Educational Design and Technology

Intellectual Freedom

Students achieve intellectual and social development as responsible, contributing members of society

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. 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.

II. 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.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

[From: American Library Association: Library Bill of Rightsexternal link]

Additional Reading

Stephens, Wendy. Evidence of Student Voice Finding Meaning in Intellectual Freedom.Knowledge Quest. American Libraries Association- AASL Volume 37, Number 2 / November/December 2008.

Adams, Helen R. Advocating for Intellectual Freedom with Principals and Teachers. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 25(6), 54, February, 2009.

Adams discusses how unrestricted access to information in the library media center creates an academic atmosphere in which students learn how to evaluate competing ideas, a skill needed by all citizens. The author suggests the LMS meet with the principal to review the materials selection policy, how materials are selected, and district reconsideration procedures, clarifying any steps that are unclear. 

Adams, Helen R. Retaining School Library Records. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 1, Jan. 2007.

Web Resources                                                            Librarian with small student doing crafts

What Is Your Definition of "Censorship"?
The University of Virginia library has created an online exhibit with the purpose of provoking questions about banning books.

http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/censored/intro.htmlexternal link

The School Library Media Specialist

Information Access & Delivery: Intellectual Freedom

Indiana University at Indianapolis website contends that the library media specialist must be an advocate for intellectual freedom.

http://eduscapes.com/sms/access/cdfreedom.htmlexternal link

[Photo courtesy New York Library Association]

Last Updated: January 14, 2015