Skip to Main Content

Collection Development Policies: Reconsideration

Policies shaping the way the Library acquires and manages materials in its collection.


The Freedom to Read Statement and the Library Bill of Rights adapted by the American Library Association are recognized as upholding the rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. In consideration of these, the Library will attempt to select materials representing different points of view on controversial issues.

We recognize that materials that are appropriate and valid to some may be seen as objectionable or offensive by others. Such conflict of opinion is expected in a higher education setting. Nonetheless, some parties may wish to challenge the inclusion of specific materials in the Library's collections. ALA defines a challenge as an attempt by a person or group of people to have materials, such as books, removed from a library or curriculum, or otherwise restricted.

Van Wagenen Library will consider any such requests in line with our established Reconsideration Policy.

Reconsideration Policy

Materials in the Van Wagenen Library are selected to support the learning, teaching, and research needs of the SUNY Cobleskill community. It is crucial for an academic library to provide access to materials that contribute to scholarly inquiry and intellectual exploration, even if they challenge prevailing beliefs. Consequently, many different points of view are represented in the collection. Individuals have diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and sensitivities, and what may be acceptable to one person may be offensive or objectionable to another. It is important to consider the context in which potentially objectionable or offensive materials are presented. Materials that include potentially objectionable or offensive content within the context of emerging scholarship, critical analysis, historical perspective, or artistic expression may have legitimate scholarly or educational value. The presence of potentially objectionable or offensive materials in the collection should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the viewpoints contained within these materials.

Van Wagenen Library will consider opinions regarding materials in its collection, but will never remove or censor any holding strictly based upon an individual’s or group’s demand or request to do so. Items will also not be withdrawn from the collections based on allegations of false, misleading, pejorative, or potentially harmful information.

A person who wishes to request the reconsideration of library material must file a formal request using the library-provided form. The request will be reviewed a team of librarians. Together, they will evaluate the material under reconsideration using the Library’s Collection Development Policy and the policies and principles set out by the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries. They will develop a recommendation that will be submitted to the Library Director, who will make the final decision.

The form must be completed in full. The person requesting reconsideration will be notified by email that the form has been received within 24 hours, and will then be notified of the decision regarding the material under question by the Library Director within 30 days of receipt of the form. Material will remain in the collection during the review process. All requests for reconsideration will be reported to the American Library Association and are a matter of public record.

All decisions are final. Once validated by the process, materials shall not be eligible for further reevaluation as each challenged item has been through a rigorous review. An updated file listing the title, date challenged, date resolved, and disposition will be kept by the Library and provided to anyone who requests the list.