Alabama Library Challenges (Scottsboro City Schools )

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Scottsboro City Schools of Scottsboro, AL.
Est. Completion None


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

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.


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
Center for Civic Media, Media Lab
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

From: Judith L. Berry, Ed.D

I am in recept of your request for public records pertaining to the administration of a library system. You are certainly welcome to any of our information and documents as per the Alabama Open Records Law (36-12-40) which are not classified as confidential documents. We cannot release confidential documents, as you are well aware from your letter to us. However, since we are a small school system with a small staff, we cannot possibly reassign an employee from his or her position to copy the documents that you have requested. We can, however, upon your travel to and arrival in our school district, provide you the use of our copier to copy the requested documents. The charge for copying is $1.00 per page which will not be waived. Please notify me at least two weeks prior to your arrival date so I can make sure that our copier is reserved for you at that time.


Judith L. Berry, Ed.D

Superintendent of Education, Scottsboro City Schools

From: Chris Peterson

Dr. Berry,

Thank you for responding to this public records request. We are researchers based in three different cities around the country, and are unable to come to Scottsboro to inspect and/or copy records. Per your obligations under Alabama law, I respectfully request that you prepare a good faith estimate of compiling and providing copies of the requested documents.

Please send any concerns or questions you have with the request, and we would be happy to clarify its scope.

Thank you.

From: Berry, Judy

My obligations under Alabama's Public Record's Law and the U.S. Freedom of
Inforamation Law are to provide accessibility to you regarding the records
that you request. It does not require that I copy them for you or that I
take my small staff away from their respective responsibilities in a school
system to copy the records.

As earlier stated, I will be glad for you to copy whatever we have related
to your request. The fee to use our copier and paper is $1.00 per page.
Please give me at least 2 weeks notice so I can make sure that no one in my
office needs it during that time to meet State Department of Alabama
deadlines, etc. Since we are on Spring Break the week of March 24, 2014,
there will not be any one working in the office or schools that week.


Judy Berry
Superintendent of Education
Scottsboro City Schools

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