Mineola Memorial Library

Collection Development Policy

MML COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT POLICY

The Board of Trustees of the Mineola Memorial Library establishes the policy that

materials will be selected and purchased to assist the purposes, interest, and needs of the entire

area which it serves. This policy will provide books and other library materials, of both current

interest and permanent value, for all ages, which will meet their patrons’ intellectual,

educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs.

The Library Board of Trustees subscribes to the Freedom to Read statement, the Freedom

to View statement, and the Library Bill of Rights (see Appendix B) of the American Library Association; which enlarge on the above.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

It is the responsibility of the Mineola Memorial Library to provide books and other

appropriate library materials to all citizens of Mineola and other surrounding areas as may be

agreed to by contractual arrangements. The responsibility for the material selection policy lies

with the Board of Trustees. The Board delegates to the Library Director, and other staff members

designated by the Director, the responsibility of the selection of materials and the development of the collection in all viable formats.

GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT:

In order to fulfill the specific aims of the library in an efficient manner, the selectors must

gain considerable knowledge of certain local factors that have some influence on decisions as to

what would be the most beneficial to purchase under the circumstances. The most important of

these factors is the Library as it stands with its existing collection, budget and services. Naturally, one can only spend whatever funds are available, but it is important that a reasonable portion of the total budget be spent on materials for the collection. It is recommended in the American Library Association Minimum Standards that a MINIMUM of (15%) of the total operating budget be spent on the collection. The Library will try to meet and exceed this standard to the greatest extent practicable.

The selectors should have a reasonable knowledge of the community that the Library

serves. The community analysis should cover a myriad of things, such as organizations,

homogenous groupings, employment and technological levels, socio-economic stratification, etc., and is necessary in order to provide appropriate materials for the residents of this community.

Such information can be collected from housing records, the census, community organizations,

community leaders, chamber of commerce reports, Federal Reserve reports, direct input from our

patrons, and the Library Board. For instance, a concentration of people in particular occupations

or professions might be well served by a plentiful supply of materials in their chosen fields.

No addition to the collection is made simply because the work represents a specific area or

subject field. Each work is evaluated to the greatest degree possible and either purchased or

rejected on its own merit. A work written by an author known to be an expert in his field has an

edge over a book or work by a relative unknown. The Library does not cater to nor discriminate against any religious group or political ideology. Purchase of such works is of a general nature, with collections of titles recognized as classics, standard reference works, titles on major world religions, or titles about local religious interests. Highly opinionated political works will be balanced with an opposing work if such a title exists.

The existing collection must always be kept in mind when selecting so that subject areas

that are completely void or below standard in content may be supplemented with standard works

and new materials, as they become available. Care must be taken to avoid over-purchasing in

particular areas to the exclusion of areas that have gaps. Also, other collections in Mineola Memorial will be considered to avoid unnecessary duplication. Books and materials that are not owned by the Mineola Memorial Library may be obtained by Interlibrary Loan requests to other libraries in order to meet patron needs as much as possible.

SPECIFIC SELECTION GUIDES:

Patron and staff are encouraged to suggest titles for consideration for purchase. Such

suggestions will be weighed against normal purchase criteria and if determined to be worthwhile

as additions to the core collection, will be purchased. Other materials, either specific titles or

subject areas, that are not available in the collection and are not to be purchased at the time, will

be requested from other library sources through the Interlibrary Loan process.

ADULT MATERIALS:

A. NONFICTION:

Materials selected in this area are the mainstay in fulfilling the Library’s most important

aims of information and education. In the vast multitude of subject fields, innumerable books are

being published every day. These facts offer the selector a real challenge to attempt to provide the right material. Materials have been written which are recognized as authoritative standards in

certain fields and so are acquired as a matter of course. However, the vast majority must be

handled in a different manner. The selector must try to judge impartially and evaluate critically,

using the following as the basic criteria:

· The authority and competence of the author.

· Ratings from book reviews by authority in that topic

· Comprehensiveness and scope.

· Clarity and accuracy of presentation.

· Degree of accomplishment of purpose.

· Historical significance or educational value.

· Potential usefulness.

· Importance as a contemporary record.

· Relation to existing collection.

· Relative importance in comparison with other books on the subject.

· Placement in special lists, such as: New York Times bestsellers’ list, Publishers

Weekly, and selection aids.

· Placement in a recognized canon for the core collection of that genre or topic.

Example: Public Library Catalog.

However, any selection must be balanced against regional interests and relevance.

B. FICTION:

In selecting materials for fulfilling the recreational aims of the library, it becomes

necessary to attempt to satisfy a wide variety of readers with great differences in taste, interests,

reading levels, and purposes.

The novel has become an extremely vigorous form of literature and is constantly subject to

change and innovation by authors. Their contents range over the entire field of human experiences and imagination. Time-honored criteria used in fiction selection, such as plots, style,

characterization, authenticity, etc., have become less valid in recent years due to the innovative

handling of this literary form by new writers.

Most novels are normally purchased on the basis of reviews by recognized book review

media such as Booklist, Library Journal, Fiction Catalog, Publishers Weekly, etc. Patron demand for any particular title is sufficient reason for consideration of purchase. Other sources are core lists, staff recommendations, trends in use, and an open mind.

The Library will provide patrons bestsellers, fiction and nonfiction, in a variety of formats such as large print and audio. Selections are chosen from more of the generally accepted bestsellers lists, such as the New York Times and Publishers’ Weekly publications. The Library will strive to purchase the most in-demand books and series as budget will allow. Mass market paperback donations are received in adequate numbers to fill the need without further purchase.

YOUNG ADULT MATERIALS

The key objective in the young adult collection is to aid the individual to make the

transition from juvenile to adult materials/ books. Selection is generally made from the more

mature juvenile materials and the more easily read adult materials. Titles are chosen to meet the

recreational and informational reading interests of the young adult age levels. Materials in this

collection consist of fiction, nonfiction, and reference. The collection also includes series,

paperback books, and audio books.

CHILDREN AND JUVENILE MATERIALS

The selections in the collection serve patrons ages infancy to 12 years, parents, teachers,

and care givers. The main objective in selecting children’s materials is to encourage the child’s

joy in reading and for children to learn to become good listeners when books are read aloud.

Books are selected which offer adventure of mind and spirit to the growing child, cultivating an

appreciation of literature, both oral and written, and encouraging the creative use of leisure time

by inquisitive young minds.

Criteria for selection include:

· Age and interest appropriate content and presentation.

· Emphasis on quality, critically acclaimed materials as demonstrated in awards,

specialized bibliographies and/or reviews.

· Quality and aesthetics of illustrations to stimulate the imagination.

· Awareness of curriculum-based needs of public, private, home school students, and

university students of Children’s Literature.

· Stories and information, which represent the richness and diversity of young

children’s local and world community.

· Materials which meet the particular development needs of children at different stages.

The children and juveniles selection primary consists of:

A. BOARD BOOKS: – Wordless or simple concept reading.

B. PICTURE BOOKS: – Classic, contemporary, preschool and folklore stories;

audio cassette/book packages; and simple informational books.

C. EASY READERS: – Books specifically designed for the emerging reader with

progressively constructed vocabularies.

D. JUVENILE FICTION: – Quality contemporary and historical fiction for readers

from ages 6 to 12 years, as well as genre (fantasy, science fiction, mystery) fiction

series and paperbacks.

E. JUVENILE NONFICTION: – Informational books for children up to age 12 with

an emphasis on mythology and folklore, physical and natural science, arts and

crafts, sports, poetry, biography, and the culture, customs, and history of people

from regions of the U.S. and countries around the world.

F. JUVENILE REFERENCE: – Encyclopedias for key areas of research by juveniles.

J. AUDIO BOOKS/CD’S/CASSETTES AND LITERACY BAGS: – Selections taken

from award-winning, popular series, and age appropriate books.

GENERAL REFERENCE

Reference materials are intended for use in the library only. Reference works, by their nature

and by the treatment of their subject matter, are meant to be consulted for definite factual

information and are not designed to be read through consecutively or completely. Their main

purpose is to inform rather than to entertain, and the reference collection serves to complement and supplement the circulating collection. Reference sources include (but are not limited to) such works as indices, encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, almanacs, and bibliographies. Reference materials are weeded on an ongoing basis, and the collection is kept as current as budget constraints allow. The general criteria for selection of reference materials include:

· Inclusion in standard lists of core reference works

· Authority and competence of author and/or publisher

· Accuracy

· Currency of information

· Comprehensiveness and scope

· Format and ease of use (Computer-based resources may sometimes be selected over print.)

· Local need, demand, and interest

· Potential usefulness

· Cost

Specialized Reference sections include:

A. TEXAS REFERENCE: This collection includes, and preference is given to, reference

works dealing with Texas, Wood and surrounding counties, and Mineola and surrounding

communities. Works which are not reference titles but which have state or local historical

significance are included as well.

B. BUSINESS REFERENCE: This small collection features investment reporting and

advisory materials, business directories, and small business resources which are

updated regularly.

SPANISH LANGUAGE COLLECTION

The collection development goal for the Spanish Language Department is to build and

maintain a good general collection of Spanish materials in many formats for our Spanish-speaking patrons of all ages. Emphasis is given to materials that fill the informational and entertainmentneeds of this community. General criteria for selection of these items include:

· Need, demand, and interest of local Spanish-speaking community

· Authority and competence of author and or/publisher

· Accuracy and currency

· As available, materials favorably reviewed in standard review sources.

· Cost.

Divisions within the Spanish Collection include:

A. SPANISH ADULT FICTION: Classic and contemporary works with broad appeal are

preferred for the core of this section, but light, ephemeral fiction is in high demand and

provided through a selection of novellas (illustrated adult paperbacks) and other Spanish

paperback publications.

B. SPANISH ADULT NONFICTION: A broad range of nonfiction materials is sought, with

emphasis in areas of highest need and interest (for example, immigration, English as a

second language). Some materials in audiotape and compact disc format are included.

C. SPANISH CHILDREN’S FICTION: Works ranging from the very simple for beginning

readers to early primary level are collected.

D. SPANISH CHILDREN’S NONFICTION: Informational books on popular subjects for

children from pre-school age to middle-school age are selected.

E. SPANISH MUSIC CDS: Spanish music CDs are chosen and collected. Popular works are

preferred.

H. SPANISH REFERENCE: A small selection of Spanish reference titles is provided. These

include very basic items such as dictionaries, atlases etc. The Spanish Language Collection

is weeded and updated as time and budget permit.

NON-BOOK MATERIALS

A. PERIODICALS: The Library subscribes to as many standard, general periodicals as

possible. New periodicals of a general nature and some specialized titles will be added

where interests are ascertained and as budget permits. One of the aims of the Library is to

have back copies insofar as the budget and space requirements permit.

B. NEWSPAPERS: Newspapers from various cities around the state are received regularly to

provide current and area reference material not otherwise available. The number of

newspaper subscriptions is limited due to financial and storage reasons.

C. MUSIC: CD’s are purchased in a variety of genres. The collection represents classic,

critically recognized and perennially popular recordings, retrospectives, musical scores and

movie soundtracks. Special consideration is given to local artists. Some recent releases may

be selected from bestseller lists, but only because they otherwise clearly meet selection

criteria and fit within the scope of the collection. Spanish language music is selected using

the same criteria.

D. VHS and DVD MATERIALS: The Library's goal is to provide a collection which will

meet the informational and entertainment needs of the Mineola community. It is not the

Library's intention to duplicate the spectrum of feature films available in the private sector,

but rather to provide those selections that are artistically significant, in high demand, or not

readily available in commercial outlets. Since the library ‘s DVD / CD budget is limited, the bulk of the collection is obtained through patron dontations.

GIFTS AND MEMORIALS

Gifts and memorials will be selected in accordance with selection policies and appropriate

specific selection guidelines. Gifts or Memorials that are added to the collection will be identified by a bookplate, and added to a booklist on the library’s online catalog. The shelf life of a memorial depends on its usage, relevance, and condition. In the event that the memorial is highly circulated, acquiring wear, it will be replaced with a newer or more modern edition and the nameplate will be carried over to its replacement copy. Original donors or family members of the memorial will be notified of the book’s status, should it be weeded from the collection, and will be allowed to reclaim the book. It is the policy that all memorials be kept in the library’s collection as long as possible.

LOCAL HISTORY

An attempt is made to purchase materials on Mineola, Wood County and Texas.

Much of this material is kept in a special collection and the rare and/or irreplaceable items are not circulated, but may be used on the premises for their reference value.

DUPLICATIONS

Great demand for specific titles requires that multiple copies of those titles be purchased.

When the number of reserves at the circulation desk equals five, an additional copy is ordered,

providing budget considerations allow this. Such extra copies may be withdrawn after the demand for the titles has subsided.

WEEDING AND UPDATING

Weeding/de-selection is the process of determining if an item still deserves a place on the

library shelves and in the core collection. The core collection is the collection that will satisfy most demands for information. Due to the fact that books and other library materials are constantly being purchased to add to the collection, the problem of physical space available must be met. A partial solution to this problem is the withdrawal and discarding of books and other materials. Those to be withdrawn are evaluated on the same basis as new purchases, such as relative importance, relation to existing core collection, comprehensiveness and scope, clarity and accuracy, etc., as well as physical condition. Materials are withdrawn only if they no longer make a valid contribution to the overall collection. Items with heavy past usage and current active usage are core collection materials and are rarely candidates for weeding. Any valuable title withdrawn because of physical condition will be replaced. Lost or stolen materials may be replaced, depending on an evaluation by the above mentioned criteria. Classics and standard works must be retained. Materials related to local history are rarely considered for weeding.

Mineola Memorial Library uses a method, known by the acronym MUSTIE, to indicate when an item should be removed from the collection.

MUSTIE stands for:

Misleading and/or factually inaccurate:

Ugly (worn out beyond mending or rebinding):

Superseded by a new edition or a better source;

Trivial (of no discernable literary or scientific merit);

Irrelevant to the needs and interests of the community;

Elsewhere (the material may be easily borrowed from another source).

PROCEDURE FOR PATRON COMPLAINTS

A citizen objecting to the inclusion of materials in the Mineola Memorial Library will be

referred to the Library Director by the staff member contacted. The Library Director will provide

the complainant with the MATERIALS RECONSIDERATION PROCESS form, if the patron

wishes to make a formal complaint. Upon receipt of the written request from the patron, the material(s) will be reviewed by the Director and a committee from the Library Staff. If the patron wishes to appeal the decision, the complaint will then be given to the Library Board for review. The decision of the Library Board is final.

GIFTS AND DONATIONS:

The library is grateful for material gifts and cash donations. Its collection has been greatly

enriched by many such contributions. The library reserves the privilege of using cash donations in a manner that will best serve the operation of the library and its service to patrons.

If cash donations are made with requests for specific purchases the above mentioned

selection policies and standards will apply. If said specific requests do not meet library standards

and policies, substitutes shall be suggested by the library. If donors do not wish to accept the

library's suggestion of substitute material(s), the donor(s) may request the return of their cash

donations, and said requests. If promptly made, the refund shall be honored by the library.

A receipt for donated items, for tax or other purposes, will be issued to the donor at his/her

request. Book and material donations will be added to the the library’s collection, if the item is not currently included, or the donor copy is in better condition than the library’s copy (in which case the book will replace the current holding). Book donations not added will be sold at the library’s used book sales to add revenue to the materials budget, or used as promotional items. However, the Library will not assign an estimated market value to the items donated. Gifts may be accepted by the Library Director on behalf of the Library providing the above conditions are met. All gifts will be reported in a timely manner to the Board of Trustees. Gifts of items other than materials or monetary funds, not covered by written selection policies, shall be considered by the Board of Trustees before acceptance of said gifts. It is the desire and intention of the Board to expend the funds available in the wisest and most economical manner possible. All purchases made will be within the limits of the total budget figure adopted for the current fiscal year. Methods of purchase shall conform to those of good business and library practices. Comparative prices will be considered in regard to purchases; taking into consideration quantity, quality, materials and adaptability to the specific need and use to be made of each item. The Library Director will have the responsibility of approving and making the necessary purchases for the library operation in accordance with the budget and general expenditure procedures for other funds.

Collection Development / Selection Evaluation Committee Members

Mary Hurley, Library Director / Children’s Department / Youth Services Coordinator

Robin Martin, Public Service Librarian

Pam Hortman, Public Service Librarian

Lou Steele, Chairman of the Board of Trustees

APPENDIX A:

MINEOLA MEMORIAL LIBRARY MATERIALS RECONSIDERATION PROCESS

The Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of providing a method whereby

opinions from the public regarding materials selection can be voiced. Therefore, it has

established a procedure which will apply to all complaints including:

1. Those about materials represented in the collection

2. Those about materials not represented in the collection

To comply with this procedure, a complaint must be in writing. Forms are available at

the circulation desk and, upon completion, may be mailed or delivered to the Library

Director. Upon receipt of the signed form the Library Director will convene the Selection

Evaluation Committee, which will:

1. Examine the material in question, the issues raised and the circumstances involved.

2. Make a decision to remove or retain the material in question.

3. Respond in writing to the complainant within one week of receipt.

4. Provide the complainant with a copy of this policy, and inform the individual of the

availability of a Board hearing. Should the complainant feel that the decision of the

Committee is not supported by the policy, the complainant may request a Library

Board hearing by notifying the Director who will make the necessary arrangements.

Following the hearing, the decision of the Board will be final. Above all, the Library Board has as its concern the fairness of such a hearing so as to protect the rights of all persons who are involved.

Mineola Memorial Library

Statement of Concern About Library Resources

Name______________________________________ Date______________________

Address______________________________________________________________

City ___________________State________Zip__________Phone_________________

1. Resources on which you are commenting:

--------Book ----------Audio- visual Resource

--------Magazine ----------Content of Library Program

--------Newspaper -----------Other

Title____________________________________________________________

Author/Producer___________________________________________________

2. What brought this title to your attention?

3. Please comment on the resource as a whole an specify those matters which

concern you. (Use other side if needed)

Comment:

4. Optional: What resource(s) do you suggest to provide additional information on this

topic?

Revised by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, January 12, 1983

Approved by Mineola Memorial Library Board

on________________________________________

APPENDIX B:

FREEDOM TO READ STATEMENT

FREEDOM TO VIEW STATEMENT

LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS

THE FREEDOM TO READ

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups

and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to

reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be “protected” against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

These efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against

education, the press, art and images, films, broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not

only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an

even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or

unwelcome scrutiny by government officials.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of accelerated change. And yet

suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the

United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative

solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with controversy and difference.

Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest freedoms. The freedom to read and

write is almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. The written word is the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. It is

essential to the extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of

knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

  • We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture.

  • We believe that these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend.

  • We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read.

  • We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings. The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  • It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the majority.

Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  • Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated.

Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  • It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its

creators. No society of free people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not

listen, whatever they may have to say.

  • There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

To some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  • It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept the prejudgment of a label

characterizing any expression or its author as subversive or dangerous.

The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  • It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public information.

It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the

aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another

individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they

wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated

members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own

concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe, free, and creative when the free flow of public information is not restricted by governmental prerogative or self-censorship.

  • It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a “bad” idea is a good one.

The freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that

reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major

channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty

claim for the value of the written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of

enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the

application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the

American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970

consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of

American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004,

by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.

A Joint Statement by: American Library Association

Association of American Publishers

American Library Association

Freedom to View Statement

The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression.

Therefore these principles are affirmed:

  • To provide the broadest access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.

  • To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.

  • To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.

  • To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film,

video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content.

  • To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.

Endorsed by the ALA Council January 10, 1990

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association 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 18, 1948.

Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,

inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,

by the ALA Council.