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Collection Management (Library Learning)

Suggested resources to help librarians prepare and respond to challenges.


The following actions will help you prepare for a potential challenge: 

  • Develop a written collection development policy 
    • Identify the criteria used in selection
    • Outline the procedure for handling complaints and challenges 
  • Provide training to library board members and staff on how intellectual freedom is addressed at the library 
  • Offer library programs, such as Banned Books Week that that support the Freedom to Read.
  • Share information about your library's collection development policy and commitment to intellectual freedom


Once you have received a formal written challenge you will want to closely follow your collection development's reconsideration procedures.  Below are some general recommendations you may find helpful.

  • Take a deep breath and remember you aren't alone
    • Seek support and advice from ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom and AkLA Intellectual Roundtable
    • Inform your library board and Supervisor and City/Borough attorney of the challenge 
  • Activate and support the reconsideration committee
    • Provide committee members with copies of challenged title
    • Provide committee members with copies of reviews, awards, or any prior challenges the title has received
    • Provide committee members with copies of library's collection development policy and relevant intellectual freedom documents
  • Schedule reconsideration committee meeting to discuss challenge
  • Reconsideration committee determination 
    • Remove item from library 
    • Retain item in the library 
    • Relocate the item to another section of the library 
  • Provide patron with a written letter detailing the process and the committee's final determination


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