Library Complaint and Censorship Records (Warner Elementary School Library)

Chris Peterson filed this request with the Warner Elementary School Library of Springfield, 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: 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 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: Spinrad, Pauline

I need further clarification. I have no idea what this is about, or what it is you want.

From: Chris Peterson

Hi Pauline -

Basically, I am asking whether any patron, staff member, parent - anyone besides a librarian - has requested that books be removed or reclassified from your library since January 2010, and, if so, for any available details regarding that request.

Does this help clarify? Please let me know if I can provide further information.

Best,

- Chris

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 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: Spinrad, Pauline

No.

From: Springfield Public Schools

Mr. Peterson: This office represents the Springfield School Committee. This email serves to respond to your public records request addressed to the Glenwood Elementary School Kelliher Library Media Center ("Glenwood Elementary School") and the High School of Commerce Library ("Commerce High School") for the following information:

"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."

Please be advised that after a due and diligent search, I can represent that neither Glenwood Elementary School, Commerce High School, the Springfield School Committee, nor the Springfield Public Schools has any written or electronic complaint and/or 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.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Melinda M. Phelps, Partner
Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP
1500 Main Street, Suite 2700 | P.O. Box 15507 | Springfield, MA 01115-5507

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