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Intellectual Freedom

British Columbia Library Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom
(pending review by the BCLA Board)

  1. It is in the interest for libraries and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expression, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.
  2. It would conflict with the public interest for libraries to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as the sole standard for determining what books and other materials should be published or circulated.
  3. It is contrary to the public interest for libraries or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book solely on the basis of the personal history or political affiliation of the author.
  4. There is no place in British Columbia for extra-legal efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of the writers to achieve artistic expression.
  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept any book with the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.
  6. It is the responsibility of library administrators and librarians, as guardians of the peoples’ 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.
  7. It is the responsibility of libraries and librarians to give full meaning to intellectual freedom by providing books and other materials that enrich the quality of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, librarians can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.
  8. Non-book materials should be judged by the same criteria as books.