Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. Libraries and librarians protect and promote these rights by selecting, producing, providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, providing instruction in the use of, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the format or technology.
The American Library Association declares as a matter of firm principle that it is the responsibility of every library to have a clearly defined materials selection policy in written form that reflects the Library Bill of Rights, and that is approved by the appropriate governing authority.
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.
Expurgating library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Expurgation as defined by this interpretation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any part(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution (if any).
The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals.
The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression.
The purpose of this statement is to outline how and where intellectual freedom principles fit into an academic library setting, thereby raising consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. The following principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy documents.
The presence of books and other resources in the library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library or the university. Likewise, the ability for library users to access electronic information using library computers does not indicate endorsement or approval of that information by the library.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
Standards for ethical conduct for rare book, manuscript, and special collections librarians" was approved as policy by the ACRL Board of Directors on January 18, 1987, and published in C&RLNews, v. 48 (March 1987), pp. 134-35. The statement was designed, as is this revision, to amplify and supplement the Code of Ethics adopted by the American Library Association (ALA Policy 54.16). . . . .[T]his revision of the standards is accompanied by a set of guidelines for institutional practice in support of the standards.
The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (the TEACH Act) was . . . . signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 2, 2002. "Long anticipated by educators and librarians, TEACH redefines the terms and conditions on which accredited, nonprofit educational institutions throughout the U.S. may use copyright protected materials in distance education - including on websites and by other digital means - without&
The USA PATRIOT Act of 200l (Public Law 107-56, 115 STAT.272, H.R. 3162) was enacted on October 25, 2001 and signed by President Bush the following day. The Act is to provide the tools and investigative powers to "deter and punish terrorist acts in the United State and around the world." It was reauthorized on March 9, 2006.