Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation


WHEREAS, some elected officials of federal, state, and local governments have proposed to restrict or prohibit access to materials related to sexual orientation within their publicly funded libraries; and

WHEREAS, fair and equal representation of all the diverse expressions of life of the citizens of these United States is protected by the First Amendment and by state constitutions, and attempts to proscribe such representation in publicly funded libraries violates freedom of speech; and

WHEREAS, libraries serve "all people of the community the library serves," and "materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval" (Policy 53.1, " Library Bill of Rights"); and

WHEREAS, "Intellectual freedom, the essence of equitable library services, provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored" (Policy 53.1.11, " Diversity in Collection Development"); and

WHEREAS, "The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation" (Policy 53.1.15, " Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation"); and

WHEREAS, libraries have an obligation under the Library Bill of Rights to disseminate information representing all points of view on the topic of gay rights (Policy 54.17, " Gay Rights"); and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association is committed to combating prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination against individuals and groups in library services because of sexual orientation (Policy 60.2, " Combating Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination"); and

WHEREAS, "Libraries are a traditional forum for the open exchange of information. Attempts to restrict access to library materials violate the basic tenets of the Library Bill of Rights"(Policy 53.1.6, " Restricted Access to Library Materials"); and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association recognizes the right and responsibility of parents to pass on their values by monitoring their child's access to library materials; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association affirms the important role of local library boards, librarians, and library workers as promoters of the American values of inclusiveness, tolerance, and mutual respect within their communities; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association affirms the inclusion in library collections of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association encourages all American Library Association chapters to take active stands against all legislative or other government attempts to proscribe materials related to sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association encourages all libraries to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society.


Adopted by the ALA Council
June 29, 2005
Chicago, Illinois