NJLA Statement on Charging for Library Services

NJLA strongly adheres to the ALA statement concerning economic barriers.

The American Library Association statement concerning economic barriers says, “Charging fees for the use of library collections, services, programs and facilities that were purchased using public funds raises barriers to access. Such fees effectively reinforce distinctions among users based on the ability to pay."

ALA actively advocates in defense of the rights of library users to “read and seek information and to speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment.”  A publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of their community.  As citizens, we enjoy this basic right in our democratic society.  It is a core value of the library profession.

Charging for public library services is against the principles of librarianship and the principles, purpose, and spirit under which public libraries were established.

We encourage every library, guided by the library’s mission statement, to provide free and equitable library services to their community.

Adopted by the NJLA Executive Board Nov. 19, 2013