Libraries advocate for freedom to read and freedom of access to information.
In Aotearoa New Zealand there have been recent and increasing challenges to library content and activities on topics including sex education, Rainbow community issues, mis/dis information about Māori history, child-raising manuals supporting physical discipline, and books about vaccination.
UNESCO recognises that access to information is critical for empowering the public to make decisions and lays the foundations for building inclusive knowledge societies.
The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) have developed a Freedom-to-Read Toolkit.
The resource is designed to help people working in library and information services with book challenges and mis/dis information in their libraries. The toolkit helps library staff prepare for challenges by providing information on the Aotearoa New Zealand context and legislation involved in this area. It helps identify the policies and processes libraries should have in place.
The toolkit includes printable quick guides for public library managers, collections librarians, school librarians, front-of-line and call centre staff, as well as a link to frequently asked questions and key messages.
It also includes examples and discussions on Rainbow community content and Māori history mis/dis information.