Revised and new intellectual freedom policies and resources available from ALA, IFC

For Immediate Release
Mon, 08/26/2019


Eleanor Diaz

Program Officer

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

In anticipation of a new edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual, the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) revised several existing interpretations and resources and created new policies, guidelines and resources to address emerging intellectual freedom issues for the profession. These resources were approved at the 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. and are now available online. 

The following revisions of Library Bill of Rights interpretations were approved and adopted by ALA Council: 

The committee revised the following resources to provide the most updated information to library workers: “Labeling and Rating Systems Q&A,” “Privacy and Confidentiality Q&A,” “RFID in Libraries: Privacy and Confidentiality Guidelines,” “Guidelines for Library Policies” and “Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures Regarding User Behavior and Library Usage.” The committee created a "Meeting Rooms Q&A" — with guidance on public forums, policies, sales and fees ⁠⁠— and published a statement on intellectual freedom advocacy and education, adopted by ALA Council.

“Throughout the revision process, the committee members and volunteers worked carefully and thoughtfully on these documents, and the library community gave us invaluable comments and feedback,” said IFC Chair Julia Warga. “I hope these interpretations and accompanying documents will be useful to library workers, administrators, and trustees when seeking guidance about writing policies or simply doing their daily job.” 

Published by ALA Editions, the tenth edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual will contain many of these resources, as well as essays on trending intellectual freedom issues. 

“These documents provide essential guidance to librarians when learning about intellectual freedom and when faced with a crisis,” said Martin Garnar, editor of the upcoming tenth edition. “Having up-to-date documents is essential to making the Intellectual Freedom Manual a useful tool.” 

Trina Magi will join Garnar as the manual’s assistant editor. The tenth edition is planned to be available for purchase in 2020.