When the Censor Comes

As a general practice, it’s a good idea to

  • Follow the procedures you have previously established.
  • Document the events.
  • Be prepared to admit it if your organization makes a legitimate mistake, such as introducing material that does not meet your selection criteria, offers dangerously out-of-date information or is aimed at an inappropriate age group.
  • Promote open discussion and dialogue about intellectual freedom. However, do not engage in arguments based on content of the challenged text, which presuppose that some content deserves to be censored.
  • Keep your superiors (principal, chief librarian, board chair, etc.) informed from day one.
  • Report the incident to the Freedom of Expression Committee, the CLA or your provincial library association, CBA, your teachers’ federation or union and other organizations.
  • Contact the allies you have nurtured in the community, writers’ organizations and the media.