Defend librarians' intellectual freedom - protect democracy
  1. United States
  2. Ala.
  3. Letter

Defend librarians' intellectual freedom - protect democracy

To: Gov. Ivey, Sen. Beasley, Rep. Blackshear

From: A constituent in Phenix City, AL

July 11

A vibrant democracy depends on the free exchange of ideas and access to information from diverse perspectives. Libraries play a vital role in upholding these principles by providing resources that foster learning, critical thinking, and intellectual exploration for all members of the community. Criminalizing librarians for carrying out their professional duties and curating collections that represent a wide range of viewpoints is a direct threat to free speech and intellectual freedom. Libraries are not mere repositories of books but serve as gateways to knowledge, empowering individuals to seek understanding and form their own opinions. Attempting to censor or restrict access to certain materials based on subjective notions of what is "appropriate" sets a dangerous precedent that undermines the fundamental values of an open society. It is crucial to recognize that libraries make careful and considered decisions regarding their collections, guided by professional ethics and selection policies. These decisions aim to serve the diverse needs and interests of their communities while respecting intellectual freedom and the right to access information. Rather than criminalizing librarians, we should celebrate and support their role as guardians of knowledge and promoters of lifelong learning. A truly democratic society thrives when its citizens have access to a wide range of ideas and can engage in informed discourse. Imposing restrictive measures on libraries would impoverish our intellectual landscape and stifle the free exchange of ideas that is essential for a healthy democracy. I urge you to reject any attempts to criminalize librarians and instead work towards policies that protect and strengthen our public libraries as vital institutions that enrich our communities and uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and access to information.

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