|An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
Library-initiated programs support the
mission of the library by providing users with additional
for information, education, and recreation. Article I
of the Library Bill of Rights states: "Books and
other library resources should be provided for the interest,
information, and enlightenment of all people of the community
the library serves."
Library-initiated programs take advantage of library
staff expertise, collections, services and facilities
to increase access to information and information resources.
Library -initiated programs introduce users and potential
users to the resources of the library and to the library's
primary function as a facilitator of information access.
The library may participate in cooperative or joint programs
with other agencies, organizations, institutions, or
individuals as part of its own effort to address information
needs and to facilitate information access in the community
the library serves.
Library-initiated programs on site and in other locations
include, but are not limited to, speeches, community
forums, discussion groups, demonstrations, displays,
and live or media presentations.
Libraries serving multilingual or multicultural communities
should make efforts to accommodate the information needs
of those for whom English is a second language. Library-initiated
programs that cross language and cultural barriers introduce
otherwise unserved populations to the resources of the
library and provide access to information.
Library-initiated programs "should not be proscribed
or removed (or canceled) because
of partisan or doctrinal disapproval" of the contents
of the program or the views
expressed by the participants, as stated in Article II
of the Library Bill of Rights. Library
sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement
of the content of the
program or the views expressed by the participants, any
more than the purchase of
material for the library collection constitutes an endorsement
of the contents of the
material or the views of its creator.
Library-initiated programs are a library resource, and,
as such, are developed in accordance with written guidelines,
as approved and adopted by the library's policy--making
body. These guidelines should include an endorsement
of the Library Bill of Rights and set forth the library's
commitment to free and open access to information and
ideas for all users.
Library staff select topics, speakers and resource materials
for library-initiated programs based on the interests
and information needs of the community. Topics, speakers
and resource materials are not excluded from library-initiated
programs because of possible controversy. Concerns, questions
or complaints about library-initiated programs are handled
according to the same written policy and procedures which
govern reconsiderations of other library resources.
Library-initiated programs are offered
free of charge and are open to all. Article V of the
Library Bill of
Rights states: "A person's right to use a library
should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age,
background, or views."
The "right to use a library" encompasses
all of the resources the library offers, including
to attend library-initiated programs. Libraries do not
deny or abridge access to library resources, including
library-initiated programs, based on an individual's
economic background and ability to pay.
Adopted 1/27/82; amended 6/26/90; 7/12/00, by the ALA