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Reconsideration of Materials, Services, and Exhibits

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Procedure for Reconsideration of Materials, Services, and Exhibits

This procedure is intended to create an orderly process by which anyone can request reconsideration of the inclusion or exclusion of any item, service, or exhibit. The procedure was developed in keeping with principle 11 of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) statement on Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: "A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of Library resources, exhibits, or services."

The Library is committed to a timely review of such requests and will consider them in the following manner. Anyone who is concerned about either the inclusion or exclusion of any item, service, or exhibit should submit a Request for Reconsideration. This form is also available in all libraries. Upon receipt of the Request for Reconsideration, the Director of Libraries will forward the issue to the appropriate Library administrator(s) for internal review to determine the factual basis for the complaint. The administrator(s) will make a report to the Director of Libraries.

In cases where the requester has uncovered an oversight, the request will be returned with a statement of the action to be taken. In cases where the requestor has the facts wrong to the degree that the requested action cannot be taken, the request will be returned with an explanation. In cases where the request is stated accurately and the appropriate staff support the status quo, the Director of Libraries may appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate the request and make a recommendation to the Director of Libraries.

The ad hoc committee will normally include at least the following staff or constituent areas: the affected selector(s) and Coordinator of Collection Development when the request relates to materials to be added to or removed from the collections; the senior administrator when the request relates to a service; the staff person most responsible when exhibits are the subject of a request; a student (possibly from the Faculty Senate Research Library Council membership); the Chair of the Research Library Council or his/her designee; a faculty member from a discipline most appropriate to the subject of the request in those cases where there appears to be a linkage; and a member of the Library’s Leadership Council.

The ad hoc committee will meet to review the request, investigate as they reasonably require, call for testimony if they deem it appropriate, and issue a final report that contains a full statement of the request, the findings of fact as determined by the committee, recommendations as to the disposition of the request, and their reasoning for those recommendations. To the extent that testimony is required by the committee it shall occur only in an open meeting publicly posted under open meeting requirements. If open testimony has been solicited, then the final report will be made public.

The Director of Libraries will receive the report and its recommendations, and will consider that information, along with information and recommendations from other sources as appropriate, and will make a decision on the request.

Appeals beyond the Library may be made to the Provost.

Procedure recommended by the Library Senior Administrative Group, May 2000
Reviewed and endorsed by the Faculty Senate Research Library Council, October 2000
Approved by Margo Crist, Director of Libraries, October 2000


Last Edited: 26 August 2008