Intellectual Freedom Manual, 10th ed. Comp. the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Martin Garnar and Trina Magi, eds. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 2021. 352p. Paper, $69.99 ($62.99 ALA members) (ISBN 9780838948187).

Sarah McHone-Chase


Intellectual freedom (IF), the freedom to seek and obtain information across viewpoints, is a long-supported ethical cornerstone of librarianship. Supporting intellectual freedom within libraries is widely seen as a vital underpinning to democracy. This newest edition of the IFM, like former editions, recounts and explicates the history of intellectual freedom within the profession. Comprising 16 sections (over three parts), the updated edition includes 17 essays by such renowned IF scholars as Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Theresa Chmara, Kristin Pekoll, Helen R. Adams, and others. As such, the IFM remains the authoritative reference work on this subject and makes a strong case for why intellectual freedom matters while giving practical advice on how to support intellectual freedom within the library. This edition also continues the IFM’s tradition of evolving and adapting topics in response to the evolution of libraries and librarianship. Accordingly, some valuable ancillary issues are included for discussion, while other information has been taken out or added. Copyright is a wise inclusion carried over from the 9th edition, but now gone is the “Deeper Look” specifically dealing with privacy concerns and RFID. The section dealing with “Meeting Rooms, Exhibit Spaces, Programming, and Education” has also been expanded on from the 9th edition. A particularly useful addition is section 10 (in the second part), entitled “Special Lenses: Guidance across Issues.” This section includes chapters on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Intellectual Freedom for Academic Libraries, Politics, Religion, Free Expression, and the Visual and Performing Arts. Though such a section may seem to be a bit of a hodge-podge, the effect is rather that any questions or uncertainties on the part of the reader have been anticipated and addressed. This foresight regarding readers’ potential anxieties is one of the IFM’s major strengths. Ample resources to learn more about an issue are provided throughout the IFM, including the ALA core intellectual freedom documents such as the Library Bill of Rights and the Code of Ethics as well as official ALA policy statements and advice on creating intellectual freedom policies for libraries. In addition, references to further resources are found throughout the manual. Indeed, the IFM is a complete examination of intellectual freedom from multiple angles.

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