Censorship and dealing with objections

What strategies can you identify, or find in school library management texts, that could assist in dealing with a complaint from a community member about a resource in the school library collection? The common and accepted response to this seems to be to ask the community member to complete an established form, explaining in writing what they find objectionable about the text and what they would like done.  It is important that we support a parents’ right to decide what their children are exposed to but it is also important to remind the objecting person that they do not have the right to decide what other people’s children want to read.   Once the complainant has completed their written ‘request for reconsideration’ it should go to a committee for discussion and evaluation.  Working in a Christian school, this is the type of objection we get occasionally and parents always want the offending work removed from the library.  We need to stress that the parent has the ability to discuss and instruct their own children on what they may or may not borrow but this right does not extend to the rest of the student body.  If the text has been purchased carefully, after considering reviews etc, and satisfies the schools’ written criteria the book should be allowed to remain in the collection.   People who object based on what they have ‘heard from others’ need to go through this process as it forces them to read the text and articulate their objections in a more objective way. 

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