Academic journal article Journal of Information Ethics

Libraries, Access, and Intellectual Freedom

Academic journal article Journal of Information Ethics

Libraries, Access, and Intellectual Freedom

Article excerpt

Libraries, Access, and Intellectual Freedom Barbara M. Jones. Chicago: American Library Association, 1999. 267 pp. $40 (paper).

The First Amendment is clear: the government is enjoined from legislating our reading and viewing habits, which allow us to make our own decisions. Nevertheless, Congress, state legislatures, and even the Supreme Court pass or affirm laws that are blatantly unconstitutional. Sometimes they are subsequently rescinded or disconfirmed; at other times, Americans' actions and thought processes are proscribed and controlled, and citizens may be jailed for reading a controversial book or viewing a sexually explicit web site. Barbara Jones provides some valuable ammunition to help public and academic libraries protect themselves and their patrons.

Jones offers some theoretical grounding for our right to provide uncensored materials by discussing public fora, specific cases, the First and Fourteenth Amendments, privacy, and law, among other topics, in a series of concise chapters. …

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