The Kingston Library Board of Trustees recognizes that individuals within the community have diverse interests, backgrounds, cultural heritages, social values and needs. The Board further recognizes that the library serves all people within the community regardless of age, race, national origin, or political or social views.
The library does not exclude books that are biased, partisan, or anti-social, or which may offend the tastes of some citizens for reasons of frankness of vocabulary or description, unless these books are also below our accepted standards of selection.
A balanced collection will represent all points of view on a subject, even those that might be considered extreme. The purchase of controversial items by the library does not constitute endorsement of the views expressed.
The Board believes that while anyone is free to reject for themselves materials of which they do not approve, this cannot be exercised to restrict freedom of others to read or inquire. Kingston Library supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statements.
Kingston Library serves people from many walks of life, with a variety of viewpoints and tastes. Materials are purchased to meet these diverse needs, believing that the right to read and the right of free access to library collections for people is essential to the individual’s freedom of thought. It is the obligation of the public library to reflect within its collection differing points of view and a variety of types of writing. The Library does not endorse particular beliefs or views, nor does the selection of an item express or imply endorsements of the viewpoint of the author.
Consequently, it is inevitable that some patrons will find certain materials in the Library’s collection objectionable. But, the Library belongs to the entire City of Kingston and has a responsibility to serve it in all its diversity. That responsibility includes providing materials that may be offensive to certain patrons.
The Library will attempt to present various points of view for controversial issues, but in no circumstance should it take a public stand. The Library’s function is not to dictate, but rather to educate and provide materials from which patrons can make intelligent choices and decisions.
As a responsibility of our library service, books and other materials are chosen to cover a wide variety of subjects for the information, education, and enjoyment of the people of our community. No materials are to be excluded due to the race, nationality, political or religious views of the writer. No reading matter shall be removed from the library shelves because of doctrinal or social content.
Patrons or staff members who wish to request the reconsideration of library materials must complete and sign a Request for Reconsideration Form (See Exhibit A), which is available at the circulation desk. The form must be completely filled out, thus assuring the patron that his/her concern will be addressed by the appropriate library staff. Anonymous communications will not be honored. Action will only occur after the signed Request for Reconsideration Form is returned to the Library.
Once a completed Request for Reconsideration Form is returned to the Library, the board is notified and a formal process begins. During this process, the materials in question will remain in the Library’s collection. The director, in conjunction with members of the board, will review the materials in question and make a decision. The board will forward a written response to the complainant.