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Statement on Labelling

An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights


Labeling is the practice of describing or designating certain library materials by affixing a prejudicial label to them or segregating them by a prejudicial system. The American Library Association opposes this as a means of predisposing people's attitudes towards library materials for the following reasons:



1. Labeling is an attempt to prejudice attitudes and as such, it is a censor's tool.


2. Some find it easy and even proper according to their ethics, to establish criteria for judging publications as objectionable. However, injustice and ignorance rather than justice and enlightenment result from such practices, and the American Library Association opposes the establishment of such criteria.


3. Libraries do not advocate the ideas found in their collections. The presence of books and other resources in a library does not indicate an endorsement of their contents by the library.






[Based on a policy adopted July 13, 1951; amended June 25, 1971; July 1, 1981; June 26, 1990 by the ALA Council.]




Adopted: 03/30/89

Revised: 06/06/96, 10/07/99

Reviewed: 2013, 09/2015, 01/2019, 2/3/2022, 1/4/2024

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