16. Patron Comments, Complaints, Suggestions

The Mercer County Library System welcomes comments and suggestions from the public. In person, telephone, email comments and concerns will receive immediate attention and acknowledgement by any staff member approached. Any complaints that appear to involve professional judgment will be referred to the Branch Manager or to their designee (i.e. the Circulation Supervisor or Reference Professional on duty at the time). If no supervisor or manager is present at the time, the issue will be referred to the Branch Manager as soon as possible.

If the question relates to administrative policies or any other area that the staff member cannot address, the issue will be referred to the Branch Manager and then, if necessary, to Library Administration for response. All written patron correspondence will be acknowledged or answered in writing as soon as possible. Anonymous complaints will not be considered.

If the library does not have an item that the patron wants, it may have been omitted for any number of reasons, e.g. because the subject is already well covered, because it received unfavorable reviews in the professional journals, or because of general collection development guidelines or budget limitations. Resources are available through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Suggestions for purchase will be considered in accordance with the Mercer County Library System Collection Development Policy, which is available on the library's website. Suggestions for purchase can be submitted directly to the reference desk, or online via the MCLS website.

If the library owns an item the patron disapproves of, the comment will be referred to the Branch Manager or the Head of Reference. The presence of an item in the collection does not signify an endorsement of that particular item. The Mercer County Library System subscribes to the American Library Association's Bill of Rights (see Attachment B). If the patron is not satisfied that the item accords with the System Collection Development policy, the patron may complete a request for reconsideration of the library material form (Attachment C). Completed forms will be referred to a materials reevaluation committee, which will review the patron's objections, in accordance with the reconsideration policy as noted in the Collection Development Policy. The patron will be informed of the results of the reevaluation committee, in writing.

Censorship: The library does not censor materials, including a child's use of library materials. It is the parent's or guardian's prerogative to determine what a child may or may not read. The library will not attempt to indicate an author's philosophy by using labels or other devices, however, the library will leave attached any rating or label already in place on the material when received by the publisher/vendor.