2008-01-19Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/1300
The Limits of Intellectual Freedom
Why the IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom is not followed in Denmark
Amundsen, Jon Kjær
Olesen, Ole V. G.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the limits of providing access to information for everyone in Denmark compared to the 1999 IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom. There are several aspects of decrease in the liberty of expression in Denmark within the areas of politics, ethics, laws etc. The cases analysed demonstrate that there are even more problems to consider when trying to fulfil the principles of the IFLA 1999 Statement - a statement meant to be universal but not even fulfilled in an industrialised country like Denmark. From time to time, different issues relating to public libraries and intellectual freedom come to a broader attention of the public. Several of these cases are analyzed due to their controversy with censorship, lack of knowledge and media diversity, and finally decreasing protection of human rights in information seeking behaviour. Investigations of the public debate concerning libraries and information centres in juridical, economical and cultural politics. Also, philosophical considerations in ethics have been conducted. Findings are that it is to a certain extent meaningless to fulfil the IFLA 1999 statement. Considering a declaration, the statement cannot include the many details and complex situations that are covered by it. Avoiding basic principles in the IFLA 1999 statement, however, is contrary to the Bill of Human Rights. In the perspective of the cases analysed, it is clear that we can ascertain a decrease in intellectual freedom in Denmark. In a longer perspective, this is an indication that we should argue more aggressively for the fulfilment of the IFLA 1999 Statement. Most importantly, our study points out ways for future research. The identified issues on the discrepancy between the IFLA 1999 statement and the several aspects of decrease in liberty of expression in Denmark identify paths for improving the limits on providing access to information for everyone – specifically in Denmark and the rest of the world in general. The perspectives of this paper are worth taking into consideration when evaluating the consequences of declaring that intellectual freedom has been obtained.
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