Limiting Materials

The Alexandrian Public Library, like all libraries, is a forum for information and ideas. The Board of Trustees of the Alexandrian Public Library believes, in accordance with its collection development policy, circulation policies, and public sevice guidelines, that all library users should have equal access to the materials collection of the Alexandrian Public Library.

Accordingly, the Board has adopted the Library Bill of Rights, which provides free access to library materials for everyone the library serves. Ultimately, the APL Board believes in Free Access to Libraries for Minors, an interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.

In light of the above paragraph, the Board stands firm on the idea that any restriction of or objection to the use of materials owned by the library has to be the choice of the library user or -- in the case of children under 18 -- their legal guardian. However, realizing that today's youth are given more independence, and that there is a wealth of information available in different formats, the APL Board of Trustees has provided the following options to parents who wish to restrict their children's use of library materials.

  • At the time that your child receives a library card, that card can be either "unrestricted" or "restricted." Children with "restricted" cards are prevented from checking out videos labeled as Feature Films, while children with "unrestricted" cards are not.

  • Furthermore, any parent or legal guardian of a child under 18 may complete a Materials Limit Form, which restricts the checkout of materials to children's materials only. Children's materials are materials designated in the automated catalog with a level of "Juvenile." Other material levels are "Adult" and "Youngadult." Children whose legal guardians have completed a Materials Limit Form will be prohibited from checking out Adult or Youngadult level materials.

These restrictions on checking out materials do not guarantee that children might not find other ways to access restricted materials. Nor should having these restrictions in place imply that there will be no materials in those categories permitted to them that they or their legal guardians might find insulting, offensive, or otherwise undesirable. What it does mean is that library staff will do their best to prohibit children from using their library cards to check out materials which their legal guardians have restricted them from checking out.

With regard to the use of all APL materials, chldren's access to library materials is solely the responsibility of the child's parent or legal guardian. Parents of children under 18 years old may choose to limit their children's use of the adult collection just as they limit the use of APL's video collection.

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