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Collection Development Policy

Greensboro College James Addison Jones Library Collection Development Plan, adopted 7 November 2014

Collection Development Policy

a. The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for developing, maintaining, and planning the collections of the James Addison Jones Library, Greensboro College. The plan addresses missions and goals of the Library and the College, faculty and staff responsibilities, collection development, acquisitions, gifts and donations, and remote access via electronic resources.

About the College

a. Greensboro College, a four year, independent coeducational institution, provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs. Founded in 1838, Greensboro College provides undergraduate students a true liberal-arts education while also offering four master’s degrees.

b. Greensboro College enrolls approximately 1,150 students, of which about 60% are traditional-aged students. The remaining 40% is comprised of adult undergraduates, non-degree seeking students, and graduate students. Greensboro College serves a diverse population, attracting students from more than 30 states and 15 countries. Greensboro College employs 40 full time instructional faculty members. The first graduate program was added in 2002.

c. Greensboro College is located in an historical area of downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. Other colleges in Greensboro are Guilford College, Bennett College, North Carolina A & T, and Guilford County Technical College.

d. Disciplinary majors are accounting, art, athletic training, biology, biology/allied, health, birth through kindergarten education, business administration, business administration and economics, chemistry, criminal justice, criminal justice administration, elementary education, English, English and communication studies, exercise and sport studies, health and physical education, history, history and political science, history and religion, history with social studies licensure, liberal studies, mathematics, mathematics education, middle grades education, music, music education, political science, psychology, religion, secondary comprehensive science education, sociology, Spanish education, special education, theatre, and urban ecology.

e. North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction licensure is offered in birth through kindergarten education, elementary education (K-12), (general curriculum and adapted curriculum), art (K-12), health and physical education (K-12), music (K-12), Spanish (K-12), and theatre (K-12). Student seeking secondary licensure (9-12) must select one or more academic majors from the following:

  • English,
  • Mathematics,
  • Biology,
  • Secondary comprehensive science education, and
  • Social Studies.

a. Ethics Across the Curriculum, First Year Seminar, George Center for Honors Studies, Writing Across the Curriculum, and consortia arrangements.

a. Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.

About the Library

a. James Addison Jones Library provides a quality environment for reading, viewing, and listening to materials that support the College curriculum and independent learning. A collection of more than 100,000 books, sound and video recordings, scores, and curriculum materials supports research and study at the College.

b. The collection also includes access to more than 60,000 print and electronic periodicals and newspapers, full text access to more than 55,000 electronic books, and many other print, multimedia, and electronic resources. Collections include the Levy-Loewenstein Holocaust Collection, with more than 1000 circulating publications on Holocaust history; and the Curriculum Materials Center, which houses resources for teacher education faculty and students.

c. Jones Library is open 85.5 hours per week during the academic year with extended hours during final exam periods. Staff members are happy to provide reference service, individual and small group instruction, interlibrary loan service, and assistance with other information needs. Greensboro College participates in NC LIVE, a statewide initiative providing access to electronic resources. Jones Library participates in resource sharing TALA, the Triad Area Library Association and interlibrary loan.

a. The James Addison Jones Library supports the academic and social community of Greensboro College and its mission through a provision of collections, services, and facilities that reflect the College's curriculum, promote information literacy and learning amongst a diverse student body, and support faculty teaching, research, and scholarship.

a. Overview of the Library Collection

i. The James Addison Jones Library collection supports the mission of Greensboro College and reflects the dual traditions of liberal arts and the Judeo-Christian faith. The collections and resources of the Library support and enhance the curriculum of Greensboro College, including the core requirements, academic majors, and the programs.

b. Roles and Responsibilities

i. Director of the Library

1. The Director of the Library oversees all library operations and administers the library’s annual operating budget. Their duties also include managing and supervising library professional and support staff, overseeing library space policy and use of library space. The Director of the Library is responsible for consulting with college faculty and staff to determine library resources and developing programs and policies in support the college’s academic programs overall.

ii. Public Services Librarian

1. The Public Services Librarian has the primary responsibility of overseeing the public service desks, as well as hiring, training, and managing students working in the library. Their duties include the oversight of interlibrary loan activities and providing library instruction to classes and groups as needed.

iii. Collections Services Librarian

1. The Collections Services Librarian manages the processing and deaccessioning of library materials. Their duties include soliciting and facilitating orders from faculty and staff, acknowledging gifts, and assessing the collection for weaknesses and potential withdrawals. They are also responsible for overseeing the cataloging of new acquisitions in WMS and the preparation of materials for library circulation.

iv. Other Library Staff Members

1. All Library staff members provide reference service and are in a position to become aware of student and faculty needs. All Library staff members participate in the collection development process by bringing gaps in the collection or materials that should be acquired or weeded to the attention of Director of the Library.

v. Faculty Members

1. Faculty input is essential to maintaining a collection that supports and enhances the curriculum of Greensboro College. All faculty are strongly encouraged to forward all suggested material they wish to have added to the collection to the Library Director for consideration. Faculty also participate in weeding, periodicals assessment, collection assessment, and the evaluation and selection of electronic resources.

vi. Students and staff members

1. Students and staff members are encouraged to suggest Library purchases. The Jones Library take student suggestions very seriously and, when suggestions are pertinent to college curriculum, the Director may choose to purchase suggested materials.


c. Budget

i. The budget of the Jones Library includes funding for electronic resources, serials, standing orders, and monographs, as well as binding services. The budget must also cover general library supplies such as paper for student printing. The Library Director administers the annual budget and allocates funds for all library expenditures.

d. Withdrawal of Materials

i. Withdrawal of library materials is consistent with the goals as listed in the library mission statement.

ii. Obvious candidates for withdrawal from the library collection include:

1. Additional copies when extra copies aren’t warranted.

2. Superseded editions not held for academic or historic reasons.

3. Titles not circulated for an extended period of time.

4. Material containing outdated information.

5. Material damaged beyond repair.

6. Items missing for an extended period of time.

7. Curriculum Materials Center textbooks more than ten years old.

iii. Decisions for withdrawal of materials will be made based on the judgment of Jones Library’s Librarians and by Faculty request.

Policies & Procedures

a. Evaluation of Collection and Identification of Weaknesses

i. Jones Library staff will work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to evaluate the Library’s collection. Evaluation mechanisms may include comparing Jones Library’s collection against standard lists such as those in Books for College Libraries, lists of prize-winning books for adults and children, outstanding book lists, and bibliographies published for specific disciplines. Gaps are filled through the Library’s Acquisitions budget.

ii. The collections and resources of Jones Library support and enhance the curriculum of Greensboro College, including the core requirements, academic majors, and the program of lifelong learning. Materials reflect an effort to represent the historic as well as the current, a range of languages and literatures, a spectrum of political and social views, and a grounding in biblical tradition. To the extent possible, the collections and resources of the library support faculty teaching, research, and scholarship, reflect the history and traditions of Greensboro College, and support the personal growth and development and recreational needs of students.

iii. Jones Library does not have a program in which funds are allocated to specific departments for purchasing library materials, however academic departments are strongly encouraged to make suggests on new materials to The Director of the Library.

iv. Materials that are purchased by request from individuals or departments are to be housed in the Library and will be accessible to all members of the Greensboro College community, in accordance with circulation policies. Materials to be housed in academic departments outside the library, including books and audiovisual material, must be purchased from the requesting department’s own budget.

b. Material Selection

i. Jones Library’s Librarians select materials for the collection after consulting reviews, bibliographies, recommended lists, or publishers’ catalogs and considering the following:

1. Relevance to the curriculum or interest of the Greensboro College community

2. Quality of the text and illustrations

3. Authority (e.g. of author, publisher, editor)

4. Contribution of the item to the existing collection

5. Availability for consortia or interlibrary loan borrowing.

ii. Materials selected are those with high standards of quality in content and format, and should support the stated goals of the Library and the College.

c. Multiple copies

i. The Library generally does not order multiple copies of books or journals. Occasionally, the Library will purchase or add an additional copy of a book that is in great demand on a permanent basis. The Library specifically does not purchase multiple copies of reserve materials unless the need for multiple copies is expected to continue. Library staff identify lost, missing, and damaged items and consider replacement.

d. Retrospective Collection Development

i. The amount of material purchased to fill gaps in the collection is contingent on the availability of funds in the acquisitions budget.

ii. Gaps in the collection come to our attention through interactions at the Reference Desk, reviews, examination of bibliographies, syllabi, “best books” lists, articles, and other resources.

iii. The Library Director generally initiates these purchases. Because our collection is to be actively used by the Greensboro College community, the Library does not usually purchase rare books, collectors’ items, or other materials in need of protection or special handling.

e. Government Documents

i. State, local, federal, and international publications are acquired, cataloged, and classified with Library of Congress call numbers according to guidelines for the general or Reference collections, as appropriate. Jones Library does not have a separate Maps collection, but does sometimes acquire atlases as part of its Reference Collection. The Library will add specialized atlases to the general circulating collection if requested by a departments.

f. Textbooks

i. The Library does not usually purchase textbooks for the general collection or to place on reserve, unless the book is a reference source, survey, literary work, or other publication that will be of lasting value to the collection. Jones Library does receive a copy of each K-12 state adopted textbook used by Guilford County Schools. Because of their agreement with the State of North Carolina, publishers of state adopted textbooks must deposit one copy of each adopted textbook with each institution that offers a teacher education program. Jones Library’s collections are housed in the Curriculum Materials Center.

g. Book Format

i. Jones Library purchases hardcover books when they are available. The Greensboro College Community does have access to electronic books (e-books) through NC LIVE and the Jones Library does not actively duplicate in print those books available through as e-books through NC LIVE. NC LIVE resources, including electronic books are available through links on the Jones Library website. The Library makes information on how to gain access to them available to faculty, staff, and students. All NC LIVE resources and most other electronic resources offered through the Jones Library are accessible off-campus through a proxy server login. The library has a collection of newspapers and journals on microfilm, but does not actively maintain the microfilm collection.

ii. Non Print collections include music CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, as well as computer software, and educational media for the Curriculum Materials Center.

h. Suggestions for purchase

i. All members of the Greensboro College Community may recommend items for purchase any time by contacting the Director of the Library by email, phone, or in-person.

i. Standing orders

i. Standing orders are funded through the Library’s acquisitions budget.

j. Periodicals

i. Periodicals in the Library live in two locations. Bound periodicals are located on the lower-level of the library and current, popular periodicals are located on the main floor, in the reference room.

ii. Bound periodicals, available on the lower-level are organized in alphabetical order. They include journals & magazines on a wide range of subjects supporting the college’s curriculum, as well as the Education Curriculum.

iii. Popular periodicals, located on the main floor in the reference room consist of local and national newspapers and popular magazines.

iv. Thousands of periodicals are available in full text through NC-LIVE and other electronic databases available to the Greensboro College community. These databases are accessible off-campus via the Greensboro College Proxy Server. (Access requires a valid College email). Periodicals may be acquired in print or electronic format or both, determined through consultation with faculty in appropriate disciplines. When electronic periodicals are acquired through aggregators, the Library will cancel print versions only after consultation with the appropriate faculty members. The Library will make access to electronic journals as seamless as possible for faculty.

k. New Journal Subscriptions

i. New journal subscriptions must be approved by the Director of the Library. Generally, the Library does not place new subscriptions for journals that are available electronically through databases such as NCLIVE, Proquest, or Lexis-Nexis but length of retention and embargoes will be taken in consideration.

I. Collections

i. Main Circulating Collection

1. The library has a main circulating collection of over 100,000 circulating items. These circulating items are located on the four floors of the stacks and are accessible from the main floor and the lower level of the library. The main circulating collection includes all fields of study and is easily accessible using location guides posted throughout the library. Materials located in the Main Circulating Collection are checked out for 30 days.

ii. Reference Collection

1. The Reference Collection is located in the Reference Room on the main floor of the library and houses thousands of print resources such as encyclopedias, indexes, statistical sources, critical reviews, law research materials, biographical information, and subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias. The Library also subscribes to electronic references sources that are available both on and off campus. For more information about this collection visit the Reference Desk in the main lobby. The Reference Collection consist of materials needed for:

a. consultation, rather than cover-to-cover reading,

b. identifying specific pieces of information,

c. answering reference questions, and

d. identifying resources for further reading.

2. Reference materials are selected based on the best judgment of Jones Library’s Librarian and by suggestions from teaching faculty, other library staff members, or students. Most reference materials circulate for 7 days with some exceptions.

iii. Reserves

1. Professors place supplemental readings and other materials for their courses on Reserve so that all students in the class will have access to them. Reserve items are available at the Circulation Desk, on the main floor of the library. Reserve materials can include sample tests, solutions manuals, books, videos, study guides, periodicals, photocopied articles, computer software, and many other items.

2. Because instructors consider student access to reserve materials important, these materials are held where all students will have a chance to examine them for limited periods of time. Reserve items can be loaned out for 3 hours, 24 hours, or 7 days at the behest of the faculty member adding the item to reserve. The faculty member adding the reserve item can also decide if students may take the item out of the library or not.

3. The Library does not purchase items for Reserve.

4. The Library follows Greensboro College’s Fair Use guidelines in determining what materials can be placed on Reserve. The Library does not place on Reserve items acquired through Interlibrary Loan or checked out from another Library. The Library will place an instructor’s personal copy of an item on reserve, with the understanding that the Library will not be responsible for loss or damage.

iv. Music Library

1. The Music Library Collection is located at one end of the Reference Room on the main floor of the Library. This collection provides access to thousands of circulating musical scores, compact discs, LPs, and phonograph recordings. Media stations are available for in-house listening, but compact discs and phonographs may also be checked out.

v. VHS Collection

1. The VHS collection is located on the lower level. The Jones Library does not actively maintain the VHS collection, however we will consider faculty requests for VHS items. This collection contains feature, instructional, and documentary films. Any VHS can be viewed at the library by any person. Circulating videos may be checked out for seven days.

vi. DVD Collection

1. The DVD collection is located on the main floor. The DVD disc are kept in a locked cabinet at the entrance to the stacks. The DVD display cases are on display in a nook area in the Learning Commons area, on the main floor of the library. DVD’s are available for 7 day check out.

vii. Curriculum Materials Center (CMC)

1. The CMC, located in the lower level of the library, houses more than 5000 resources for teacher education faculty and students. Materials include professional literature, juvenile books, activity books, curriculum guides, videos, kits, and North Carolina state-adopted textbooks.

viii. Reavis Reading Area

1. The Reavis Reading Area, located within the Curriculum Materials Center on the lower level of the library, includes publications published by the Phi Delta Kappan Education Foundation. This Foundation provides "fastbacks" (concise, informative booklets) along with books on a wide range of educational topics.

ix. Levy-Loewenstein Holocaust Collection

1. The Levy-Loewenstein Holocaust Collection was established by Richard and Jane Levy to provide Greensboro College students with a complete and up-to-date collection of publications on Holocaust history. The Levy-Loewenstein Holocaust Collection is located on the top floor of the Library. Additions to the Levy-Loewenstein Collection are made by donation. Levy-Loewenstein materials are available for 30 day check out.

x. Theses

1. The Thesis collection at Greensboro College contains theses of students from the Greensboro College TESOL program. The collection is located on the main floor of the library in the learning commons area. Theses check out for 30 days.

xi. Microfilm Collection

1. While the Jones Library has a collection of newspapers and journals on microfilm, we do not actively maintain the microfilm collection.

xii. Bound Periodicals

1. Bound periodicals are located on the lower-level of the library and organized in alphabetical order by title. Bound Periodicals do not circulate.

2. Current Periodicals, Magazines, and Newspapers are located on the main floor, in the reference room and do not circulate.

xiii. Electronic Resources

1. Jones Library librarians select electronic resources including both databases and websites to make available to the Greensboro College Community through the “Databases A-Z” and the “EResources by Subject” section of the Library website. Thousands of periodicals are available in full text through NC-LIVE and other electronic databases available to the Greensboro College community. These databases are accessible off-campus via the Greensboro College Proxy Server. (Access requires a valid College email).

xiv. Recreational Reading

1. The Recreational Reading collection is located along side the DVD collection in a nook in the learning commons area of the library. Recreational Reading Materials check out for 30 days.

xv. Graphic Novels

1. The Graphic Novel collection is located in the learning commons. Graphic Novel materials check out for 30 days.


Collections section updated 5 April 2016

Library Committee

a. In the absence of a formal faculty library committee, the Faculty Affairs Committee serves as the library committee as needed.


a. Gifts

i. Gifts may be accepted which are consistent with collection development goals. Once a gift of a collection of books has been received, Library staff may choose to dispose of the books or other materials as they see fit. Materials not consistent with the Library’s collection development goals may be:

1. offered to other libraries,

2. offered to the Greensboro College Community for free or in exchange for a small donation,

3. sold to used bookstores,

4. sent to charities such as Better World Books, or

5. discarded.

ii. Gifts that are cataloged and added to the collection will be classified and shelved according to their call numbers. The Library does not keep gift books together in one place, but places them on our shelves according to their classification.

jj. Memorial books are donated to the Library or purchased with funds given to the Library to commemorate an individual or individuals. Memorial books include a bookplate commemorating the individual in whose name the book was donated. Like other gift books, memorial books are shelved according to their classification rather than kept in one place.


a. Withdrawal of materials will be consistent with collection development goals.

i. Obvious candidates for withdrawal are:

1. Multiple copies of titles purchased.

2. Superseded editions not held for academic or historic reasons

3. Books not circulated for many years

4. Material damaged beyond repair

5. Items missing for more than one year

6. Curriculum Materials Center textbooks that are over ten years old.

b. Decisions for withdrawal of items will be made by library staff in conjunction with input from appropriate faculty.


a. Collection Development Policy (James Addison Jones Library, Greensboro
b. Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association)
c. The Freedom to Read Statement (American Library Association and Association
of American Publishers)
d. The Freedom to View Statement (American Library Association)
e. Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the
Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association and Association of College
and Research Libraries)
f. Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials (American
Libraries Association)

Adopted 3 March 1994
Updated 7 November 2014
Published in the Pride Guide and available on the Jones Library’s website. The James Addison Jones Library collection development policy supports the mission of Greensboro College and reflects the dual traditions of liberal arts and the Judeo-Christian faith.

The collections and resources of the Jones Library support and enhance the curriculum of Greensboro College, including the core requirements, academic majors, and the program of lifelong learning. Materials reflect an effort to represent the historic as well as the current, a range of languages and literatures, a spectrum of political and social views, and grounding in biblical tradition. As possible, the collections and resources of the library support faculty teaching, research, and scholarship, reflect the history and traditions of Greensboro College, and support the personal growth and development and recreational needs of students. The librarians and faculty work together to develop the collection through determination of collection policy and in the selection of materials for inclusion.


1. To acquire, house, and provide access to materials, which directly support the curriculum of the college as reflected in the college catalog.

2. To acquire, house, and provide access to an adequate and appropriate general reference collection.

3. To acquire, house, and provide access to a basic collection that supports the traditional liberal arts disciplines and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

4. To acquire, house, and provide access to materials to support faculty teaching, research, and scholarship.

5. To acquire, house, and provide access to materials that reflect or relate to the history and traditions of Greensboro College.

6. To acquire, house, and provide items to support recreation and personal growth and development.


1. The stated goals reflect the order of established priorities for collection development. The Director of the Library administers the Library's budget to purchase electronic resources, journals, general reference, and general collection materials based on courses offered, assessment of the current collection and its use, faculty assessment of need, and prices of materials. All materials purchased with funds from the Library's budget are housed in the Library and accessible to all Greensboro College faculty, staff, and students.

2. Library staff will provide faculty with collection analysis and current publication information to aid in material selection. Course syllabi and reading lists will be searched by library staff to determine availability of materials for use in courses and lost and missing items will be identified for consideration of replacement. Items recommended by students and alumni will be so identified and submitted to the faculty for consideration.

3. Gifts may be accepted which are consistent with the collection development goals.

4. Withdrawal of materials will be consistent with the goals as listed. Obvious candidates for withdrawal are:

  • Additional copies when extra copies aren’t warranted.
  • Superseded editions not held for academic or historic reasons.
  • Titles not circulated for an extended period of time.
  • Material containing outdated information.
  • Material damaged beyond repair.
  • Items missing for an extended period of time.
  • Curriculum Materials Center textbooks more than ten years old.

Decisions for withdrawal of materials will be made based on the judgment of Jones Library’s
Librarians and by Faculty request.

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 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948;
February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23,
1996. A history of the Library Bill of Rights is found in the latest edition of the Intellectual Freedom
Manual (

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, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee; amended January 28, 1972; January 16, 1991; July 12, 2000; June 30, 2004.

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:

1. 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.

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Adopted by ACRL Intellectual Freedom Committee: June 28, 1999

Approved by ACRL Board of Directors: June 29, 1999

Adopted by ALA Council July 12, 2000

A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the development of academic library collections and services that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community. The purpose of this statement is to provide an interpretation of general intellectual freedom principles in an academic library setting and, in the process, raise consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. These principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy documents.

1. The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.

2. The privacy of library users is and must be inviolable. Policies should be in place that maintain confidentiality of library borrowing records and of other information relating to personal use of library information and services.

3. The development of library collections in support of an institution's instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.

4. Preservation and replacement efforts should ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and that controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or normal wear and tear. There should be alertness to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection through systematic theft or mutilation.

5. Licensing agreements should be consistent with the Library Bill of Rights, and should maximize access.

6. Open and unfiltered access to the Internet should be conveniently available to the academic community in a college or university library. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. Such restrictions are a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom in academic libraries.

7. Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant library policy documents.

8. Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued or subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.

9. Whenever possible, library services should be available without charge in order to encourage inquiry. Where charges are necessary, a free or low-cost alternative (e.g., downloading to disc rather than printing) should be available when possible.

10. A service philosophy should be promoted that affords equal access to information for all in the academic community with no discrimination on the basis of race, values, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or ethnic background, physical or learning disability, economic status, religious beliefs, or views.

11. A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits, or services.

12. It is recommended that this statement of principle be endorsed by appropriate institutional governing bodies, including the faculty senate or similar instrument of faculty governance.

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