ALA passes resolution supporting librarians sued over expressing professional opinions

Academic Freedom, ACRL

At its third meeting at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, the ALA Council passed this resolution in support of librarians who have been sued after they have shared their opinions in online forums.

Resolution Supporting Librarians Sued for Doing Their Professional Duty

Whereas librarians have recently been sued for expressing their professional opinions concerning the quality of publications;

Whereas those suits bear striking similarities to Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) used to suppress the expression of public opinion (;

Whereas these suits represent an attempt to repress the academic freedom of librarians expressing professional opinions;

Whereas the American Library Association (ALA Policy Manual B.2.5 / old 53.5) affirms academic freedom;

Whereas the American Association of University Professors and the Association of College and Research Libraries in their “Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians” state that “… as members of the Academic community, librarians should have latitude in the exercise of their professional judgment…”

Whereas the American Library Association strongly supports the free and open exchange of information for all persons including librarians (ALA Policy Manual B. 2.1.12 / old  53.1.12);  now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association

Most strongly urges publishers to refrain from actions such as filing libel suits when in disagreement with librarians who have publically shared their professional opinions and instead to rely upon the free exchange of views in the marketplace of ideas to defend their interests as publishers.

Endorsed by:

The Committee on Professional Ethics

Intellectual Freedom Round Table

Association of College and Research Libraries

Library Leadership and Management Association

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