The Arlington Public Library welcomes feedback on library services and collections from the public. The library seeks to balance its collection of materials and resources so that it is broadly inclusive rather than exclusive of ideas. The Arlington Public Library affirms its support for and adoption of the principles set forth in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and its Freedom to Read statement. For more information, please see the Materials Selection Policy.
Any Arlington County resident has the right to request reconsideration of library materials and resources, including an item’s inclusion or location in the collection. Patrons with a concern about an item in the collection will be referred to the Collections and Access Division Chief or, in the absence of the Division Chief, to the Collection Development Manager. If, after speaking with the Division Chief or the Collection Development Manager about their concerns, the patron wishes to formally request the library take action to censor the material, the process will be as follows:
- The patron will be provided with a copy of the Arlington Public Library’s Materials Selection Policy, a copy of the Reconsideration Policy, and a copy of the Library Materials Reconsideration Form, either electronically or in print.
- Only one item at a time will be considered per patron.
- A patron may submit no more than three items in a twelve-month period.
- The patron must have read/viewed/listened to the item in question in its entirety.
- If the patron wishes to pursue the matter, the completed Library Materials Reconsideration Form must be submitted either electronically or in print to the Collections and Access Division Chief.
- The Collections and Access Division Chief will review the Library Materials Reconsideration form for accuracy and completeness.
- Upon receipt of a fully and accurately completed Library Materials Reconsideration Form, the Collections and Access Division Chief will establish a review committee. The Committee includes the Collections and Access Division Chief, a Public Services Division Chief or Assistant Division Chief, the materials selector responsible for the materials category involved, and at least one other staff member.
- The review committee will complete its work within 30 days. The Collections and Access Division Chief will prepare and provide for the patron a written explanation of the review committee’s decision.
- Please note that if the Library is experiencing a large volume of formal requests for reconsideration, the time for the review committee to complete its work may be longer than 30 days, but no longer than 180 days. Items that are under reconsideration will not be removed from circulation until a final decision is made.
- The patron may appeal the review committee’s decision to the Library Director within 14 days of receiving the Division Chief’s response. The Library Director will reconsider the decision based on whether the material in question conforms to the guidelines outlined in the Library’s Materials Selection Policy.
- Once the Library Director has taken formal action on the Library Materials Reconsideration Form, no additional reconsiderations will be accepted by the Library for the same title for 60 months for any reason.