Recognizing the importance of intellectual freedom, the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees fully supports the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Association’s Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements and has adopted them as official library policy.

Reading is a private activity, and individuals must examine materials as to suitability for their own purposes and make their own decisions to read or not to read particular items.

As part of its mission to provide ready access to the wide diversity of ideas and information, the library strives to collect materials that provide a variety of viewpoints on issues and subjects. It recognizes that some of these may be controversial and that any given item may offend some members of the community. Selection of materials is not made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but on the basis of the principles and guidelines stated in the Collection Development Policy. Likewise, the library will not eliminate items purchased under due consideration solely because they displease a particular individual or group.

Library materials will not be marked or identified to show approval or disapproval of their contents, and no library materials will be sequestered, except to protect it from physical damage or theft.

Responsibility for the reading of children rests with their parents or legal guardians. Selection of library materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that books may come into the possession of children, and only parents may restrict access for their own children.

The Escondido Public Library welcomes suggestions for purchase and will research and consider any such suggestion.

Any resident may raise an objection to an item in the library’s collection. If a complaint cannot be resolved informally, after the complainant has talked with a librarian and has seen the Collection Development Policy, the following procedure will be used to consider the opinions of those persons in the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

  1. The library’s division heads and administrators will keep on hand and make available the form, Statement of Concern about Library Materials, and will assist the complainant to fill it out, if requested. All formal objections to library materials must be made on this form.
  2. The form shall be signed by the complainant and filed with the Library Administration.
  3. Within two business days of receiving the form, the City Librarian shall file it with the Reconsideration Committee for reevaluation of the material in question. The Committee shall recommend disposition to the City Librarian within three weeks.
  4. The challenged material will not be restricted during the reconsideration process.
  5. The Reconsideration Committee shall be made up of three of the Library’s division heads, a Library administrator, and a Library trustee.
  6. The Committee will have an initial meeting to:

                                      -Distribute copies of the completed Statement of Concern About Library Materials form to committee members.

                                           -Distribute copies of the challenged material, as available.

                                           -Give the complainant an opportunity to talk about and expand on the form.

                                           -Give the staff member who selected the item an opportunity to respond to the form/request.

                                           -Distribute reviews of the item published in the professional media.

  1. The Committee will make its recommendation and draft a response for the City Librarian, who will review it and send it to the complainant.
  2. If not satisfied with the decision, the complainant may appeal to the Escondido Public Library Board of Trustees, which has final authority for library policy and materials.