Many of the most challenged books, year after year, feature voices from diverse communities (including those of women, racial or ethnic minorities, and LGBT people). Intellectual freedom protects these voices and protects our right to hear these voices. This essay discusses the definition of intellectual freedom, why diverse perspectives are important, and how intellectual freedom can bolster diverse voices. In turn, this can improve our relationships with one another, increasing empathy and respect, which can be reflected in numerous ways and is particularly important in a divisive political climate.

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Published in The Library Quarterly, v. 87, no. 4, p. 410-418.

© 2017 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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