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Censorship and Challenges

“Intellectual Freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas.” —  Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q & A
"Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us." --Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, " The One Un-American Act ."  Nieman Reports vol. 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1953): p. 20.
“First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought.”—Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Ashcroft V. Free Speech Coalition (00-795) 198 F.3d 1083, affirmed.
“Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.”— The Freedom to Read Statement

| Links to Information on the First Amendment and Intellectual Freedom, and Additional Information on Censorship and Challenges | ALA Policies and Statements on the Freedom to Read |

Links to Information on the First Amendment and Intellectual Freedom, and Additional Information on Censorship and Challenges

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

Intellectual Freedom and Censorship Q&A

First Amendment Basics

International Intellectual Freedom Basics

American Library Basics

International Library Basics

Censorship Basics


News Sources for Information about Censorship, Intellectual Freedom, and the First Amendment

Contacting Elected Officials about Issues/Legislation Related to Intellectual Freedom

Coalitions Against Censorship

First Amendment Advocates

First Amendment Resources

Intellectual Freedom Issues

ALA Policies and Statements on the Freedom to Read

Library Bill of Rights

Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights

Libraries: An American Value

Other ALA Policies, Procedures, Resolutions, and Guidelines Protecting the Freedom to Read

ALA Intellectual Freedom Policies and the First Amendment

The Freedom to Read Statement

Protecting the Freedom to Read

Links to non-ALA sites have been provided because these sites may have information of interest. Neither the American Library Association nor the Office for Intellectual Freedom necessarily endorses the views expressed or the facts presented on these sites; and furthermore, ALA and OIF do not endorse any commercial products that may be advertised or available on these sites.