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Principles of Equal Access

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The Library at the University of California, Berkeley affirms these principles articulated by the American Library Association:

Access to Information: “Libraries are major sources of information for society and they serve as guardians of the public’s access to information more generally. The advent of the digital world has revolutionized how the public obtains its information and how libraries provide it. Libraries help ensure that Americans can access the information they need – regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or geographic barriers – as the digital world continues to evolve. Core values of the library community such as equal access to information, intellectual freedom, and the objective stewardship and provision of information must be preserved and strengthened in the evolving digital world.” [American Library Association www.ala.org/offices/oitp/programs/publicaccesstoinfo]

Equity of Access: “Equity of access means that all people have the information they need-regardless of age, education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or geographic barriers. It means they are able to obtain information in a variety of formats-electronic, as well as print. It also means they are free to exercise their right to know without fear of censorship or reprisal.” [American Library Association www.ala.org/advocacy/access/equityofaccess]

Universal Design: “Libraries play a catalytic role in the lives of people with disabilities by facilitating their full participation in society. Libraries should use strategies based upon the principles of universal design to ensure that library policy, resources and services meet the needs of all people.” [American Library Association www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/outreachtounderservedpopulations/servicespeopledisabilities]

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