Alabama Library Challenges (Selma - Dallas County Public Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Selma - Dallas County Public Library of Selma, AL.
Est. Completion None
Partially Completed


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


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: test

Hello Chris
Good Morning. This is the first I have heard of such a request but will be
happy to forward documents.

Thank you for working on such a notable topic as freedom of information.

Becky Nichols

From: Chris Peterson

Ms. Nichols -

Thank you for your response, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about the project.

From: Becky Nichols

I haven't forgotten about you but have had staff issues so no time...we
will rsvp....thanks!

From: test

Hi Chris

I am attaching our Collection Development Policy and then I will later send
the Internet Protection Policy and Computer Use Policy.

We have not had any censorhip challenges in the 37 years that I have been

Sorry to be so late but we are a small library with a million people daily-
mostly poor, uneducated and needing obs. SO that hs been our primary goal-to
help them. But we want to help you also.
Best wishes for the week!

Becky Nichols

From: Chris Peterson


Thanks so much for sending these, and in advance for the Internet Protection Policy and Computer Use Policy. Your help is greatly appreciated!

From: Becky Nichols

I can't send you the Internet Policy until, after the board approves it
April 24...too late?

From: Chris Peterson


Please send when it becomes available!

Thank you.