Challenged Materials Policy

The Clemson University Libraries defines a challenge to a resource as a request that an item owned or subscribed to by the Libraries be removed or otherwise placed under restricted access.

Selection Policy

The resources acquired for the University Libraries are selected to meet the learning, research, and outreach missions of the University. Appearance of any resource does not mean that the Libraries advocate or endorse the ideas found in that resource. It is the responsibility of the Libraries to ensure that different points of view are represented in the collection.

The Libraries adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association.  The Library Bill of Rights 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 endorse the ALA Freedom to Read Statement.

The Libraries adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Protecting Freedom of Expression and the Free Exchange of Ideas statement of the Association of American Publishers, and “promote the vigorous exchange of ideas and opinions through books and other publications.”

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.” (Academic Freedom and Responsibility, Chapter VI C.5, p. 61, August 2023).

Challenged Resources

Resources, which may include books, journals, magazines, music, films, databases, digitized materials, or other items owned or subscribed to by the University Libraries may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of Clemson University. Resources may be in physical or electronic format. 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 three actions; (1) removal of an item because it is inappropriate, (2) relocation of an item to another section of the collection, or (3) the addition of a source to balance the collection by providing alternative views. The Libraries may agree to take any of these actions or no action at all. Certain items, such as ebooks and ejournals that are part of electronic collections, cannot be modified at the individual level and the Libraries’ control over access to individual titles may be restricted. Challenged items will remain on the shelf or accessible online and available to Library users during the duration of the challenge.


Students, faculty, or staff 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. No more than five requests per semester may be submitted by an individual. The completed form will be submitted to the Dean of Libraries; the Dean will acknowledge receipt of the form via letter. The Request will then be considered by the librarian responsible for collection development in the subject area of the resource, in consultation with the Public Services Cross Functional Team. The recommendation(s) of the Team 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 (ULAC) then to the Provost of the University. If there is still no acceptable resolution, the final appeal will be determined by the President of the University.

  • Form: Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources

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