Appendix D: Sample Written Objection Policy

The Burlington Public Library is a resource where many points of view and modes of expression can be examined without hindrance. Few ideas and opinions have universal acceptance or condemnation in a pluralistic society. The use of language, either descriptive or expressive, can in itself stimulate controversy. The Burlington Public Library, therefore, recognizes the right of individuals to express opposition to authors’ ideas or their creative exercise of language in materials selected for the library. However, the Burlington Public Library will not engage to satisfy patrons by removing items purchased in compliance with the principles of this policy.

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An individual who questions the selection of library materials will be referred to the Department person in charge. Patron may fill out a “Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials” form. The completed form will be given to the Department Head who will refer it to the librarian whose subject field is involved. This staff member will prepare a complete re-evaluation of the material in question for the Department Head. The patron will be notified of the results promptly and a copy of the written response will be forwarded to the Chief Librarian.

Burlington Public Library, June 29, 1987. Amended 5/27/93. Reproduced by permission.

Objections made by parents, teachers and other members of the community to classroom and/or school library materials are an important part of the democratic process and must be treated as legitimate avenues of communication in education. . . . Challenges must be handled with the understanding that no parent or guardian has the right to determine reading, viewing or listening matter for students other than his/her own. While complaints about materials are being considered, access to the challenged materials or other related materials shall not be restricted.

The decision of the reconsideration committee is binding only for the individual collection, whether in the school or in the division/district library media centre.

Excerpted from the Manitoba Education and Training Instructional Resources Branch policy, 1990. Reproduced by permission.