Effective Date: November 27, 2007
Responsibility: Superintendent of Program and Schools (Elementary & Secondary)
Selecting books and non-print materials for school libraries is a complex task that requires a balance between offering a wide range of interesting materials that supports the curriculum, and ensuring materials are appropriate – appropriate to the age and reading level of students in the school, appropriate to the cultural, moral and religious values of our communities which can change over the years.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of expression; however, freedom must always be balanced with responsibility. Our school librarians are familiar with the items in their collections, but no librarian is expected to read every book in the collection.
When staff, students and members of the public object to a particular resource, the following procedures should be used:
2.1 Initiating the complaint:
2.1.1. A student who objects to an item, should voice the complaint to the school librarian. The librarian and the student should work toward a consensus about what action to take. The student may fill in a Request for Reconsideration form [Appendix A]. Either party may appeal to the school principal [or his/her designate] or Board Librarian.
2.1.2. A parent/guardian or member of the public who objects to an item, should contact the school principal who may involve the school or Board librarian. The school librarian and/or Board librarian should outline the reason the item was purchased. The complainant may wish to fill out a Request for Reconsideration form; at that point, the principal, school librarian and Board librarian should decide on a suitable action plan.
2.2 Response to the complaint
2.2.1. After carefully considering the library item and its role in the school collection, the
librarian/principal/Board Librarian may decide to
- leave the item where it is
- withdraw the item
- re-classify it to an area for older students
- move it to a school library which serves older students
2.2.2 If there has been a written Request for Reconsideration form filled in, one of the school librarian, Board librarian or principal will respond in writing to the complaint outlining the action taken and reasons behind the decision.