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JIS Libraries: Challenged Materials

JIS Librarians

Matthew Schafer- High School

Kathryn Calzini- Middle School

Leslie Henry- PEL

Sarah Pickles- PIE

Challenged Materials

In accordance with the Jakarta Intercultural School’s Library Mission Statement and the School Library Association’s Bill of Rights, (ASLA, AASL) we have a responsibility to provide access to opportunities and resources which reflect a wide variety of perspectives which will encourage critical thinking and help our students make informed decisions. (The guidelines for the selection of our resources can be found in our The Role of the Collection page). Therefore, at times, patrons may be exposed to materials which present information, ideas or attitudes which some members of the school community may consider to be controversial, inappropriate, or offensive.

Objections to these resources are an important part of the democratic process and should be treated as legitimate avenues of communication in education. However, challenges to the inclusion of resources are only considered on the understanding that no parents, caregivers, or other patrons have the right to determine learning or recreational resources for students other than their own. While the library collection is to be responsive to the community and cultural mores, the nature of a diverse population with a wide variance in age and maturity dictates that not all material in the collection will be suitable for every child: therefore, it is expected and incumbent upon a student patron’s parent to monitor the patron’s reading selection. To this end, the JIS Libraries provide each patron with access to his/her library record wherein all items currently or previously checked out can be viewed. The objective of this practice is to encourage student/parent communication regarding the student’s choice of materials and places the onus of responsibility on the student and the parent for the student’s exposure to the influence of our high quality, but highly varied collection in terms of its scope, interest levels, and age-appropriateness.

Therefore, to facilitate the hearing of potential objections and to guide appropriate action, the following procedure will enable different points of view to be clearly and openly expressed while preserving the principles of intellectual freedom and the professional responsibility and integrity of the school.

The procedure is as follows:

Faculty member acknowledges the concern by recording:

  • A. complainant’s name.
  • B. contact details.
  • C. title of challenged resource.
  • D. specific nature and context of the concern.

Referral of the complaint to the teacher-librarian who will:

  • A. provide the complainant with a copy of the Jakarta Intercultural School Library Collection Development Policy.
  • B. check for previous reconsiderations of the item and if it has already been reviewed, the complainant will be given a copy of those findings and no further action taken unless the grounds for complaint are quite distinct from the original.
  • C. inform the principal.
  • D. initiate appropriate proceedings.
  • E. ask the complainant to complete the "Challenged Materials Form" and return this to the teacher-librarian. This form must be signed and dated by the complainant before further action will be taken.

Upon receipt of the completed form, a review committee will be established. This committee will comprise one staff member (a representative of the relevant curriculum committee if appropriate), one parent representative, the divisional principal, and the teacher-librarian. A chair will be elected by the committee members. Each member of the Review Committee will receive a copy of the complainant’s request and a copy of the Guidelines for Reconsideration of Resources and will review the resource independently, bearing in mind the principles of the freedom to learn and to read so that a decision is made on these principles rather than on the defense of individual materials. 

Recommendations could include, but are not limited to:

  • A. The title stays in the JIS library collection as is
  • B. Redistribution of title to a higher divisional level
  • C. Removal of title at the divisional level
  • D. Removal of the title from all JIS libraries

The Review Committee will meet within two weeks after receiving the completed "Challenged Materials Form", to consider their decision and subsequent course of action. The complainant may be invited to this meeting.

The complainant will be notified in writing of the result of the request and the reasons for it within 48 hours of Review Committee meeting adjournment by the committee chair.

The complainant will retain the right to refer the matter to the Jakarta Intercultural School Head of School for further reconsideration.

The challenged resource will remain in circulation to all students until the result of the review is known.

Challenged Materials Form