TEXAS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM STATEMENT
The Texas Library Association holds that the freedom to read is a corollary of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press. Freedom of choice in selecting materials is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read, and shall be protected against extra-legal, irresponsible attempts by self-appointed censors to abridge it. The Association believes that it is the essence of democracy that citizens shall have the right of free inquiry and the equally important right of forming their own opinions, and that it is of the utmost importance to the continued existence of democracy that freedom of the press in all forms of public communication be defended and preserved. The Texas Library Association subscribes in full to the principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association, Freedom to Read Statement, and interpretative statements adopted thereto.
B. AREAS OF CONCERN
LEGISLATION. The Texas Library Association is concerned with legislation at the federal, state, local, and school district level which tends to strengthen the position of libraries and other media of communication as instruments of knowledge and culture in a free society. The Association is also concerned with monitoring proposed legislation at the federal, state, local, and school district level which might restrict, prejudice, or otherwise interfere with the selection, acquisition, or other professional activities of libraries, as expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement.
The Intellectual Freedom Committee works with the Legislative Committee to watch proposed legislation, at the various levels, which would restrict or interfere with the selection, acquisition, or other professional activities of libraries.
INTERFERENCE. The Association is concerned with proposed or actual restrictions imposed by individuals, voluntary committees, or administrative authority on library materials or on the selection judgments or on the procedures or practices of librarians.
The Intellectual Freedom Committee attempts to eliminate restrictions which are imposed on the use or selection of library materials or selection judgments or on the procedures or practices of librarians, receives requests for advice and assistance where freedom has been threatened or curtailed, and recommends action to the Executive Board where it appears necessary.
MATERIALS SELECTION POLICY. The Texas Library Association believes that every library, in order to strengthen its own selection process, and to provide an objective basis for evaluation of that process, should develop a written official statement of policy for the selection of library materials.
The Intellectual Freedom Committee encourages all libraries to develop a written statement of policy for the selection of library materials which includes an endorsement of the Library Bill of Rights.
EDUCATION. The Texas Library Association is concerned with the continuing education of librarians and the general public in understanding and implementing the philosophy inherent in the Library Bill of Rights and the ALA Freedom to Read Statement.
The Intellectual Freedom Committee supports an active educational program for librarians, trustees, and the general public.
LIAISON WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. The Texas Library Association, in order to encourage a united front in defending the right to read, shall cooperate with other organizations concerned with intellectual freedom.
The Intellectual Freedom Committee advises on Texas Library Association positions and cooperates with other organizations.
Adopted September 15, 1992 by the TLA Council.
Reaffirmed April 7, 1995 by the TLA Council.