Coalition for Networked Information 
Information Policies:  A Compilation of Position Statements, 
Principles, Statutes, and Other Pertinent  Statements

American Library Association

American Library Association 50 E. Huron Street Chicago, IL 60611 800-545-2433

ALA Mission Statement

Source:  Handbook of Organization 1990/91,
American Library Association, Chicago, IL,
1990, page 1.

The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance access to information for all.

Computer Software Lending by Libraries; Copyright Warning Issued

Source:  Computer Software Lending by Libraries; Copyright 
Warning Issued, ALA Washington Office Factsheet Copyright, 
American Library Association, Washington, DC, March 19, 1991.

The Computer Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990 (title VIII, section 202, of PL 101-650) generally grants owners of copyright in computer programs an exclusive right to control public distribution of the program in the nature of rental, lease, or lending. An exception to the law allows lending by nonprofit libraries for nonprofit purposes without the permission of the copyright owner, but requires libraries to affix a warning of copyright to the package containing the computer program. The text of the warning was published in the February 26, 1991 Federal Register (56 FR 7811-12) as a final regulation effective March 28, 1991. The full text of the warning is as follows:

Notice: Warning of Copyright Restrictions

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the reproduction, distribution, adaptation, public performance, and public display of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in law, nonprofit libraries are authorized to lend, lease, or rent copies of computer programs to patrons on a nonprofit basis and for nonprofit purposes. Any person who makes an unauthorized copy or adaptation of the computer program, or redistributes the loan copy, or publicly performs or displays the computer program, except as permitted by Title 17 of the United States Code, may be liable for copyright infringement.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to fulfill a loan request if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the request would lead to violation of the copyright law.

The regulation states that a verbatim reproduction of the notice "shall be affixed to the packaging that contains the copy of the computer program, which is the subject of a library loan to patrons, by means of a label cemented, gummed, or otherwise durably attached to the copies or to a box, reel, cartridge, cassette, or other container used as a permanent receptacle for the copy of the computer program. The notice shall be printed in such manner as to be clearly legible, comprehensible, and readily apparent to a casual user of the computer program."

Section 802 of the Computer Software Rental Amendments Act also provides for an exemption for the "transfer of possession of a lawfully made copy of a computer program by a nonprofit educational institution to another nonprofit educational institution or to faculty, staff, and students."

However, such educational transfers do not require a specific copyright warning. Section 802, encompassing both the education and library exemptions, applies only to copies of software acquired after the date of enactment, that is, after December 1, 1990, and is effective only for five years, through October 1, 1997.

Within three years of enactment, the Register of Copyrights, after consulting with representatives of copyright owners and librarians, is to report to Congress on whether the library exemption "has achieved its intended purpose of maintaining the integrity of the copyright system while providing nonprofit libraries the capability to fulfill their function."

The Freedom to Read

Source:  Intellectual Freedom Manual, Third Edition, 
Compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American 
Library Association, American Library Association, 
Chicago and London, 1989, pages 91-95.

The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" books, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.

We are deeply concerned about these attempts as suppression. Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow-citizens.

We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.

We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression. We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, films, radio and television. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.

Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear. Especially when so may of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as against a hostile deed, with suppression.

And yet suppression is never more dangerous then in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with stress.

Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest instruments of freedom. They are almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. They are the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. They are essential to the extended discussion which serious thought requires, and to the accumulation of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.

We believe that free communication is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures towards conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.

The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.

We therefore affirm these propositions:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept which challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighing and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  2. Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.

    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author. A book should be judged as a book. No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

    To some, much of modern literature is shocking. But is no much of life itself shocking? We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the staff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.

    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is no freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.

  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.

    The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down, and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society, requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of books. We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expression that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.

This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.

Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.

A Joint Statement by the American Library Association and the 
Association of American Publishers.
Subsequently Endorsed by:

   American Booksellers Association
   American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
   American Civil Liberties Union
   American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
   Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
   Association of American University Presses
   Children's Book Council
   Freedom to Read Foundation
   International Reading Association
   Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
   National Association of College Stores
   National Council of Teachers of English
   P.E.N. - American Center
   People for the American Way
   Periodical and Book Association of America
   Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S.
   Society of Professional Journalists
   Women's National Book Association
   YWCA of the U.S.A.

Information Technology & Libraries: Federal Roles

Source: Information Technology & Libraries: Federal Roles,
Library and InformationTechnology Association, 
American Library Association, Chicago, IL, May 1991.

Federal Roles

Access to information is essential to the economic, social, and political health of the nation. Productivity, Literacy, and Democracy, the themes of the second White House Conference on Library and Information Services, are being greatly influenced by information technologies in use throughout the United States and the world. In a global economy and in a domestic environment increasingly dependent on information produced, maintained, and communicated in electronic formats; there are critical issues to be addressed by the WHCLIS that have an impact on the competitive position of the United States in the international community. An equally important, and interrelated theme, is the social and educational development of the citizenry, who must operate in this complex information environment. Libraries form a crucial link in the information life-cycle, play an important role in fostering literacy, and are important institutions for citizen education. Information technology must be available in libraries throughout the United States to support:

The Nation's Libraries

Libraries in the United States have long been at the forefront in providing information to the public. With printed materials such as books and journals, a nationwide network of libraries has evolved over the past century that enables all people in any given location, regardless of socioeconomic status, to gain access to the world's recorded knowledge. This system of public, academic, and school libraries has not evolved under any systematic centralized national control. Nevertheless, through efforts largely at the local and state level, this evolution has grown into a nationwide infrastructure of publicly accessible libraries who mission is to provide access to information to individuals. The long-range goal of this national network of libraries is to ensure a better-informed public. An informed public is fundamental to the preservation of the democracy and a crucial link in providing opportunity for all individuals in society to increase their knowledge without being charged unnecessary fees.

In contrast, no such infrastructure is in place with respect to the distribution of, and access to, the types of electronic information widely available through commercial database services. The economics of access through commercial database services. The economics of access to this electronic information are such that even many of the nation's publicly-funded libraries have found it necessary, given their levels of funding, to charge library patrons on a pay-per-use basis for access to these databases. Even publicly funded governmental databases are not readily accessible for most citizens.

Federal Information Policies

The following issues are presented in an attempt to further a framework for the creation and maintenance of federal information policies to ensure competitiveness in the global marketplace, effective functioning of citizens in a complex technological environment, and free access to fundamental information by and about the government for all citizens.

The Federal Role

The federal government is a crucial partner with America's libraries in providing for the information needs of its citizenry. A federal role in support of an informed and educated public is essential to:


Therefore, we recommend that:

  1. Congress reauthorize and expand in 1991 the Higher Education Act, Titles II, VI, and VII, to support resource sharing, strengthen and provide access to unique resources, support innovative uses of technology in networking, purchase hardware for information technology, and to assist in construction and updating library facilities to accommodate new information technologies.
  2. Congress reauthorize in 1994 the Library Services and Construction Act to support and promote interlibrary cooperation and resource sharing.
  3. Congress expand and fund adequately those programs that benefit both directly and indirectly public, academic, and school library programs. Some of the programs include:
    • National programs provided through the Library of Congress, such as the distribution of standardized bibliographic records and the development of national and international standards for networking.
    • Access to specialized national resources through the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, and the National Archives.
    • Free availability and distribution of government-produced information through the Government Printing Office.
    • Cost-effective delivery of library materials and information through subsidized postal rates and discount rates from common carriers of electronic data.
    • Open access to information through the Freedom of Information Act.
  4. Congress enact legislation creating and funding the National Research and Education Network which will serve as the information superhighway of tomorrow and allow libraries to capitalize on the advantages of technology for resource sharing and the exchange of information.
  5. The federal government regulations that foster information sharing and international data flow to ensure access to foreign cultural, scientific, technical, and trade information.
  6. The federal government develop a framework and begin the creation of a national information policy through a coalition of congress, business, higher education, and libraries.


The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) is dedicated to linking librarians and information specialists to technology for access to information. LITA is concerned with the planning, development, design, application, and integration of technologies within the library and information environment, with the impact of emerging technologies on library service, and with the effect of automated technologies on people. Its major focus is on interdisciplinary issues and emerging technology, stimulating and supporting the delivery of information services to all patrons in all kinds of libraries. Unites within LITA include interest groups on artificial intelligence/expert systems, desktop publishing, distributed systems and networks, electronic mail/electronic bulletin boards, hypertext, imagineering, online catalogs, optical information systems, telecommunications, innovative microcomputer support of cataloging, microcomputer users, emerging technologies, adaptive technologies, human/machine interfaces, MARC holdings, customized applications for library microcomputers, library consortia/automated systems, authority control in the online environment, retrospective conversion, programmer/analyst, serials automation, and vendor/user.

International Lending: Principles and Guidelines for Procedure (1978; revised 1983)

Source:  International Federation of Library Associations and 
Institutions (IFLA) Section on Interlending Standing 
Committee.  Printed in Boucher, Virginia.  Interlibrary Loan 
Practices Handbook, American Library Association, Chicago, 
IL, 1984, Appendix, pages 177-182.

The mutual use of individual collections is a necessary element of international cooperation by libraries. Just as no library can be self- sufficient in meeting all the information needs of its clientele, so no country can be self-sufficient. If the library service of a country is to be effective methods must be devised to obtain access to material held in other collections in other countries. International lending has as its aim the supply by one country to another, in the surest and fastest way, of documents that are not available in the country where they are needed.

The following Guidelines, agreed by the Standing Committee of IFLA's Section on Interlending in 1978, represent a major revision of the Rules agreed by IFLA in 1954. While they have no mandatory force, and while every country must determine the ways in which it conducts interlending, the Guidelines are strongly urged on individual countries and libraries as a basis for the conduct of international lending. They are preceded by a statement of Principles of international lending agreed in 1976 by National Libraries and by the Standing Committee of IFLA's Section on Interlending, and are accompanied by a commentary which seeks to elucidate and amplify certain aspects of the Guidelines.

Principles of International Lending

  1. Every country should accept responsibility to supply to any other country, by loan or photocopy, copies of its own publications, certainly those published from the present date, and as far as possible retrospectively. This responsibility may be discharged in various ways, among which national loan/photocopy collections appear to have particular advantages.

  2. Each country should have a national centre or centres, to serve as a channel both for outgoing and incoming requests, though there may be circumstances in which requests may by-pass this channel. Such centres should be closely linked with, if not part of, the national library.

  3. Each country should aim to develop an efficient national lending system, since national lending systems are the essential infrastructure of international lending.

  4. As far as possible, photocopies or microfilms should be supplied in the place of loans of original copies.

  5. Fast methods should be used for requesting, and, where long distances are involved, airmail should be used for supplying and returning items.

  6. All requests should be dealt with expeditiously at all points: the requesting library, the national centre or centres, and the supplying library.

  7. Standard and simple procedures should be developed and adopted, particularly procedures for requesting items and for reclaiming any payment.

Guidelines for Procedure

  1. National Centre for International Lending
      1.1 Each country (or in some federal countries, each state or province) should have a centre for international lending. Its main functions are:

        a. to serve as a focus for the receipt of requests from abroad;

        b. to serve as a focus for the transmission to foreign countries of requests from libraries in its own country;

        c. to gather, with the assistance of libraries in the country, statistics of international loan transactions and to send these figures each year to the IFLA Office for International Lending.

      1.2 Centres for international lending may, and should where possible, also perform the following functions:

        a. serve as the centre for national interlending;

        b. be the main national centre for union catalogue construction and maintenance;

        c. have direct access to significant library collections in the country;

        d. provide an information service for interlending;

        e. have responsibility for planning, developing and supervising an efficient national system of interlending where this function is not adequately performed by another agency.

       National centres are recommended as being in most 
       cases the simplest and most effective way of carrying 
       out the functions enumerated in 1.1 and 1.2, and also of 
       ensuring that other recommendations (ed 2.4) are 
       observed.  They also facilitate both requesting and 
       lending by other countries.  It is however recognized 
       that alternative solutions may be found in some 
       countries.  In such countries, and countries which have 
       as yet no national centre, the following 
       recommendations are made:
            1.1a  Published guides, as comprehensive as possible, should 
       be provided to facilitate the direction of requests by other 
       countries.  All libraries within the country should make 
       strenuous efforts to observe the same procedures for handling 
       and when necessary circulating requests received from other 
             1.1b  Individual libraries should accept responsibility for 
       ensuring that no loanable copy of a required work exists in 
       another library within the country before sending requests 
             1.1c  The collection of statistics, which is vital for monitoring 
       trends and efficiency, must still be carried out on a national 
             1.2  Strong co-ordination is essential if the international 
       requirements and responsibilities of a country without centre 
       are to be fulfilled efficiently.  A co-ordinating body may be in a 
       position to fulfill some of the functions of a national centre.
  2. Procedure for Requesting
      2.1 All requests shall be made on the forms authorized by IFLA, unless otherwise stipulated by the library to which requests are sent.

      2.2 To ensure that inadequate or inaccurate requests are not sent abroad the borrowing library shall verify, and where necessary complete, the bibliographic details of items requested to the best of its ability, giving the source of reference where possible. Where necessary the details shall be checked or completed by the national centre.

      2.3 Requesting libraries should keep a record of all requests, each of which should bear a serial number.

      2.4 All reasonable efforts shall be made to ensure that no loanable copy is available in its own country before a request is sent abroad. Documents that are available in a country but are temporarily in use should not be requested on international loan.

      2.5 Requests should be sent by the fastest means available.

       Requests for loans should normally go through national 
       centres, since otherwise it is very difficult to ensure 
       that there is no other loanable copy in the country, and 
       loans are expensive. It may be decided that it is easier, 
       cheaper and faster to apply direct abroad (for example, 
       when the only known location is outside the country); 
       however, a record for all such requests should be sent to 
       the national centre for information.  Requests for 
       photocopies may however in appropriate cases be made 
       direct to foreign libraries, not necessarily in the country 
       of publication.
            2.1  At present there are two authorized forms:  the older 
       version with tear-off sections, and the three-part form 
       introduced in 1975.  Forms should wherever possible be 
       completed in typescript.
            2.2  Inadequate requests cause delays, and may have to be 
       returned for further checking.  Where a request is inadequate 
       because the requesting library has insufficient bibliographical 
       resources to check it, it should be checked by the national centre 
       or centres before it is despatched.
            2.4  Where there is more than one centre in a country, this is the 
       task of the appropriate centre in each case.
            2.5  Fast methods include telex, airmail and computer.
  3. Procedure for Supplying
      3.1 Every country has a special responsibility to supply its own national imprints on international loan. No country or library is under an obligation to supply a work that has been requested, but adequate effort should be made to satisfy international requests.

      3.2 Items shall be sent direct to the requesting library except where, for administrative reasons, it is specifically required that they should be sent to the national centre.

      3.3 All documents lent should be clearly marked with the name of the owning library.

      3.4 Packages containing items sent in response to requests shall be clearly marked: 'International Loans Between Libraries. (International Agreement of 1978)'.

      3.5 No library receiving a request should normally retain it for longer than one week (two weeks in the case of difficult requests) before supplying the item or returning the request to the national centre or the requesting library.

      3.6 When a request cannot be satisfied, the requesting library should be notified at once.

      3.7 When the satisfaction of a request is likely to be seriously delayed, the requesting library should be notified at once.

            3.1  The responsibility of each country to supply its own 
       national imprints is emphasized:  without such a 
       responsibility, both availability and speed of supply are 
       seriously jeopardized.  This responsibility is an essential 
       element in Universal Availability of Publications.

    3.4 Clear statements on the outside of packages are necessary to avoid problems with Customs.

    3.5 Difficult requests include requests that require extensive bibliographic checking and requests that are satisfied by making copies of the items in question.

    3.6 Failure to notify inability to supply or delays in supplying

    3.7 causes further delays and uncertainty in the requesting library.

    In countries with no national centre, fast procedures should be devised to transmit requests that cannot be satisfied to other libraries. If such procedures are not possible, the requests should be returned at once to the requesting library.

  4. Conditions of Supply
      4.1 Where photocopies are supplied, libraries supplying and receiving them must abide by any provisions needed to satisfy relevant copyright regulations.

      4.2 Original documents when received by the borrowing library shall be used in accordance with its normal regulations, unless the supplying library stipulates certain conditions.

      4.3 Items should be sent by the fastest postal service available.

            4.3  It is recognized that in some cases the use of airmail, 
       although desirable, may not be possible because the cost cannot 
       be borne by either the borrowing or the supplying library.  The 
       use of fast methods of transmission is nevertheless very strongly 
       urged, since slower methods may make libraries reluctant to 
       lend and inconvenience the individual user.

  5. Period of Loan
      5.1 The loan period, which shall in all cases be specifically and clearly stated, shall normally be one month, excluding the time required for despatch and return of the documents. The supplying library may extend or curtail this time limit.

      5.2 Application for extension of the loan period shall be made in time to reach the supplying library before the loan period has expired.

  6. Procedure for Returning
      6.1 Documents lent should be returned by the fastest postal service available. Packages shall be marked "International Loans Between Libraries (International Agreement of 1978)".

      6.2 Libraries returning documents shall observe any special stipulation by supplying libraries with regard to packaging, registration, etc.

      6.3 Documents shall be returned direct to the supplying library except where return to the national centre is specifically stipulated.

            6.2  Special arrangements may relate to special packaging in 
       the case of fragile documents or registration in the case of rare 
  7. Receipts
      No receipts shall be made either for the supply of an item or its return to the supplying library, unless specifically requested.

  8. Responsibility for Loss or Damage
      From the amount a library despatches an item to a requesting library until it returns, the requesting library shall normally be responsible for any loss or damage incurred, and pay the supplying library the full estimated cost of such loss or damage, including where requested any administrative costs involved.

       It is in the interests of all concerned to ensure that all items are 
       adequately packaged.  Claims from supplying libraries for loss 
       or damage cannot be seriously entertained if packaging by them 
       has been inadequate.
       Supplying libraries are expected to help where necessary with 
       postal inquiries in cases of loss or damage.
  9. Payment
      Accounting and payment procedures should be minimized. Payment shall be made or waived according to agreements between the two countries involved. Payment between national centres or individual libraries receiving and providing a similar number of satisfied requests should be waived. Payment may be waived when the number of items supplied to a particular country or library is so small as not to justify the accounting procedures involved.
       Simplified methods of payment include:
             a)  prepared systems, whereby national centres or 
       libraries buy numbers of coupons in advance, and send an 
       appropriate number of coupons with each request;
            b)  deposit accounts, whereby the supplying library 
       holds a sum deposited by a requesting library and 
       deducts amounts from it according to each item 
            c)  flat-rate payments, whereby average rather than 
       individual costs are recovered; or until payments, 
       whereby charges are made in a limited number of units.   
       Either of these methods may be combined with pre-
       payment or deposit accounts.
       Payment may be made by national centres, which may 
       recover it from requesting libraries in their countries, or 
       direct by requesting libraries, according to the system in 
       operation in the requesting country.  The requirements of 
       the supplying library or country, which should be as 
       simple and clear as possible, must in all cases be 
       Different practices may be applied to loans and to 
       photocopies or other reproductions sent in place of 
       loans:  for example, two countries, or a group of 
       countries, may agree to waive charges for loans but not 
       to photocopies.
  10. Statistics
      Libraries participating in international lending shall keep statistics of requests received from and sent to other countries, and those satisfied in each case. These statistics shall be sent each year to the national centre or national association for forwarding to the IFLA Office of International Lending.
       The statistics to be collected should include:
            1.  The total number of requests sent abroad and the 
       total satisfied 
               a)  by loan,
               b)  by photocopy.
            2.  The total number of requests received from abroad 
       and the total satisfied 
                a)   by loan,
                b)   by photocopy.
       The above statistics should preferably be kept in rank 
       order by country.
       Where it is not possible to collect figures for satisfaction rates 
       over all requests, they may be estimated from sample surveys.
       A fuller statement of recommended statistics is given in IFLA 
       Journal, volume 3, number 2, 1977, page 117-126:  International 
       lending statistics.

Library Bill of Rights

Source:  Handbook of Organization 1990/91, American Library 
Association, Chicago, IL, 1990, page 256.

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and ideas, 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.

  2. 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.

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

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

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

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

Adopted June 18, 1948.  Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and 
January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council.

Library and Information Technology Association

Source:  Linda J. Knutson, Executive Director, Library and 
Information Technology Association (LITA), American Library 
Association, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL, July 25, 1991.

Vision Statement

The Library and Information Technology Association envisions a world in which the complete spectrum of information technology is available to everyone. People in all their diversity will have access to a wealth of information technology in libraries, at work and at home. In this world everybody can realize their full potential with the help of information technology. The very boundaries of human relations will expand beyond the limitations of time and space we experience today. The outer limits are still unknown; what is known is that the exploration will be challenging.

Mission Statement

LITA provides its members, other ALA divisions and members, and the library and information science field as a whole with a forum for discussion, an environment for learning, and a program for action on the design, development, and implementation of automated and technological systems in the library and information science field.

Function Statement

LITA is concerned with the planning, development, design, application, and integration of technologies within the library and information environment, with the impact of emerging technologies on library service, and with the effect of automated technologies on people. Its major focus is on the interdisciplinary issues and emerging technologies. LITA disseminates information, provides educational opportunities for learning about information technologies and forums for the discussion of common concerns, monitors new technologies with potential applications in information science, encourages and fosters research, promotes the development of technical standards, and examines the effects of library systems and networks.

Strategic Planning Goals

  1. To provide opportunities for professional growth and performance in areas of information technology.

  2. To influence national and international level initiatives relating to information and access.

  3. To promote, participate in, and influence the development of technical standards related to the storage, dissemination and delivery of information.

  4. To strengthen the association and assure its continued success.

Model Interlibrary Loan Code for Regional, State, Local, or Other Special Groups of Libraries

Endorsed by Reference and Adult Services Division Board of Directors, New York, June 1980.

Source:  Available from the American Library Association and 
printed in Boucher, Virginia.  Interlibrary Loan Practices 
Handbook,  American Library Association, Chicago, IL, 1984, 
Appendix, pages 136-138.


The "Model Interlibrary Loan Code for Regional, State, Local or Other Special Groups of Libraries" is intended to provide guidelines for any group of libraries interested in developing an interlibrary loan code to meet special needs. The Model Code, while complementing the "National Interlibrary Loan Code, 1980," allows libraries more flexibility and creativity in satisfying interlibrary loan needs in a specific situation.

The Model Code is designed to provide a framework for cooperation. Since it is recognized that most networks and consortia can be more liberal in loaning materials, the Model Code has fewer restrictions than the National Code. All libraries in a network or consortium should participate in developing an interlibrary loan code. Each section of the code should be discussed and should be expanded or modified, if necessary, for local use. The bracketed sections of the Model Code indicate specific areas where local information may be necessary. Libraries are encouraged to put as few restrictions as possible on the exchange of materials.

The use of interlibrary loan service is becoming increasingly important to libraries committed to providing a high level of service to their clientele. In A Commitment to Information Services: Developmental Guidelines, 1979, the Reference and Adult Services Division emphasizes the importance of considering "the needs and interests of all users, including children, young adults, adults ...." Interlibrary loan is a service that should be publicized and provided to all members of the library's clientele.

A strong interlibrary loan network within a local, state, or regional jurisdiction should be the primary source of interlibrary loan materials for all libraries. Only after all of these resources have been exhausted should a library request material outside of these arrangements. In making outside requests, the "National Interlibrary Loan Code, 1980" and the Interlibrary Loan Procedure Manual should be followed. This approach will distribute the burden of requests more equitably and provide better service for all libraries.

Model Interlibrary Loan Code for Regional, State, Local, or Other Special Groups of Libraries

This code is a voluntary agreement adopted by ____________ 
_________________________ [system, consortium, network, etc.] 
on _____________________ [date] to govern interlibrary lending 
among libraries in ________________________ [metropolitan area, 
region, state, system, network, consortium, etc.]


Interlibrary loan service is essential to the vitality of libraries of all types and sizes as a means of greatly expanding the range of materials available to users. Lending between libraries is in the public interest and should be encouraged. This code is intended to make interlibrary loan policies among those libraries adopting it as liberal and as easy to apply as possible. Interlibrary loan should serve as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, collection development. When resources within the region have been exhausted, loan requests to more distant libraries would then conform to the provisions of the "National Interlibrary Loan Code, 1980."

I. Definition

An interlibrary loan is a transaction in which library material, or a copy of the material, is made available by one library to another upon request.

II. Purpose

The purpose of interlibrary loan as defined in this code is to obtain library material not available in the local library.

III. Scope

Under the terms of this agreement, it is permissible to request on interlibrary loan any type of library material [except ........].

IV. Responsibilities of Borrowing Libraries

V. Responsibilities of Lending Libraries

VI. Expenses

VII. Duration of Loan

VIII. Violation of Code

Each library is responsible for maintaining the provisions of this code in good faith.

Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use

Source:  Model Policy Concerning College and University 
Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve 
Use, American Library Association, Washington Office, 
Washington, DC, March 1982.  ISBN:  0-9389-5624.  This item is 
also sold by ALA Publishing for $1.50.

This model policy, another in a series of copyright advisory documents developed by the American Library Association (ALA), is intended for the guidance and use of academic librarians, faculty, administrators, and legal counsel in response to implementation of the rights and responsibilities provisions of Public Law 94-553, General Revision of the Copyright Law, which took effect on January 1, 1978.

Prepared by ALA Legal Counsel Mary Hutchings of the law firm Sidley & Austin, with advise and assistance from the Copyright Subcommittee (ad hoc) of ALA's Legislation Committee, Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Copyright Committee, Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and other academic librarians and copyright attorneys, the model policy outlines "fair use" rights in the academic environment for classroom teaching, research activities and library services. Please note that it does not address other library photocopying which may be permitted under other sections of the Copyright Law, e.g., SS108 (Reproduction by Libraries and Archives).

Too often, members of the academic community have been reluctant or hesitant to exercise their rights of fair use under the law for fear of courting an infringement suit. It is important to understand that in U.S. law, copyright is a limited statutory monopoly and the public's right to use materials must be protected. Safeguards have been written into the legislative history accompanying the new copyright law protecting librarians, teachers, researchers and scholars and guaranteeing their rights of access to information as they carry out their responsibilities for educating or conducting research. It is, therefore, important to heed the advise of a former U.S. Register of Copyrights: "If you don't use fair use, you will lose it!"

I. The Copyright Act and Photocopying

From time to time, the faculty and staff of this University [College] may use photocopied materials to supplement research and teaching. In many cases, photocopying can facilitate the University's [College's] mission; that is, the development and transmission of information. However, the photocopying of copyrighted materials is a right granted under the copyright law's doctrine of "fair use" which must not be abused. This report will explain the University's [College's} policy concerning the photocopying of copyrighted materials by faculty and library staff. Please note that this policy does not address other library photocopying which may be permitted under sections of the copyright law, e.g., 17 U.S.C. SS108.

Copyright is a constitutionally conceived property right which is designed to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for an author the benefits of his or her original work of authorship for a limited time. U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8. The Copyright statute, 17 U.S.C. SS101 et seq., implements this policy by balancing the author's interest against the public interest in the dissemination of information affecting areas of universal concern, such as art, science, history and business. The grand design of this delicate balance is to foster the creation and dissemination of intellectual works for the general public.

The Copyright Act defines the rights of a copyright holder and how they may be enforced against an infringer. Included within the Copyright Act is the "fair use" doctrine which allows, under certain conditions, the copying of copyrighted material. While the Act lists general factors under the heading of "fair use" it provides little in the way of specific directions for what constitutes fair use. The law states:

   17 U.S.C. SS107.  Limitations on exclusive rights:  Fair use
   Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the fair use of a 
   copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies 
   or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, 
   for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, 
   teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), 
   scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.  In 
   determining whether the use made of a work in any particular 
   case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include --
            (1)  the purpose and character of the use, including 
   whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for 
   nonprofit educational purposes;
            (2)  the nature of copyrighted work;
            (3)  the amount and substantiality of the portion used in 
   relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
            (4)  the effect of the use upon the potential market for 
   or value of the copyrighted work.

The purpose of this report is to provide you, the faculty and staff of this University [College}, with an explanation of when the photocopying of copyrighted material in our opinion is permitted under the fair use doctrine. Where possible, common examples of research, classroom, and library reserve photocopying have been included to illustrate what we believe to be the reach and limits of fair use.

Please note that the copyright law applies to all forms of photocopying, whether it is undertaken at a commercial copying center, at the University's [College's] central or departmental copying facilities or at a self-service machine. While you are free to use the services of a commercial establishment, you should be prepared to provide documentation of permission from the publisher (if such permission is necessary under this policy), since many commercial copiers will require such proof.

We hope this report will give you an appreciation of the factors which weight in favor of fair use and those factors which weigh against fair use, but faculty members must determine for themselves which works will be photocopied. This University [College] does not condone a policy of photocopying instead of purchasing copyrighted works where such photocopying would constitute an infringement under the Copyright law, but it does encourage faculty members to exercise good judgment in serving the best interests of students in an efficient manner.

Instructions for securing permission to photocopy copyrighted works when such copying is beyond the limits of fair use appear at the end of this report. It is the policy of this University that the user (faculty, staff or librarian) secure such permission whenever it is legally necessary.

II. Unrestricted Photocopying

III. Permissible Photocopying of Copyrighted Works

The Copyright Act allows anyone to photocopy copyrighted works without securing permission from the copyright owner when the photocopying amounts to a "fair use" of the material. 17 U.S.C. SS107. The guidelines in this report discuss the boundaries for fair use of photocopied material used in research or the classroom or in a library reserve operation. Fair use cannot always be expressed in numbers -- either the number of pages copied or the number of copies distributed. Therefore, you should wight the various factors listed in the Act and judge whether the intended use of photocopied, copyrighted material is within the spirit of the fair use doctrine. Any serious questions concerning whether a particular photocopying constitutes fair use should be directed to University [College] counsel.

   Sample Letter To Copyright Owner (Publisher) 
   Requesting Permission To Copy:

       March 1, 1982

       Material Permissions Department
       Hypothetical Book Company
       500 East Avenue
       Chicago, IL  60601

       Dear Sir or Madam:

       I would like permission to copy the following for continued use in 
       my classes in future semesters:

             Title:  Learning is Good, Second Edition
             Copyright:  Hypothetical Book Co., 1965, 1971
             Author:  Frank Jones
             Material to be duplicated:  Chapters 10, 11 and 14 
                   (photocopy     enclosed).
             Number of copies:  500
             Distribution:  The material will be distributed to students in 
             my classes and they will pay only the cost of the photocopying.
             Type of reprint:  Photocopy
             Use:  The chapter will be used as supplementary teaching 

       I have enclosed a self-addressed envelope for your convenience in 
       replying to this request.


       Faculty Member

National Interlibrary Loan Code, 1980

Notes:  Adopted by Reference and Adult Services Division 
Board of Directors, New York, 1980.

Source:  Available from the American Library Association and 
printed in Boucher, Virginia.  Interlibrary Loan Practices 
Handbook, American Library Association, Chicago, IL, 1984, 
Appendix, pages 139-141.


Interlibrary loan is essential to the vitality of libraries of all types and sizes and is a means by which a wide range of material can be made available to users. This code is designed primarily to regulate lending relations between research libraries and between libraries operating outside networks or consortia. It is recognized that through specific agreements, libraries organized geographically, by mutual subject interest, or other bases will have developed codes of their own. It is not the intent of this code to prescribe the nature of interlibrary lending under such arrangements. (See "Model Interlibrary Loan Code for Regional, State, Local, or Other Special Groups of Libraries.)

The effectiveness of a national system of interlibrary lending is directly related to the equitable distribution of costs among all the libraries involved. Interlibrary loan is an adjunct to, not a substitute for, collection development in individual libraries. Requests to national and research libraries or requests beyond networks and consortia should only be made after local, state, and regional sources have been exhausted. It is understood that every library must maintain an appropriate balance between resource sharing and responsibility to its primary clientele.

This national code contains general guidelines for the borrowing and lending of library material. Details of procedures to be used in implementing the code will be found in the Interlibrary Loan Procedure Manual published by the American Library Association. All libraries participating in interlibrary loan should have copies of this publication and should follow these recommendations. The manual also provides information on international interlibrary loan.

The Reference and Adult Services Division, acting for the American Library Association in its adoption of this code, recognizes that the exchange of material between libraries is an important element in the provision of library service and believes it to be in the public interest to encourage such an exchange.

I. Definition

An interlibrary loan is a transaction in which library material, or a copy of the material, is made available by one library to another upon request.

II. Purpose

The purpose of interlibrary loan as defined in this code is to obtain, for research and serious study, library material not available through local, state, or regional libraries.

III. Scope

IV. Responsibilities of Borrowing Libraries

V. Responsibilities of Lending Libraries

VI. Expenses

VII. Duration of Loan

VIII. Violation of Code

Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records

Source:  Handbook of Organization 1990/91, American Library 
Association, Chicago, IL, 1990, page 256.

The American Library Association strongly recommends that the responsible officers of each library, cooperative system, and consortium in the United States:

  1. Formally adopt a policy which specifically recognizes its circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users with specific materials to be confidential.

  2. Advise all librarians and library employees that such records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigatory power.

  3. Resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.

[Send Us Mail]