Library Workers Defending Intellectual Freedom

The library provides an impartial environment in which individuals and their interests are brought together with the universe of ideas and information spanning the spectrum of knowledge and opinions. The library board and staff affirm the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to View, and Freedom to Read policy statements in support of acquiring and managing collections.

What You Can Do

Library staff and trustees defend intellectual freedom by securing access to a wide range of materials, resisting censorship, and advocating for the freedom to read, learn, and explore ideas without restriction. They can also educate the community on the importance of intellectual freedom.
African American female librarian working on desktop PC at university library.

Common Scenarios & Resources

Educate Your Community About Intellectual Freedom

Activate your community through engaging campaigns that educate about the dangers of censorship, highlight real-life examples, encourage discussions, and promote the importance of free expression. Utilize social media, events, workshops, and partnerships to maximize impact and reach.

Prepare for Challenges Before They Happen

Develop clear guidelines that prioritize access to diverse information, establish procedures for handling censorship challenges, provide staff training on intellectual freedom principles, and actively involve community members in policy development and decision-making processes.

Resource List

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Pause and Prepare Document

A one page school district guide to navigating book challenges based on the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom blog.

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Banned Books Week

This annual event brings together the entire book community including librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas.

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Activating Board Members

United for Libraries – the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations – provides intellectual freedom resource guides, tip sheets, and sample policies.

Contact Us

Free For All: New Yorkers for Intellectual Freedom is dedicated to ensuring library workers and librarians are supported and prepared for any intellectual freedom challenges they may experience.

We want to hear from you! Please use the form to contact us and someone from the FFANY team will get back to you.

*These numbers are from the American Library Association in their 2023 National Report