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Library Ethics, Professionalism & the Human Side of Libraries

Learning Objectives
• Define ethics.
• Define professionalism.
• Define and provide examples of life long learning and professional development.

Ethics involves the moral principles that govern a particular culture.

Professional ethics are important in the library and information science profession.

Responsible behavior is the result of adhering to the values of society.

It is important that libraries have policies, procedures, and guidelines in place that address issues related to ethics.

Ethics and Librarianship

Ethics plays an important role in librarianship.

Code of Ethics and Library Bill of Rights

wrongThe American Library Association’s Code of Ethics along with the Library Bill of Rights set forth the foundational principles of the profession.

Read!
Read the Code of Ethics of the ALA.

Read!
Read the Library Bill of Rights from ALA.

Ethics Guidelines

Many of ALA’s divisions have their own guidelines related to specifics of their content area, services, or audiences.

Read!
Read Guidelines for Medical, Legal, and Business Responses from Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).

Ethics and Social Media

Special consideration must be taken with each new technology introduced into the library setting. This is particularly important when dealing with minors.

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Read!
Read Questions and Answers on Ethics and Social Media from ALA.

Professionalism

Professionalism is demonstrating the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and dispositions expected of a library and information science professional.

ALA’s Code of Ethics discusses examples of professionalism including

“We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.”

Life Long Learning and Professional Development

librarianLibrary and information professionals must be life long learners.

Professional development is the process of keeping up-to-date on topics and issues concerning the profession.

ALA’s Code of Ethics states

“We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.”

Specifically, they address the following areas:

Conclusion

Ethics involves the moral principles that govern a particular culture. Professional ethics are important in the library and information science profession. Responsible behavior is the result of adhering to the values of society. It is important that libraries have policies, procedures, and guidelines in place that address issues related to ethics.

Professionalism is demonstrating the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and dispositions expected of a library and information science professional.

Professional development is the process of keeping up-to-date on topics and issues concerning the profession.

| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Contact Us | 2014 Annette Lamb (Adapted from earlier s401 materials)

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