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Intellectual Freedom Policy and Procedure

I. Intellectual Freedom Policy

Intellectual freedom is essential for development of library collections and services offering diverse perspectives to meet the educational and research needs of the Bridgewater State University academic community. Maxwell Library endorses the intellectual freedom guidelines expressed in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries as adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries. These documents provide the basis for the principles listed below.

  1. The library acquires materials in support of Bridgewater State University’s instruction and research programs reflecting a wide variety of viewpoints on subjects that may be considered controversial. Material will not be excluded from the collection because of the political, moral, religious, sexual, social, economic, or scientific views expressed.
  2. The library’s preservation and replacement efforts will attempt to ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or wear.
  3. The library offers open and unfiltered access to the Internet to the Bridgewater State University academic community for uses in compliance with the University’s Responsible Use of Information Technology policy to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information.
  4. The library affords equal access to information for all in the Bridgewater State University academic community with no discrimination on the basis of race, values, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or ethnic background, physical or learning disability, economic status, religious beliefs, or views.
  5. The library has an established procedure to ensure due process for requests for removal or addition of library resources or exhibits. The library will not remove any challenged material until a formal review mandates such action. Challenged materials that meet the criteria for selection should not be removed under any legal or extra-legal procedure.

II. Review of Challenged Resources Procedure

  1. Individuals or organizations within or outside of Bridgewater State University who challenge materials should be given copies of the library’s Intellectual Freedom Policy and Procedure and should complete the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form. Copies of both documents are available at all library public service desks and in the Library Director’s office. Completed forms should be forwarded to the Director’s office as soon as possible.
  2. Librarians or the Library Director will provide a more detailed explanation of the intellectual freedom policy if needed.
  3. The Library Director, in consultation with the librarians, will review the completed form and respond promptly in writing to the challenge.
  4. The Library Director will keep records of all requests for reconsideration.
  5. The Library Director will submit a completed form detailing the challenged material to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for inclusion in their confidential database on challenged materials.

Policy Adopted: May 2006

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