Intellectual Freedom: Issues and Resources
A commitment to intellectual freedom transforms your library.
ALA actively advocates and educates in defense of intellectual freedom—the rights of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Intellectual freedom is a core value of the library profession, and a basic right in our democratic society. A publicly supported library provides free, equitable, and confidential access to information for all people of its community.
This page is managed by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, dedicated to preserving First Amendment rights in libraries.
Each “Issues” header leads to a landing page, filled with resources and articles pertaining to the topic. The bullet-points below each issue highlight featured content hosted on those landing pages.
- Academic Bill of Rights
- American Association of University Professors
- Digital Divide
- Economic Barriers to Information
- Net Neutrality
- Prisoners' Right to Read
- Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and E-rate
- Digital Rights
- Filtering Software
- Online Safety
- Book Banning and Challenges to Resources
- Notable Court Cases
- Youth and Schools
- Law Enforcement
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
- USA PATRIOT Act
- Bulletin Boards
- Library Bill of Rights
- Code of Ethics
- Code of Ethics Q&As and Interpretations
- Freedom to Read
- Intellectual freedom policies in the ALA Policy Manual
- Libraries: An American Value
All webinars can be found on the intellectual freedom elearning page
- History of Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
- Student Rights, Protests, and Free Speech
- Libraries in the Jim Crow South and A Conversation with One of the Tougaloo Nine
Privacy guidelines and checklists can be found on the Privacy and Confidentiality issues page.
- Confidentiality and Coping with Law Enforcement Inquiries: Guidelines for the Library and its Staff
- Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of Policies, Regulations and Procedures Affecting Access to Library Materials, Services and Facilities
- Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures Regarding User Behavior and Library Usage
- Guidelines to Minimize the Negative Effects of Internet Content Filters on Intellectual Freedom
- RFID in Libraries: Privacy and Confidentiality Guidelines
- Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read, 2014 edition
- Intellectual Freedom Manual
- Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy
Intellectual freedom resolutions older than two years will be archived on ALA’s Institutional Repository.
- Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks
- Enforcement of the Code of Ethics
- Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
- Labeling and Rating
- Makerspaces, Media Labs and Other Forums for Content Creation in Libraries
- Privacy and Confidentiality
- Religion in American Libraries
- Workplace Speech
Assistance and Consultation
The staff of the Office for Intellectual Freedom is available to answer questions or provide assistance to librarians, trustees, educators and the public about intellectual freedom issues and resources. Areas of assistance include policy development, First Amendment issues, and professional ethics. Inquiries can be directed via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (312) 280-4226.