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Library Bill of Rights

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago

Back to 1940s

Back to Libraries and intellectual freedom


The American Library Association Council adopted the Library Bill of Rights on June 18th, 1948. According to the ALA website, "The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services."


The Library Bill of Rights is comprised of the following six bulleted points:


I. 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.

II. 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.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. 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.

VI. 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.



The Library Bill of Rights has been amended three times, most recently on January 23, 1996, when the addition of "age" was reaffirmed as part of the fifth tenet that also includes "origin, background and views" as reasons insufficient for limiting access to libraries. "Age" was originally added in the 1960s.


For more information about the Library Bill of Rights, visit: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/statementspols/statementsif/librarybillrights.htm


For the Bill of Rights in Spanish, visit:



XB Billman

Back to Libraries and intellectual freedom

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