[Libs-Or] 2009 Annual Report on challenges to library material

Katie Anderson anderson_katie at oslmac.osl.state.or.us
Wed Sep 30 11:35:12 PDT 2009

2009 Annual Report of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse is now available!
Last year 18 attempts to ban books/videos in Oregon libraries were reported to the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse (OIFC).   One of the 18 was removed from the collection because a reconsideration committee reviewed the material and found that it contains inaccurate factual information.  The 2009 Annual Report only includes challenges that are voluntarily reported to OIFC. A few of the high-profile challenges that occurred last year are not included because they were not reported to OIFC.

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?  
How would you review materials and conduct a challenge hearing during the reconsideration process? 
This year there were a few high-profile challenges in Oregon, what would you do if the media contacted you about a challenge in your library?  
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

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 2010  Annual Report in August 2010 .  Please submit a separate challenge report for each formal challenge to library materials that occur at your library between July 1, 2009  and June 30, 2010 .  Reports may be submitted as the are resolved or altogether in July 2010 .
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. 
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 Leigh Morlock (lamorlock at hotmail.com).  

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us, 503-378-2528
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