EnglishLibrary Science

Types and definition of Censorship in Libraries

What is Censorship?

The term censorship is derived from the Latin word ‘Censer’ which means to access. Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative materials which may be consider objectionable, harmful or sensitive as determined by a censor.

Encyclopaedia of Library & Information Science, “Censorship is an effort by a government, or private organization, groups or individuals to prevent people reading, seeing or hearing what may be considered as dangerous to government and harmful to the public morality.”

Harrods Librarian Glossary “Censorship is the prohibition of production, distribution, circulation or sale of materials considered to be objectionable for reasons of politics, religion, obscenity or blasphemy.”

Types of Censorship in Libraries:
Censorship can be said to be of four types.

  1. Political Censorship
  2. Ethical and Social Censorship
  3. Religious Censorship 
  4. Military Censorship Censorship

1. Political censorship: Political censorship occurs when governments hold back information from their citizens. Many political parties published many objectionable publications, which may create some unwanted problems for the Governments. In this case Governmentv censorship bans this political publication through legislation or executive order.

2. Moral/Ethical censorship:
Moral censorship is the removal of materials that censor regard to be obscene or otherwise questionable. Pornography, for example, is often censor under this rationale specially child pornography, which is censor in most jurisdiction in the world. Moral or social censorship’s to be attributed for ethical or social well-fear.
3. Religion Censorship:
Religion Censorship is the means by which any material objectionable to a certain faith is removed. This often involves a dominate religion forcing limitation on less prevalent one. Alternatively one religion make shun the work of another when they believe the content in not appropriate for their faith. Religions is very sensitive feelings of any persons so insulted or debited report or publication against any religion should be consorted.
4. Military Censorship:
Military administration is the highest authority to protect the sovereignty for a country. so any pamphlet, letter, report and publication arranged military rolled are censors for defense and security of the country. Military Censorship is the process of keeping military intelligences and tactics confidential and keeping away from enemy. Very often military will also attempt to suppress politically inconvenient information has no actual intelligent value.

Censorship from view point of the individual librarians:

When it comes to logical censorship is the librarian must obey the law. Most librarian have detail day-to-day conduct with such legal decision. Freedom of speech and  press are essential for the functioning oflibraries and democracy. Any material, that is not legal banned, must be selected in the library. In selection the objectives of the library the nature and value of materials are taken into consideration, library should select materials neither on the basis of their personal library nor the interest of any other presser groups. So we can say that book selection does not amount to censorship.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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