S. Bruce Library
The mission of the Library is to provide the means by which
people of all ages,
and circumstances may avail themselves of the recorded wisdom,
experiences, and ideas of others.
In support of this mission, materials are assembled, organized, and
made accessible to all: opportunities for personal, educational,
cultural, and recreational enrichment are offered; collections,
services, and programs are developed to respond to individual and
community needs; a knowledgeable staff is employed to facilitate and
enhance the use of library resources.
By committing themselves to excellence in all facets of the
library’s service and operation, the Library Advisory Board,
management, and staff of the library reaffirm the democratic ideals
upon which the American public library is founded.
The Mae S. Bruce Library provides materials and services to
support the informational and educational needs of the residents of
. Its objectives include
to provide a varied selection of books and materials; to provide
assistance in the use of these materials; and to provide service for
people in their search for greater understanding and knowledge, in
acquiring reliable information, and in the exploration of a more
secure and creative pattern for living.
Knowledge of the community is a vital ingredient in the
responsible selection of library materials.
Selection will take into account residents’ interests,
abilities, and the demographic and geographic make-up of the
and purchase of library materials rests with the library director who
may delegate some responsibilities to other staff members.
Staff will adhere to accepted professional practices when
making selection decisions. The
recreational, educational, and informational needs of the community
will be considered in selecting materials.
Before the beginning of each budget year, the director will
determine how limited funds will be allocated among the major
collection subdivisions. Circulation
statistics will be maintained to assist in decision making.
Average cost per item, reviews in library and publishing
journals, and patron recommendations will also be considered when
Materials will be selected based on positive reviews in
professional journals or actual examination and evaluation of
materials. Instead of
reviews, popular demand (bestsellers, school bibliographies, local
interest) may be used as the criterion for selection of materials.
Items that must be updated every year may be placed on standing
order list to ensure timely delivery.
Suggestions from the community for items to be considered for
purchase are strongly encouraged, but materials must meet selection
The Mae S. Bruce Library does not attempt to acquire textbooks
that support local curricula, but may acquire textbooks for general
use by the public. Multiple
copies of popular books (e.g., bestsellers, resume guides, tax
preparation) may be purchased to meet demand. Paperback
books will be purchased when available to meet short-term demand.
The Library will attempt to have information available in a
variety of formats, both print and non-print, when available and
practical. Generally, only
one copy of materials in other formats (video, compact disk, cassette,
computer programs) will be purchased unless long-term high demand is
anticipated. Video and
audio recordings will be selected for potential long-term use to meet
general interests. Regardless
of an item’s popularity, the Library may choose not to select it,
because its format is not durable enough (e.g., pop-up books, comic
books) to withstand reasonable library use, because it is
inappropriate for library use (for example, consumable workbooks), or
it would require excessive staff time to maintain. Non-selected items
may be available through Interlibrary Loan services. (See Reference
Policy –Scope of Reference Service, Section F-9: Interlibrary Loan
to the Library’s Materials Selection Policy is the Library Bill of
Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement (see attached).
Objections to items in the collection should be made in writing
to the Library director. (See
also the “Request for Reconsideration of Materials” policy.)
Materials that no longer meet the needs of the community and no
longer support the library’s collection will be withdrawn and
disposed of in accordance with the Library’s “Deselection of
Library Bill of Rights
“ B” -
The Freedom to Read
and Approved by the Library Advisory Board –
July 7, 2010
by the Santa Fe City Council – August 12, 2010
Library Bill of Rights
American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for
and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide
Books and other
library resources should be provided for the
interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the
community the library serves. Materials should not be
excluded because of the origin, background, or views of
those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should
provide materials and information
presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.
Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of
partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of
their responsibility to provide information and
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups
concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and
free access to ideas.
V. A person’s
right to use a library should not be denied or
abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms
available to the public they serve should make such facilities
available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or
affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
June 18, 1948
February 2, 1961
June 28, 1967
January 23, 1980
of “age” reaffirmed
January 23, 1996
THE FREEDOM TO READ
freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously
under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts
of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading
materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial”
views, to distribute lists of “objectionable”
or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from
a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer
valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to counter threats
to safety or national security, as well as to avoid the subversion of
politics and the corruption of
We, as individuals devoted to reading and as librarians and publishers
responsible for disseminating ideas, wish to assert the public
interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental
premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising
critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad. We trust
Americans to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make
their own decisions about what they read and
We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a
free press in order to be “protected” against what others think
may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in
ideas and expression.
efforts at suppression are related to a larger pattern of pressures
being brought against education, the press, art and images, films,
broadcast media, and the Internet. The problem is not only one of
actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads,
we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment
of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy or unwelcome
scrutiny by government officials.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of
accelerated change. And yet suppression is never more dangerous than
in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the
the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel
and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every
silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes
the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less
able to deal with controversy and difference.
Now as always in our history, reading is among our greatest
freedoms. The freedom to read and write is almost the only means for
making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can
initially command only a small audience. The written word is the
natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come
the original contributions to social growth. It is essential to the
extended discussion that serious thought requires, and to the
accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communication is essential to the
preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that
these pressures toward conformity present the danger of limiting the
range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and
our culture depend. We believe that every American
must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order
to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and
librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that
freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely
from a variety of offerings. The freedom to read is guaranteed by the
Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these
constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the
responsibilities that accompany these rights.
We therefore affirm these propositions:
1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians
to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions,
including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered
dangerous by the majority.
thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer
of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested.
Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the
ruthless suppression of any concept that challenges the established
orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is
vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely
from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle
every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic
process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing
and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by
times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we
2. Publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to
endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would
conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own
political, moral, or aesthetic views as a standard for determining
what should be published or circulated.
and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make
available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and
the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as
mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the
freedom to read
consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any
single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong
that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks
3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or
librarians to bar access to writings on the basis of the personal
history or political affiliations of the author.
art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the
political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free
people can flourish that draws up lists of writers to whom it will not
listen, whatever they may have to say.
4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the
taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed
suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to
achieve artistic expression.
some, much of modern expression is shocking. But is not much of life
itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent
writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have
a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of
experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a
responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves.
are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by
preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet
prepared. In these matters values differ, and values cannot be
legislated; nor can machinery be devised that will suit the demands of
one group without limiting the freedom of others.
5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to
accept the prejudgment of a label characterizing any expression or its
author as subversive or dangerous.
ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups
with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for others.
It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their
minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others
to do their thinking for them.
6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as
guardians of the people’s freedom to read, to contest encroachments
upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own
standards or tastes upon the community at large; and by the government
whenever it seeks to reduce or deny public access to public
is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the
political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or
group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or
group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for
themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine
what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group
the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own
concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic
society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted
and the inoffensive. Further, democratic societies are more safe,
free, and creative when the
flow of public information is not restricted by governmental
prerogative or self-censorship.
7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to
give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that
enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the
exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that
the answer to a “bad” book is a good one, the answer to a
“bad” idea is a good one.
freedom to read is of little consequence when the reader cannot obtain
matter fit for that reader’s purpose. What is needed is not only the
absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for
the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are
the major channel by which
intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of
its testing and growth. The defense of the freedom to read requires of
all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and
deserves of all Americans the fullest of their support.
We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy
generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of the
written word. We do so because we believe that it is possessed of
enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping
free. We realize that the application of these propositions
mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are
repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the
comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe
that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be
dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic
society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the
Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the
American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the
American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of
June 25, 1953
January 28, 1972
January 16, 1991
July 12, 2000
June 30, 2004
, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
Joint Statement by:
of American Publishers
Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
Association of American University Presses, Inc.
Children’s Book Council
to Read Foundation
Association of College Stores
Coalition Against Censorship
Council of Teachers of English
for the Protection of Free Expression