Libraries: Intellectual freedom and access to information

Our Content Development Policy guides the selection and management of resources collected and created by the Christchurch City Libraries Ngā Kete Wānanga-o-Ōtautahi. One of the core values expressed in this policy is Intellectual freedom and access to information (Chapter 7.5, p. 15).

It states:

Items prohibited by the Films, Videos and Publication Classification Act 1993 will not be purchased by the Library and material restricted by provisions of this act will not be issued to customers under the specified age. Apart from these statutory requirements, the Library will have no active censorship role.

The Policy asserts that Christchurch City Libraries supports the right of children and young adults to choose their own material. The responsibility for a child’s selection rests with parents or legal guardians (see membership form).

In line with this policy, the NZ Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year (winner of the Young adult fiction category of the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards) Into the river by Ted Dawe will not be getting explicit content stickers.

We do not censor books in this way unless they have been to the censor and have been rated.

To uphold the principle of intellectual freedom, the Library attempts to supply a balanced collection containing varying viewpoints on controversial issues. Material will not be suppressed or removed simply because it gives offence. While recognising the right of the individual to reject material, this should not diminish the overall breadth of the collection for other customers.

7 thoughts on “Libraries: Intellectual freedom and access to information

  1. Gallivanta 1 July 2013 / 3:59 pm

    Excellent to read this policy and see how it is applied.

  2. AngelaS 1 July 2013 / 6:46 pm

    Yes, terrific to see a judgement of this sort- unbiassed, unemotional, unjudgmental.

  3. AngelaS 1 July 2013 / 6:49 pm

    However just as well that explicit content stickers were issued in the instance of a children’s book award as so many booksellers, school librarians and parents/guardians are ignorant of the content and reputation of the author.

  4. Ali Hewett 1 July 2013 / 6:57 pm

    Bravo ChCh Public Libraries, Bravo!

  5. Matt 1 July 2013 / 9:36 pm

    Whats wrong with the book? Where do the stickers come from.

    • Donna 2 July 2013 / 8:29 am

      Hi Matt. Some people are perturbed by the content. The stickers came from Booksellers.

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