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Title:Librarians' Free Speech: The Challenge of Librarians' Own Intellectual Freedom to the American Library Association, 1946-2007
Author(s):Asato, Noriko
Subject(s):intellectual freedom
free speech
American Library Association
Abstract:Traditionally the concept of intellectual freedom has developed out of the perspective of users’ rights to access library materials. The American Library Association (ALA) codified this with the Library Bill of Rights, Code of Ethics, and Freedom to Read Statement. However, librarians’ own intellectual freedom has been largely overlooked. Because of this, safeguarding librarians’ own free-speech rights has received little attention even within the profession. This article examines over a half-century of cases involving librarians’ attempts to defend their own intellectual freedom. The article also explores ALA’s conflicting responses and how it struggled to define intellectual freedom, especially in the late 1960s and 1970s when it established the Office for Intellectual Freedom, Freedom to Read Foundation, LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund, and several committees that investigated such cases. This article explores key incidents that led ALA to create policies or change directions regarding professional’s free-speech rights. It shows the struggle within ALA on the controversial idea of defending librarians’ intellectual freedom.
Issue Date:2014
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library trends 63 (1) Summer 2014: 75-105.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright (2014) Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-10-17

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