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Challenged Materials Policy

As part of York University Libraries’ (YUL) mission to build research collections of significant depth and scope, librarians and archivists endeavour to collect materials representing a broad range of subjects, viewpoints, and perspectives.

YUL fully supports the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries’ guiding principles pertaining to Freedom of Expression. These statements promote the protection of free expression and intellectual freedom, including a commitment of research libraries “to facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge, opinion, intellectual activity and creativity from all periods of history to the current era including those which some may consider unconventional, unpopular, unorthodox or unacceptable” [1].

YUL asks the entire University community to help foster these values that are core to an academic mission of cultivating the free and the respectful exchange of ideas. YUL asks that we all promote and build upon that which delights, interrogate that which seems misguided, and challenge that which offends. Join YUL in defending the right of all members of the University community, both current and future, to do likewise in a manner that builds a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment that is open to all.

Some library users might object to items in the collection, contending that they should be reclassified, relocated to another area of the library, or removed from the collection altogether. All challenges will be reviewed by the Dean of Libraries and the Director Content Development and Analysis Department, who will consult with the relevant subject selector(s), and, when appropriate, with faculty experts in the area.

While all challenges will be thoughtfully assessed, the Library’s goal of upholding the principles of freedom of expression and intellectual freedom shall be the primary consideration in assessing any challenge. YUL reserves the right to make the final decision on the retention, relocation or reclassification of all items in the collection. Items will be retained in the collection until a final decision is made.

[1] Canadian Association of Research Libraries. (1987). Principles: Freedom of Expression.

Sheril Hook
Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning
(416)736-2100 x 55601

Adopted: March 2019