Most challenges to comics in libraries come from well-meaning individuals, frequently parents, who find something they believe is objectionable in their local public or school library. These challenges are often difficult and stressful for the library staff who must manage them, but there are resources to help them in the process. Below we’ve identified a number of tips and links to assist libraries to increase the likelihood of keeping challenged comics on the shelves.
1. Making Strong Policies.
Strong policies are key for protecting access to library materials, including comics. The American Library Association has developed a number of excellent tools to assist school and public libraries in the essential preparation to perform before books are challenged here.
2. Coping With Challenges.
What do you do when a comic is challenged? Once again, help is available. Your policies will be essential for managing a hearing for the challenged materials. The American Library Association has developed these helpful tools to cope with challenges:
- Conducting a Challenge Hearing
- Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges
- Sample Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources
The CBLDF can also help by providing assistance with locating review resources, writing letters of support, and facilitating access to experts and resources. Call 800-99-CBLDF or email email@example.com at the first sign of a First Amendment emergency!
3. Reporting The Challenge.
Another essential step in protecting access to comics is to report challenges when they occur. By reporting challenges, you help the free expression community gather necessary information about what materials are at risk so better tools can be created to assist. To report a challenge to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, call us at 800-99-CBLDF or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also report the challenge to the American Library Association here.