Intellectual Freedom Policy
The mission of the King County Library System is to provide free, open and equal access to ideas and information to all members of the community.
KCLS respects the authority of parents and guardians to guide their children's access to print, non-print, and online information. The library system assists parents and guardians by providing printed materials about the Internet and its resources, evaluating and selecting electronic databases, and maintaining age appropriate Web pages and linkages. Library staff is available to assist patrons of any age in the use of the Internet.
The use of the Internet is a privilege and access is voluntary.
1. KCLS believes that the Internet provides benefits of access to information resources and collaboration that outweigh potential disadvantages of access.
2. KCLS seeks to preserve the minor’s status as a full member of the Internet community.
3. KCLS cannot control the resources on the Internet. The Internet is not a static entity. The Internet changes each minute as new computers connect and existing computers add or delete information. Some sites accessible via the Internet may contain material that is inaccurate, defamatory, illegal, or potentially offensive to some people. KCLS places a warning stating this on its Internet computers.
4. It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to determine whether to place restrictions on their own children in the use of the Internet.
5. KCLS provides computers with only filtered access to the Internet in the children's section of each library. Parents or guardians may choose to direct their children to these computers.
6. KCLS provides access on every Internet computer to a filtered search engine at the election of the user through links on its Web pages. Parents or guardians may choose to direct their children to this type of searching. KCLS staff is available to assist parents, guardians, or children in the use of this technology.
7. KCLS expects all patrons, including minors, to adhere to the Rules of Conduct.
American Library Association document
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980,
inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996,
By the ALA Council.
The Washington Library Association supports the principle of free, open, and unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the medium in which they exist.
A democracy can only succeed if individuals have access to the information necessary to form opinions and make decisions on issues affecting their lives. Libraries play a key role in providing access to this information.
The Association regards this access as a right of all individuals. Therefore the Association believes that libraries have a responsibility to provide access to a wide range of perspectives and viewpoints.
The Association believes that parents and legal guardians have the right and responsibility to guide their own children in the exercise of their rights of access.
The Association recognizes privacy and confidentiality as essential components of intellectual freedom.
The Association encourages and supports local community involvement in developing policies that uphold the United States and Washington State constitutional guarantees of free speech and intellectual freedom.
Therefore, the Washington Library Association opposes censorship and restrictions on access to the full range of constitutionally protected materials and speech.
Ratified at the WLA Conference in Spokane, WA - 4/6/01
Last Updated: July 18, 2012