Vol. 11 No. 2 (2020)

Intellectual Freedom as core Value for library Collections. An international Outlook

Francesco Meliti
Biblioteche dell’Università della Svizzera italiana-Biblioteca universitaria di Lugano

Published 2020-05-15


  • Libertà intellettuale,
  • Censura,
  • Carta delle collezioni,
  • Politica di sviluppo delle collezioni,
  • Selezione e acquisizione delle collezioni,
  • Riconsiderazione delle risorse
  • ...More

How to Cite

Meliti, Francesco. 2020. “Intellectual Freedom As Core Value for Library Collections. An International Outlook”. JLIS.It 11 (2):133-56. https://doi.org/10.4403/jlis.it-12615.


Intellectual freedom has a continual implementation at library, particularly in collection development.
This article first examines intellectual freedom and censorship in some statements of IFLA, of few European library associations and, last, of ALA. The ALA’s tools to defend intellectual freedom are then analyzed, focusing in particular, compliant to the specific ALA “manual”, on collections development and selection policies and on resources reconsideration procedure, as tools for prevention and defense policies against challenges to intellectual freedom in library. Then this article explains the main types of censorship concerning library collections, including the self-censorship, also called “silent censorship”, its characteristics and strategies against it; furthermore this paper deals with a particular type of commercial pressure in the process of selection, with the risk of overlapping collections. Finally, this article exposes the position of Michael Gorman in relation to intellectual freedom, reaffirming again: intellectual freedom is a value also for collections development and selection.


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