The 10-Minute International Librarian #74: Think of a way in which you can promote intellectual freedom

Libraries have a clear commitment to promoting access to information as a key pre-condition for the fulfilment of the rights to education, research, culture, democratic participation and development in general.

We work to combat barriers to this access, linked not just to resources, but also to policies which may risk censoring content.

Yet access is only one part of the broader concept of intellectual freedom. This also includes the possibility to share information – freedom of expression.

Indeed, the ability to apply existing information and create new knowledge is arguably just a logical continuation of the possibility to access. It is also of course what guarantees that there will be new works in future.

Libraries therefore have a strong interest in promoting broader intellectual freedom, with many already seeing promoting creativity and expression as central to their mandates.

So for our 74th 10-Minute International Librarian Exercise, think of a way in which you can promote intellectual freedom.

What can you do, not just to help readers access materials which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to read, but then to draw on this information, to express themselves?

Is it a question of skills, or of confidence? Are there restrictions that are holding people back, and which need to be removed?

What platforms can you provide for people to think freely, and realise their potential?

Share your ideas in the comments box below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 1.4: Shape public opinion and debate around open access and library values, including intellectual freedom and human rights

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box.