American Library Association Bill of Rights
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.
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. See the documents designated by the Intellectual Freedom Committee as Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights.
Gumberg Library Challenged Materials Policy
The resources acquired for the Gumberg Library are selected to meet the teaching, research, and service missions of the University. Appearance of any resource does not mean that the library advocates or endorses the ideas found in that resource. The Library adheres to the principles of intellectual freedom as outlined in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. It is the responsibility of the Library to ensure that different points of view are represented in the collection.
The Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association states "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" (Article 1); and "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" (Article 2 ). The Library also endorses the Freedom to Read Statement, provided by the American Library Association.
Resources in the Gumberg Library may be challenged by students, faculty and staff of Duquesne University. A challenge to a resource in the University Library must be based on the failure of that resource to fall within the Library's selection and collection development policies, including the commitment to intellectual freedom. When challenging an item, the patron may request the library take one of two actions; (1) removal of an item because it is inappropriate, or (2) the addition of a source to balance the collection by providing alternative views. The Library may agree to take either action or no action at all. Challenged items will remain on the shelf and available to Library Users during the duration of the challenge.
Those persons wishing to challenge a resource in the Gumberg Library will be asked to write a formal letter to the University Librarian. The University Librarian will acknowledge receipt of the formal challenge via letter. The Request will then be considered by the Library’s Operations Committee, which includes the Collection Management Librarian. The library liaison responsible for collection development in the subject area of the resource will also be involved in the decision making process. Any recommendations will be sent to the University Librarian, who will make the final decision. The person making the challenge will be notified in writing by the University Librarian of that decision and any action to be taken.
Dr. Sara Baron, University Librarian
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
2. The written submission explaining the nature of the challenge must include: