Statement of Principles – About ipl

Statement of Principles

The ipl Project seeks to challenge and redefine the roles and significance of libraries in an increasingly distributed and digital world. Libraries have always been places of learning and excitement, opening new worlds of information, enlightenment and entertainment to all who enter. Libraries and the people who work in them are committed to democracy and equality of access, the dignity of their patrons, and the freedom to express and investigate all points of view.

This is a noble and honorable professional mission. Technologies have always permitted libraries to accomplish their aims more effectively. The rise of libraries as we know them today is due in large part to the explosion in volume and diversity of printed and recorded matter. Simultaneously, however, each new medium brings with it difficulties and change. The technologies of global internetworking present yet another set of challenges and opportunities to the library community.

Our project has a twofold educational mission:

First, and foremost, the planning, development, design, and thinking about the Library serves as an opportunity for its members to learn–about users, about technologies, about management–in short, about all the issues motivated by the translation of the library perspective into a networked environment. Further, we hope that by conveying our experiences, we can help others to share in our lessons.

Second, the Library itself exists to

  • provide services and information which enhance the value of the Internet to its ever-expanding and varied community of users
  • work to broaden, diversify, and educate that community
  • communicate its creators’ vision of the unique roles of library culture and traditions on the Internet

The members of the Library affirm the following:

We will work to provide service of the highest quality possible to our community of users.

We will uphold the highest standards of professionalism, including commitments to equality of access, and intellectual freedom. In particular, we endorse the principles of the Library Bill of Rights, appended below.

We will strive for creativity and originality in all our work, within appropriate constraints.

We will endeavor to extend the scope of our work on a global scale: to incorporate the participation of people around the world in the development and work of the Library, and also to acknowledge and access collections of interest everywhere.

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  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 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.

Adopted June 18, 1948; amended February 2, 1961, and January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council.

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