Foundations of Intellectual Freedom

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Featuring questions for further study and inquiry in each major chapter, this book introduces the key concept of intellectual freedom to those about to enter the profession, providing a concise overview of principles, ongoing and current debates, and best practices.

Enshrined in the mission statement of ALA, intellectual freedom is one of the core values of the information professions. The importance of ensuring information access to all, and the historical, social, and legal foundations of this commitment, are powerfully explored in this essential primer. Designed to function as both an introductory text for LIS students as well as a complementary resource for current professionals, this book provides a cohesive, holistic perspective on intellectual freedom. Extending beyond censorship to encompass such timely and urgent topics as hate speech and social justice, from this book readers will gain an understanding of

the historical and legal roots of intellectual freedom, with an in-depth examination of John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty” and Article 19 of the U.N Declaration of Human Rights, and its central concepts and principles;
the intersection of intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, and social justice;
professional values, codes of ethics, ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, and Freedom to Read/View Statements;
pro- and anti- censorship arguments and their use in impeding and facilitating access to information;
book banning and internet filtering;
privacy and its relationship to information services;
U.S. case law and precedents;
the basics of U.S. copyright law, including fair use, and how it differs from international copyright law; and
emerging global issues and their impact on future intellectual freedom.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherALA Neal-Schuman
Number of pages144
ISBN (Print)9780838937839
StatePublished - 2022


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