These entities include, among others, librarianship , education , and the Free Software Movement. Intellectual freedom encompasses many areas including issues of academic freedom , Internet filtering , and censorship. Issues surrounding restrictions to access include:. While proponents of intellectual freedom work to prohibit acts of censorship, calls for censorship are valued as free speech.
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In making their criticisms known, people who object to certain ideas are exercising the same rights as those who created and disseminated the material to which they object. The contemporary definition, limits, and inclusions of intellectual freedom primarily developed through a number of common law judgments by the United States Supreme Court regarding the First Amendment and policy statements of groups dedicated to the advocacy and defense of civil liberties.
In his oft-quoted dissent on the free speech case of two defendants convicted of inciting anti-war sentiment and action, Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis aligns the freedoms of speech and expression with the freedom of thought as follows:. A case in which the Supreme Court sustains the conviction of a woman for anti-government speech akin to terrorism. In his opinion on the matter, Justice Brandeis delineates the role of freedom of thought to inform free speech, attributing the value of intellectual freedom as a civil liberty to the founders of the United States, asserting:.
A case in which the US Supreme Court deliberated whether a citizen's Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights were violated when evidence to convict him of bootlegging was obtained through wiretapping. Justice Brandeis provides precedence for the inclusion of intellectual freedom as a constitutional right in his dissenting opinion, claiming the US Constitution's authors "recognized the significance of man's spiritual nature, his feelings, and his intellect" and "sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. In the Supreme Court's upheld decision to deny citizenship to Rosika Schwimmer, a Hungarian immigrant, because she refused to pledge to take up arms to defend the United States out of her pacifist views and beliefs, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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The American Library Association adopts the Library Bill of Rights affirming "that all libraries are forums for information and ideas. In his acceptance speech for the Lauterbach Award for support of civil liberties, Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas affirms that "safety of our civilization lies in making freedom of thought and freedom of speech vital, vivid features of life" and condemns "[r]estriction of free thought and free speech," labeling it "the most dangerous of all subversions," and an "un-American act.
The American Library Association adopts The Freedom to Read, a key library policy endorsing an individual's civil rights to free expression and intellectual freedom through the exchange of ideas through reading and writing. The ALA's The Freedom to Read includes seven affirmations and responsibilities to protect an individual's right to read as a basic tenet of democracy.
In , the ALA expands upon The Freedom to Read, adopting The Freedom to View, a policy which extends the understanding of intellectual freedom to include the visual acquisition of information through visual media such as art, video, movies, pictures, the internet, and more. The Court ruled that hate speech is protected under First Amendment rights as long as it does not incite violence.
Only speech that directly incites lawless action may be restricted. The profession of librarianship views intellectual freedom as a core responsibility.
IFLA -- The Glasgow Declaration on Libraries, Information Services and Intellectual Freedom
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions' IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom "calls upon libraries and library staff to adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom, uninhibited access to information and freedom of expression and to recognize the privacy of library user. Individual national library associations expand upon these principles when defining intellectual freedom for their constituents. For example, the American Library Association defines intellectual freedom as: It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.
Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas. Many other national library associations have similarly adopted statements on intellectual freedom. The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom organizes the relationship between librarianship and intellectual freedom into five distinct categories:.
Libraries protect, defend, and advocate for intellectual freedom through a variety of organizations and resources. The IFC recommends policies concerning intellectual freedom and censorship, drafts guidelines for library professionals to advocate and defend intellectual freedom including The Universal Right to Free Expression and Importance of Education to Intellectual Freedom, and drafts policy statements adopted by the ALA including several interpretation statements on the Library Bill of Rights such as:.
The IFC drafts and submits statements to the ALA as part of the committee's charge to "recommend such steps as may be necessary to safeguard the rights of library users, libraries, and librarians, in accordance with the first amendment to the united states constitution and the Library Bill of Rights as adopted by the ALA Council [and] work closely with the Office for Intellectual Freedom and with other units and officers of the association in matters touching intellectual freedom and censorship.
Formed in and originally titled 'Committee on Intellectual Freedom to Safeguard the Rights of Library Users to Freedom of Inquiry,' the committee has also been known as 'Committee on Intellectual Freedom' before the currently titled 'Intellectual Freedom Committee. The IFRT serves as a communication channel and promotional group for ALA members seeking increasing participation and knowledge in intellectual freedom concepts and issues.
While the IFRT mirrors other intellectual freedom organizations through monitoring, support, and educational efforts, the IFRT provides more varied intellectual freedom discussion forums for librarians in two ways:.
In addition to encouraging and fostering a community of librarians learning, promoting, and defending intellectual freedom principles, the IFRT administers three intellectual freedom awards see below and produces an Intellectual Freedom Report to members of the American Library Association four times per year. Although founded by ALA members, the FTRF is a separate organization from ALA with separate membership focused upon the legal defense of intellectual freedom for libraries, librarians, library staff, and library trustees. Originally established by the Freedom to Read Foundation in ,  the Merritt Fund now functions independently, governed by three trustees elected by donors to the fund.
Merritt participated in the defense and advocacy of intellectual freedom throughout his life in a variety of ways including authoring numerous intellectual freedom and anti-censorship books and articles, editing the ALA's Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from to , as the first recipient of the Robert B. Considered an authoritative resource on intellectual freedom for library professionals, it is also of use to members of the public who wish to stay informed of the most recent policies and developments in the field.
Many of the entities listed above collaborate with one another and other organizations including:. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award. Downs on his 25th anniversary as director of the School in honor of his role as a champion for intellectual freedom. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award is "[g]ranted to those who have resisted censorship or efforts to abridge the freedom of individuals to read or view materials of their choice, the award may be in recognition of a particular action or long-term interest in, and dedication to, the cause of intellectual freedom.
Awarded to acknowledge authorship in the area of intellectual freedom, the IFRT considers "single articles including review pieces , a series of thematically connected articles, books, or manuals published on the local, state or national level in English or English translation" for receipt of the Eli M. Intellectual freedom is often suppressed under authoritarian rule  and such governments often claim to have nominal intellectual freedom, although the degree of freedom is a matter of dispute.
The former USSR , for example, claimed to provide intellectual freedom, but some analysts in the West have stated that the degree of intellectual freedom was nominal at best. During times of crises there is often debate within democratic countries as to the balance between national security, a successful conclusion to the crises and the maintenance of democratic civil liberties.
IFLA proclaims the fundamental right of human beings both to access and to express information without restriction. This intellectual freedom encompasses the wealth of human knowledge, opinion, creative thought and intellectual activity. IFLA asserts that a commitment to intellectual freedom is a core responsibility of the library and information profession worldwide, expressed through codes of ethics and demonstrated through practice.
The Glasgow Declaration on Libraries, Information Services and Intellectual Freedom
IFLA therefore calls upon libraries and information services and their staff to uphold and promote the principles of intellectual freedom and to provide uninhibited access to information. Aller au contenu principal. Formulaire de recherche Rechercher. Libraries and information services provide access to information, ideas and works of imagination in any medium and regardless of frontiers.
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They serve as gateways to knowledge, thought and culture, offering essential support for independent decision-making, cultural development, research and lifelong learning by both individuals and groups.