II.  The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector to contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.


The ALA stipulates that a library’s collection should contain materials from all points of view. (ALA, 1996; ACRL, 2000)  Accordingly, academic libraries should be even more attentive to this stipulation.  It is not the policy of the academic library to be politically correct.  This is a self-defeating principle, which in an academic setting, does nothing to further the education of students.  Where possible, all points of view should be available for research and scrutiny, so that all members of the academic community can further this search for truth.


Mill (1859) and Woodward (1990) agree that there can never be a justification for censorship.  They both argued that censorship posed a two-fold problem: first, who does the censoring and, second, how can you know what to censor if you never have all the facts?  Doyle (2001, p. 68) sums up Mill by stating, “censors . . . presume to settle controversial questions for others without allowing those others to hear what the opposition has to say.”   Intellectual freedom, especially in an academic situation, must be allowed at all costs.  The controversial must be in the academic library.  Doubting students’ ability to understand something is immaterial. (Nesta and Blanke, 1991)  So many people do not understand so much of what is fed to them from the television news media that it makes worrying about college students confusing something seem pedantic.  "Librarians would like to take advantage of student, enthusiasm, creativity, and technical skills.  At the same time, librarians observe the general and growing lack of literacy among students, along with flexible ethics that tolerate plagiarism and copyright violations and show a general lack of respect for scholarship and research." (Hisle, 2002)  If librarians cannot rely on students knowing that something is incorrect, then they need to work with faculty to educate students in library use, copyright, and general research.  If every freshman class had to take a course on research and library use it would solve many of the research confusions that exist in colleges across the country.