Library Ethics

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The evolution of ethical standards for librarians parallels the development of librarianship as a profession. Our most important professional values have been tested and debated in the course of formulating and adopting our codes of ethics. This book includes historical precedents and current examples of ethical issues facing the profession. It looks broadly at the many arenas in which librarians face ethical choices, helping practitioners identify an ethical dilemma and providing guidance on how to respond, how to separate personal belief from professional responsibility, and how to make exceptions in a principled way. Where appropriate references are included to the codes of ethics of other professions: journalists, booksellers, and lawyers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This thought provoking book grew out of an introductory course Preer has taught for many years on the foundations of librarianship."


American Libraries

"This title is not merely a practical how-to guide, but is an in-depth study of the evolution of library ethics and the ongoing ethical problems confronting the profession. . . . Comprehensive and clearly written, this title is recommended for college and university libraries."


Catholic Library World

"This highly practical, substantial, and carefully planned resource is designed to help information professionals figure out their professional values and where they stand when faced with ethical dilemmas. . . . This title is valuable for students completing a degree in library and information science. New practitioners entering the field would be wise to use this book as their first professional bible. Those already in the library profession may find this title to be a good refresher. Recommended."


Library Media Connection

"Seldom do we allow ourselves the 'luxury' of savoring such a cerebral journey as this book. . . . I found the whole tone of the book both intellectually stimulating and attainable. . . it is definitely worth a few quiet moments curled up with a cup of tea or a glass of wine to bring us into a theoretical and philosophical mind-set that we all too seldom allow ourselves. Highly recommended."


Collection Management

"The reader is left understanding many of the ethical issues that have challenged librarians as well as understanding how and why ethics codes and statements were promulgated."


The Library Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591586364
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,303,242
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JEAN PREER is Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University-Indianapolis. She holds a Ph.D. and a J.D. from George Washington University and her MLS from Berkeley. She has also taught at The Catholic University of America. She has published many articles and chapters of books including Lawyers and Education: Black Colleges and Desegregation in Public Higher Education(Greenwood, 1982).

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Table of Contents

1 Professionalism, Identity, and Values 1

2 Service: By Whom 27

3 Service: For Whom 51

4 Access: What Information 79

5 Access: Which Format 111

6 Conflicts of Interest: Philosophical 133

7 Conflicts of Interest: Financial 159

8 Confidentiality 183

9 Future 211

Library Ethics Timeline 219

App Codes of Ethics 225

American Library Association 225

ALA Code of Ethics for Librarians (1938) 226

ALA Statement on Professional Ethics (1981) 228

ALA Code of Ethics (1995, modified 2008) 229

ALA Library Bill of Rights (1948,1961,1980, 1996) 230

American Association of Law Libraries Ethical Principles (1999) 231

Association of College and Research Libraries Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians (2003) 233

Medical Library Association Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarianship (1994) 235

Society of American Archivists Code of Ethics for Archivists (2005) 236

A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto (2006) 238

Further Reading 239

Index 247

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