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Resolution In Support of the Freedom to Read and Texas Libraries


WHEREAS, The freedom to read is a human right, constitutionally protected by the First Amendment, and individuals have the right to free inquiry and the equally important right to form their own opinions;

WHEREAS, School, public, college and university, and special libraries are places of voluntary inquiry where individuals can explore and pursue their own interests and are provided opportunities for discovery, learning, and personal and professional growth;

WHEREAS, Academic freedom is essential to research and education, and college and university libraries facilitate the free exchange of ideas on their campuses;

WHEREAS, School libraries, the largest classrooms on campuses, support students of all abilities and learning styles, provide equitable access to learning resources, and help bridge the digital divide;

WHEREAS, Public libraries are a uniquely American institution considered by the founders to be both the cornerstone and bulwark of the free flow of information and ideas vital to a strong and functioning democracy;

WHEREAS, Special libraries (e.g., medical, law, corporate, and museum libraries) foster the distribution of information on specialized subjects and areas of interest to researchers, educators, and the general public;

WHEREAS, Libraries operate under collection development policies that include procedures and guidelines for the acquisition and removal of all material, are approved by the appropriate governing authorities, and consider the needs and expectations of the community being served;

WHEREAS, These established policies and procedures provide clear ways for individuals to request reconsideration of library materials, and processes to ensure that the best interests of the entire community or student body are considered when evaluating library content;

WHEREAS, Librarians have a master’s degree and receive extensive professional training that prepares them to develop collections not based on librarians’ personal preferences or beliefs  but designed to meet the broad and varied interests and needs of their communities and students;

WHEREAS, Parents and guardians have the right to determine what their own children may read, but do not have the right to determine what all children may read, because no single book is right for everyone but one book can make a significant difference in one life;

WHEREAS, In the last two years there has been a significant increase in censorship activities in Texas, resulting in books being removed from library shelves without following policies and procedures that are established to address challenges to library materials; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Texas Library Association, on behalf of its members:

  1. Actively supports and defends intellectual freedom; and
  2. Upholds all individuals’ right to free inquiry and the equally important right to form their own opinions.

Approved by the College and University Libraries Division Executive Board – July 5, 2022

Approved by the Public Libraries Division Executive Board- June 29, 2022

Approved by the Special Libraries Division Executive Board – June 30, 2022

Approved by the Texas Association of School Librarians Executive Board – June 27, 2022

Approved and submitted by the TLA Legislative Committee – July 1, 2022

Approved by TLA Executive Board – July 7, 2022

Approved by TLA Council – July 8, 2022