We as librarians understand that offering a rich, diverse range of reading options to meet needs of all community members is a major focus of both school and public libraries. Unfortunately, some individuals (and, recently, groups) are working to limit options in our libraries to only those which comfortably suit their own sensibilities.
This year’s AASL/ALSC/YALSA School/Public Library Cooperation Committee is charged with developing strategies for youth services libraries to work together in the face of the current climate of book challenges as well as creating useful resources to support this work. As groups promoting censorship spread misinformation about both the materials in our libraries and (often) our intentions in offering them, it behooves us to unite in developing and sharing with our entire communities factual information on the policies and processes by which we develop our collections as well as how we handle requests for reconsideration of those materials.
One resource we are developing is a toolkit of materials to be shared through ALA which can be used by librarians who want to update (or even create) selection and reconsideration policies. (State regulations most often address reconsideration policies, but a few seem to be evaluating laws to regulate selection policies as well.)
How can you help? Thanks for asking! Providing information from your state or sharing your favorite national resources will make this toolkit beneficial to others.
If you know of regulations (current or proposed) in your state stipulating selection or reconsideration policies and procedures, please submit the link to that information on our form. If your library, school district, or library system has a selection and /or reconsideration policy you’d like to share on this toolkit, please submit those on our form too!
If your school and public librarians have collaborated to align your policies, please share that information for the greater good. Help us promote transparency in our processes – and hopefully bring community allies for intellectual freedom on board in the process by responding at bit.ly/YSLPolicy22
Author: AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Committee on School Library/Public Library Cooperation
Categories: Intellectual Freedom, Uncategorized
Thanks for your work on this project. This is from the post: “One resource we are developing is a toolkit of materials to be shared through ALA which can be used by librarians who want to update (or even create) selection and reconsideration policies.” How will this differ from or affect ALA’s excellent Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries?
I’m writing as a teacher-librarian from a small town in central BC, Canada. I truly sympathize with your struggles with censorship and book challenges from certain community groups. While the issue is not as prevalent in our province, we do have struggles in our small school district. I agree whole heartedly that the purpose of a library is to provide a “diverse range of reading options to meet [the] needs of all community members,” which is antithetical to the practice of censorship. As a teacher and librarian, I feel compelled to promote and support intellectual freedom in its many forms.
I would like to offer my support in whatever way I can to aid you in your cause and call for librarians to unite and create a support and advocacy network. The current political climate is a tough one for education.
Hoping for your success,