Below you'll find sample texts for letters and phone calls you can make urging the LPL Board of Control to restore Section X of the Collection Development policy. In February 2022 the board voted to change the policy, which describes the makeup of Reconsideration Committees. The committees will now consist of two board members and one librarian, instead of one board member and two librarians, as the original policy stated. We believe this policy was implemented to ensure that the board is able to control the outcome of Reconsideration hearings, banning any material the members find objectionable. In other words, the new policy opens the door to censorship at LPL. Help us right this wrong - demand the board rescind this outrageous abuse of power!
RESTORE SECTION X SAMPLE LETTER
Email Address: LPLBoard@lafayettepubliclibrary.org
Dear Board Members,
As a citizen, I find the recent changes to the Lafayette Public Library Collection Development Policy made by the Board of Control to be an open door to censorship in Lafayette Parish, and a direct assault on free speech, freedom of expression, and the First Amendment. These are values we all cherish as Americans, and our public libraries should be the places where those values are most represented.
The recent change to the Reconsideration Committee makeup, from two librarians and one board member, to one librarian and two board members, upends the established, fair process of materials assessment at LPL by trained professionals. These are people who are knowledgeable about the broader needs of library collection development in our community. Instead, it puts these crucial decisions about books and materials, and the needs of library patrons, into the hands of two people who only hold their personal opinions as qualifications.
This is not acceptable.
I ask you to please add an item to May's full board meeting agenda to revisit this important issue. I also ask that at that meeting you please vote to rescind these new rules.
RESTORE SECTION X SAMPLE PHONE SCRIPT
Phone #: (337) 261-5781
My name is __________.
I'm calling to ask that the LPL Board of Control please add an agenda item to May's meeting, and then vote to rescind the recent changes made to Section X of the Collection Development Policy. The majority vote on Reconsideration Committees should belong to librarians, not board members, because only librarians have the professional training and experience to decide if these books and materials are appropriate for library patrons. Letting board members have the majority vote on these committees when they have neither the education nor experience to do so only opens up the door to censorship in our community.
Thank you for your time.