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Intellectual Freedom Toolkit

Information and resources to prepare for and deal with intellectual freedom issues at your library. From the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Staff Training

Library staff should be trained on handling challenges. Here are some good presentations to adapt:

We also recommend pointing staff to the Learn about Intellectual Freedom section in this guide, particularly the webinar "Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries."

General tips on how staff can respond to a challenge the moment it arises:

  • Listen, smile, be open and positive, and try to stay calm.
  • Thank the patron for sharing their concern.
  • Avoid being overly apologetic, defensive, or giving a mini-lesson on intellectual freedom.
  • Provide information about your library’s policies.
  • Provide information about the Freedom to Read Statement, Library Bill of Rights, and any interpretations that relate to their particular concern.
  • Provide information about your library’s reconsideration procedures.
  • Inform your director, principal or other administrator immediately. Here are tips for talking to them about a challenge.