Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
In a rapidly changing environment librarians face many challenges concerning privacy, censorship and access to information. They need guidelines, policies interpretations and practical advice. These are all thoroughly addressed in the 7th edition of Intellectual Freedom Manual – a publication compiled by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), with the help of a number of experts such as Beverley Becker, Deborah Caldwell‐Stone, Theresa Chmara, Larra Clark, Judith Krug, Daniel Mach, Candace Morgan, Evelyn Shaevel, Linda Wallace and Don Wood. The OIF is responsible for implementing the intellectual freedom policies of the American Library Association by educating librarians and the public about the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, as well as the Association's basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials.
The Manual is thus not only an authoritative, primary resource for library managers, librarians and policy makers, but can also guide the wider public on the latest policies, etc. Newly amended policies covered in the 7th edition include, for example, access for children and young adults to non‐print materials; access to electronic information services and networks; access to library resources and services regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation; access to resources and services in the school library media program; exhibit spaces and bulletin boards; free access to libraries for minors; labels and rating systems; and restricted access to library materials.
The 7th edition of this work is certainly an authoritative, primary resource and guide that belongs on the shelf of all interested parties, especially library managers, librarians and policy makers. I can wholeheartedly recommend it, and at US$52.00 I consider it to be excellent value for money – even for readers outside the USA who face the challenges of securing intellectual freedom.