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September Library Challenge

It’s 7:45am, and your library is hoppin-busy. Groups of students are playing Chess, Checkers, and Uno. Some are on the computers working on last night’s homework. Some are sitting at the tables talking, and some are browsing the library shelves. Others are reading quietly and somehow ignoring all the activity happening around them.

Suddenly, you look up, and there’s another adult standing there, waving a library book that’s full of sticky notes. She tells you the book has “objectionable” content and wants you to remove it from the library. The library starts to get quiet as students see this upset parent and try to listen in . What do you do?

Policies to the Rescue!

If your school or district has a strong Selection and Reconsideration Policy–and you’ve read it thoroughly–you’ll know exactly what to do. But if you have no idea what the policy is–or if your school even has a policy–you are probably left standing there, flustered and uncomfortable and trying to decide what you can say to this parent.

If you have not yet encountered a parent concern about a library book, then just wait. Eventually, you probably will. And I want you to be prepared for that day. I want you to have policies and know them well so that you look like the professional librarian that you are.

How can I help you?

This is where our first-ever Library Monthly Challenge comes in! With Banned Books Week at the end of September, our challenge for September deals with…book challenges! To participate, you’ll need to complete five tasks focused on your school library’s policies for selection and reconsideration.

At the end of the month, if you complete all five tasks, you can enter the Rafflecopter drawing that is linked in the Library Monthly Challenge Facebook group. You do have to be a member of the group to enter, but joining is free and the link is below. I will announce one winner in October Library Challenge FaceBook Live on Thursday, October 3 at 9PM, EST. The winner will get to select five frequently-challenged books for your library. I will send the books directly to you from either Amazon or The Book Depository.

For more information about our September Monthly Challenge, please first watch the FaceBook Live below. In the video, I…

  • introduce our monthly theme of Banned and Challenged Books
  • show and discuss my Selection and Reconsideration Policy kit (free for the month of September 2019)
  • describe the five tasks you’ll need to complete for the challenge

Want to participate in the challenge? Here’s what you’ll need:

This is a fully-editable 14-page Selection and Reconsideration Policy kit. If your school does not have a Selection and Reconsideration policy, or if your current policy needs an update, this kit will give you a place to start.

Library Selection and Reconsideration Materials

Click here to view/print the September Library Challenge–Reconsideration Policies Checklist

More Resources for Banned Books Week:

Both of the resources below are for sale on my TPT and MrsReaderPants blog stores. Both are best for high school. Click on the images below to view them in my TPT store:

History of Censorship cover image    Censorship Discussion & Research cover image

Useful links:

ALA Library Bill of Rights

ALA Selection and Reconsideration Policy Toolkit

Challenge Support from the ALA and the Office of Intellectual Freedom

“Steps to Take When Materials Are Challenged” by CCBC School of Education University of Wisconsin-Madison (submitted by Mayra in the Facebook group)

Examples of well-written Reconsideration Policies:

Interesting side-note: Many libraries choose to publish their Reconsideration policies and forms online. This is great, and I love the transparency of it. As I researched the policies, however, I was surprised at the number of broken links to the actual form that patrons fill out to initiate a formal challenge. If your school’s policies are online, be sure to check your links and report them if they do not work.

Granite School District

University of North Texas Libraries Reconsideration Policy

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