American Library Association, Office of Intellectual Freedom (ALA-OIF)


Organizational Description:

The Office for Intellectual Freedom is responsible for developing, recommending, and maintaining a total intellectual freedom program for the American Library Association, 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.

The American Library Association (ALA) provides leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship. It is the leading advocate for the value of libraries and librarians in connecting people to recorded knowledge in all forms and the public’s right to a free and open information society.

Services Provided:

OIF educates librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries by providing education, support, and coordination activities to librarians and the general public.

OIF provides advisory services to librarians involved in book challenges and actual or potential intellectual freedom problems; provides information to librarians, state library associations and individuals concerning local, state, and national legislation that impacts First Amendment rights and intellectual freedom; and administers several initiatives promoting intellectual freedom and free access to information, including Banned Books Week, Lawyers for Libraries, Law for Librarians workshops, and an expanding publications program that includes the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.

Primary Issues of Focus:

  • Promoting and protecting intellectual freedom and privacy in libraries
  • Preventing censorship of materials in libraries
  • Defending First Amendment rights

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