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Revised docs supporting intellectual freedom for young people

I’ve been talking about 2.0 as an intellectual freedom issue for a long time now. 

But, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Helen Adams, of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, shared the following new and revised documents on the AASL Forum list this week.  The documents join the existing Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.  The page explains why such interpretations are necessary:

Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices.

During the American Library Association Conference in Chicago in July, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) developed and adopted these documents with particular relevance for school library practice.

These are powerful documents. 

They address equity, access, and First Amendment issues for learners today.  They are the ammunition you need to make the case for use equitable use of our new information and communication tools.  They are the documents you need to ensure that all students have access to the tools they need for communication and collaboration in the global community.

Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks
Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. Libraries and librarians protect and promote these rights by selecting, producing, providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, providing instruction in the use of, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the format or technology.

Importance of Education to Intellectual Freedom (New as of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference)
Through education programming and instruction in information skills, libraries empower individuals to explore ideas, access, and evaluate information, draw meaning from information presented in a variety of formats, develop valid conclusions, and express new ideas. Such education facilitiates intellectual access to information and offers a path to intellectual freedom.

Minors and Internet Interactivity (New as of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference)
The digital environment offers opportunities both for accessing information created by others and for creating and sharing new information. The rights of minors to retrieve, interact with, and create information posted on the Internet in schools and libraries are extensions of their First Amendment rights.

Labeling and Rating Systems
Libraries do not advocate the ideas found in their collections or in resources accessible through the library. The presence of books and other resources in a library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library. Likewise, the ability for library users to access electronic information using library computers does not indicate endorsement or approval of that information by the library.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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