[Libs-Or] 2008 Annual Report on challenges to library material

Katie Anderson anderson_katie at oslmac.osl.state.or.us
Mon Sep 8 13:09:16 PDT 2008


2008 Annual Report of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse is now available!
http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/LD/intellectual.shtml#Publications 
 
Last year 34 attempts to ban books/videos in Oregon libraries were reported to the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse (OIFC).  None of the 34 challenged items were banned, but a few of them were reclassified, labeled, or restricted.  In the past several years there have been fewer than 20 challenges a year reported.  The increase this year may be a result of the efforts of the OIFC and the Intellectual Freedom Committees of both OLA and OASL to educate library staff about reporting challenges.
 
I encourage you to incorporate this information and/or the titles of the challenged materials in your Banned Books Week displays and activities.  Many people may not realize that book banning is not a thing from the past or that attempts to ban books are made every year right here in Oregon.  This is a valuable educational opportunity to discuss the nature of the First Amendment-just as we have a right to access these materials in our libraries, we have a right to question whether they are appropriate to include in public collections.  
Why might someone find these materials inappropriate?  
Why should they remain in the collection?  
Is labeling a book an effective way to inform people about content that may not be appropriate for everyone or is it a form of censorship?  
Several of the challenges included in the 2008 Annual Report have not been decided yet.  What do you think the final decision will be, and why? 
What would you do if someone came up to you in your library and said they want you to remove a book from the collection? 
Why is a collection development policy the most important line of defense when library materials are challenged? 
Does your library have a policy or established procedure for people to challenge material?  
You can find resources that may help you answer these questions at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/LD/intellectual.shtml#Resources 
 
 
 
About the OIFC Annual Report
 
Every year the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse (OIFC) publishes a report on challenges to all types of library materials in Oregon.  This report provides a landscape of censorship activity in Oregon, and is submitted to ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom to be included in their report on censorship activity in the United States.  The Annual Report is also used by librarians and teachers to help them develop activities for Banned Books Week.
 
The Annual Report is based on challenge reports OIFC receives from all types of Oregon libraries (school, academic, and public).  All local libraries are encouraged to report challenges to materials on a voluntary basis.  OIFC does not publish names of people, organizations, libraries, and towns identified in challenge reports confidential.  
 
I will be compiling the 2009 Annual Report in August 2009.  Please submit a separate challenge report for each formal challenge to library materials that occur at your library between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.  Reports may be submitted as the are resolved or altogether in July 2009.
 
This information is complied to assist Oregon libraries currently facing a challenge as well as providing information that will help you plan Banned Books Week activities.  The Annual Report will tell you what books were challenged in Oregon libraries the previous year.  The more libraries reporting challenges to OIFC the better OIFC can help you! 
 
Please take time to report challenges to OIFC.  The accuracy of OIFC's Annual Report and Title Index to Challenges is directly related to the number of Oregon libraries reporting challenges.  
 
To report challenges to materials at your library:
Download and print the form at http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/LD/intellectual.shtml#Report_Challenges 
Fill out a challenge report form for each item that went through your library's formal process for dealing with challenges to library material. 
Mail your completed form(s) to:
Oregon State Library
c/o Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse
250 Winter St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
 
For more information about OIFC visit our website (http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/LD/intellectual.shtml) or contact the coordinator of OIFC, Katie Anderson, 503-378-2528. 
 
PS:  Attention School Librarians!  Submit reports to OIFC on challenges after they have gone through your school's formal challenge to materials process and a decision to retain, relocate, or remove the title has been officially made.  Submit reports on informal challenges to OASL's Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair, currently Emily Crawford (emily71073 at hotmail.com).  

Katie Anderson
Youth Services Consultant
Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator
Library Development 
Oregon State Library
503-378-2528
katie.anderson at state.or.us
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