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ALA Code of Ethics: A Practical Guide. Adopted June 28, 1997, by the ALA Council; amended January 22, 2008. Ethical Dilemmas.

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ala code of ethics a practical guide

ALA Code of Ethics: A Practical Guide

Adopted June 28, 1997, by the ALA Council; amended January 22, 2008.

ethical dilemmas
Ethical Dilemmas
  • “Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.”
  • Real life example:
    • Parent is upset that Richard Pryor comedy routine is in our collection.
what are we about
What are we about?
  • “We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information.”
    • DDC, Genre Classifications, Binding & Repair, Late Fines, Damage Fees, etc.
  • “In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information.”
    • For all ages, including children
  • “We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.”
    • Not just information provided by the majority influence.
the framework
The Framework
  • We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
    • Pretty self explanatory
  • We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
    • Collection policies
the framework1
The Framework
  • We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
    • With the exception of a minor at a parents request (even then though, we won’t restrict computer access, etc.)
  • We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
    • CD/DVD copies, etc.
the framework cont
The Framework Cont…
  • 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.
    • Again, our usual work policies
  • We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
    • Only posting advertisements for non-profits, etc.
the framework cont1
The Framework Cont…
  • 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.
    • Discrimination of any kind in service, collection policies, etc.
  • 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.
    • Cross-training, promotion, tuition reimbursement, etc.
so what
So What??
  • Are there any issues or clarifications that need to be made regarding ALA’s Code of Ethics? Do you agree/disagree with them?
  • As a public library, do you feel we are meeting ALA’s Code of Ethics?
  • What can we do to improve our performance?
  • Questions/Comments