October 21 – 27, 2013 has been designated as Free Speech Week, a nonpartisan celebration of free speech and expression. The goal of the event is to raise public awareness of the importance of free speech in our democracy.

Freedom of expression and intellectual freedom are core values of the library profession. The American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights affirms the commitment of the library profession to these values, by stating that libraries “should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression.”

Many court decisions on the subject of free speech and expression involve the right to access books and library resources, including Counts v. Cedarville School Dist. (W.D. Ark. 2003) 295 F.Supp. 2d 996 (removal of Harry Potter books from school library violated students’ First Amendment rights to read and receive information); and Tattered Cover, Inc. v. City of Thornton (Colo. Sup. Ct. 2002) 44 P.3d 1044 (bookstore patron had right to purchase books anonymously, free from law enforcement scrutiny).

Celebrate your right to intellectual freedom and Free Speech Week by visiting the library!