We are strongly committed to intellectual freedom. It is one of our guiding principles and the cornerstone of all public libraries. We support freedom of speech and the right of every person to access knowledge, and all information protected by the U.S. Constitution, without censorship or limitation of any kind.
Intellectual Freedom at the Library
The Seattle Public Library believes that the freedom to read and access information is everyone’s right. The Library provides free, unrestricted access to information and knowledge for all, as acknowledged in our Intellectual Freedom in Libraries policy. This policy guides the Library in every aspect of the programming and services it provides to its patrons.
We will help you find the information or resources you seek, regardless of your background, point of view or beliefs. People of any race, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender identity or age have free access to Library materials and resources. Access to Library materials is not restricted by age; however, we are happy to offer support to parents and guardians who wish to guide their children to age appropriate materials.
Public Use of Library Facilities and Meeting Rooms
The Seattle Public Library believes that freedom of expression and access to ideas and information are essential to the health and development of a democratic society. We acknowledge that Library spaces may be used by those who express viewpoints and ideas contrary to the Library’s institutional vision and values. Use of any Library facilities, including meeting rooms, by any group or organization in no way constitutes endorsement of the policies or beliefs of that group or organization by the Library or City.
The Library recognizes that some individuals and groups may strongly disagree with ideas and views expressed within Library spaces and collections. However, in keeping with its Intellectual Freedom policy, the Library will not restrict freedom of expression beyond the limits of U.S. law.
For more information about how intellectual freedom is applied to use of Library facilities and meeting rooms, please see our Library Facilities and Meeting Room Use policy.