Freedom to Read Foundation


Organizational Description:

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 as 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.

The organization of the Freedom to Read Foundation in 1969 was the American Library Association’s response to the interest of its members in having adequate means to support and defend librarians whose positions are jeopardized because of their resistance to abridgments of the First Amendment; and to set legal precedent for the freedom to read on behalf of all the people. Since that time, FTRF has been involved in several crucial court cases that have helped expand the First Amendment protections for library users and all Americans.

Services Provided:

  • The allocation and disbursement of grants to individuals and groups primarily for the purpose of aiding them in litigation.
  • Direct participation in litigation dealing with freedom of speech and of the press.

Primary Issues of Focus:

  • Free speech and freedom of the press generally
  • Free access to information in libraries and elsewhere
  • Privacy for library users and others

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