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"Censorship in Scottish School Libraries." P. Brooks. D. McMenemy. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2012. Download PDF (BibTeX) MSc Information and Library Studies

Censorship is a problem that has existed for centuries and goes against the core principles of librarianship. It is a tool used by some in society to restrict others' access to certain information, and, in some cases, the motives behind censorship are to protect vulnerable groups such as school children. Much research has been conducted on the topic of censorship through book challenges within school libraries in the United States of America, however little exists in respect of censorship in UK school libraries.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the numbers of book challenges made to books in Scottish school libraries over the period 2006-2011; how the challenges were resolved and whether school library policies are in place that provide a stance on censorship as well as procedures for dealing with book challenges. The method used was survey sent via Freedom of Information requests to Scottish local authorities.

It was found that 43 book challenges were received across 17 local authorities. Most book challenges were successful with 40% being resolved by relocating the book and 37% resulting in the book being removed from the library completely.

Ten local authorities provided school library policies, with eight containing some form of anti-censorship statement. Only one school library policy received provided guidance on the procedure to be followed in the event of a book challenge being made.