Printer Friendly

Censorship by Queensland public librarians: philosophy and practice.

Public librarians have long held to the social justice philosophy of free access to information for all people. The issue of censorship relates to the professional principles oft he Australian Library and Information Association and to the role public librarians play in nurturing social capital in communities. This paper considers the philosophy of free access to information in the context of contemporary item selection and classification processes within public libraries. A survey of Queensland public librarians identified attitudes towards, the public right to information, and determined the degree to which censorship is practised or prevented in public libraries. The findings support those of international research that anticensorship attitudes are not always indicative of censorship behaviours, and that some librarians employ self censorship of materials to avoid censorship challenges. Edited version of a paper presented at the 2004 Alia biennial conference Gold Coast Queensland under the title 'Zero censorship! Who are we kidding? An exploratory analysis of the opinions and experiences of Queensland based public librarians with regard to the censorship of materials in public library collections'

**********

In September 1964 the then Library Association of Australia published its Statement of principles on freedom to read. The catalyst for the development and endorsement of such a policy was the presidential address to the Association by W G K Duncan in 1961. He asserted
 ... a librarian is not only entitled, but is duty bound, to
 disagree both from the government of the day and
 from a majority in the community whenever this
 disagreement flows from his vocation ... to promote
 and foster the free flow of information and ideas
 throughout his community (1)


In 2001, the Australian Library and Information Association (Alia) released its Statement on freedom to read as one of its three seminal statements. (2) The most recent incarnation of this philosophy, the Statement on free access to information, was also adopted in 2001. The pursuit of this philosophy within public libraries requires an inclusive and dedicated approach by all library professionals, particularly with regard to controversial or nonmainstream materials.

Little research has been conducted, however, on the attitudes and practices of Australian public librarians towards the inclusion of such materials in their collections. This lack of research was addressed by a survey of the attitudes and behaviours of Queensland public librarians about censorship of library collections. Internet censorship in libraries was not researched, due to its unique issues.

Definitions

Free access to information

The issue of free access to information has been known under a variety of terms throughout the history of libraries. 'Intellectual freedom' and 'freedom to read' occur frequently in the literature. In this paper they are used interchangeably with the more recent term 'free access to information'. The following indicates the definition used.

The Alia Statement on free access to information (3) is based on the principle that
 Freedom can be protected in a democratic society only
 if its citizens have unrestricted access to information
 and ideas.


The statement explicitly outlines seven responsibilities of libraries

1 Asserting the equal and equitable rights of citizens to information regardless of age, race, gender, religion, disability, cultural identity, language, socioeconomic status, lifestyle choice, political allegiance or social viewpoint

2 Adopting an inclusive approach in developing and implementing policies regarding access to information and ideas that are relevant to the library and information service concerned, irrespective of the controversial nature of the information or ideas

3 Ensuring that their clients have access to information from a variety of sources and agencies to meet their needs and that a citizen's information needs are met independently of location and an ability to pay

4 Catering for interest in contemporary issues without promoting or suppressing particular beliefs and ideas

5 Protecting the confidential relationships that exist between the library and information service and its clients

6 Resisting attempts by individuals or groups within their communities to restrict access to information and ideas while at the same time recognising that powers of censorship are legally vested in state and federal governments

7 Observing laws and regulations governing access to information and ideas but working towards the amendment of those laws and regulations which inhibit library and information services in meeting the obligations and responsibilities outlined in this statement.

This paper focuses on those aspects which deal with the provision of information on a variety of topics from diverse information sources and perspectives, regardless of the controversial nature of such information; and with resisting attempts from individuals or agencies, including governments, to restrict intellectual freedom. The aspects of free access to information which deal specifically with the nature of the library/user relationship (points 1 and 5 above) are thus not covered.

Information suppression/censorship

Consideration of the principle of free access to information necessarily involves a discussion of the inverse, information suppression, also described as censorship. Whilst definitions of these terms are many within the library literature, throughout this paper these terms will be used interchangeably, to indicate any act which intentionally reduces free access to information.
 Controversial topics are defined as subject matter
 which is likely to initiate impassioned debate within
 the Australian community. Examples could include
 homosexuality, fundamentalist religion, extreme
 political views, pornography and racism.

 Nonmainstream topics are defined as subject matter
 which differs from the opinions presented to the broad
 Australian community by the mass media.

 Opinion is defined as a thought or belief about
 something or someone. (4)

 Affect (verb) is defined as 'to cause a behavioural
 change'.


The literature

The library literature contains a wide variety of contexts and approaches to the issue of free access to information in public libraries. This review of that literature specifically addresses threats to the free accessibility of controversial materials. Two potential threats are discussed

* the impact of the opinions of public librarians

* the impact of specific library processes with regard to controversial materials

The impact of the opinions of librarians

The distinction between selection and censorship was famously described by Asheim as 'the selector primarily seeks reasons to include an item, whilst the censor primarily seeks reasons not to include an item'. (5) A key finding of Fiske's seminal work, Book selection and censorship, was that the Californian librarians interviewed were in fact the individuals most likely to censor their collections. (6) Much of this censorship pertained to controversial materials, with two thirds of her respondents admitting to censoring materials due to controversy, and one fifth habitually avoiding the purchase of items they believed to be potentially controversial. (7)

It is likely that some librarians suppress controversial materials without considering their actions to be censorship. Subjective measures such as 'literary quality' can easily be employed to justify exclusion of materials, as can claims such as 'lack of funds' or 'no demand'. Evans notes that these may be true, or they may be ways of rationalising the exclusion of materials which may prove troublesome. (8) Fiske's research found that of the librarians who expressed strong freedom to read convictions, 40 per cent took controversiality into account during book selection, but sought other reasons, such as a lack of literary quality, to justify their decision to avoid controversial items. (9)

From the literature, there are three main reasons for librarians to view materials as controversial

* the content of the material may conflict with the librarian's personal values

* it may violate perceived community standards

* it may be controversial as a result of the sociopolitical environment of the time

Conflicts with personal values

Malley notes that the conflict between personal convictions and professional practice is the most important factor in the issue of censorship by librarians. (10) It is clear from the Alia Statement on free access to information that the role of the librarian is to take an inclusive, anticensorship approach to their professional tasks. This is likely to create situations where a librarian's professional role is in conflict with personal values. Schweinsburg notes, however, that individuals must be conscious of their personal values and prejudices in order to minimise their influence on professional roles. (11) Curry's research into the experiences of public library directors in the UK and Canada revealed that just over 50 per cent of respondents had taken professional action contrary to their personal moral beliefs. (12) However not all library professionals are this committed to intellectual freedom, or this conscious of their prejudices. Research in the US by Robotham and Shields revealed situations in which personal beliefs were allowed to influence professional behaviours. For example, one librarian refused a user's request for material on homosexuality. She did not wish to be responsible for the person becoming homosexual. (13)

Community standards

Research by Fiske (14) and Busha (15) identified that librarians frequently censored materials in order to avoid complaints from external parties, such as community pressure groups. Evans notes that even librarians who are consciously committed to the principles of intellectual freedom may, in fact, censor subconsciously or even consciously when potential personal threats are perceived, such as conflict in the workplace or community. (16) The community standards rationale is one commonly advocated by conservative pressure groups. Lee suggests that the aim of community standards appears to be to reduce the library collection exclusively to items which could not possibly offend anyone. (17) Readers may be familiar with high profile cases of such pressure on public libraries in the US. However this issue is also known in Australia. Groups such as the Christian Democratic Party have publicly stated a desire to censor library collections. (18)

Curry's 1990/91 research revealed that 67 per cent of UK and 37 per cent of Canadian library directors agreed that community standards should be upheld by librarians. (19) Interestingly, 1974 research in Ontario by Claire England indicated only 13 per cent of respondents then agreed with that statement. (20) This could indicate that, as with other aspects of the censorship debate, the influence of community standards will be different at different points in history. However, Robotham and Shields note that 'in any community, there are many publics', and stress that public library collections must aim to satisfy the needs and wants of the various minorities. (21) This highlights the fundamental problem with the community standards approach. It rarely incorporates the standards of all the communities within society. This has led Parkinson to describe the community standards justification for censorship as 'dangerous'. (22)

Sociopolitical environment

The social and political environments in which libraries operate create another set of pressures which threaten free access to information. Wiegand's study of library acquisitions records in five small US communities during world war one revealed that once the US entered the war in April 1917, a pronounced bias entered the acquisitions process, eliminating all materials expressing pacifist or proGerman perspectives on the war. (23) The Cold War had a similar influence. Mediavilla (24) describes the extreme fear levels generated within the US public library community of the 1940s and 1950s by first the Tenney and then the McCarthy Committee into unAmerican activities. Although conducted in 1959, five years after Senator McCarthy had been generally discredited, interviews for Fiske's research into book selection and censorship were permeated by 'an atmosphere of caution' (25) and participants stated they were still fearful of including materials on communism in their collections. (26) West reported in 1983 that the incidence of censorship in the US increased by 400 per cent during the first term of conservative Republican Reagan's period in the White House. (27)

We may well be on the brink of another period of such cautiousness and the 'chilling' of freedoms. It has become a truism that for people of the West, the world is a very different place after the World Trade Center attacks of 11 September 2001. Pike (28) considers the resultant change in US government and public attitudes towards national security and civil liberties mimics similar changes during the two world wars and the Cold War. Dawson has raised concerns that this change in the sociopolitical environment may have negative effects on many aspects of library work, including the support of intellectual freedom and the unbiased acquisition and cataloguing of library materials. (29) Doyle notes that the war on terrorism has already led to calls in the US for tighter controls on intellectual expression and information exchange (30) and cites specific examples, such as the US government ordering the destruction of all copies of the US Geological Survey held by 335 academic libraries. (31)

In addition to this, the White House is occupied again by a very conservative Republican administration which initiated the USAPATRIOT Act 2001 (an acronym for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) within weeks of 11 September 2001. Many writers have raised concerns about the impact of this Act on library processes. (32,33,34) For example, it allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to obtain previously confidential library user records for surveillance purposes. The results of an anonymous survey of librarians by Sanders led him to state that '[m]any libraries and booksellers now fear that patrons have begun to self censor their library use ... due to fears of government surveillance'. (35) Closer to home, at the time of writing, the Australian parliament is considering the Anti-terrorism Bill 2004, which includes a provision to make it unlawful for people to profit financially from books or memoirs written about their experiences of training with terrorist organisations. (36) Concerns have already been raised by civil libertarians, legal experts and the families of terrorism victims that such legislation may well be the thin edge of the wedge of the threat to intellectual freedoms in Australia. (37)

The impact of library processes

Fiske identified two stages within library processing at which free access to controversial materials for public library patrons may be threatened--selection, and circulation. (38)

Selection processes: review journals

Lee (39) notes that in the US many, if not most, librarians rely on industry review journals to identify new books for acquisition, a trend which is likely to be true in Australia also. It is important, therefore, to consider the degree of inclusiveness and independence of these publications. Lee has raised concerns that review journals may well be biased towards those publishers that contribute most significantly to the advertising income of the journal. If this is so, works of a radical or alternative nature, such as publications of the radical left, or zines, published by individuals or small companies without large promotion budgets, are likely to be overlooked by such review journals. (40, 41)

Selection processes: acquisitions outsourcing

Another relatively recent acquisitions trend among larger Australian public libraries is outsourcing to vendors. Whilst varying degrees of acquisitions outsourcing are possible, the most extreme employ vendors to undertake material selection. In such an arrangement a vendor retains preference lists or profiles (for example, of preferred subjects, genres or authors) for each of its client libraries. Based on the preferences indicated by the library, the vendor selects specific library materials. Outsourcing is generally justified as a means of cost cutting in the fiscally constrained public library environment. However a number of writers have raised concerns about the impact outsourcing may have on library collections. Litwin believes 'we've outsourced materials selection and other functions to corporations who don't know our patrons'. (42) This is supported by Hadley's belief that vendor selection of materials has changed the collection in her library. (43) Wallace notes that outsourcing is seen in a positive light by those for whom circulation is a measure of library success, but points out that there is more to a public library than circulation statistics. (44) This can be seen clearly in the Alia Statement on free access to information, which charges public libraries with 'ensuring that their clients have access to information from a variety of sources and agencies to meet their needs ...'

Selection processes: alternative literature Robotham and Shields stress the value of small press materials in providing a variety of viewpoints, topics and literary styles within the public library collection. (45) Cassell, quoted in Wallace, (46) questions whether outsourcing can ensure such a broad range of information sources, or whether library collections will be diminished by a lack of small press materials, which are not as easily acquired as those produced by large publishers. Willett (47) notes that, at best, vendors are slow to pick up small press titles, and alternative press titles are unlikely to be selected at all. Duncan Turner of James Askew & Son, a major British library supplier, is quoted as saying the exclusion of alternative literature from its catalogue represents only 'a few titles by obscure experimental publishers'. (48) If this comment is at all representative of vendor opinions, the implication is that libraries are unlikely to receive alternative literature from their standard acquisitions vendor. Lee makes the important point that 'for a vendor, owned and controlled by a larger corporation, the ideals of librarianship are irrelevant'. (49) Vendors are not librarians, and are not required to uphold the ethics and professional standards of librarians.

Selection processes: interlibrary loan

Respondents to Woods and Perry-Holmes' 1982 survey of US public libraries frequently cited that the availability of items on interlibrary loan (ILL) was a valid reason not to order a controversial item. (50) There are several problems with this approach. First, the very nature of controversial items may be such that individuals experience discomfort or embarrassment in approaching the librarian to request such an item. To combat this, anonymous alternatives to identifying and ordering ILL materials would be essential, such as an internet based system.

A related issue is that the ILL approach precludes library users from identifying materials simply by browsing the library shelves. This is of particular concern in the case of alternative materials, where the subject matter may be so new or unusual that only by browsing would users become aware of it at all. If the item is not available inhouse, such browsing is not possible.

Circulation processes: physical access

Preventing physical access to controversial items has been identified by a number of researchers as a common method of censoring library materials. Examples of such activities include placing potentially controversial materials on closed reserve or in the library manager's office or, in cases where a complaint has been made against the item, reclassifying it to a different area of the library, relocating it to another library branch, or removing the item permanently.

Circulation processes: labelling

Labelling refers to the practice of attaching a warning or rating label to an item. Labelling is considered to create bias as the librarian is effectively trying to make up the reader's mind about the work before they even open it. Ninety per cent of Canadian and 70 per cent of UK library directors in Curry's research disagreed with labelling of library materials, (51) figures which replicate earlier findings by Busha (52) and England. (53) In Australia labelling is required by law on certain items by the federal Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995. Other forms of labelling are carried out in Australian libraries. Such labelling may include spine labels to indicate what genre a fiction item belongs to, or a warning label indicating that some of the contents may offend.

Research context

Research into censorship in public library collections in Australia is almost nonexistent, although such research has been conducted at various levels and with varying foci in other Western countries. Many small research projects have been conducted in Canada, the UK and the US, and there are three major projects which dominate the literature.

The first major research into censorship in public library collections in the West was conducted by Fiske between 1956 and 1958, with the cooperation of the California Library Association and the (US) School Library Association. Fiske coordinated 204 face to face interviews with school librarians and public library administrators throughout California, focusing on three key areas: book selection policies and procedures, handling of objections to library materials and attitudes of librarians.

In 1970 Charles Busha distributed a questionnaire to 900 public librarians in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, as part of his PhD studies. The response to the questionnaire was very impressive. Busha's questionnaire focused on librarian attitudes towards authoritarianism, censorship and intellectual freedom. However few questions related to actual practices.

During 1990 and 1991, Canadian Ann Curry conducted face to face interviews with 60 public library directors, 30 from Canada and 30 from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland). All were from public library systems serving populations of 150,000 or more. The interviews focused on attitudes and experiences of library directors about selection processes, attitudes towards the inclusion of specific types of controversial materials, their experiences of external challenges to selection processes, and conflicts between their personal beliefs and their professional responsibilities.

The present survey (see appendix) was developed with reference to all of the above studies. Whilst the large sample sizes of the three studies outlined above enabled a number of demographic trends to be identified, a similar demographic analysis is not possible in the present study due to the low response rate to the survey. However two key issues which arose from the previous studies will be assessed by the current data

* stated anticensorship attitudes are not always indicative of censorship behaviours

* censorship challenges are avoided by some librarians by employing self censorship of controversial materials during the acquisition and circulation processes

Methodology

A written questionnaire was selected as the data collection instrument. A frequently cited weakness of the survey method of data collection is the typically low response rate. (54) However the relatively high response rates achieved by previous researchers, 56 per cent to 69 per cent by American and Canadian researchers, suggested that the topic is of particular interest to the profession, and that this interest may improve the response rate. To further enhance the response rate, reminder letters were sent to participants, and a deadline for responses was set.

Another issue associated with surveys is that their voluntary nature may lead to response bias, as nonrespondents may differ in characteristics from respondents. For example, it is possible that only individuals with strong views on the subject will respond. A further weakness of the survey technique is that it lacks the depth of data which can be collected by interviews or focus groups. However the time and financial constraints of the project favoured the use of the survey method over these other, more resource intensive, methods.

Questionnaire design

The questionnaire was based on the findings of the literature review and earlier censorship research. A key factor in the design of the questionnaire was the desire to not only identify stated attitudes towards the topic but also to attempt to determine actual professional behaviours, as the two do not always relate strongly. This was achieved by the inclusion of questions regarding actual professional experiences of the respondents, and also through the use of hypothetical questions regarding material selection. Demographic data were also collected to enable an analysis of individual propensities toward censorship behaviours.

The timing of the research, conducted less than two and a half years after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Tampa refugee crisis, and in the long shadow of the second Iraq war, significantly influenced the question content of the survey. The tense sociopolitical climate created in Australia by these events brought the issues of asylum seekers, racial intolerance, terrorism and religious fundamentalism to the fore in the media. For this reason the two hypothetical questions in the survey included several references to materials of a religious, violent and racist nature. Due to concerns about the length of the questionnaire, these items were included at the expense of references to materials of a pornographic or sexist nature, as the former materials were more likely to be more contentious in the current political climate.

Discomfort amongst librarians with the words 'censor' and 'censorship' was identified in Fiske's research and also more recently in Australian research conducted by Giese. (55) The most common responses received by this researcher when discussing the project with other library students and even nonlibrary associates was disbelief that true responses would be given if censorship was used in the collection instrument. All such words were therefore omitted from the questionnaire, cover letters and all subsequent correspondence with participants. Similarly, value laden words were eliminated from the instrument to avoid bias. For example, one question described a book as 'a novel which depicts Indigenous Australians in a stereotypical way'. The word stereotypical was used rather than negative or racist to avoid implying a value judgement in the question.

A common recommendation when surveying on sensitive topics is to present the most personal questions towards the end of the questionnaire. Thus questions relating to the personal circumstances of the respondent were placed at the end of the questionnaire, and were prefaced with an explanation of why they were being asked, and a reassurance of the anonymous nature of the survey. Finally, attention was paid to the layout of the questionnaire, in both its web and printed forms, to ensure a professional appearance. The questionnaire was piloted with a selection of LIS students from the Queensland University of Technology.

Distribution of the questionnaire

The questionnaire was converted to a web form using Test Pilot software. A web form was selected as the initial survey distribution method, for several reasons. First, the web form would allow respondents to complete and submit the survey from their computer desktop with no additional resources required (pens, envelopes, postal service etc), as well as ensuring complete confidentiality and anonymity.

The use of a web form also enabled direct, digital transfer of the data from the collection instrument to the statistical software, minimising data entry time. Finally, distribution of the web form URL was by email, minimising the cost and time expenses accumulated by other distribution methods.

To accommodate the resource and time constraints of the project, participation was limited to Queensland public librarians. One hundred and fifty one were selected at random from the published list of Queensland public libraries, available at http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/pub/directory/. Factors such as job title, library size and level or type of professional training were not considered in the sample selection process. It is not considered that the reliance on email as an initial contact mechanism introduced any significant bias in the sample selection process, as the number of individuals on the Queensland public libraries list without direct email contact is minimal.

Data analysis

The collected quantitative data were analysed using a combination of SPSS statistical software and Excel spreadsheets. Given the low response rate to the survey, and therefore the small sample size, the statistical methods used consist primarily of frequency counts and cross tabulations.

The response rate was 17.4%, compared with rates of 56% to 76% achieved in similar surveys conducted in the US and Canada by Busha (56) and Schrader. (57,58) The discrepancy between the response rate and those achieved by similar overseas surveys may reflect cultural differences, although it is difficult to determine the true reasons for survey nonresponse.

It is possible that the email distribution may have been an obstacle to attaining a better response rate. Given the high volume of unsolicited email received by the average email user each day, it is possible that the introductory and follow up emails were simply disregarded by some potential participants. Some participants may also have been irretrievably deterred by the technical problems associated with the web form. Possible reasons not relating to the collection instrument itself include

* the subject matter was one about which individuals in the sample pool did not have strong opinions, had not really thought about, or considered a nonissue

* industry research was not considered a high priority by individuals in the sample pool, and thus time was not found for participation

* the subject matter was considered unimportant or uninteresting

* the subject matter was considered too controversial or challenging

The main outcome of the low response rate is that it is not possible to draw statistically reliable findings from the data. Demographic censorship trends identified by previous researchers cannot be tested.

QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS

Characteristics of the sample

Sixteen responses were received via the web form, and 9 via the reply paid postal system. The overall response rate was 17.4%, with all of the responses usable.

Most participants were between 25 and 54 years of age, with 2 (8%) aged over 54. The bulk of the responses was distributed fairly evenly across the 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 age groups. There was a significant female bias, with only 3 (12%) male participants. Only 4 (16%) participants had no formal library training, with the majority (64%) possessing either a bachelor or postgraduate degree in library science. The recency of completion of this education was fairly evenly distributed, ranging from one year prior to the survey to more than 20 years. Most participants had a high level of library experience, with all but one participant possessing more than 5 years of work experience in the library sector. The level of participation in continuing professional development activities was quite good, with 44% spending 1 to 5 days per year and 32% spending 6 to 10 days per year on this pursuit. 20% reported spending more than 10 days per year on continuing professional development. 52% of all respondents were members of Alia. The most common population size served by respondents' libraries was 100,000 to 500,000 (44%). The remainder were spread fairly evenly across the < 5,000, 5,000-10,000, 10,000-30,000 and > 500,000 population groupings.

The impact of the opinions of librarians

Awareness of the Alia Statement on free access to information was quite common, with 40% of respondents claiming to be familiar with it, and a further 36% stating they were 'somewhat' familiar with it. These figures are particularly good considering only 52% of the total respondents are Alia members. When asked to relate what the principle of free access to information means, 48% of respondents identified content balance and diversity of viewpoints and information sources issues specifically, in addition to other aspects such as equitable physical access. However 26% had a very narrow view of the principle, stating that it relates solely to providing services at little or no financial cost, and failing to mention the other aspects of the principle, such as those relating to diversity of information sources and content. A greater sample size would be required to determine if these figures are indicative of general awareness of the principle within the public library sector as a whole. If the current figures are supported by further research, such a finding should be of concern to the profession, and awareness raising within it would be worthwhile to ensure public librarians fully comprehend this core librarianship principle.

Previous research has revealed that librarians commonly prevent censorship challenges by avoiding the inclusion of controversial materials in their collections. That is, they employ self censorship of items they consider likely to generate controversy. Encouraging findings therefore were that all respondents agreed with the following statements

* public libraries should cater for public interest in contemporary issues without promoting or suppressing particular beliefs and ideas

* public libraries should provide their clients with access to information from a variety of sources and agencies

However, given the finding by Fiske that stated anticensorship attitudes are not always indicative of censorship behaviours, this issue was explored to a greater extent by asking participants to contemplate a hypothetical situation. They were presented with a list of materials, including a brief description of the content of each, and asked how they would treat each of the items if they were in charge of acquisitions for a new public library situated within the community in which they currently work, but one experiencing no financial or spatial restrictions.

The results are presented in table 1, and were also used to determine a rating of censorship tendencies for each participant, to enable comparisons between individuals. Points were awarded as follows: 'Purchase (no censorship)': 1 point; 'Purchase and label': 2 points; 'Purchase and place on closed access': 4 points; 'Not purchase': 8 points. An average score was then calculated for each participant. The higher an individual's average score, the more likely they are to employ censorship behaviours. The results were that only 32% of participants achieved a rating of 'low censorship tendencies' (an average score of less than 2). Only 3 items from the list escaped the ultimate form of censorship--refusal to purchase. The stated reasons for these decisions were as varied as the items in the list, and are discussed below.

The issue of accuracy

The least selected items, both rejected by 68% of respondents, contained instructions for conducting illegal activities (bomb and drug making). Comments indicated that the illegality of the subject matter was the reason for rejection of these items, with several stating that they believed providing these items would violate government regulations. Individuals who said they would purchase the items explained that their decision was based on the proviso that the items had passed Australian censorship laws.

The creationist text, known to contain deliberate inaccuracies, was rejected by 44% of respondents, with several comments expressing the belief that it was irresponsible to knowingly present incorrect information. However the application of this criterion was inconsistent, with the definition of accuracy appearing to be somewhat more subjective than it at first seems. The text expressing Holocaust revisionist theories, viewed by most historians as grossly inaccurate, was rejected by only 24% of respondents, as was the text offering methods to 'cure' homosexuality, although the concept is now widely rejected by the psychology and psychiatric professions. Possibly the overriding principle here was the avoidance of political correctness, or the rejection of what could be viewed as pandering to Jewish and gay/lesbian community pressures. Further research would be required to ascertain the truth in this matter, and certainly further exploration into the issue of accuracy as it relates to selection processes would be of interest.

The issue of balance

Many comments were offered about collection development in general. A quarter of respondents discussed the need to provide a balance of views, many commenting that they would try to include items covering all perspectives of controversial topics. One respondent noted 'every library should have something that offends someone! and have the alternate point of view as well'.

However for some of the respondents who espoused the need for balance, the definition and application of the word was inconsistent. For example, one respondent felt that to ensure collections are balanced and fair, libraries should avoid highly political items altogether, although the same person had previously agreed that public libraries should cater for interest in contemporary issues. Surely highly political items are by their very nature of such interest to the public, and to fulfil this requirement whilst achieving balance, both sides of the political debate should be offered, as opposed to neither of them.

Another respondent noted that they may reverse their decision not to include the magazine on witchcraft if the magazine presented a 'balance of views on the topic'. For this person, presumably balance must be sought not across the collection, but within each item. However, they did decide to purchase the autobiography of an al-Qaeda member which, being an autobiography and therefore written from a lone individual's perspective, could reasonably be assumed not to present a balance of views on the topic of al-Qaeda or Islamic militancy.

Yet another comment referred to the importance of providing a wide selection of resources to the public, but went on to say that they would be discrete about purchasing controversial items. This meant only purchasing one or two copies of each and 'if they go missing/lost early on in the piece I would not replace [them]'. Failing to replace controversial items lost shortly after their purchase surely has the same outcome as not buying them in the first place.

Conflicts with personal values

Only 28% of participants stated that they had, at some point in their career, found their personal beliefs to be at odds with their professional role with regard to the handling of controversial materials, while 24% were conscious of having rejected a particular item to avoid generating controversy within their community. However the data in table 1 show that of the selection list provided, 83% of respondents rejected at least one item. Even when the rejection of items on the apparently objective grounds of illegality or inaccuracy are removed from the calculation, we are still left with a significant 62.5% of respondents rejecting at least one, and more frequently several, of the remaining items on offer.

The criteria of literary quality and relevance to the local community were offered by 20% of respondents, but these criteria are very subjective and could easily be used to justify the exercise of personal prejudices. No respondents admitted their rejection of items was due to personal prejudice. However the comments reported in the preceding paragraphs highlight the unconsciousness with which it is possible to censor information. The respondents quoted, genuinely do not believe they are censoring their collections. Yet by the responsibilities outlined in the Alia Statement on free access to information, they are. Catering to public interest while avoiding highly political items, requiring some items to have internal content balance but not others, claiming to provide a wide range of resources while failing to replace when lost the only items on a particular topic--these all represent forms of censorship, although those responsible may couch them in terms such as 'literary quality' and 'relevance' which they deem acceptable to the wider library community.

Community standards

With regard to the issue of community standards, identified in the literature as a potential vehicle for censorship of library collections, 56% of respondents agreed that 'local community values should be taken into account when selecting materials for public libraries'. However it is possible that the wording of this statement was not clear enough to provide a reliable indication of the community standards debate among librarians. It is possible that the statement was interpreted as referring to the situation where additional special resources should be included in a collection to cater for local community needs, for example including Italian language materials in an area with a high Italian population, as opposed to the exclusion of controversial materials to cater to the prejudices of a portion of local community members. However data gathered from other questions in the survey did shed some light on the issue of community standards.

Encouraging was the finding that 96% of participants agreed with 'public libraries should resist attempts by individuals or groups to restrict access to information and ideas, whilst observing the legal requirements of government'. This was also reflected in the responses to questions relating to participants' experiences of external censorship attempts. Approximately half (52%) felt they had been pressured in the last five years to include specific items, with the main pressure coming from religious, particularly Christian, groups. Some pressure was reported also from self published authors. Several respondents made reference to specific purchase requests received frequently from individual members of the public, although it was clear from the comments that these were not considered to be a form of pressure, but were instead welcomed as a valid contribution to collection development. Comments indicated that the requests for inclusion of specific items in the collection are considered within the context of the library's collection development policy, with such requests accommodated where they are relevant to the collection development aims of the library.

When asked specifically, 96% of respondents agreed that public libraries should resist attempts by individuals or groups to restrict access to information and ideas. This common belief was reflected in the handling of public requests for censorship of collection items. Over half (56%) of respondents felt they had been pressured in the past five years to withdraw or label specific items. A wide variety of reasons was offered, such as complaints about erotic content, nonChristian religious texts or racially offensive materials. The comments indicated that the majority of such requests are rejected, and this is explained to complainants with reference to the collection development policy. Where complaints were acted on (reported by four respondents), labelling or relocation of the item was a more common response than complete withdrawal.

The importance of a formal collection development policy was apparent from these responses. Participants clearly recognise this, with 88% agreeing that 'all public libraries should have a formal collection development policy', and 80% agreeing that professional associations should provide guidance to libraries in collection development. Such a policy provides a framework for collection development activities and, if followed, provides an effective way of explaining and justifying the collection in the face of challenges.

Sociopolitical environment

Questions in the survey emphasized sociopolitical factors which were topical within the Australian community at the time. For example, at least 8 of the 17 items listed in the hypothetical questions could be seen to relate directly to issues of racial violence, religious intolerance, political resistance and the Iraq war. These items were on average selected for purchase without restriction by 82% of respondents, indicating little negative influence of these sociopolitical issues at this point in time on library practices. Also encouraging was the finding that 92% agree that public librarians should be active in challenging attempts by government to pass laws which restrict access to information and ideas. The sample size precludes extrapolation of this finding to the wider public librarian population. However, should further research replicate this finding, it would seem the public library sector in Australia is in a good position to combat any attempts by the government to further restrict information access, as has occurred in the US in recent times, and as is suggested by the Australian government's Anti-terrorism Bill 2004.

The impact of library processes: selection

Selection tools and alternative literature

80% of respondents had performed acquisitions functions at some point in their career. These respondents were asked to identify the main selection tools they utilised (table 2). Not surprisingly, library vendor catalogues were used by 92% of respondents, indicating the influence of vendor catalogues on acquisitions processes.

As outlined earlier, the library literature raises concerns about the visibility of alternative and small press materials in vendor selection processes and industry review journals. It is perhaps a positive sign, then, that only 9.5% of respondents admitted to using vendor resources (catalogues and samples) and industry journals alone, with most utilising a wider variety of selection tools. This largely reflects the universally held belief by respondents that public libraries should provide information from a variety of sources.

The least utilised selection resource was zinc publishers and authors, although these were still used by 40% of respondents. The unique characteristics of zincs, such as their irregular production, small print runs and lack of promotion, make them difficult for librarians to identify. However these characteristics also make them extremely unlikely candidates for inclusion in any traditional selection tool. It is therefore likely that zincs are still under represented in Queensland public library collections.

Acquisitions outsourcing

The issue of outsourcing library acquisitions processes generated a great deal of comment, with 52% being concerned that it would alter the content balance of library collections. The main concerns were

* collections would cease to reflect local needs

* collection development would be directed toward the lowest common denominator, limiting the depth and range of the collection, and emphasizing mainstream publishers

* loss of acquisitions skills by librarians, which were seen as core skills

One respondent explained 'outsourcing is a philosophy and procedure that emphasizes financial considerations (over ethical and other niceties)', echoing concerns by Wallace identified in the literature review.

On the other side of the debate, 20% of respondents believed vendors could be trusted to select appropriately, provided they were given clear guidelines. Only four respondents indicated that their library services outsource acquisitions processes, with one of these retaining the material selection itself inhouse, relying on vendors only for processing of items and for selected standing orders. Three of these services conduct regular collection reviews to monitor the effectiveness of selection procedures. These findings reveal a healthy concern with regard to the impact of acquisitions outsourcing on public library collections.

The impact of library processes: circulation

In contrast to the other attitudinal questions relating to censorship activities, in which respondents overwhelmingly indicated their disapproval of censorship, only 64% stated their disapproval of labelling of items. The results of the hypothetical question (table 1) indicate that the preferred method of postselection censorship of items is labelling, with 40% of respondents deciding to label at least one of the items offered. Restriction of physical access was very rare, with only four items being treated in this manner by the respondents. This matches the feedback obtained about the handling of public complaints, where withdrawal of the item was very rare, relocation occasional, and labelling conducted slightly more often. It seems that labelling is considered something of a necessary evil, allowing a contentious item to remain within the collection, whilst reducing community tensions.

Conclusion

Further research needs to be conducted, on a larger scale, to validate the findings of this study. However the present data does support the findings of previous research that anticensorship attitudes are not always indicative of censorship behaviours and that some librarians employ self censorship of controversial materials to avoid censorship challenges. The responses reflect clear contradictions between stated beliefs and professional behaviours about censorship.

It also appears that a greater understanding within the Australian public library sector of the practical implications of the principle of free access to information is required. Library staff need to be better informed about the responsibilities associated with the principle, and of the ways in which every day librarian behaviours and decisions impact on its expression. What is beyond doubt is that, as human beings, all librarians possess biases on some topics. The importance for the profession is educating its members to understand that these biases have no place in the library, and assisting librarians to conduct impartial collection development.

Librarians must ask themselves

* what are my own biases? Do they impact on my work?

* what is my reasoning for including and excluding items in the collection?

* do I understand the complexities of the community in which my library functions?

* am I ensuring a balance of views on contentious issues within the collection?

* am I selecting from a variety of sources, including alternative and independent publishers?

* do I know the independent and alternative publishers within my community?

* is my cataloguing accurate, with a level of specificity relevant to my library?

* do I have a collection development and acquisitions policy, which provides sound governance for my practices?

To prevent the influence of personal prejudices within the library, librarians must understand three things

* first, that free access to information is the cornerstone not only of the public library, but of a democratic society.

* secondly, they must be familiar with their own biases.

* thirdly, the mechanisms of censorship, and be trained in their avoidance

Professional associations, such as Alia, have a role to play in assisting librarians to obtain understandings and skills in this area, for example by facilitating reflection on personal attitudes towards controversial issues and providing education in objective decision making processes for collection development.

In the present global climate of political tension and terrorism, civil liberties are being eroded in some western countries. Where these liberties involve uncensored access to information, they impact directly on the role of the public librarian. Encouragingly, issues of self censorship aside, the librarians surveyed presented a robust picture with resistance to external attempts to suppress information. It is to be hoped that this small sample is indicative of the broader picture and that, should the Australian national government follow the lead of others, public librarians will uphold the principles of their profession.

APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRE

Section A: This section asks you about your experiences as a library professional.

Please note that it is possible that not all of the questions in this section will apply to your experiences. The form will indicate which ones you should leave blank.

1. Have you ever found your personal beliefs to be at odds with your professional role with regard to the handling of controversial materials? Yes/No

If yes, how did you deal with the situation?

2. Other than classification ratings which are required by government legislation, have you ever labelled materials within your collection? Yes/No

If yes, can you please list some of the items which you have labelled, and the reason for the label:

3. Are you currently or have you ever been in the position to make acquisitions decisions within a public library? Yes/No

If you answered 'No', please move on to question 6.

4. How do/did you select your materials? [Please circle all that are relevant]

a. Library vendor catalogues (eg. James Bennett, Peter Pal, etc)

b. Industry review journals (eg. Books In Print)

c. Internet reviews

d. Review journals for independent publications (eg. Alternative Press Review)

e. Direct contact with independent publishers

f. Direct contact with 'zine publishers or authors

g. Direct contact with independent bookstores

h. Other (please specify):

5. Have you ever not purchased a particular item to avoid generating controversy within your community? Yes/No

If yes, please provide an example.

6. Outsourcing of acquisitions is the procedure of employing an organization external to the library to purchase collection materials on behalf of the library.

Are you concerned that outsourcing of acquisitions to private vendors may affect the content balance of public library collections? Yes/No

Do you have any comments regarding this?

7. Are acquisitions in your current library outsourced? Yes/No/Don't know

If you answered 'No' or 'Don't know', please move on to question 9.

8. Are there specific strategies in place in your library service to ensure your collection remains balanced during the outsourcing of acquisitions? Yes (Please describe these strategies below)/No

9. Have you been pressured in the past 5 years by any groups or individuals to acquire specific material for the library? Yes/No

If yes, please relate the nature and outcome of the most recent incidents.

10. Have you been pressured in the past 5 years by any groups or individuals to withdraw or label specific material in the library? Yes/No

If yes, please relate the nature and outcome of the most recent incidents.

Section B: This section of the survey asks your opinions on a range of matters

1. Please indicate your agreement with the following statements by selecting one of the responses available:

a. Library funding bodies (eg. local council, government) should have a say in public library acquisitions. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

b. Local community values should be taken into account when selecting materials for public libraries. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

c. Library materials which may offend should be labelled with a warning. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

d. It is appropriate for professional associations (eg. ALIA) to provide guidance in collection development. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

e. All public libraries should have a formal collection development policy. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

f. Public libraries should provide their clients with access to information from a variety of sources and agencies. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

g. Public libraries should cater for public interest in contemporary issues without promoting or suppressing particular beliefs and ideas. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

h. Public libraries should resist attempts by individuals or groups to restrict access to information and ideas, whilst observing the legal requirements of government. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

i. Public librarians should be active in challenging attempts by government to pass laws which restrict access to information and ideas. Strongly Disagree/Disagree/Agree/Strongly Agree/Don't know

2. Are you familiar with the content of the 2001 Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Statement on Free Access to Information? Yes/Somewhat/No

3. What does the principle of free access to information mean to you as it relates to public libraries?

Section C: This section of the survey poses two hypothetical situations for you to consider

1. Please consider the following hypothetical situation, and provide responses for each item:

You are in charge of acquisitions in a new public library in the community in which you currently work. You have no budgetary or space limitations at all. Please indicate how you would handle each of the following items by circling the number which relates to one of the following responses:

1 = I would purchase the item

2 = I would purchase the item, and would label the item so customers were forewarned of the content

3 = I would purchase the item, and would place it on closed access

4 = I would not purchase the item
A novel which depicts Indigenous Australian
 in a stereotypical way 1 2 3 4
A novel which contains graphic descriptions
 of violence against specific ethnic groups 1 2 3 4
A video on the history of the Ku Klux Klan,
 produced and sold by the Ku Klux Klan 1 2 3 4
A book by David Irving which is critical of
 the generally accepted information about
 the Jewish Holocaust 1 2 3 4
A creationist text which is known to contain
 inaccurate scientific quotes to support its
 argument 1 2 3 4
The autobiography of a member of the al-Qaeda
 militant Islamic fundamentalist group 1 2 3 4
A non-fiction book which is critical of
 Islamic fundamentalism 1 2 3 4
A non-fiction book which is critical of the
 Catholic Church 1 2 3 4
A magazine, aimed at teenagers, about the
 practice of witchcraft (Wicca) 1 2 3 4
A book which provides assistance to homosexual
 people in 'coming out' 1 2 3 4
A guide to gay parenting 1 2 3 4
A book which provides advice on how to cure
 people of homosexual tendencies 1 2 3 4
An independently published 'zine which is
 strongly critical of current government
 policies 1 2 3 4
A book aimed at the non-academic market, by a
 respected Australian academic, which questions
 official justification for the Iraq War 1 2 3 4
A video that provides instruction on the production
 and use of narcotics 1 2 3 4
A book which provides instruction on the production
 and use of bombs 1 2 3 4
A 'how-to' book on political resistance 1 2 3 4


2. Would you like to provide any additional comments regarding the answers you have given to the question above?

3. Please consider the following hypothetical situation, and answer the associated question:

You are in charge of acquisitions in a new public library in the community in which you currently work. You are required to purchase exactly ten (10) items from those listed below. Please indicate which ten (10) items you would purchase by circling the letter (a, b, etc) corresponding to the item.

a A novel which depicts Indigenous Australians in a negative way

b A novel which contains graphic descriptions of violence against specific ethnic groups

c A video on the history of the Ku Klux Klan, produced and sold by the Ku Klux Klan

d A book by David Irving which is critical of the generally accepted information about the Jewish Holocaust

e A creationist text which is known to contain inaccurate scientific quotes to support its argument

f The autobiography of a member of the al-Qaeda militant Islamic fundamentalist group

g A non-fiction book which is critical of Islamic fundamentalism

h A non-fiction book which is critical of the Catholic Church

i A magazine, aimed at teenagers, about the practice of witchcraft (Wicca)

j A book which provides assistance to homosexual people in 'coming out'

k A guide to gay parenting.

l A book which provides advice on how to cure people of homosexual tendencies

m An independently published 'zinc which is strongly critical of current government policies

n A book aimed at the non-academic market, by a respected Australian academic, which questions the official justification for the Iraq War

o A video that provides instruction on the production and use of narcotics

p A book which provides instruction on the production and use of bombs

q A 'how-to' book on political resistance

4. Would you like to provide any additional comments regarding the answers you have given to the question above?

5. Do you have any other comments regarding the topics covered in the survey?

Section D: Demographics

Please note the questions in this section are vital for analysis purposes, but cannot be used in any way to identify specific individuals or services.
1. Please indicate your age: <25 25-34 35-44 45-54 >54


2. Gender: Male/Female

3. Please indicate the highest level of formal library training you have attained:

a. No formal training

b. TAFE Diploma

c. Bachelor degree

d. Masters

e. PhD

f. Other (please specify)

4. Please indicate the year in which this training was completed:

5. Please indicate approximately how long you have worked in the library sector:

a. less than 2 years

b. 2-5 years

c. 6-10 years

d. 11-15 years

e. 16-20 years

f. more than 20 years

6. In total, how much time do you usually spend in a year on Continuing Professional Development (CPD)? [ie. short courses, formal education, workplace training, research attending or organising conferences,, etc]

a. I don't do any CPD

b. <1 day per year

c. 1-5 days per year

d. 6-10 days per year

e. >10 days per year

7. Are you a member of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)? Yes/No

8. Please indicate which of the following most closely describes the population size [not membership size] that your library collection serves. [Please note, if the entire collection is a shared or 'floating' collection across several library branches, please consider the population of the entire group of libraries involved].

a. >500,000 people

b. 100,000-500,000 people

c. 30,000-100,000 people

d. 10,000-30,000 people

e. 5,000-10,000 people

f. <5,000 people
Table 1 Intended treatment of materials by respondents (presented as
percentages) *

Item Purchase Purchase Purchase
 (no and label and place
 censorship) on closed
 access

A book which provides assistance 92 4 0
to homosexual people in 'coming
out'
A guide to gay parenting 88 8 0
The autobiography of a member of 88 4 4
the al-Qaeda militant Islamic
fundamentalist group
A book aimed at the non-academic 88 4 0
market, by a respected Australian
academic, which questions the
official justification for the
Iraq War
A nonfiction book which is 84 8
critical of Islamic
fundamentalism
A nonfiction book which is 80 12 0
critical of the Catholic Church
An independently published zine 80 8 0
which is strongly critical of
current government policies
A 'how to' book on political 80 4 0
resistance
A magazine, aimed at teenagers, 68 16 0
about the practice of witchcraft
(Wicca)
A novel which depicts Indigenous 64 12 0
Australians in a stereotypical
way
A book which provides advice on 64 8 0
how to cure people of homosexual
tendencies
A book by David Irving which is 64 8 0
critical of the generally
accepted information about the
Jewish Holocaust
A creationist text which is known 52 0 0
to contain inaccurate scientific
quotes to support its argument
A novel which contains graphic 48 12 4
descriptions of violence against
specific ethnic groups
A video on the history of the Ku 44 16 0
Klux Klan, produced and sold by
the Ku Klux Klan
A video that provides instruction 24 0 4
on the production and use of
narcotics
A book which provides instruction 20 0 4
on the production and use of
bombs

Item Not No
 purchase response

A book which provides assistance 0 4
to homosexual people in 'coming
out'
A guide to gay parenting 0 4
The autobiography of a member of 0 4
the al-Qaeda militant Islamic
fundamentalist group
A book aimed at the non-academic 8 4
market, by a respected Australian
academic, which questions the
official justification for the
Iraq War
A nonfiction book which is 4 4
critical of Islamic
fundamentalism
A nonfiction book which is 4 4
critical of the Catholic Church
An independently published zine 8 4
which is strongly critical of
current government policies
A 'how to' book on political 12 4
resistance
A magazine, aimed at teenagers, 12 4
about the practice of witchcraft
(Wicca)
A novel which depicts Indigenous 16 4
Australians in a stereotypical
way
A book which provides advice on 24 4
how to cure people of homosexual
tendencies
A book by David Irving which is 24 4
critical of the generally
accepted information about the
Jewish Holocaust
A creationist text which is known 44 4
to contain inaccurate scientific
quotes to support its argument
A novel which contains graphic 28 8
descriptions of violence against
specific ethnic groups
A video on the history of the Ku 32 8
Klux Klan, produced and sold by
the Ku Klux Klan
A video that provides instruction 68 4
on the production and use of
narcotics
A book which provides instruction 68 4
on the production and use of
bombs

* One participant elected not to answer this question

Table 2 How do/did you select your materials? (respondents were asked
to select all that were relevant)

Selection Tool Percentage of
 respondents
 using the tool

Library vendor catalogues eg James Bennett, Peter Pal 92%
Industry review journals eg Books in print 75%
Internet reviews 65%
Direct contact with independent publishers 60%
Review journals for independent publications eg 55%
 Alternative press review
Direct contact with independent bookstores 55%
Direct contact with zine publishers or authors 40%
Other (specified) 40%


References

(1) Whyte J Trends abroad: Australia Library trends 19(1) 1970 p122-130 (as cited in article)

(2) Alia Policy statements incite September 2001 http://www.alia.org.au/publishing/incite/2001/09/policies.html, accessed 12 January 2004

(3) Alia Statement on free access to information 2001 http://www.alia.org.au/policies/free.access.html. accessed 16 July 2003

(4) Cambridge University Press Cambridge advanced learner's dictionary 2003 http://dictionary. cambridge.org/accessed 6 November 2003

(5) Asheim L Not censorship, but selection in Mosher F (ed) Freedom of book selection Chicago, American Library Association 1954 p96

(6) Fiske M Book selection and censorship: a study of school and public libraries in California Berkeley, California, University of California Press 1959

(7) ibid p64

(8) Evans G Developing library and information center collections 4th ed Englewood, Libraries Unlimited 2000 p559

(9) Fiske op cit p65

(10) Malley I Censorship and libraries London, Library Association 1990 p17

(11) Schweinsburg J Professional awareness of the ethics of selection Journal of information ethics Fall 1995 p36

(12) Curry A The limits of tolerance: censorship and intellectual freedom in public libraries Lanham, Maryland, Scarecrow Press 1997 p237

(13) Robotham J and Shields G Freedom of access to library materials New York, Neal-Schuman 1982 p72

(14) Fiske op cit

(15) Busha C Freedom versus suppression and censorship. with a survey of the attitudes of midwestern public librarians and a bibliography of censorship Colorado, Libraries Unlimited 1972

(16) Evans op cit

(17) Lee E Libraries in the age of mediocrity Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Co 1998 p70

(18) Christian Democratic Party Policy summary 2003 [NSW] State election http://www.cdp.org.au/fed/2001fedpolicy.asp accessed 5 August 2003

(19) Curry op cit p64

(20) ibid p63 (Claire England as quoted by Curry)

(21) Robotham J and Shields G op cit p29

(22) Parkinson P Greater expectations: services to lesbians and gay men New Zealand libraries 45 (5) March 1987 p93

(23) Wiegand W Main Street Public Library: the availability of controversial materials in the rural heartland 1890-1956 Libraries & culture 33(1) Winter 1998 p129

(24) Mediavilla C The war on books and ideas: the California Library Association and anti-communist censorship in the 1940s and 1950s Library trends 46 (2) Fall 1997 pp331-357

(25) Fiske op cit p57

(26) ibid p61

(27) West C The secret garden of censorship: ourselves Library journal 108(15) 1983 p1651

(28) Pike G History repeated with the USA PATRIOT Act Information today 19(11) 2002 p19

(29) Dawson E Library ethics and the problem with patriotism in Roberto K and West J Revolting librarians redux Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Co 2003 p99

(30) Doyle T Selection versus censorship in libraries Collection management 27(1) 2002 p16

(31) ibid p 16 (quoting Kellog)

(32) Pike op cit

(33) Berry J N The stuff of patriotism Library journal 128(17) 2003 p17

(34) Kaser D Sound off for the freedom to read Information today 20(8) 2003 p16

(35) ibid (quoting Sander)

(36) Commonwealth of Australia Anti-terrorism Bill 2004 http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/ anti_terrorism04/info/bill.pdf accessed 7 May 2004

(37) Leys, N Hicks's father hits book ban The Australian 5 April 2004 p6

(38) Fiske op cit p66

(39) Lee op cit

(40) Selth J Ambition, discrimination and censorship in libraries Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Co 1993

(41) Atton C Alternative literature: a practical guide for librarians Hampshire Gower 1996

(42) Litwin, Radicals defending tradition: an appeal to the baby boom generation in Roberto K and West J Revolting librarians redux Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Co 2003 p88

(43) Hadley J There and back again in Roberto K and West J Revolting librarians redux Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Co 2000 p72

(44) Wallace P D Outsourcing book selection in public and school libraries Collection building 16(4) 1997 p161

(45) Robotham J and Shields G op cit pp29-30

(46) Wallace op cit p162

(47) Willett C Consider the source: a case against outsourcing materials selection in academic libraries Collection building 17(2) 1998 pp91-95

(48) Atton Cop cit p100

(49) Lee op cit p32

(50) Woods L and Perry-Holmes C The flak if we had The joy of sex here Library journal 107(16) 1982 p1714

(51) Curry op cit 58

(52) Busha op cit

(53) Curry op cit p58

(54) Williamson K Research methods for students, academics and professionals: information management and systems 2nd ed Wagga Wagga, Charles Sturt University 2002

(55) Giese D Censorship Link-up September 1994 pp3-6

(56) Busha op cit

(57) Schrader A Censorship iceberg: results of an Alberta public library survey Canadian library journal 43 April 1986 pp91-95

(58) Schrader A A study of community censorship pressures on Canadian public libraries Canadian lbrary journal 49 February 1992 pp29-38

(59) Busha op cit

Kim Moody has been working as a reference librarian at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane since March 2004. She completed a graduate diploma in library and information studies from QUT in July of that year. Kim believes libraries should play a key role in creating a more just and equitable society by enabling free access to information. It is for this reason that the issue of censorship concerns her. Email: jayjay@powerup.com.au
COPYRIGHT 2004 Auslib Press Party Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Moody, Kim
Publication:Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services
Geographic Code:8AUQU
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:11202
Previous Article:Public libraries should offend everyone. Does yours?
Next Article:Towards a literate Australia: the role of public libraries in supporting reading.
Topics:


Related Articles
?? Promoting reading to adults in UK public libraries.
HERVEY BAY JOINT USE LIBRARY: LESSONS FOR TOMORROW.
Essential connections: school and public libraries for lifelong learning.
AskNow! Online answers Australia-wide.
Should libraries censor patrons' surfing? (Up front: news, trends & analysis).
Beyond four walls: adult literacy services in Queensland public libraries.
Public libraries should offend everyone. Does yours?
Library displays banned books: http://www.ntdaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/09/28/415909ce0608b.
Emerging technologies changing public library service delivery models.
From reading guidance to thought control: wartime Japanese libraries.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters