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Intellectual Freedom: Access Children and Youth

Access Children and Youth

Our profession values intellectual freedom for all, regardless of age. We hold that caretakers are responsible for making decisions about materials and information for their family, but not for other families, and that public and school libraries are responsible for making material available to youth representing a wide variety of subjects, opinions, backgrounds, voices, and types of information. This position is solidified in the document “Libraries: An American Value.”

 

ALA Resources on Access for Children and Youth

  • Answering Questions about Youth and Access to Library Resources: This document is published by ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and was revised in 2017. It provides some sample messages to parents from school library-media centers and helps library staff answer questions about youth access to library materials. A quick-print FAQ version of this document is also available: https://bit.ly/2QAUGX1
  • Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors: This interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights was last revised in 2014. It guides understanding of intellectual freedom in the public library. The document also references court cases that ruled in favor of youth’s First Amendment rights.
     
  • Access to Resources and Services in the School Library: This interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights was last revised in 2014. It guides understanding of intellectual freedom in the school media center.
     
  • Minors and Internet Activity: This interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights was last revised in 2014. It provides a foundational understanding of the rights of youth as they pertain to using the internet school and public libraries, and discusses the roles of caregivers, teachers, and librarians in monitoring children’s and teens’ library use.
     

 

MLA Intellectual Freedom Panel 2018 Annual Conference Presentation