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Statement from University Libraries:
There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation regarding a claim that The Washington Free Beacon was "banned" from Special Collections. The issue is that this media outlet failed to comply with standard library policies followed across the nation.
If The Washington Free Beacon can agree to follow the library’s rules, the same rules practiced by all other patrons, then we will reinstate its research privileges. This isn’t an issue about withholding information, the bottom line is they failed to obtain permission to publish copyrighted material.
Further, this is not the first time we’ve asked The Free Beacon to follow our procedure. They were notified in February following a similar lack of policy compliance. We’ve never denied a permission to publish for a patron. There’s nothing unique about this requirement.
The library does not ban patrons from researching. In fact, this is the first and only time an agency has not followed the policy, resulting in a temporary suspension of privileges. We duplicated and provided the materials to the Free Beacon in the first place, expecting compliance with our policies for publishing. We will reinstate that organization’s privileges to access Special Collections pending confirmation that the organization will follow the rules similar to all other patrons. A suspension is temporary.
I can emphasize that the University of Arkansas treats all researchers equally and encourages members of the media and general public to access records in Special Collections. Providing access to the records is why the university has the collection in the first place.
We welcome all interested parties to access our treasure trove of materials in Special Collections, which is open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.
Here is the link to the finding aid for the materials in question, with the access and use requirements stated clearly.
University Libraries Citations Guide
Permission to Publish Form
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