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Challenged Materials Policy: Gumberg Library Challenged Materials Policy and Procedure

This guide describes the general policy for selecting Gumberg Library materials and the procedure that library users must follow to challenge an item held in the collection.

Gumberg Library Challenged Materials Policy

General Selection Policy 

The resources acquired for the Gumberg Library are selected to meet the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. Appearance of any resource does not mean that the library advocates or endorses the ideas found in that resource. The Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. It is the responsibility of the Library to ensure that different points of view are represented in the collection.

The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association states "Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation" (Article 1); and "Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval" (Article 2). The Library also endorses the Freedom to Read Statement, provided by the American Library Association.

Challenged Resources:

Resources in the Gumberg Library may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of Duquesne University. A challenge to a resource in the University Library must be based on the failure of that resource to fall within the Library's selection and collection development policies, including the commitment to intellectual freedom. When challenging an item, the patron may request the library take one of two actions; (1) removal of an item because it is inappropriate, or (2) the addition of a source to balance the collection by providing alternative views. The Library may agree to take either action or no action at all. Challenged items will remain on the shelf and available to Library Users during the duration of the challenge.

Challenged Materials Procedure

Those persons wishing to challenge a resource in the Gumberg Library will be asked to write a formal letter to the University Librarian. The University Librarian will acknowledge receipt of the formal challenge via letter. The Request will then be considered by the Library’s Leadership Team, which includes the Collection Management Librarian. The library liaison responsible for collection development in the subject area of the resource will also be involved in the decision making process. Any recommendations will be sent to the University Librarian, who will make the final decision. The person making the challenge will be notified in writing by the University Librarian of that decision and any action to be taken.

1.    Formal challenges to the library collection will be made in writing to the university librarian at the following address.

Dr. Sara Baron

Duquesne University

Gumberg Library

600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15282

2.   The written submission explaining the nature of the challenge must include:

  • Bibliographic Information: the author, title, publisher, publication date and selected reference to the text pertaining to the challenge.
  • Personal Information: the challenger’s name, status on campus (student, faculty, administration, staff, other), school or departmental affiliation, area of specialization, expertise, and accomplishments in the field under question (if appropriate).
  • A detailed analysis or critique of the holding being challenged.

Date Issued: January 2010; Reviewed January 2013; Updated February 2016, September 2017

Contacts For This Policy

Dr. Sara Baron, University Librarian

Tracie Ballock, Collection Management Librarian