i387c managing information services and organizations





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Module 5. Unit 2: Professional Ethics

Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest. (Mark Twain, 1901).

Information professionals, like other professional must aim to conform to the highest ethical standards. Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. It is, therefore, very important to understand the ethical responsibilities of the profession, as well as learn ways to encourage and expect ethical behavior from co-workers in this changing information environment.

The American Library Association states:

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information... we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present to future generations.

Some of the major points contained in the ALA Code of Ethics state that we:

  • Provide equitable service and access including "accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests."
  • Protect each library users' right to privacy with respect to information south or received.
  • Respect intellectual property rights.
  • Do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, or colleagues .

The full text of the Code of Ethics can be found on the American Library Association site at http://www.ala.org/alaorg/oif/ethics.html.

It is only through articulation of clear policies and development of selection of materials and hiring of personnel that uniformity and fairness can be assured. Other examples of professional code of ethics or discussion of the need for a code include the following:

==> Continue to Module 5 Unit 3


Read: Review and read the above selections and other resources on ethics. Pay particular attention to commonalities and points of distinction. Read Rosaville College's Fundraising Campaign. Reread the guide to analyzing case studies.
Discussion Board: Analyze and present your solution taking into account your readings and your personal experience. Participate in the discussion Ethics in the Workplace.
Due Date July 2 11:30pm
Value Participation
thanks to patrick williams for template design
Last update 31 may 2006