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Library Policies

.Updated 10/2/23

Challenge or Review of Library Materials


If someone objects to a specific item in the Bellingham Technical College Library collection and wishes to see it removed, the person will meet with the Library Director to discuss his/her concerns.

If after discussion the individual wishes that the material be withdrawn, the individual may request a review of the material by completing the “Request for Review” form and submitting  it to the Library Director (a link to this form can be found on the left side of this page). Forms are also available in the Library.  No item in question will be withdrawn before the review process is completed and a final decision is reached.

The Library staff shall review the request, may ask for input from a Library Advisory Committee, and shall prepare a written response.  The response will include an explanation of the decision.  This explanation may contain:

                        1. How the material relates to the educational goals of the college and the Library.

                        2. Criteria used for selection, including published reviews.

                        3. User requests for and use of the material.

Copies of the review request form and the response will be submitted to the Vice President of Instruction and the Chair of the Library Advisory Committee.


Within two (2) weeks of receipt of the response from the Bellingham Technical College Library, the complainant may forward a written appeal to the Vice President of Instruction.  Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Vice President will establish an ad-hoc Review Committee.  The Vice President will chair the committee and its members will be:

                        1.  Two (2) BTC faculty members or counselors (at least one of whom must be tenured and one of whom, if possible, is                         knowledgeable about the subject area in question).

                        2.  Two (2) BTC librarians or staff members.                       

                        3.  One (1) BTC student.

                        4.  One (1) BTC administrator or staff member.

                        5.  One (1) librarian from outside the college. 

The Committee will review the written request and will read, listen to, and/or review the challenged material in its entirety.  The Bellingham Technical College Library Director will provide information to the Committee which may include:

                        1.  Bellingham Technical College Library objectives that are met by the material.

                        2.  Reviews from professionally recognized sources.

                        3.  Statements by instructors whose students use or may use the material.

                        4.  Any other information relevant to the material under review.

The Committee may interview other individuals, including the complainant, as well as seeking counsel and advice from the Office of the Attorney General and others.

Within 45 days of receipt of the written appeal, the Vice President of Instruction will forward a written decision, and all supporting material, to the Library Director for implementation.  The Library Director will notify the complainant in writing of the decision of the Committee.


Within two (2) weeks of notification of the Committee’s decision, the complainant or a member of the Committee may forward a written appeal to the President.  Appeal decisions will be based on the material included in the file. 


Material which has undergone a review may not be challenged again for one (1) calendar year from the date the Review Committee’s recommendation is sent to the Library Director.

The above appeal/review process will apply equally in the case of persons who wish to challenge a Bellingham Technical College Library decision not to include certain material in the collection.  In that case, the form “Suggestion for Purchase” and additional supporting statements will be submitted.

The review process applies equally to all formats.


updated 10/23