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Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse (OIFC)

Report Challenges

What should be reported?

Report challenges that have occurred your library and/or in your school.

  • A challenge, as defined by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, is “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. [...] Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.”
  • Examples of challenges to report:
    • A library book is found vandalized with swastikas. This can be reported as a hate crime.
    • A parent complains to the school principal about an item their child checked out. The situation results in having to add a note to the student’s account that they may not check out books on this topic. This can be reported as a materials challenge.
    • Community residents challenge the library’s Drag Queen Story Time and request a meeting with the library director. The director meets with the challengers and listens to their concerns and then meets with the city council to discuss. The program is held as scheduled. This can be reported as a library service challenge.
    • A patron brings a book to a service desk and requests that it be removed from the children’s section. The situation results in the book being relocated to the teen section. This can be reported as a materials challenge.
  • Complaints that do not go beyond talking to the patron in the moment do not need to be reported unless they escalate to the library taking further action (receiving a formal reconsideration form, the complainer asking to meet with the library director, etc.).

Who should report?

Anyone is welcome to submit a report. Your library/school may have a designated person or persons responsible for reporting challenges - check your policies and procedures.

You can choose to include your name and contact information if you would like to be contacted for support.

What is done with the report?

  • The State Library compiles an annual report which presents a landscape of challenges in our state, and updates an index to materials challenges which teachers, librarians, and booksellers in Oregon use for Banned Books Week displays, activities, discussions, and events.
  • Upon request the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee may review a report to help an Oregon library respond to a challenge incident.
  • The State Library annually submits reports to the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.

No identifying information concerning the library or challenger is published in annual reports.

If the State Library receives a public records request, they are required to disclose copies of incident reports minus personally identifiable information (names, email addresses, etc.).

How do I report?

Submit this report form.

The State Library annually submits reports to the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, so there is no need to submit to ALA yourself.

What if I have questions?

Please contact Library Support (