ACRL-OR Academic and Intellectual Freedom Statement

ACRL-OR is committed to supporting our academic, public library, and K-12 colleagues, and the principles protected by Academic Freedom and Intellectual Freedom. We also acknowledge that libraries—our collections and services—are not neutral, and we strive to uphold these principles while best serving students and patrons who identify as LGBTQIA+ and Black, Indigenous, and people of color. To this end, we recognize our professional principles can and will change.

The ACRL-OR Board endorses the following interpretations of Academic Freedom and Intellectual Freedom to be used as guidance for Oregon Academic Librarians:

  • It is the goal of academic libraries for library workers to build collections, services, spaces, and policies in accessible and just ways.
  • Academic library work carries with it the responsibility to support and uphold the professional research and teaching standards of the academic disciplines supported at the college or university.
  • Academic library work carries with it the responsibility to promote and increase critical information literacy.
  • Academic library work cannot be politically neutral.
  • Hate speech is not an acceptable form of discourse and, therefore, should not be protected by academic libraries using Intellectual Freedom principles.
  • Academic library work shall uphold core professional values of librarianship, including access, diversity, Intellectual Freedom, and social responsibility.
  • Academic libraries are invited to use the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as a framework to guide, align, and assess their work.

Given this understanding of Intellectual Freedom and professional responsibilities, ACRL-OR commits to the following:

  • Advocate for these principles at the state level with the legislature and Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC).
  • Provide active opposition to challenges of Academic Freedom and Intellectual Freedom principles.
  • Offer professional development opportunities to our community on Academic Freedom and Intellectual Freedom.
  • Act in solidarity with and provide mutual support to our colleagues experiencing challenges and/or harassment based on their professional efforts.
  • Advocate for collaborative efforts with our state and national professional organizations to strengthen our field’s understanding and defense of Academic Freedom and Intellectual Freedom principles.

You can download our Academic and Intellectual Freedom Toolkit.