Intellectual Freedom

The New Westminster Public Library Board endorses the following Statement on Intellectual Freedom from the Canadian Library Association.

"Every person in Canada has the fundamental right, subject to reasonable requirements of public order, to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity, and to express his thoughts publicly. This right to intellectual freedom is essential to the health and development of Canadian society."

Libraries have a basic responsibility for the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom.

It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee and facilitate access to all expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity including those which some elements of society may consider to be unconventional, unpopular or unacceptable. To this end, libraries shall acquire and make available the widest variety of materials.

It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all the library's public facilities and services to all individuals and groups who need them.

Libraries should resist all efforts to limit the exercise of these responsibilities while recognizing the right of criticism by individuals and groups.

Both employees and employers in libraries have a duty, in addition to their institutional responsibilities, to uphold these principles.