Challenge of Materials or Programs

     Meinders Community Library Board Policy 503
Policy: Challenge of Materials or Programs Originally Adopted Next Review
Current Version Adopted   November 1, 2017 February 2022

Purpose: To provide patrons and community members with the opportunity to express their concerns regarding certain materials or programs they may deem offensive, unpalatable or inappropriate and allow for a procedure to assess such concerns for the greater good of the community.

When a patron questions the inclusion of any material in the Library’s collection or the content of a program, the patron will be offered a copy of the Collection Policy or Program Policy and given a copy of the American Library Association’s Challenge of Intellectual Material form.

The completed form should be given to the librarian at the location of the item in question and a copy should be given to the supervisor of that location (Principal or Library Board President). The supervisor and librarian will discuss appropriate measures to deal with the patron’s concern. The librarian will contact the patron to seek resolution.

If the patron wishes to pursue a materials challenge, the librarian will request a challenge committee formed from the pool of willing members (to include the librarians at the four libraries, the Principals of both the Elementary and High Schools, and several community members). The patron will be advised of the process and informed that the committee will review the matter and inform the patron of their decision.

Within 30 days of receiving the form, the committee will respond by letter citing reviews and pertinent sections of the Collection Policy to support the library’s position. A copy of this letter will be kept on file at the library where the item is located.

If the patron is not satisfied with the committee decision, the next step would be for the matter to be brought to the attention of either the School Board in the case of the school libraries or the Library Board in the case of the public library. The Boards would have the authority to make the final decision regarding the challenged material. The patron will be able to present their concerns to the Board after following the steps to be placed on the agenda. The patron will be notified in writing of the Board’s (School or Library) final decision.