Policy Title

Dacus Library Challenged Materials Policy


Items selected for the Ida Jane Dacus Library (Library) support the academic research needs of Winthrop University’s curriculum and academic programs. This policy provides ethical parameters of selection, as well as guidelines for library users to request further review or removal of items from the Library’s collections. 


This policy applies to all Dacus Library users.

Policy Number:2.5.11
Effective Date:02/07/2023
Date Reviewed: 10/05/2022
Last Review Date:
Responsible Official: Dean, Ida J. Dacus Library and Louise Pettus Archives & Special Collections
Responsible Office: Office of the Dean, Dacus Library and Pettus Archives
Contact Information:

Intellectual and Academic Freedom

Ida Jane Dacus Library (Library) selects materials supporting the curricular and accreditation needs of Winthrop University. Appearance of any resource does not mean that the Library advocates or endorses the ideas found in that resource. Ida Jane Dacus Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association (ALA) and aligns with Winthrop University’s Academic Freedom and Tenure Policy. The Library and Archives provides materials that represent different points of view in the collection without restriction.

ALA’s Library Bill of Rights states “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation” (Article 1); and “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval” (Article 2). These principles are echoed in the ALA’s Code of Ethics: “We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.” (1) and “We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to information resources.” (7).

The Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Statement on Academic Freedom notes that “A free and vigorous exchange of ideas is integral to sustaining an environment in which teaching, learning, and research may thrive.” The library also endorses the Freedom to Read Statement, provided by the American Library Association.

At Winthrop University, Academic Freedom is required and protected. The Winthrop University Faculty Manual notes: “Academic freedom empowers faculty to discuss responsibly all relevant matters; to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression; and to speak, write or otherwise legally express themselves as private citizens without institutional discipline or restraint…” (Part 2.06 Faculty Appointments: Academic Freedom).

Challenge Policy

Students, faculty and staff of Winthrop University and residents of the State of South Carolina may challenge a resource held by Ida Jane Dacus Library. The challenge must be based on the failure of that resource to fall within the appropriate library collection development policy, including the commitment to intellectual and/or academic freedom. The Library user may request the Library take one of two actions; (1) removal of an item because it does not adhere to the appropriate collection policy or (2) the addition of a source that provides more viewpoints as budget allows. The Library may agree to take either action or no action at all. A resource under reconsideration will remain on the shelf and available to patrons for the duration of the reconsideration process.

To challenge a resource, Library users will complete and submit a Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form to the Office of the Dean of Dacus Library and Pettus Archives and Special Collections. Upon receipt of the form, the Dean’s Office will acknowledge receipt of the form.


The completed Request for Reconsideration Form will be forwarded to the Library Committee – elected by members of Faculty Conference – for review. The Library Committee will consult faculty expertise as needed. The Office of the Dean will notify the requestor of the Library Committee decision. 

Visit the Dacus Library Website for additional information on library access, resources, and services.

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