What should patrons expect from the library?
Library policies state how and to what extent information is provided to your community. They may also stress the rights of individuals who use your library.
Serving the community means serving everyone in the community, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view and challenge censorship.
The Library Bill of Rights is reproduced here, and the concepts of free access, equal service, objectivity, and confidentiality are described in more detail on the following pages.
The American Library Association (ALA) affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
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.
[Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended Oct. 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; Feb. 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; Jan. 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed Jan. 23, 1996.]