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Freedom to View


The FREEDOM TO VIEW, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression. Therefore, these principles are affirmed:


1. To provide the broadest access to audio-visual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression.


2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using audio-visual materials.


3. To provide audio-visual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.


4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labelling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the content creator or on the basis of controversial content.


5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public’s freedom to view.



[This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.



Endorsed by the ALA Council January 10, 1990]




Adopted: 08/04/05

Reviewed: 2013, 08/06/2015, 01/03/2019, 12/02/2021

Revised: 12/07/2023

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