Challenge Support & Intellectual Freedom Resources
Across the United States, including Wisconsin, libraries and schools are experiencing an increase in challenges to materials. When people have questions or concerns about items in the collection, it is important that libraries are ready to respond appropriately to ensure that the library’s mission, policies, and procedures are upheld and clearly communicated.
The resources listed below will help library staff prepare for and respond to materials challenges and requests for reconsideration. In addition, directors and managers are encouraged to review their local policies and procedures with staff to prepare for handling complaints as they arise.
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Cecelia Cole, Resource Sharing and Collection Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Langby, Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator email@example.com
Katelyn Noack, Public Services Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org
John Thompson, Director email@example.com
Preparing for Materials Challenges
START HERE – Checklist: Preparing for Materials Challenges at Your Library (IFLS)
This checklist, created by IFLS staff, will guide you through four steps to prepare for materials challenges at your library.
Collection Development Policy EXAMPLE (Dresser Public Library)
Please feel free to use this policy as a template when updating or creating your own. This example has been carefully reviewed by IFLS and is based on updated recommendations from experts and librarians.
Other Recommended Resources:
Diversity Resources (CCBC)
Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit (ALA)
What IF…Forum (CCBC)
State Handbooks (WI DPI) – The following handbooks and recommended chapters are available by scrolling to the bottom of each page:
Administrative Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Directors
- AE 1: The Mission of the Public Library
- AE 15: Policies and Procedures
Trustee Essentials: A Handbook for Wisconsin Public Library Trustees
- TE 22: Freedom of Expression and Inquiry
- TE 23: Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials or Policies
Responding to Materials Challenges
START HERE – Checklist: Responding to Challenges (IFLS)
This checklist, created by IFLS staff, will guide you through four steps when responding to materials challenges.
Other Recommended Resources:
Intellectual Freedom Information Services (CCBC) IFLS staff pick: best resource
Steps to Take When Materials are Challenged (CCBC) IFLS staff pick: best resource
Action Toolkit: Unite Against Book Bans (ALA)
Challenge Support (ALA)
Book Banning Resources (We Need Diverse Books)
Intellectual Freedom Resources
Statements of Support
Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Access to Information Statement
Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association (WEMTA) Resources Statement in Support of School Libraries and Librarians
Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) Statement on the Freedom to Read and Intellectual Freedom
WiLS WiLS Supports Equity + Anti-Racism Work in Our Member Community
- Challenged Books at Your Library: Managing and Addressing Censorship Attempts Northeastern Wisconsin CE Partnership (NEWI)
- Why Ban Books? Foundations of Intellectual Freedom (UIAA Speaker Series)
- Book Challenges and Intellectual Freedom: Proactive Planning for Public Libraries (WebJunction)
- Foundations of Public Libraries: Principles of Intellectual Freedom (State Library of Iowa Continuing Education)
- Empower Your Library Against Book Bans (Kelly Jensen for METRO Library Council)