The objective of IFLA/FAIFE is to 

  • Raise awareness of the essential correlation between the library concept and the values of freedom of expression.
  • Collect and disseminate documentation and aim to stimulate a dialog both within and outside the library world.
  • Act as a focal point on the issue of freedom of expression, libraries and librarianship.


Principles of freedom of expression and good librarianship

Through libraries the individual is guaranteed full opportunities to encounter free expression and permit users freedom of expression. Good quality library services form an essential component in this matter. Libraries and library staff should therefore adhere to the principles of freedom of expression, uninhibited access to information and intellectual freedom and recognize the privacy of library user.

The principles of freedom of expression and good librarianship:

  • Libraries provide access to information, ideas and works of imagination. They serve as gateways to knowledge, thought and culture.
  • Libraries provide essential support for lifelong learning, independent decision-making and cultural development for both individuals and groups.
  • Libraries contribute to the development and maintenance of intellectual freedom and help to safeguard basic democratic values and universal civil rights.
  • Libraries have a responsibility both to guarantee and to facilitate freedom of expression. To this end, libraries shall acquire, preserve and make available the widest variety of materials, reflecting the plurality and diversity of society and where facilities are made available for library users to communicate/express themselves, this shall not be censored nor restricted by political, moral or religious views.
  • Libraries shall ensure that the selection and availability of library materials and services is governed by professional considerations and not by political, moral and religious views.
  • Libraries shall acquire, organize and disseminate information freely and oppose any form of censorship.
  • Libraries shall make materials, facilities and services equally accessible to all users. There shall be no discrimination due to race, creed, gender, age or for any other reason.
  • Library users shall have the right to personal privacy and anonymity. Librarians and other library staff shall not disclose the identity of users or the materials they use to a third party.