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The First Amendment and Opposing Viewpoints in the Public Library

The First Amendment, one of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, gives everyone residing in the United States the right to express all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. The First Amendment allows individuals to speak, publish, read and view what they wish, worship (or not worship) as they wish, associate with whomever they choose, and gather together to ask the government to make changes in the law or to correct the wrongs in society.

As an open and free public library Newton Free Library upholds the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and its principles. The American Library Association affirms the rights of individuals to form their own opinions about resources they choose to read, view, listen to, or otherwise access. Libraries do not advocate the ideas found in their collections or in resources accessible through the library. The presence of books and other resources in a library does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library. Likewise, providing access to digital information or displays does not indicate endorsement or approval of that information by the library.

Newton Free Library strongly believes the importance of providing multiple viewpoints to facilitate understanding of complicated topics, such as the war in the Middle East.

The purpose of this guide is to provide resources that will enable readers to gain a better understanding of the issues at stake and the history of the conflict. This is a rapidly changing situation.  One should read broadly, question sources, and synthesize information from multiple perspectives.

We have tried to gather balanced and reasoned sources. Providing the views and opinions of their authors do not constitute an endorsement of the content of the Newton Free Library.

For more information, please see our guide online and explore the digital resource Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints article on this topic. If you’d like the Library to purchase an item not in our collection, please Suggest a Purchase.