The American Library Association defines intellectual freedom as
“the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored… intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas.”
Having just celebrated our country’s freedom and independence day this weekend, it seems fitting to remind ourselves that we as librarians are protectors of intellectual freedom. As school librarians, we provide our teachers and students with the resources they need for teaching and learning, and we support their right to ideas and information that they need and want in order to learn and grow in our communities. We ensure diverse collections of both print and non-print resources for all learners, and we work with public libraries and other agencies to provide resources that we may not have in our own collections.
For more information and support as we protect intellectual freedom and the rights of our patrons, check out these resources from the American Library Association:
- Intellectual Freedom Manual
- Intellectual Freedom Q&A
- Intellectual Freedom Toolkits
- Intellectual Freedom Online Learning offerings
- Intellectual Freedom Statements and Guidelines
- Intellectual Freedom on District Dispatch
Author: Deanna Harris
I have spent my career in education as a middle grades language arts teacher, a middle grades teacher librarian, and a coordinating teacher at the NC Department of Public Instruction. During my twenty-three years, I have focused on teaching and learning, student achievement, and teacher leadership. I have worked with beginning and veteran teachers through mentoring, internships, staff development, and professional learning teams.