Dorchester County, S.C. - The policy committee of Dorchester School District Two in has approved changes to its library review policy that allows any taxpayer living in the district to submit a book review request for books in district libraries. Previously, only parents of children in the school district were allowed to request a review.
Board Member Kellie Bates emphasized that many invested stakeholders care about the well-being of children in their community and should be allowed to have a voice in the process. She added that the clear established timelines will help ensure that the process goes smoothly and that everyone is on the same page with what to expect.
The committee also recommended changes to allow volunteers to serve on the district's citizens' review committee. Concerned citizen Jennifer Bendetti expressed the need for major changes in the current policy, as currently, only librarians and department heads are allowed to recommend candidates to be vetted to join the council.
The updated policy creates a 30-business-day timeline from when the book review questionnaire is received. Appeals will go to the citizen review committee within 5 business days, and further appeals will go to the school board. Parent Amanda Cicarelli emphasized that the library materials should reflect the best of what the culture has to offer and that not every single book needs to be in the libraries.
The policy will undergo several readings before it is implemented. The full board is set to read it for the first time on April 24.
As Kellie Bates said, "We have many invested stakeholders who care about the well-being of their grandchildren, family members, and children in our community. I am glad to consider allowing them to have a voice in the process. I think the clear established timelines will help ensure the process goes smoothly and that everyone is on the same page with what to expect."