Challenged resources are those that may be considered controversial or offensive to members of the school community. It is important that schools have guidelines and procedures in place to deal with any challenges that may arise.
Guidelines and procedures regarding challenged resources should be developed within the school community. The Policy Statement – School Library Bill of Rights from the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) website is a useful starting point, as well as the school’s own Collection Development Guidelines.
Dealing with challenges
Dealing with challenges should be a systematic process involving:
- referring the challenger to the school’s Collection Development Guidelines
- completion of a Request for Consideration of School Resources by the challenger
- a decision on whether to remove the item from the shelf immediately or after it has been reviewed
- a review of the challenged resource by a committee comprising the principal, resource teacher, a P&C representative and the person making the challenge
- the principal being responsible for the final decision to remove or retain the challenged item.
Resources donated to the school library should be added to the collection only if they:
- are compatible with the Collection Development Guidelines
- adhere to the selection criteria
- fulfill a need or enhance the collection.
Donors should be informed that their donation undergoes the same selection process as any other resource under consideration for inclusion into the collection.
Originally published WA DET School Library Support: http://www.det.wa.edu.au/curriculumsupport/schoollibrarysupport/detcms/navigation/resourcing-the-curriculum/selecting-resources/#toc6. Used by permission of D. Bevan, Nov 2013