First Amendment’s Birthday: September 25th

In honor of the the First Amendment, the SPL has put together a display of books about this important piece of our Constitution. The display may be found on our 2nd floor near the head of the stairs.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was submitted to the states for ratification on September 25th, 1787, and finally adopted on December 15, 1791. It reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Public libraries support these rights – especially as they relate to intellectual freedom and free expression. The Library Bill of Rights, put forth by the American Library Association, and adopted by our Board of Trustees, affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the  following basic policies should guide their services:

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. 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.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.



Published: September 21st, 2018

Author: Alan Thibeault