Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1999


It is a well known fact that librarians, as professionals go, are not among the world's most demonstrative people. I can say that with impunity because I am one. It's one thing for a man to slight his own profession; quite another when someone else presumes to do it. But given that librarians are a placid sort, just mention the phrase "intellectual freedom," or utter the word "censorship," and the usually calm demeanor of the librarian becomes as agitated as the water between Charybdis and Scylla! This article addresses three aspects of the issue of intellectual freedom and attempts to define the difference between the phrases "free speech" and "free expression." First to be explored will be the nature of intellectual freedom as defined by the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Manual; second, the underlying philosophy implicit in that expression; and third, an alternative to both the manual, and its philosophical presuppositions.