
material.

Library equipment or computers may not be used to access, distribute, copy,
or display any text

or image that is obscene according to current obscenity laws.

b. Any current contracts with Internet filtering services and/or
providers
We contract with NetNanny, it is non-specific to our use. For their
policies please refer to their website http://www.netnanny.com/.

c. Any current categories of content which your provider offers to
block, along with which categories your library or libraries currently block
Netnanny's list of blockable categories is extensive please
refer to their website for a complete list http://www.netnanny.com/
We are a small library and all computers can be seen from
anywhere in the room. As children would easily see
any content displayed on screen, we block several categories that larger
libraries can allow. We unblock for adults who request it for brief periods
of time or if there are no children present in the library. Not all
categories are blocked for content, some are blocked in order to keep some
patrons from monopolizing the computers for long periods of time.
Blocked categories :
Adult/Mature
Gambling
Hate/Violence
Illegal Activities
Illegal Drugs
Pornography
Proxy
Social Network
Weapons
Chat sites
Personals
Dating

d. Any modifications to the standard configuration of your filter,
including lists of sites, services, URLs, keywords, or other identifiers
which have been specifically configured as forbidden or allowed (i.e.
"blacklists/whitelists")
We don't have any sites or keywords that are blocked in addition to
the standard filter.
We have several websites that are listed as "allowed" due to the
limitations of the NetNanny software. These sites include CNN and other
media sources that are often blocked due to the advertising messages that
support the service. We also have to override sites that NetNanny's software
identifies as a filterable subject but isn't, such as a popular knitting
website titled Yarnharlot.com, and so forth. Sadly, the NetNanny software
isn't sofisticated enough to differentiate between terminology and subject
matter or between advertising links and website content.

If this is not sufficient information to use in your study or if you need
more information please let me know. We apologize for the delay.

April Smith

April Smith, Library Director, Ohatchee Public Library
Asmith@townofohatchee.com phone (256) 892-4203 fax (256) 892-1208
P.O. Box 645, 7803 AL Hwy 77, Ohatchee, AL 36271-0645

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