Challenged Materials Policy
The American Library Association (ALA) defines a challenge to literature as an attempt by a person or group of people to have materials, such as books, removed from a library or school curriculum, or otherwise restricted.
The resources acquired for the University Libraries are selected to meet the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. Appearance of any resource does not mean that the libraries advocate or endorse the ideas found in that resource. The Libraries adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. It is the responsibility of the Libraries to ensure that different points of view are represented in the collection.
The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association states “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation” (Article 1); and “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” (Article 2 ). The Libraries also endorses the Freedom to Read Statement, provided by the American Library Association.
Academic Freedom is also required and protected by the Clemson University Faculty Manual. “Because freedom of access to recorded knowledge is essential to teaching, learning, and research in a democracy, the right and obligation of the University is to provide a full range of materials on any subject, however unpopular, controversial, or apparently incorrect, shall not be infringed. The principles of academic freedom shall apply to the acquisition and preservation of such materials and also to those who provide and those who use them.” (Part III, Section B – Academic Freedom and Responsibility, p. 15)
Resources in the University Libraries may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of Clemson University and those persons who are residents of the state of South Carolina. 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. Challenged items will remain on the shelf and available to Library Users during the duration of the challenge.
Those persons wishing to challenge a resource in the University Libraries will be asked to complete a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form. The completed form should be submitted to the Dean of Libraries at the address indicated on the form; the Dean will acknowledge receipt of the form via letter. The Request will then be considered by the Information Access Committee of the University Libraries, with the assistance of the librarian responsible for collection development in the subject area of the resource. The recommendation(s) of the Committee will be sent to the Dean of Libraries, who will make the final decision. The person making the challenge will be notified in writing by the Dean of Libraries of that decision and any action to be taken. The appeals process goes first to the Clemson University Libraries Advisory Committee then to the President of the University.