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Intellectual Freedom Toolkit

Information and resources to prepare for and deal with intellectual freedom issues at your library. From the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Prepare for Future Challenges


The best way to prepare for challenges at your library is to have policies and procedures that are regularly reviewed, updated, and approved by your governing body.

We recommend having one or more policies that address:

  • Collections
  • Internet access
  • Meeting rooms, exhibit spaces, and programs
  • Privacy
  • Hate crimes

Here are some resources to draw upon while creating your policies:


Once your policies are created:

  • Have all library staff read the policies, and train them on procedures.
  • Store the policies, procedures, and any accompanying documents in a place that is easy for all staff to remember and access when they are helping a patron who has a concern about intellectual freedom issues.
  • Make the policies available on your library's website so patrons can learn about your policies regarding their intellectual freedom.
  • Regularly review your policies and procedures and make updates as needed.

You may also find it useful to have handouts with text of key statements ready to distribute as needed.