Intellectual Freedom: Meeting the Challenge
What is Intellectual Freedom?
"Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored." ~American Library Association
Guidelines for Meeting the Challenge
Proactive guidelines for establishing and maintaining a strong library program and collection. Includes ideas to help the librarian build allies and deflect potential challenges should they arise.
PROACTIVE Steps to Take BEFORE a Challenge; Does your program have:
Materials Selection Policy, approved by the School Committee
beginning of a challenge
***Keep in mind: the “target” is the material, NOT the librarian***
Steps to follow to respond to a challenge
It is important to know and follow the formal steps in your district’s Selection Policy.
If your district does not have a Selection Policy in place, look at one from a similar community, or look at the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s
“Workbook for Selection Policy Writing ”
After the formal challenge is made
1. Provide the complainant with handouts as specified in the Selection Policy. For ex:
4. An objective third party should be present during any discussion of the challenge
5. Notify the MSLA President / Executive Board
6. Consult with other library teachers (locally or electronically)
Further Resources from the American Library Association
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