Freedom of speech encompasses not only a right to express oneself but also a right to access information. This right is particularly pertinent to libraries, whose mission is often focused on enabling and expanding access to information. Libraries can support this activity with a theoretical background that draws upon the three predominant jurisprudential theories of freedom of speech: the marketplace of ideas, democratic ideals, and individual autonomy. In this article, each of these theories is explained and then applied to the library context, creating a starting place for further investigation and application of these judicial theories to information access.

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Published in The Library Quarterly, v. 86, no. 2, p. 153-171.

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