Freedom of Inquiry

It is the goal of Arthur Lakes Library to support an atmosphere of free and unhindered intellectual inquiry. As members of the Mines faculty, librarians have a professional obligation to foster a climate of academic freedom by providing a range of materials which represent divergent points of view, not only for the subjects central to the curriculum but also on a full range of topics and issues reflecting the human condition.

To support a degree of diversity in our resources, the library makes an effort to acquire material for the main collection that surveys the entire range of human endeavor, including the visual arts, literature, history, religion, social sciences, sciences, and pseudo-sciences. This includes books and journals that discuss significant issues confronting contemporary society. Financial support for subjects which are not generally part of the curriculum is limited; for the small amount of material that is acquired, efforts are made to find works which reflect quality in writing and scholarship.

The library is opposed to censoring or limiting access to materials that contain ideas or information that an individual or an organization objects to on partisan or doctrinal grounds. Accordingly, the Arthur Lakes Library adopts the Library Bill of Rights, as formulated by the American Library Association that maintains that libraries are forums for information and ideas. The Library Bill of Rights reads as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit space 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.

Updated 7/2009