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Intellectual Freedom

What to do if you face a challenge in your school:

The best way to deal with a challenge is to be prepared before any challenge is made. Make sure your challenge policies are up-to-date and include the procedures to follow in the event of a challenge. If you do not have a reconsideration policy, or if it is out of date, the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom (ALA OIFA) offers a Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries that is full of useful resources.

If the challenge is made directly to you, listen carefully to the person’s concerns. Offer them your district’s form to request reconsideration of the materials. Ask them to fill out the reconsideration form and return it to you. Be sure to alert your school administrator. Often, a polite conversation can hold off a formal book challenge.

If the challenge is for classroom materials, you can support the process by gathering reviews and other information about the title to help the committee make a decision.

If your school is facing a challenge in your school or library, please reach out to the the MASL Intellectual Freedom chair, Karen Silverman (




Maine Association of School Libraries

c/o Maine State Library

64 State Street

Augusta, ME


"MASL" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

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