Opinions and Experiences of Queensland-Based Public Librarians with Regard to Censorship of Materials in Public Library Collections: An Exploratory Analysis

Moody, Kim E. (2004) Opinions and Experiences of Queensland-Based Public Librarians with Regard to Censorship of Materials in Public Library Collections: An Exploratory Analysis. In ALIA 2004 Biennial Conference: Challenging Ideas, 21-24 September 2004, Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia.


Public librarians have long upheld the social justice philosophy of free access to information for all people. The issue of censorship is related to both the professional principles of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and to the role public librarians have to play in nurturing social capital in our communities. Until now there has been little Australian data on this topic. This paper considers the philosophy of free access to information in the context of contemporary book selection and classification processes within public libraries. The findings of a survey of Queensland public librarians is used to identify current industry attitudes towards the public right to information, and to determine the degree to which censorship mechanisms are currently practiced or prevented in public libraries. The findings support those of overseas researchers that stated anti-censorship attitudes are not always indicative of censorship behaviours, and that some librarians employ self-censorship with regard to controversial materials in order to avoid censorship challenges.

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ID Code: 479
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Censorship, Intellectual Freedom, Information Suppression, Freedom to Read, Library Acquisitions, Public Libraries
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Librarianship (080706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Technology, Information and Library Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 25 Oct 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 09:42

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