Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.
- OIF provides confidential support to anyone undergoing a material or service challenge. You can report censorship using our updated form.
- Our free consulting services help you prepare for censorship and implement vital intellectual freedom best practices within your library or school. We create and edit policies, strategize plans for working with communities and families, and provide workshops and programs about the First Amendment, privacy laws, internet filtering, and intellectual freedom.
- Subject matter experts from the Office for Intellectual Freedom are available to speak at workshops and professional development sessions on topics such as collection development, professional ethics, and law and policy concerning intellectual freedom, censorship, privacy, internet filtering, the First Amendment and more.
- We host webinars to educate librarians and the public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom. Our webinars are recorded. After the live event, many of the recordings are accessible at the OIF YouTube channel.
- Banned Books Week in the fall draws attention to the harms of censorship and the benefits of unrestricted reading.
- With a diverse group of librarians and writers, OIF publishes an engaging Intellectual Freedom Blog with a huge selection of topics and viewpoints. Every Friday, OIF News Editors, publish a free weekly compilation of news about censorship cases, and articles about privacy, internet filtering, academic freedom and the First Amendment. Anyone can subscribe to receive the Intellectual Freedom News in their email inbox on Fridays.
- OIF releases an annual list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books during National Library Week in April using its censorship database.
- We collaborate with intellectual freedom leaders to continually provide updated resources on a broad range of intellectual freedom issues, including censorship, material challenges, collection policies, privacy, internet filtering, academic freedom and equal access to information.
- Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP) includes substantive essays, peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, legal briefs, and opinion pieces. The $50 annual subscription allows readers to review the latest book banning incidents, court rulings, and legal controversies.
- The 10th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual is more than just an invaluable compendium of guiding principles and policies; it’s also an indispensable resource for day-to-day guidance on maintaining free and equal access to information for all people, including
- 34 ALA policy statements and documents, 17 new or updated for this edition, addressing patron behavior, internet use, copyright, exhibits and use of meeting spaces
- At-a-glance lists summarizing key issues such as access, challenges and censorship, access by minors to controversial materials, and advocacy
- Explanations of legal points in clear, easy-to-understand language, alongside case citations
- Numerous checklists to help readers stay organized
- ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC)
A committee of ALA’s Council responsible for safeguarding the rights of library users in accordance with the First Amendment. The IFC page includes its official charge, roster, current activities, and discussion of draft documents.
- ALA Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE)
A committee of ALA’s Council charged with augmenting the Code of Ethics through interpretations and guiding documents. The COPE page includes its official charge, roster with term dates, and current activities and reports.
- Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT)
A grassroots membership group of more than 1,000 intellectual freedom advocates. The IFRT executive board organizes programs, events, and awards. For $15 per year, all IFRT members receive free intellectual freedom eLearning.
- Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF)
FTRF was established in 1969 as a First Amendment legal defense organization affiliated with the American Library Association. FTRF is a separate corporation from the American Library Association, working in close liaison with the ALA.
- State Intellectual Freedom Network (SIFnet)
OIF hosts a series of online “State of the States” virtual meetings for Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) chairs from ALA Chapters and AASL Affiliates. These meetings are an opportunity to promote communication and discuss state, local, and national intellectual freedom issues.
For First Amendment, policy, filtering, meeting rooms and privacy support:
For challenge support:
For Banned Books Week:
For Freedom to Read Foundation and Merritt Fund Support: