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Salem Public Library

Challenge Policy


A. The library has the responsibility of keeping on its shelves a representative selection of books on all subjects of interest to its readers, including books representing differing sides of controversial issues.

B. The library does not endorse any idea or presentation contained in books and materials made available.

C. The library does believe in the right of each individual to decide for himself/herself what s/he does or does not wish to read from a variety of offerings - not all may be universally popular.

D. Responsibility for the choice of reading material of children rests with their parents and legal guardians.

E. Members of the library staff will use their best judgment in the selection of materials. The following publications may be used to help in the selection process: Booklist, Library Journal, Public Library Catalog, Fiction Catalog, Children’s Catalog, and other publications and media.

F. No book or material shall be judged solely on a single passage taken out of context.

G. The library does endorse the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights. (See Appendix A)

H. Objections to, or criticism of books/materials, displays, presentations, or programs in the library shall be delivered to the director in writing. Printed forms provided by the library are to be completed in full. The complainant must be a registered borrower of Salem Public Library. Only one library material, display, presentation, or program is to be addressed per form. (See Appendix G)

I. The Salem Public Library Board of Trustees will review the complaint if the director has been unable to satisfy the complainant. The person making the complaint will be notified when the Library Board of Trustees will meet to consider the matter and should attend the meeting. Each matter in question will be reviewed one time.

J. Decisions regarding all completed Request for Reconsideration forms (Appendix G) will be publicly available. These forms are considered library records, thus, pursuant to RSMO 182.817, identifying information will be redacted from published results.

Appendix A

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

1.  Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.  Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

2.  Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.  Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

3.  Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

4.  Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

5.  A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

6.  Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980,
by the ALA Council.

Endorsed by Salem Public Library,
Summer, 1996.

Appendix B

Code of Ethics of the American Library Association

As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library  staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict.  The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information.  In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information.  We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making.  These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

1.  We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

2.  We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

3.  We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

4.  We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.

5.  We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institution.

6.  We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.

7.  We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

8.  We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and the fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Adopted June 28, 1995, by the ALA Council

Appendix G Request for Reconsideration Form

Locations & Hours

Salem Public Library
403 N. Jackson Street, Salem, MO 65560

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Phone: 573-729-4331
Fax: 573-729-2123

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday:  10:00 am - 1:00 pm

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