Intellectual Freedom HomeMI Right to ReadTOOLKIT | Message CenterRequest Advocacy Resource Funds

First Amendment Challenges and Intellectual Freedom Toolkit

NEWS (8/1/2023): New campaign urges Michiganders to protect their right to read and oppose book banning efforts

Click here to view the press release.

Image of MLA's statement of Princple documentThe Michigan Library Association (MLA) is a champion of access and actively advocates and educates in defense of intellectual freedom – the rights of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment.  Intellectual freedom is a core value of the library profession and a basic right in our democratic society. 

Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas without restriction.  Viewed as an integral component of a democratic society, intellectual freedom protects an individual's right to access, explore, consider, and express ideas and information as the basis for a self-governing, well-informed citizenry. Intellectual freedom comprises the bedrock for freedoms of expression, speech, and the press and relates to freedoms of information and the right to privacy.

The United Nations upholds intellectual freedom as a basic human right through Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which asserts:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Read the Michigan Library Association Statement of Principle on Intellectual Freedom.


MI Right to Read Logo

MI Right to Read

MI Right to Read is an initiative of the Michigan Library Association (MLA), coordinated through the leadership of the Intellectual Freedom Task Force. The coalition opposes any attempts to ban books from Michigan libraries based on content subjectively deemed inappropriate. Its purpose is to build a coalition, educate the public, oppose any current or future legislation that infringe upon First Amendment rights and intellectual freedom, and ensure that librarians across Michigan will be entrusted to continue to do their jobs and serve the needs of ALL individuals and communities. 

Visit today and join the coalition!

Back to top

Intellectual Freedom ToolkitIntellectual Freedom Toolkit
Resources for library staff, educators, and board members

Message CenterIntellectual Freedom Message Center
Tips and templates for promoting intellectual freedom in your community

Advocacy Resource FundsAdvocacy Resource Funds
Request support as you take action to protect First Amendment rights

Back to top


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

Friends of Michigan Libraries logo