Dude, report challenges. It is important.
According to the Office of Intellectual Freedom’s estimations, only 20 to 25 percent of challenges are reported.
Please take the time to report challenges. It is easy. There are several ways to do it (and you can choose to remain anonymous). Here is the simple online challenge reporting form. This page has a form to print out and fax or mail in and the phone number for the OIF if you need assistance with a challenge.
Speaking of needing assistance with challenges, wouldn’t it be nice to see a sample challenge response letter to get an idea of what to say? Dude! It is your lucky day. While we wouldn’t dream of suggesting that a cookie cutter letter would do for every challenge, here is an outline of a letter to give you a place to start:
Dear [insert name here],
This letter is in reply to your recent request for reconsideration of the book [insert title here] by [insert author/illustrator here], published in the [insert country here] by [insert publisher here].
As you know, at [insert library here] we provide a wide range of materials for people of all ages and beliefs. Opinions, values and interests in our community are diverse and the collection at [insert library here] is built to reflect this diversity. We recognize that not all books will be suitable for all children, therefore, we strongly encourage parents to accompany their children to the library to select materials.
[Insert title here] was purchased for [insert library here] because [insert reason here: popularity, reviews, customer purchase request, awards, etc.].
Based on the reviews of [insert title here] (copies enclosed) and [insert any other reason mentioned above], we have decided to retain this title in the collection for which it was purchased.
Please contact me if you have further questions or concerns. If you wish to appeal this decision, please [insert information from your library’s reconsideration policy here]. In addition to the reviews, I am enclosing a copy of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights statement.
[insert name here]