Date Approved Feb. 24, 2022
Number POL – LIB2602
Pacific University is “committed to free and open inquiry in matters concerning the advancement of knowledge. In order to carry out our mission, we encourage all community members to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn through a full, open, and civil discussion of ideas.”
In support of free and open inquiry, the Pacific University Libraries acquire and provide access to information resources to support Pacific’s diverse range of academic programs and areas of inquiry and to encourage intellectual discovery by our students, staff, and faculty. The intent of this policy and procedure is to help the Libraries create and curate collections that are inclusive and that inform our community’s pursuit of education and knowledge without doing harm.
This procedure accompanies the Policy for Patron-Requested Reconsideration of Library and Archives Material (Policy No. POL – LIB2601) and outlines the process through a Pacific community member (defined as a current student, staff, or faculty member) may request review of the Libraries’ inclusion and/or description of specific materials in the Library or Archives collections.
Requesting Review of Books, Journals, or Media
A. Requestors may ask the Libraries take one of five actions: (1) removal of material because it is harmful, (2) corrections to the Libraries’ description and/or classification of the material because of outdated, incorrect, or harmful descriptions, (3) moving the material to closed stacks access so that it is not encountered accidentally, (4) the addition of material to the collection providing alternative views, or (5) advocacy with a content owner/vendor for changes in description or access (in the case of licensed electronic materials). The Libraries may agree to take any of these actions or no action at all; in the case of licensed collections of electronic resources, some actions may be limited due to vendor ownership/control. Materials that are under review will remain available to all library patrons during consideration of the request by the Libraries.
B. To request review of material, any current Pacific student, staff, or faculty member may complete and submit a Request for Review of Library or Archives Resources form, available on the Libraries website. The form will require you to log-in with your PUNet ID and password, but your name and email address will not be recorded unless you decide to provide them. All feedback will be considered seriously, whether or not you provide your identity.
- The completed form will be reviewed by the Dean of University Libraries and the Libraries’ Collections Committee; as part of the review, the Dean will seek input from an academic faculty member from a relevant discipline/department regarding the curricular/research importance of the material and impact of different review outcomes. If the material to be reviewed is highly interdisciplinary in nature, additional faculty input may be sought at the discretion of the Dean. The Dean and committee will examine whether the material fails to meet the guidelines and standards described in the Libraries’ Collection Development Policy. More specifically, each review of material will consider the following factors:
- The claim of harm or trauma and the actions best suited to mitigate it.
- The material’s current alignment with the selection guidelines and criteria outlined in the Libraries’ policy.
- Circulation or use of the material within the complete time period for which such data is available for that material.
- The unique nature of the material and impact of withdrawal on local and global access, as described in the Collection Development Policy’s deaccessioning guidelines.
- The available harm mitigation strategies, depending on the format and ownership of the material.
- Requests will be shared with the University’s Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer if the request is based on statements that the library material in question is harmful or traumatizing to a group based on their: race, color, ethnicity, nationality, economic background, age, physical or mental health or ability, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, or religious practice.
- Following discussion with the Collections Committee, and any consultation with the Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, the Dean of University Libraries will make a final determination as to the Libraries’ response to the request.
- If their name was provided, the person making the request will be notified in writing by the Dean of University Libraries of the decision and the action to be taken.
- Appeals of the Libraries’ determination may be made to the University’s Office of Legal Affairs; appeals must be based on a failure of the Libraries’ to appropriately apply Libraries and University policies in making its determination. Requesting Review of the Description or Display of Archival Materials.
A. Requestors may ask the Archives to take one of the following actions: (1) revise description of the material, (2) modify access to the material to add a disclaimer visible prior to accessing the materials regarding potential harm or trauma from viewing the material, and/or (3) remove the material from public display. The Archives, after appropriate consultation described below, may also determine that no action is required.
B. To request review of material, please complete the Request for Review of Library or Archives Resources form, available on the Libraries website. The form will require you to log-in with your PUNet ID and password, but your name and email address will not be recorded unless you decide to provide them. All feedback will be considered seriously, whether or not you provide your identity.
- Identified issues will be reviewed by the Archives and Special Collections Librarian.
- Issues and proposed resolutions will be shared by the Archives and Special Collections Librarian with the Dean of University Libraries and the University’s Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for review and feedback and to identify any additional stakeholders who should be consulted.
- Following consultation with the Dean of University Libraries, Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and any additional community stakeholders, the Archives and Special Collections Librarian will document the final response as approved by the Dean of University Libraries and will notify the person reporting (if their identity is known) the issue of the proposed action to be taken.
- If the action is deemed insufficient or inappropriate by the reporting community member, it will be revisited in discussion with the community member (if their identity is known), Archives and Special Collections Librarian, and Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
The Dean of University Libraries will maintain a decision log of all review requests received that will document the following information for each request: the material under review, the reason provided for the review, the parties consulted as part of arriving at a decision, and the final decision/action taken, along with the dates of initial request and final action. The decision log may be requested for review by any current Pacific University student, staff, or faculty member.
The Dean will also submit a completed form detailing the reviewed material to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for inclusion in their confidential database on challenged materials.