Intellectual Freedom is the right of library users to read any book and access any the information that they want to. But there will be people who challenge books and request to have them taken out the library. So in response to a challenge of the Looking for Alaska by John Green I wrote this letter:
April 21, 2016
To Whom It May Concern,
On behalf of Aguilar Library, a branch of NYPL libraries I would like to address your concerns on the book, Looking for Alaska, by John Green. We want you to understand that we support your decision to monitor what your teen reads, but we are not removing this book from our library. Every user has the right to choose what they read or have access to information and this is a right that cannot be taken away from them.
Intellectual Freedom allows library users to use the information and materials provided in a library without judgments. It is our goal to protect each library user right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted as in the ALA code of ethics. We as a believer in our community rights will strive to uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
Also Library Bill of Rights states 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. It also states a person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views. While Looking for Alaska has offensive language and sexual explicitly it teaches morals and has themes that are scary but a part of reality.
Looking for Alaska gives teenagers a perspective on a young male who is trying to make sense of his own world. It can make teenagers feel like they relate to the characters due to the reality of how death affects people. We chose this for our library collection because it targets Young Adults ages13 and up, is written by a popular Young Adult writer John Green and it belongs in our community with other books that are open to audiences.