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 Freedom

  • Academic Bill of Rights
  • American Association of University Professors

Access to Library Resources and Services

  • Digital Divide
  • Economic Barriers to Information
  • Net Neutrality
  • Prisoners' Right to Read

Filters and Filtering

  • Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and E-rate
  • Digital Rights
  • Filtering Software
  • Online Safety

First Amendment and Censorship

  • Book Banning and Challenges to Resources
  • Notable Court Cases
  • Schools and Minors' Rights

Privacy and Confidentiality

  • Law Enforcement
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
  • Terrorism

Meeting Rooms, Exhibit Spaces, and Programs

  • Artwork
  • Bulletin Boards
  • Displays
  • Religion 


Core Documents


All webinars can be found on the intellectual freedom elearning page


Privacy guidelines and checklists can be found on the Privacy and Confidentiality issues page. 



Intellectual freedom resolutions older than two years will be archived on ALA’s Institutional Repository.




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 or via phone at (312) 280-4226.


Updated 2017