The Chester Fritz Library supports intellectual freedom by offering resources from a diverse background. The Chester Fritz Library shall retain authority for selecting and deselecting materials. We are guided by a respect for intellectual freedom as outlined in the ALA Bill of Rights and the UND Faculty Handbook.
The resources acquired for the University Libraries are selected to meet the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. Appearance of any resource does not mean that the library advocates or endorses the ideas found in that resource. The Chester Fritz Library (CFL) adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in theLibrary Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and endorses the Freedom to Read Statement provided by the American Library Association. It is the responsibility of CFL to ensure that different points of view are represented in the collection.
The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association 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 I
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 II
Academic Freedom is also required and protected by the University of North Dakota's Faculty Manual:
The primary responsibility of the academic community is to provide for the enrichment of intellectual experience. Essential to the realization of this ideal is a free and open academic community, which takes no ideological or policy position itself. The responsible academic community welcomes those who do take an ideological or policy position and jealously guards their right to do so. Conflict of ideas cannot occur unless there is opportunity for a variety of viewpoints to be expressed. Toleration of what may be error is an inescapable condition of the meaningful pursuit of truth. The academic community must be hospitable even to closed minds, and it must welcome the conflict of ideas likely to ensue. Academic responsibility to provide opportunity for expression of diverse points of view generates academic freedom. Part VI, section 1 Academic Freedom, UND Faculty Handbook
The American Library Association (ALA) defines a resources challenge as an attempt by a person or group of people to have materials, such as books, removed from a library or school curriculum, or otherwise restricted. This policy outlines what actions patrons can take if they feel a material should be challenged or removed from the collection. Resources in the Chester Fritz Library may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of the University of North Dakota; North Dakota residents; and residents of the Greater Grand Forks area. A challenge to a resource in the Chester Fritz Library must be based on the failure of that resource to fall within the library’s selection and collection development policies, including the commitment to intellectual freedom.
When challenging an item, the patron may request the library take one of two actions:
- Removal of an item because it is inappropriate, or
- The addition of a source to balance the collection by providing alternative views.
The library may agree to take either action or no action at all. Challenged items will remain on the shelf and available to library users during the duration of the challenge. Challenges will be reported to NDLA Intellectual Freedom Committee. All challenges will be public record. Contact the Head of Collection Strategies for the Request for Reconsideration form.
If a challenge relates to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the library will coordinate with the University’s NAGPRA committee. This policy is specific to items in the general collection.
The Protocols for Native American Archival Materials notes “Libraries and archives must recognize that Native American communities have primary rights for all culturally sensitive materials that are culturally affiliated with them. These rights apply to issues of collection, preservation, access, and use of or restrictions to these materials.” They define culturally sensitive materials as "Tangible and intangible property and knowledge which pertains to the distinct values, beliefs, and ways of living for a culture. It often includes property and knowledge that is not intended to be shared outside the community of origin or outside of specific groups within a community” and recommends working with local tribes to determine if something falls under their interpretation of what is culturally sensitive. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples likewise acknowledges “the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites.”
For example, if an object depicts something that falls in a repatriation category, such as pictures of funerary objects or ancestral remains, or has detailed maps depicting locations of sensitive sites, the library will review the resources in coordination with the University’s NAGPRA committee. Resolutions may include restricting access of resources to tribal members. The Chester Fritz Library will also take into consideration whether restricting access to the resource will effectively restrict access to the resource or if it is widely available.
Approved 2/14/23 by the Collection Development Committee