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ALA Intellectual Freedom Resources

THE OFFICE FOR INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM

http://www.ala.org/oif
The Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning 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. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.

BASICS

http://www.ala.org/oif/basics
These are links to information on basic intellectual freedom principles, including links to the fundamental principles of American and international libraries. Also included are links to pages to help you understand why censoring the Internet is the same as censoring a book. For those interested in assisting children to have a positive Internet experience, we suggest Especially for Children and Their Parents. Intellectual Freedom Issues (under Related Links), will take you to Hot Topics in Intellectual Freedom. We suggest you begin with Intellectual Freedom and Censorship.

FIRST AMENDMENT

http://www.ala.org/oif/first
Includes links to various First Amendment-related sites.

STATEMENTS AND POLICIES

http://www.ala.org/oif/policies
Includes links to all of ALA’s intellectual freedom policies, statements, and guidelines.

INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM TOOLKITS

http://www.ala.org/oif/iftoolkits
These toolkits have been developed to provide assistance primarily to librarians and libraries.

CHALLENGE SUPPORT

http://www.ala.org/oif/challengesupport
These pages are designed to provide assistance with dealing with and reporting challenges to library materials.

INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM ISSUES

http://www.ala.org/oif/ifissues
These pages provide information on specific topics related to intellectual freedom.

BANNED BOOKS WEEK

http://www.ala.org/bbooks
These pages are for Banned Books Week (BBW), which celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

http://www.ala.org/oif/youngpeople
These pages are primarily for young people, since young people have First Amendment rights. These pages, including “Especially for Children and Their Parents,” will provide information and links to explore these rights, as well as provide information for more safely navigating the Internet.

IF GROUPS AND COMMITTEES

http://www.ala.org/oif/ifgroups
These pages include links to the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table, Freedom to Read Foundation, ALA Committee on Professional Ethics, LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, State Intellectual Freedom Committee Chairs, Intellectual Freedom Action Network, and Other First Amendment Advocates.

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

http://www.ala.org/oif/programsandevents
These pages provide information on and links to Intellectual Freedom Programs, Lawyers for Libraries, Intellectual Freedom Publications (including IFACTION, Coping with Challenges: Kids and Libraries, and Coping with Challenges: Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials), and Banned Books Week.

ABOUT OIF

http://www.ala.org/oif/aboutus
This page includes a description of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, contact information, and a history of the OIF Web site.

LEROY C. MERRITT HUMANITARIAN FUND

http://www.merrittfund.org
The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund was established in 1970 as a special trust in memory of Dr. LeRoy C. Merritt. It is devoted to the support, maintenance, medical care, and welfare of librarians who, in the Trustees’ opinion, are (a) denied employment rights or discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, age, disability, or place of national origin; or (b) denied employment rights because of defense of intellectual freedom; that is, threatened with loss of employment or discharged because of their stand for the cause of intellectual freedom, including promotion of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the freedom of librarians to select items for their collections from all the world’s written and recorded information.

FREEDOM TO READ FOUNDATION

http://www.ftrf.org
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees all individuals the right to express their ideas without governmental interference, and to read and listen to the ideas of others. The Freedom to Read Foundation was established to promote and defend this right; to foster libraries and institutions wherein every individual’s First Amendment freedoms are fulfilled; and to support the right of libraries to include in their collections and make available any work which they may legally acquire.

INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM ROUND TABLE

http://www.ala.org/ifrt
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.

COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL ETHICS

http://www.ala.org/oif/ifgroups/cope
The Council Committee on Professional Ethics shall augment the Code of Ethics by explanatory interpretations and additional statements, prepared by this committee or elicited from other units of ALA. When units of the association develop statements dealing with ethical issues, a copy will be sent to the Committee on Professional Ethics for review so that it may be compared to the existing ALA Code of Ethics in order to determine whether or not conflicts occur.

NEWSLETTER ON INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM

http://www.ala.org/nif
The NIF is the only journal that reports attempts to remove materials from school and library shelves across the country. The NIF is the source for the latest information on intellectual freedom issues. Published bi-monthly by the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the American Library Association, each issue (Jan., March, May, July, Sept., Nov.) includes:


  • Censorship Dateline”: provides a state-by-state survey of challenges, bannings, and burnings
  • “From the Bench” and “Is It Legal?”: list important developments in federal and state laws affecting librarians, teachers, students, authors, journalists, and artists.
  • The “Intellectual Freedom Bibliography”: a guide to current articles and books, from all points of view, on freedom of expression in America.

CHILDREN’S INTERNET PROTECTION ACT (CIPA)

http://www.ala.org/cipa
United States v. American Library Association, No. 02-361 (June 23, 2003).

NAVIGATING THE OIF WEB SITE

http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/navigatingoif.htm

 

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