Policy & Purpose

Participation on this site is regulated by ALA’s Online Code of Conduct, available at https://www.ala.org/online-code-of-conduct.

The Intellectual Freedom Blog’s purpose is to educate and encourage discussions about intellectual freedom principles, and promote the value of libraries, librarians, and professional membership in the American Library Association. The blog is managed and edited by staff of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) for use within the library profession and the public to raise awareness of time-sensitive news, issues in the field, upcoming events, helpful resources, and the work of members that is related to intellectual freedom, professional ethics, or the mission of the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The Intellectual Freedom Blog publishes original material by writers, which include:

  • Bloggers – Bloggers are regularly scheduled writers who have applied for the position and been accepted to write for the Intellectual Freedom Blog for a commitment of at least one year. Bloggers are members of ALA.
  • Guest contributors – Guest contributors are invited to submit content for editorial consideration via the guest post form. Guest contributors’ submissions will be reviewed by OIF staff, and submitters will be notified if the post is accepted for publication.
  • News editors – News editors are independent contractors who collaborate on the weekly Intellectual Freedom News and regularly write for the Intellectual Freedom Blog.
  • OIF staff – OIF staff are employees of the American Library Association.

All writers for the Intellectual Freedom Blog will be clearly identified with a biography and must adhere to the rules and requirements established in this policy.

OIF staff will work with writers to develop content and topics. Posts should range from 500 to a maximum of 1,200 words. If an exception is sought, OIF staff must be consulted before submission. Writers must check facts, cite sources, and check spelling and grammar. Relevant external links to related content are encouraged. If OIF determines that edits are needed, OIF will attempt to consult with the writer when possible but OIF reserves the right to add an “editor’s note” and to edit submissions for length, accuracy, grammar, and formatting at the time of scheduled publication. OIF further reserves the right to reject any submission by a writer which, in the view of the OIF staff, creates a conflict of interest or compromises the mission or integrity of the American Library Association or the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Content will align with ALA policy or will be clearly stated otherwise. Publication by the Intellectual Freedom Blog does not constitute an endorsement of the content or represent the official position of OIF or ALA. All writers are required to consent to the policy and purpose of the Intellectual Freedom Blog.

Commentary and reactions to content are welcome. Comments are open to all but are moderated by OIF staff. Comments should be relevant to the specific post to which they refer. OIF reserves the right to remove, or not to publish, comments unrelated to the topic of the post or the purpose of the blog. Spam, flaming, personal attacks, and off-topic comments are not permitted and will be removed or not published. Those wishing to post a longer response or opinion are welcome to submit content for consideration via the guest contributors submission form.

Posts on the Intellectual Freedom Blog are Creative Commons licensed under the Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives license for the United States. Any content that is re-published elsewhere must be attributed to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and include the name of the Intellectual Freedom Blog, the author’s name, and a link back to the blog.

When publishing on the Intellectual Freedom Blog, the writer is granting to OIF the irrevocable exclusive license to the content in perpetuity. This means that all rights of copyright are transferred to OIF, and the writer no longer has rights to the content. This license cannot be broken. If the writer seeks to use the content elsewhere or bases a derivative work on the content, prior authorization from OIF is necessary. Only OIF can remove content from this blog.

[Updated August 2021]