Intellectual Rights & Freedoms

All selections must respect the principles of intellectual freedom expressed in the Ontario Library Association’s Statement on the Intellectual Rights of the Individual Endorsed by the membership of the OLA at the 96th Annual General Meeting, 1998.

ONTARIO LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
STATEMENT ON  THE INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL 


In affirming its commitment to the fundamental rights of intellectual freedom, the freedom to read and freedom of the press, as embodied in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Library Association declares its acceptance of the following propositions:
  1. That the provision of library service to the public is based upon the right of the citizen, under the protection of the law, to judge individually on questions of politics, religion and morality.
  2. That intellectual freedom requires freedom to examine other ideas and other interpretations of life than those currently approved by the local community or by society in general, and including those ideas and interpretations which may be unconventional or unpopular.
  3. That freedom of expression includes freedom for a creator to depict what is ugly, shocking and unedifying in life.
  4. That free traffic in ideas and opinions is essential to the health and growth of a free society and that the freedom to read, listen and view is fundamental to such free traffic.
  5. That it is the responsibility of libraries to maintain the right of intellectual freedom and to implement it consistently in the selection of books, periodicals, films, recordings, other materials, and in the provision of access to electronic sources of information, including access to the internet.
  6. That it is therefore part of the library's service to its public to resist any attempt by any individual or group within the community it serves to abrogate or curtail access to information, the freedom to read, view and listen by demanding the removal of, or restrictions to library information sources in any format.
  7. That it is equally part of the library's responsibility to its public to ensure that its selection of material is not unduly influenced by the personal opinions of the selectors, but determined by the application of generally accepted standards of accuracy, style and presentation.

Approved, OLA Board of Directors, December 2003

Reaffirmed, OLA Board of Directors, December 2005