Collection Development

Purpose of the Collection Development Policy

Chipola College Mission

Chipola College Library Mission

Responsibility for Collection Development

Types and Formats of Materials Collected

Gifts and Donations


Replacement of Materials


Intellectual Freedom


Cooperative Collection Development

Appendix 1: Library Bill of Rights

Appendix 2: Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries

Appendix 3: Freedom to Read

Appendix 4: Reconsideration of Library Resources






            This policy is designed to guide the systematic growth and management of the Chipola College Library’s collection of print, audio visual and electronic materials.  Rising information costs, increased demand for a variety of dissemination formats and budgetary constraints require careful materials selection based on a thorough knowledge of the missions of both the Library and Chipola College.


            This policy is intended to provide quidelines for the following areas:

-To assist librarians in selecting current, diverse, balanced

  collections of materials to support the instructional and

  institutional needs of students, faculty and staff.

-To provide a basis for the consideration and incorporation of

  faculty suggestions as part of collection development.

-To supply integrated access to collections of materials in all

  appropriate formats in the most cost-effective manner.

-To assist in both long and short range fiscal planning.





A Higher Degree of Success



Chipola College promotes learning and student achievement through

excellence, opportunity, diversity, and progress.




            Chipola is a comprehensive public college whose mission is to provide accessible, affordable, quality educational opportunities to the residents of Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties and to all others who choose to attend. The college creates a student-oriented atmosphere of educational excellence and maintains an intellectual environment which inspires the full development of each individual’s goals, abilities, and interests. Because there is no substitute for quality instruction, the college empowers faculty members to establish and achieve the highest possible standards. The college also promotes a strong working relationship with communities, businesses, state agencies, and other educational institutions.


Chipola provides the following:

  • Educational programs which include general and pre-professional classes leading to the Associate in Arts degree for transfer into baccalaureate degree programs;
  • Selected baccalaureate degree programs which produce educated and capable professionals;
  • Workforce Development programs leading to Associate in Science degrees, Associate in Applied Science degrees, and Certificates of Training to prepare students for careers;
  • Continuing Education programs related to professional and personal development; and
  • A broad range of enrollment and student services and instructional and administrative support to facilitate student success.

–Adopted June 15, 2004



Success Factors and Institutional Goals


Chipola has adopted the following success factors and institutional goals:


Success Factor 1:  Quality Educational Programs


            Institutional Goal 1: Provide quality instruction in academic, workforce development, and continuing education programs, including sufficient instructional support to meet the needs of             students.


Success Factor 2:  Effective Marketing, Recruitment, and Enrollment


            Institutional Goal 2:  Present the college and its programs in positive ways, making every             effort to attract and enroll as many students as possible by marketing the college in a variety of             methods and enrolling students in efficient and customer-oriented ways.


Success Factor 3:  Student Retention, Satisfaction, and Completion 


      Institutional Goal 3: Provide a wide-range of academic, developmental and   support services to help retain students in programs by decreasing the percent of students who drop- or stop-out during their studies and increasing the percentage who persist through completion of a degree or certificate. 


Success Factor 4:  Responsible Resource Management


            Institutional Goal 4:  Promote the responsible management of resources by maintaining             sound             fiscal operations, seeking additional resources, improving college facilities, and providing an environment conducive to progressive implementation of technology.


Success Factor 5:  Staff and Organizational Development


            Institutional Goal 5:  Encourage staff and organizational development by supporting an efficient and productive work environment where employees demonstrate competence, integrity, and professional excellence.


Success Factor 6: Community Involvement and Development


            Institutional Goal 6:  Foster strong community involvement and workforce development           by supporting local and state economic growth and encouraging civic, cultural, recreational, and service activities.


Success Factor 7:  Post-Chipola Student Satisfaction and Success


            Institutional Goal 7:  Maintain a strong reputation for promoting student satisfaction and long-term success by equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue their goals and become more productive citizens.


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Chipola College Library Mission Statement


The Chipola College Library, in support of the college mission, serves as an integral seminal part of the college’s instructional program.  The Chipola Library provides print and non-print materials to support the course offerings of the college and to support the professional and personal growth of the faculty, staff, administration, and students. The library provides instruction which enables students and staff to become effective users of the library’s resources. This training helps promote independent lifelong learning.


Responsibility for Collection Development

Materials are selected by the Library Director from recommendations by Library staff, faculty, administration, students and other members of the Chipola community.  Library staff use standard reviewing journals and other professional selection tools in print and on-line to facilitate the selection process. Faculty recommendations within their academic disciplines are actively solicited.  Selection materials are disseminated in print, on-line and by telephone to best meet the needs of the faculty.  Faculty Request forms are available on-line and in print to encourage faculty input .  All suggestions are reviewed and evaluated by the library staff.  Budgetary constraints may require further input from department chairs.  Purchases are made if the items are consistent with the collection development guidelines and funds are available.


Selection Guidelines

Materials should be appropriate for college use.  Other considerations include:


·      Relevance of subject matter to the curriculum

·      Authority

·      Timeliness of subject matter

·      Reputation of the author and/or publisher

·      Presentation of material

·      Physical characteristics of the material

·      Special features

·      Current holdings in the subject area

·      Circulation of other materials in the same subject area

·      Cost (projected use)

·      Usage expectations

·      Accessibility in online formats


Materials Collected

Types and Formats of Materials Collected

Printed books are collected in clothbound editions unless cost is significantly higher than a paper edition. Books that should be frequently updated (nursing/medical texts, computer manuals, test preparation materials) are purchased in paper formats when available.

Electronic books are considered when they provide the most current and/or cost-effective format, or to support distance education courses and programs. Cooperative lease/purchase of electronic books via CCLA, SOLINET and other cooperatives are pursued as a cost-effective method of providing access to book collections. Duplication is considered for electronic books provided by such cooperative lease/purchase. In addition to general selection criteria and online resources/Internet-based materials selection criteria, consideration is given to the availability of an archival copy of electronic texts purchased in perpetuity.

Popular fiction having short-term interest among readers is not purchased. Established literary works and new works receiving critical acclaim in the literary field are considered, especially those works that support literature course offerings. Literary prizewinners are purchased when funds permit. Popular fiction is provided for Chipola patrons through the rental McNaughton Leisure collection.

Textbooks are not selected unless recommended by faculty as exceptional resources. Exceptions are those that have earned a reputation as "classics" in their fields, or which are the only or best sources of information on a particular topic, or for a particular user group. Their high cost, frequent revision, and generally poor bindings make most textbooks a poor investment for the libraries' permanent collections.

Faculty research in pursuit of advance degrees is not supported by the book collection. Interlibrary loan is regularly provided in a timely manner to meet faculty and administrative research requirements for books.

Reference materials support the research needs of Chipola College students, faculty, and staff. The reference collection contains, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, indexes, bibliographies, statistical compilations, handbooks and Internet resources. Though items selected for this collection primarily support the academic programs offered at Chipola, core academic reference works published in other subject areas are also selected when they provide fundamental bibliographic access to, or an introductory overview of, an academic discipline. Items in the reference collection normally do not circulate. The reference collection is reviewed by the librarians annually to insure currency and accuracy. Reference materials are collected in print, electronic, and online formats.

Serials/periodicals/journals/newspapers are publications issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials are issued in print, microform, and electronic formats. All formats will be considered in the libraries' purchase and/or access decisions. Serials are acquired via subscription. Individual issues or reprints will rarely be purchased.

The selection of serials requires a continuing commitment to the cost of the title, including maintenance, viewing and reproduction equipment, and storage space. The escalating cost of serials subscriptions demands that requests for serials subscriptions be carefully reviewed before they are purchased for the collection and that an ongoing evaluation of current subscriptions be conducted.

Since it is often becoming more cost-efficient to purchase electronic access or document delivery services for serials instead of acquisition through print subscription, this delivery method will be chosen when fiscally prudent. Cooperative acquisition (regional and statewide) of electronic serials databases is actively pursued. Electronic serials subscriptions licensing contracts may limit access to currently enrolled students, faculty and staff. The professional library staff reviews local serials collections and accessibility of online titles annually.

The serials collection supports the research needs of the Chipola College curriculum. No attempt is made to support research needs of faculty pursuing advanced degrees. Interlibrary loan is regularly provided in a timely manner to meet faculty and administrative research requirements. Factors to be considered in the acquisition of serials are:

  • support of academic programs
  • college libraries
  • Suitability for intended audience
  • Uniqueness of subject coverage for the Cost, including rate of price increases, cost of storage, and/or access costs
  • Professional reputation
  • Usage or projected usage
  • Indexing and abstracting in sources accessible to library users
  • Demand for title in interlibrary loan or document delivery requests
  • Accessibility within resource sharing groups, consortia, and/or through document delivery or courier services
  • Full-text availability via electronic access
  • Cost, including rate of price increases, cost of storage, and/or access costs

Audio-visual materials, including videotapes, audiotapes, compact disks and DVDs, are collected and housed in the Chipola Library. Limited budgets support only the narrow purpose of providing audiovisual materials for classroom support. No attempt is made to augment general collections with audiovisual selections. Limited copies of telecourse videotapes are available for short-term loan to students at all locations.

Electronic materials will be collected when that format is most effective in support of teaching and research, and when cost effective. CD-ROM and floppy disk formats are supported at all campus libraries.

Online Resources/Internet-based materials will be considered when they provide the most current and/or cost-effective resources. The following online resources will be actively selected:

Licensed commercial, fee-based resources and databases will be selected when they provide cost-effective means of providing resources for the three campus libraries. These resources may include electronic books; citation, abstracting and full-text databases covering journals, magazines, newspapers or reference materials; and databases providing information portals for specific subject areas. In additional to general selection criteria, the following criteria will be used:

·     The product has broad appeal to a large number of Chipola Library users or will serve the special needs of a user group

·     The product compares favorably with similar products

·     Multiple user access is preferred

·     The interface is user-friendly

·     Appropriate online help is available

·     Good technical support is available

·     The availability of usage statistics is highly desirable

·     The vendor allows a trial of the actual product

·     The libraries are not required to subscribe to both print and electronic versions of the product, unless this is desired

·     The license agreement allows normal rights and privileges accorded libraries under copyright law

·     The license agreement gives the libraries indemnification against third party copyright infringement

·     Products available via LINCCWeb are preferred

The libraries will attempt to balance print, electronic and online resources without unnecessary duplication. Print, audiovisual, or electronic resources may be duplicated with fee-based online resources when:

·     The resource has significant historical value

·     One format is unstable

·     A cost benefit for purchasing multiple formats exists

·     Multiple formats meet the different needs of user groups

·     Usage justifies additional copies

In addition to resources located via Internet directories and search engines, several sources are consulted for current reviews of Internet resources. These sources of selection include Choice, CRL News, American Libraries, and Library Journal. Several high-quality subject indexes are also regularly consulted, such as the Internet Public Library and The WWW Virtual Library. Duplication of print resources is acceptable for free Internet resources since it provides an additional point of use.

All library materials will be collected primarily in the English language, with the exception of foreign language materials supporting introductory language courses.

Out-of-Print Materials are rarely purchased. Most selections are current publications. The library recognizes the need for some out-of print purchases, primarily for replacement of heavily used items which are lost or withdrawn due to poor physical condition. However, in view of the difficulty and expense in obtaining rare, out-of-print, and reprinted material, it is most important to spend funds for current publications of long-term worth.

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Gifts and Donations

The libraries use the same guidelines for inclusion of donated materials that are used for purchased materials. The works of local authors are not accepted unless they meet guidelines such as relevance to the curriculum, are critically acclaimed, or make a substantial, documented contribution to local history. Periodical donations are usually not accepted, unless they are not available electronically, and provide a complete run of bound volumes in an area requiring a high level of curriculum support.

Donated materials must be in good physical condition with no writing or highlighting inside. There should be no stains, mildew, or brittle pages, and bindings should be in good repair. Donations which meet collection development guidelines will be integrated into the main collection. The Director of Library Services will not provide any estimation of value for any donated item, but will provide a letter of acknowledgment describing any donation which is accepted if the donor requests such a letter.


The weeding of library materials (the process of removing items from the collection) is essential for the maintenance of a current, academically useful library collection. Weeding provides quality control for the collection by elimination of outdated, inaccurate, and worn-out materials. Librarians are responsible for conducting an ongoing weeding effort. Faculty members are regularly consulted when specific items are recommended for weeding.



Print and Audio-Visual Resources Weeding

·     Superseded editions are routinely deselected from the collection.

·     Materials that cannot be repaired or rebound or for which the cost of preservation exceeds the usefulness of the information contained are deselected.

·     Because currency of information is extremely important in some fields such as health sciences, technology, and business, older materials must be regularly deselected so that outdated or inaccurate information is eliminated.

·     Materials that do not support the current curriculum may be deselected.

·     Material that has not been used based on circulation and browsing statistics may be deselected after five to ten years of inactivity. However, some library materials such as items considered classic works in their field have long-term value and should be kept in the collection despite lack of use.

·     The title may be retained if it is included in a standard list or bibliography such as Books for College Libraries or if the author has a reputation for being an authority on the topic.

·     Deselected items may be disposed of according to the following guidelines:

·     Immediately, where severely damaged or containing material so outdated as to be grossly inaccurate or dangerous

·     After being offered at no cost to library patrons where of little or no intrinsic or historical value

·     After being offered to another library or collecting institution where unsuitable for the Chipola College collection but thought to be of significant intrinsic or historical value

Serials Weeding

·     Incomplete and short runs of a title may be withdrawn, particularly when the title is not received currently.

·     Titles that do not contain substantial amounts information supporting the current curriculum

·     Items where information currency is of the essence such as newsletters and trade magazines have predetermined holding limits such as "Library retains one year only"

·     Annuals, biennials, and regularly updated editions of guidebooks, handbooks, almanacs, and directories have a deselection schedule established depending on the value of the information contained in earlier editions. Often one or two older editions are retained in the reference and/or circulating collections Due to lack of space, issues that are replaced by microfilm are routinely discarded.

·     Deselected serials may be disposed of according to the guidelines listed under print and audiovisual materials.

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Replacement of Materials

Decisions are made regarding the replacement of lost, damaged, missing, or worn-out items, based on the following criteria:

·     The item meets the general library collection policy.

·     The frequency of use justifies replacement

·     Is the same item available in another format that would better meet the needs of users or is the content better covered by another title?

·     Is an electronic version available that would provide remote access for users?

Lost Materials

·      A lost materials list will be maintained for five (5) years.  The list will be updated at the beginning of the calendar year to reflect the five year limit.

·      Item costs will not be deleted from the borrower’s ALEPH account.

·      A $10.00 processing fee will be added for each lost item.



The Chipola College Library supports the statements on collection development contained within the “Standards for Community, Junior, and Technical College Learning Resource Programs" adopted by the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries.


Intellectual Freedom

The Chipola College Library support the American Library Association's Bill of Rights, Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, Freedom to Read Statement and Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks: an Interpretation of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS. The libraries acquire materials that represent differing opinions and without censorship in regard to controversial issues. The libraries do not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material which has been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria.

An individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection will be referred to the Director of Library Services. An individual may register a complaint concerning material that he or she considers objectionable by using the "Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources" form. The Library Director is responsible for reviewing the material in question following current collection development objectives and selection criteria. The Director may consult book reviews, other commentaries, and outside advice. The complainant will receive a reply from the Director indicating the library's position and action planned or taken.


Chipola  College Library complies fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The libraries support the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. 107) which permits and protects citizens' rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarship, and research.
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Cooperative Collection Development

Due to the libraries' limited budgets and diminishing ability to physically collect even a small percentage of the world's information, access rather than ownership has become the reality of collection development. Increasing numbers of information resources are available only in online electronic formats. The worldwide development of electronic information systems such as online library catalogs, abstracting and full-text databases have made it possible for libraries to direct users to vast quantities of information resources. While the libraries cannot keep all of the material relevant to the users in their collections, they can provide access to the vast amount of information available for use in other collections. This type of access requires that libraries engage in cooperative collection development, resource sharing, and document delivery systems. When it is determined that access on demand is more economically feasible in terms of storage, projected use, and cost, this option can enhance the libraries' abilities to expand the information base available to their primary users.

Every possible effort will be made to cooperate with regional and statewide organizations, particularly the Central Florida Library Cooperative, the College Center for Library Automation, and the Florida State Community College Library Standing Committee to share resources and engage in cooperative acquisitions projects.                                                                                               Back to Top



Appendix 1


Library 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



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 18, 1948.

Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,

inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,

by the ALA Council.




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Appendix 2



An Interpretation of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS

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 outline how and where intellectual freedom principles fit into an academic library setting, thereby raising consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. The following 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 though 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.

Approved by ACRL Board of Directors: June 29, 1999

Adopted July 12, 2000, by the ALA Council.




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Appendix 3



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:

1. 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.

2. 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


3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, July 12, 2000, June 30, 2004, by the

ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.

A Joint Statement by:

American Library Association

Association of American Publishers

Subsequently endorsed by:

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

The Association of American University Presses, Inc.

The Children’s Book Council

Freedom to Read Foundation

National Association of College Stores

National Coalition Against Censorship

National Council of Teachers of English

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression


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Appendix 4



Name ___________________________

Date ___________________________

Address ___________________________

City ___________________________

State ___________________________

Zip ___________________________

Phone ___________________________

Do you represent self? ____ Organization? ____

1.Resource on which you are commenting:

____ Book ____ Textbook ____ Video ____ Display

____ Magazine ____ Library Program ____ Audio Recording

____ Newspaper ____ Electronic information/network (please specify)

____ Other ___________________________

Title ___________________________

Author/Producer ___________________________

2.What brought this resource to your attention?

3.Have you examined the entire resource?

4.What concerns you about the resource? (use other side or additional pages if necessary)

5.Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic? _______________________________________________________________

Revised by the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom CommitteeJune 27, 1995                    Revised 7/10/08     Back to Top