Library Bill of Rights
American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for
information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should
guide their services.
Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest,
information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the
library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin,
background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all
points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not
be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their
responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with
resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the
public they serve should make such facilities available on an
equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of
individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948.
Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980, inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996, by the ALA Council.
Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program:
An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
school library media program plays a unique role in promoting
intellectual freedom. It serves as a point of voluntary access to
information and ideas and as a learning laboratory for students as they
acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills needed in a
pluralistic society. Although the educational level and program of the
school necessarily shapes the resources and services of a school
library media program, the principles of the Library Bill of Rights
apply equally to all libraries, including school library media
programs. School library media professionals assume a leadership role
in promoting the principles of intellectual freedom within the school
by providing resources and services that create and sustain an
atmosphere of free inquiry.
library media professionals work closely with teachers to integrate
instructional activities in classroom units designed to equip students
to locate, evaluate, and use a broad range of ideas effectively.
Through resources, programming, and educational processes, students and
teachers experience the free and robust debate characteristic of a
library media professionals cooperate with other individuals in
building collections of resources appropriate to the developmental and
maturity levels of students. These collections provide resources which
support the curriculum and are consistent with the philosophy, goals,
and objectives of the school district. Resources in school library
media collections represent diverse points of view on current as well
as historical issues.
English is, by history and tradition, the customary language of the
United States, the languages in use in any given community may vary.
Schools serving communities in which other languages are used make
efforts to accommodate the needs of students for whom
is a second language. To support these efforts, and to ensure equal
access to resources and services, the school library media program
provides resources which reflect the linguistic pluralism of the
of the school community involved in the collection development process
employ educational criteria to select resources unfettered by their
personal, political, social, or religious views. Students and educators
served by the school library media program have access to resources
and services free of constraints resulting from personal, partisan, or
doctrinal disapproval. School library media professionals resist
efforts by individuals or groups to define what is appropriate for all
students or teachers to read, view, hear, or access via electronic
barriers between students and resources include but are not limited
to: imposing age or grade level restrictions on the use of resources,
limiting the use of interlibrary loan and access to electronic
information, charging fees for information in specific formats,
requiring permission from parents or teachers, establishing restricted
shelves or closed collections, and labeling. Policies, procedures, and
rules related to the use of resources and services support free and
open access to information.
school board adopts policies that guarantee students access to a broad
range of ideas. These include policies on collection development and
procedures for the review of resources about which concerns have been
raised. Such policies, developed by persons in the school community,
provide for a timely and fair hearing and assure that procedures are
applied equitably to all expressions of concern. School library media
professionals implement district policies and procedures in the school.
Adopted July 2, 1986; amended January 10, 1990; July 12, 2000,
by the ALA Council.