Objections to Library Resources and Reconsideration

Objections to Library Resources and Reconsideration

Guiding Principles

It is the Library’s goal to provide a diverse Williamsburg community with library resources that reflect a wide range of views, expressions, opinions and interests. Specific acquisitions may include items that may be unorthodox or unpopular with the majority or controversial in nature. The Library’s acquisition of these items does not constitute endorsement of their content but rather makes available its expression.

The Library provides free access to materials in several formats (print, media and electronic) to all patrons. Library users make their own choices as to what they will use based on individual interests and concerns. The Library supports the right of each family to decide which items are appropriate for use by their children. Responsibility for a child’s use of library resources lies with his or her parent or guardian.

The Williamsburg Libraries adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom adopted by the American Library Association, as expressed in:

Collectively, these documents speak to: 

  • the right of every American citizen to freely hold and express beliefs, and correspondingly, the right of every citizen to access the expressions and beliefs of other people without restriction;
  • the fact that it is unconstitutional for a government entity, such as a public library, to censor or restrict the free and open exchange of ideas;
  • the library’s responsibility to make available without restriction or judgment a wide diversity of ideas and viewpoints, in support of an informed citizenry and a resilient, free, democratic society; and
  • the library’s obligation to safeguard intellectual liberty by supporting individual choice and judgment in seeking information, upholding the freedom to read, view, and listen, and challenging and resisting attempts to restrict access to information or ideas by those seeking to impose their own standards, opinions, or beliefs upon the broader community.

Reconsideration Procedure

A procedure has been developed for the reconsideration of materials to ensure that concerns or objections are handled in an attentive and consistent manner. Once an item has been added to the collection, in accordance with the library’s Collection Development Policy , only a formal request for reconsideration will be addressed.


Williamsburg residents may file such a request by completing the Statement of Concern about Library Resources form, available online or at the Meekins Library. Incomplete requests will not be considered.


The Library Director will review the resource, evaluate the original decision and current community needs for the resource, meet with appropriate professional Library staff, and meet with the individual to review the complaint. The Director will make a written ruling on the request, based on the Collection Development Policy and the principles of intellectual freedom. If the individual is not satisfied with the Director’s decision, the person may make a written request to the Board of Trustees. The Trustees’ decision is final.


Download the Meekins Reconsideration Form


Approved by the Board 5/15/2023