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ILF Intellectual Freedom Policies
Guiding Principles

The Indiana Library Federation affirms that intellectual freedom is of the utmost importance to the continued existence of democracy. An integral part of the concept of intellectual freedom is unrestricted access to ideas or beliefs; freedom of expression has meaning only when others have access to the ideas expressed. The Federation holds that unrestricted access to information is a corollary of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Freedom to select information is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read, and shall be protected. All citizens shall have the right to free inquiry and the right to form their own opinions. All forms of public communication shall be defended and preserved. The Federation subscribes to the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and the interpretive statements thereto adopted by the American Library Association.

Adopted by Committee: 9/12/97
Ratified by ILF Executive Board: 11/12/97
Approved by ILF Membership: 4/7/98
ILF Internet Access Policy

The Indiana Library Federation supports the principle of open access to information and ideas, regardless of the medium in which they exist. The Federation believes that a democracy can only succeed if its citizens have access to the information necessary to form opinions and make decisions on issues affecting their lives. The Federation subscribes to the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and the interpretive statements thereto adopted by the American Library Association, as well as the Federation's own Intellectual Freedom Statement.

The Indiana Library Federation recognizes concerns regarding access to the Internet. The use of Internet filters to limit such access has been widely suggested but poses many problems for libraries and their users. Filters can block valuable information, thus preventing the library from fulfilling one of its primary missions. In addition, filters may be unconstitutional in public institutions, since some of the information they block is constitutionally protected speech.

The Indiana Library Federation urges libraries to provide patrons with information about filtering software's limitations and about possible unforeseen consequences of filtering. Parents need to be informed that exclusive reliance on filtering software cannot effectively safeguard children. Alternatives to filtering in libraries include acceptable use policies, installation of privacy screens, content neutral time limits, and library-provided links to particular sites that have been recommended for children.

The Indiana Library Federation cannot recommend the use of Internet filters in libraries and emphatically opposes attempts by federal and state governments to mandate their use. The Federation encourages local boards to adopt Internet access policies consistent with their resources, their missions, and with federal, state, and local laws while supporting intellectual freedom ideals.

Adopted by Intellectual Freedom Committee: 7/9/99
Approved by COES: 7/27/99
Ratified by ILF Executive Board: 8/11/99

 

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