Joint Statement from the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA) in support of free access to information in Australian libraries

Australia's library and information services advance access to information for an inclusive and informed society. Libraries defend equity of access to information to support a thriving democracy and to cater for all members of the library community.

 As stated in the APLA-ALIA Standards and Guidelines for Australian Public Libraries, ‘public library collections should cover a wide range of popular topics, express a variety of viewpoints and cultural understandings, and represent a diversity of people, places, events, issues and ideas.

 Collections are at the centre of library services. The APLA-ALIA Standards further provide that each ‘library service has a process for regularly assessing the content and size of the collection required to meet community needs and is proactive in pivoting the collection to meet changing community needs.’

 Library and information staff are responsible for developing and maintaining library collections. Selection and availability of items in a collection is made by library staff with professional expertise and experience and is not based on personal, political, moral and/or religious views. A perception that material may offend or cause controversy to a person or a group of people is not, of itself, a reason to limit purchase or provision of an item containing that material.

 Members of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) commit to upholding ALIA’s core values which include respect for the diversity, individuality and equality of all, the free flow of information and ideas through open access to recorded knowledge, information, and creative works, and the connection of people to ideas, knowledge creation and learning.

 Members of ALIA adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice and professional competence.

 ALIA will continue to work to ensure that all Australians have the freedom to choose what they read, that libraries and information services are welcoming and inclusive places for all Australians and that library and information staff are supported in their professional duties.

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