A history of ALA policy on intellectual freedom

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/21/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Collecting several key documents and policy statements, “A History of ALA Policy on Intellectual Freedom: A Supplement to the Intellectual Freedom Manual, Ninth Edition,” published by ALA Editions, traces a history of ALA’s commitment to fighting censorship. An introductory essay by Judith Krug and Candace Morgan, updated by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) Director Barbara Jones, sketches out an overview of ALA policy on intellectual freedom. Edited by Trina Magi and Martin Garnar, this volume includes documents which discuss such foundational issues as:

  • The Library Bill of Rights;
  • protecting the freedom to read;
  • ALA’s Code of Ethics;
  • how to respond to challenges and concerns about library resources;
  • minors and internet activity;
  • meeting rooms, bulletin boards, and exhibits;
  • copyright;
  • privacy, including the retention of library usage records.

Magi is a library professor and reference and instruction librarian at the University of Vermont. She has chaired state and regional intellectual freedom committees, served on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and published a number of articles on privacy. She has won several awards for her intellectual freedom advocacy. Garnar is the reference services librarian and professor of library science at Regis University in Denver. He also teaches professional ethics, library instruction and foundations of library and information science for the University of Denver’s library and information science program. He has served as chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Committee on Professional Ethics.

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is charged with implementing the intellectual freedom policies of the American Library Association through educating librarians and the public about 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. In order to meet its educational goals, the Office undertakes information, support, and coordination activities.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.