Library corner: Freedom to read, freedom to think, freedom to choose

Arthur Dollard
Grand County Library District
These are the states that have had more than 100 book titles challenged by people who do not think they should be on library shelves.
Grand County Library District/Courtesy image

Most Americans are aware of their Bill of Rights. What many Americans are not aware of are the Library Bill of Rights or LBOR. This can be found on the American Library Association’s website, On this site you can find the Library Bill of Rights under the website’s “Featured Content” section.
LBOR, developed in 1939 and amended six times over the past 84 years, is a document outlining seven liberties which are unalienable for library patrons, and form a baseline to guide library policy.

“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,” states Article II of the LBOR.

Grand County Library District prides itself on having a diverse collection of physical and digital resources. This is in direct support of “presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.”

Since 2021, stories about books being removed from the shelves of libraries have circulated throughout the news cycle. States have created bills and laws that require vendors to rate materials, restrict vendors from selling certain material to libraries, specify who can attend library programs, and prohibit libraries from including books in their collection.

Grand County Library District/Courtesy photo

The local library district operates in a manner that supports the responsibility of our patrons, both young and old, to seek out material they would find entertaining or relevant to personal life situations. Librarians are available to lead people to interesting materials selected with those personal interests in mind. Parents and caregivers are responsible for supervising their children’s access to library materials.

Broad access to information is critical for people to gain a more in-depth view of themselves and the world beyond Grand County. It is incredibly difficult for people to feel connected to a community when they do not see themselves represented in images and the written word. As librarians, it is our responsibility to maintain a diverse collection and help patrons navigate the sometimes overwhelming options that are available.

The library district has adopted practices which support our community’s right to read and view a diverse collection of material as a trait to be proud of. It is important for our organization to make available to patrons the most diverse material and services when, where and how patrons need them.

Our digital resources have made access to our materials reach far beyond Grand County. Libraries serve the whole public. Grand County Library District encourages you to visit your local library and exercise your right to read and access information freely.

For more information on the library district’s catalogue building processes, please visit or stop by and speak to a librarian.

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