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Collection Development Policy Working: Challenged Materials

Challenged Materials

Challenged materials 

Resources in the University Libraries may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of Purdue University Northwest and those persons who are residents of the state of Indiana. A challenge to a resource in the University Libraries must be based on the failure of that resource to fall within the Libraries’ selection and collection development policies, including the commitment to intellectual freedom. When challenging an item, the patron may request the library take one of two actions; (1) removal of an item because it is inappropriate, or (2) the addition of a source to balance the collection by providing alternative views. The Libraries may agree to take either action or no action at all.

Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.  From the Library Bill of Rights.

Challenged Materials Procedure


Those persons wishing to challenge a resource in the University Libraries will be asked to complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources using the form below. The completed form will be submitted to the Library Director; the Director will acknowledge receipt of the form via letter/email. The Request will then be considered by a library committee which shall consist of at the minimum the Library Director, Collection Development Librarian, and Library Liaison for the subject area of the resource challenged. Additionally, other librarians, faculty members and library staff may be asked to participate in the review process. If the review committee cannot come to a clear recommendation about the challenged resource the Library Director will make the final decision. The person making the challenge will be notified in writing by the Library Director of that decision and any action to be taken. The appeals process….

All complaints about materials to staff members shall be reported to the Library Director, whether received by telephone, letter, or in personal conversation.

The director shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of the library and the nature of the materials selection process.

If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant shall be supplied with information on the library’s materials selection policy, and on the procedure for handling objections. This will include a printed or online form which must be completed and returned before further consideration will be given to the complaint.

If the formal request for reconsideration has not been received by the director within two weeks, it shall be considered closed.

If the request is returned, the reasons for selection of the specific work shall be re-established by the appropriate library staff.

Questioned materials shall remain on the shelves or display pending a final decision.

The library director, having received a completed objection form, will bring the issue before the PNW Library Committee and librarians for their advice.

The library director shall notify the complainant of the decision in writing.

If the complainant is still not satisfied, he or she may ask the library director to present an appeal to the Library Committee, which shall make a final determination of the issue.

See the Challenge Form for Challenges to Library Resources.