This research project used Freedom of Information requests to obtain public records from Alabama institutions about challenges to materials in public schools and public libraries. Challenges occur when a patron objects to certain content. In this analysis, we examine the records of challenges. The research questions were as follows: How many challenges occur in public schools and libraries? What is the nature of these challenges? Are there institutional or demographic factors that are correlated to the occurrence of challenges? In this exploratory study, the number of reported challenges was surprisingly low. We investigated whether reported challenges were related to certain institutional or demographic factors, but did not find any discernible relationships. The data suggest that most challenged material is retained, but that librarians may be self-censoring to reduce controversy in their collections.
- Freedom of Information Act
- public libraries
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences