Ethics and Librarianship / Edition 1

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Over the last few decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of papers and journal articles dealing with various ethical issues in librarianship, but only a few books. Information workers find themselves rendering new services and providing new kinds of information without much recourse to universally accepted ethical standards.

This work is an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the subject. It promotes the view that as information managers, librarians must join with other professionals to renew a commitment to and interest in ethics. The book deals with such topics as ethics in general, the control of ideas, building collections, acquisitions and cataloging, access services, the reference function, special libraries, research and publication, and intellectual property and copyright. A chapter discusses why ethics matters.

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Editorial Reviews

thought-provoking...useful in library-school classes...valuable to library managers...extensive bibliography
C&RL News
highly recommended
American Libraries
explains why ethics matter
Library Journal
This attempt at "an updated and comprehensive overview of the ethics of librarianship" finds much of common library practice unethical. After reading it, one wonders if it is possible to be an ethical librarian by Hauptman's standard. At the outset, we learn that "information workers" are apt to "breach confidentiality...violate copyright...steal." We read of "early days of American librarianship" that never really existed, when the practice was "ethically unambiguous." The author's judgmentally dim view of librarians, and of most other people, fills the rest of the book: he attacks the American Library Association's (ALA) position against labeling of library materials and asserts that paying high prices for library materials is somehow unethical (and worthy of boycott) and that it is unethical to do minimal cataloging or allow "untutored" copy catalogers to create original entries. Hauptman also condemns as unethical the ALA's position that age should not be a barrier to access to information. He even states that locating legal and health advice, viewing pornography, or gambling via public Internet terminals is unethical. The editor of the Journal of Information Ethics is particularly harsh on editors, claiming their principles collapse, because in addition to being slow and rude they "steal ideas." Similarly simplistic statements are offered in the chapter on Intellectual Property and Copyright. In the concluding chapter, Hauptman offers a final paragraph in which he weakly rationalizes his harsh, often unsubstantiated, judgments. "A study of ethical procedures and challenges...," he asks us to believe, "entails a concentration on negativities." Unfortunately, this rationalization is too little, too late. This book provokes, angers, and demands rebuttal. But if you don't need the tsuris, forget it.-John Berry, "Library Journal"
Providing an overview of library ethics, this book addresses the role of ethics and its relationship to the control of ideas, collection management, acquisitions and cataloging, access, reference work, specialized libraries, research and publication, and intellectual property rights. Hauptman argues that, as information managers, librarians need to renew their commitment to professional ethics. Hauptman teaches at St. Cloud University and edits the . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786413065
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/11/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 161
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Hauptman is professor emeritus of St. Cloud State University and editor of the Journal of Information Ethics.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Ch. 1 Libraries, Information, and Ethics 3
Ch. 2 Intellectual Freedom and the Control of Ideas 16
Ch. 3 Building Collections: Books, Serials, Media 30
Ch. 4 Technical Services: Acquisitions and Cataloging 42
Ch. 5 Access Services 51
Ch. 6 Reference 58
Ch. 7 Special Libraries 72
Ch. 8 Special and Archival Collections 82
Ch. 9 Research and Publication 93
Ch. 10 Intellectual Property and Copyright 104
Ch. 11 Information Ethics 120
Ch. 12 Why Ethics Matters 132
Bibliography 141
Index 149
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