The Significance of Access to Information—and the Challenges it Faces in Librarianship

Shannon M. Oltmann, Emily JM Knox, Chris Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Access to information is a fundamental value of professional librarianship and library and information science more generally; however, providing such access can be impeded by certain practices of librarianship, as this article describes. We focus on obtaining a better understanding of the extent of censorship practices within information institutions and the effects of restricted access to information on both individuals and communities. This article draws on several theoretical frameworks including regulative and constitutive censorship, information poverty, access as a human right, and the importance of individual autonomy. This research provides a more solid foundation for librarians and other information professionals to apply the value of intellectual freedom to professional practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalLibrary Philosophy and Practice
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Library and Information Sciences


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