Is Someone Reading Over Your Shoulder?
Campaign For Reader Privacy
Why does the ALA care about Reader Privacy?
American Library Association

The United States is a constitutional republic—a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Popularly called a "democracy," the United States attains that status only when people have access to information on which to base their decisions. That information is available through our nation's libraries.

The public library is the ultimate marketplace of ideas. By providing a haven that fosters free inquiry, it allows each of us to participate directly in one of the most important elements of a free democratic society—the open and robust debate among competing ideas.

Access to information and reader privacy are not issues of politics—they are fundamentally about the Constitution and the freedoms Americans hold dear. True national security depends on the free flow of information our nation's libraries have always provided.

The American Library Association (ALA), founded in 1876, is the oldest and largest library association in the world with almost 63,000 members. Our members serve communities, schools, businesses, and governments.

The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association's basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.