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Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice

ISBN : 978-1-78635-058-9 , eISBN : 978-1-78635-057-2

Publication date: 26 February 2016

How do students comment on ethical principles, which principles are important for their awareness of librarianship, how do they understand the relevance of human rights for their future work?


The case study presents the results of a lecture on information rights and ethics with 50 Master students in library and information sciences (LIS) at the University of Lille (France) in 2014–2015. Students were asked to comment on the core principles of the International Federation of Library Association (IFLA) Code of Ethics.

The students see the library as a privileged space of access to information, where the librarian takes on the function of a guardian of this specific individual freedom—a highly political role and task. This opinion is part of a general commitment to open access and free flowing resources on Internet. They emphasize the social responsibility toward the society as a whole but most of all toward the individual patron as a real person, member of a cultural community, a social class or an ethnic group. With regard to Human Rights, the students interpret the IFLA Code mainly as a code of civil, political, and critical responsibility to endorse the universal right of freedom of expression. They see a major conflict between ethics and policy. The findings are followed by some recommendations for further development of LIS education, including internship, transversality, focus on conflicts and the students’ cognitive dissonance and teaching of social skills, in terms of work-based solidarity and collective choices.


The chapter is qualitative research based on empirical data from a French LIS Master program.

  • Human rights
  • Library and information sciences
  • IFLA Code of Ethics

Schöpfel, J. (2016), "Open Access, Privacy, and Human Rights: A Case Study on Ethics in Library and Information Sciences Education", Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice ( Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 41 ), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 349-371.

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Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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Case Studies in Library and Information Science Ethics

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National High School Ethics Bowl

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An Immodest Proposal?

An Immodest Proposal?

Jade emails high school acquaintance Antonio with a request to help her conceive a child naturally through sex. She is single, almost forty, and skeptical of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and artificial insemination (IUI). Jade reassures him that he would not be expected to be financially or emotionally responsible for the child in any way. Antonio is torn: he doesn't feel comfortable fathering a child he may never meet, yet he worries that turning Jade down would deprive her of a child likely to be happy and healthy. How should we evaluate Jade's request? How should Antonio feel in response?

Operation Paperclip

Operation Paperclip

In the aftermath of World War II, seeking to gain a military advantage over the Soviet Union, United States intelligence smuggled over 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians into the U.S. in a covert programed called Operation Paperclip. Some of these former Nazis were involved in despicable war crimes, yet the operation led to the design of rockets putting America on the moon and might have allowed the United States the edge in the Cold War. Is it ever morally permissible to excuse moral evils for the sake of scientific or social progress?

An Honest Chat

An Honest Chat

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that uses machine learning algorithms to generate written content. Some argue that it is an efficient and cost-effective solution for producing large quantities of work, useful both for news organizations to generate articles quickly and businesses to save time and resources. However, as automation's prevalence increases, there is a risk that tools like ChatGPT may displace human workers. Others worry who ought to be credited as an author when employing ChatGPT, the spread of misinformation, or even the homogenization of written content. What impacts ought to be considered as we adopt AI technologies?

A Random Sample?

A Random Sample?

In randomized controlled trials (RTCs), one group receives an intervention, while another does not. In a social science research RTC, for over twelve years, non-profit GiveDirectly issued direct cash transfers of $22 per month to randomly selected adults in a Kenyan village to test direct cash transfers' effectiveness in poverty alleviation. Some suggest RTCs like GiveDirectly's are exploitative, rendering human beings as experimental subjects. Others suggest benefitting only a portion of the population might provoke tension within the community. Are random selection effects inherently unfair?

Penniless Portraiture

Penniless Portraiture

Arists Sophie Calle and Vito Acconci and the galleries, collectors, and museums buying their work profit from photographs of people in public spaces. However, the subjects neither have knowledge of their being photographed nor received compensation for the sales. Relatedly, subjects in commercials are used to sell products, whereas background individuals in for-profit news channels are not; in the former, lack of compensation would be considered theft, but the strategy in the latter is typically accepted. Art is often considered distinct from the aforementioned media. Is it ethical for artists and art institutions to profit from work depicting uncompensated subjects?

Formula for Disaster

Formula for Disaster

Shirley runs out of baby formula to feed her newborn and heads to the grocery store. After swiping her card at checkout, the distracted cashier tells her she is good to go. Later, when Shirley checks her bank account, she notices that the grocery store payment did not go through. However, after paying her utility bill upon returning home from the store, Shirley no longer has money to go back and pay for the formula. Is it morally wrong for Shirley to keep the formula? To what extent is one morally responsible for an act done in ignorance?

See Spot Gun

See Spot Gun

Robots are often used by emergency services to ensure the safety of first responders. On November 29, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to allow the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to deploy robots equipped with lethal weapons in extraordinary circumstances. Supporters argue that technology able to help end violence and save lives should be used, while the opposition suggests that lowering consequences of aggressive policing could increase the likelihood of police violence. Does the benefit of potential lives saved override the ethical concerns accompanying use of lethal robots?

It’s Corn!

Bt-corn, a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO), is produced to make corn toxic to European corn borer larvae. More broadly, genetic modification produces crops with increased nutritional value and further health benefits that boost quality of life across the world. However, some express concern about unknown health effects of GMOs, as well as potential biodiversity loss their growth prompts. When a specific type of crop (e.g., bt-corn) displaces other strains, different varieties of that crop grow rarer. How should the immediate benefits of GMOs be weighed against future risks posed by a loss of biodiversity?

In a Pickle

In a Pickle

Adults Deborah and Joe have been pickleball partners since childhood. Deborah is eager to face tougher opponents than Joe. When the partner of a more advanced pickleball duo, both of whom pick on Joe, is sick, Deborah desires the opportunity to test her skills against better competition. Joe is appalled at her impulse and gives Deborah and ultimatum: if she plays with the other pickleballer, Joe will never play with her again. Deborah prizes friendship over pickleball, but she doesn't think Joe is being fair. What obligations come with friendship?

Oh, the Humanity!

Oh, the Humanity!

On November 6, 2022, Italian port authority accepted 144 migrants from German charity vessel Humanity I but refused to accept the ship's remaining 35. Protesting Italy's refusal to process all migrants on board, the captain refused to leave the port until remaining migrants were allowed to disembark. European Union humanitarian law dictates that someone seeking asylum is permitted entry if found to qualify under the United Nations' definition of an asylum seeker. However, the Italian Government claims Italy is not obligated to host non-citizens. Should the Italian government prioritize the well-being of its citizens or its humanitarian aims?



Louisiana State University gymnast Olivia Dunne has amassed over 8.3 million social media followers and earns over $2 million as a result of the legalization of a college athlete's ability to earn money from name, image, and likeness (i.e., NIL). Dunne's following grew as a result of posting suggestive, flirty videos known as "thirst traps." Supporters deem it empowering, whereas critics suggest it upholds sexism. How should athletes receiving NIL earnings consider traditional beauty standards, if at all? What obligations do female athletes have as role models to young women?

Mushroom Magic

Mushroom Magic

Psychoactive drugs have become repopularized in the United States. Most are banned under 1970 Controlled Substances Act, though new research supports their mental health benefits. Some citics of a law change argue that psychedelics are addictive and may cause erratic behavior, and others point out that drug companies stand to make huge profits from a legal market. Advocates, however, point out their spiritual significance in some communities and suggest reported health threats are exaggerated. Should psychedelic drugs be legal for individual consumption in the United States?

A LINE in the Sand

A LINE in the Sand

In response to the growing climate crisis, Saudia Arabian company NEOM has begun developing a "city of the future," THE LINE. This community will depend entirely on renewable energy, running roughly 100 miles long across the desert. Its interior will be climate-controlled, emissions-free, and carbon negative, providing residents with a high-speed rail and five-minute walk to all facilities. However, this project is sponsored by the Saudia Arabian government, a power notorious for human rights violations and control of 17% of the world's petrolium reserves. Is this futuristic city worthy of critique or praise?



Children on monetized YouTube channels have no legal protections to guarantee they will profit from participating in videos, yet youth working in the entertainment industry are protected by stringent labor laws. Money incentivizes family vloggers to shape "life" according to profitability, and children's understanding of authentic emotion and non-work activities may be fundamentally disrupted. On the other hand, such profits may be used to fund the children's education or help caretakers share positive messages to a large online audience. What qualifies an activity as labor, and what rights can children featued on monetized channels claim against their parents?

Trouble on Rocky Top

Trouble on Rocky Top

Following many major sporting upsets, fans of the winning team celebrate victories that result in damages including uprooted goalposts and hospitalized fans. With fines in place to try to prevent such chaos at universities, the act of rushing the field becomes expensive and dangerous for many institutions. But for most fans, it's an experience they'll never forget. To what extent, if at all, are universities and individual fans obligated to curtail participation in these celebrations?

In Prime Health

In Prime Health

In 2022, online commerce giant Amazon sought to purchase One Medical, a membership-based and technology-driven provider of primary care and preventative medical services to over 700,000 American in both digital and physical locations. Some applaud Amazon's approach to revolutionize the sector amidst rising prescription drug costs in the United States. Others, however, worry that the deal would provide Amazon with enormous amounts of patient data and would widen disparities between those who have access to private primary care services and those who do not.

Justice Delayed, Justice Denied?

Justice Delayed, Justice Denied?

In 1955, three days after allegedly harrassing then-twenty-one-year-old Carolyn Bryant in a store, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was found burtally murdered by the Tallahatchie River. Bryant's husband and his half-brother were tried for Till's murder and found not guilty by an all-white jury. Later, Carolyn Bryan recanted her claims and revealed that Till never harrassed her. In July of 2022, an unserved arrest warrant for her accomplice in murder was found in a courthouse basement, but the grand jury refrained from issuing an indictment over cocerns of insufficient evidence. Decades later, what might securing justice for Emmett Till look like?

Our Baby, My Body

Our Baby, My Body

Melinda is pregnant and is commited to raising the future baby with its father, Tom. However, Melinda has recently participated in activities Tom deems risky for their future child's health. Are Tom and Melinda equal partners in the pregnancy, or does Melinda's autonomy take precedent? What obligations does Tom have to the health of his partner and future child?

21 Candles

61% of countries have a drinking age of eighteen or nineteen, yet the United States' was raised to 21 in 1984. This amendment has resulted in a 16% decline in motor vehicle crashes, though critics argue it is illogical to give an eighteen-year-old the right to vote and join the military yet prohibit alcohol intake. Additionally, this results in unsupervised and/or binge drinking, a hazard to young adults' health. What factors are morally relevant in determining the legal drinking age?

Parental Controls

Parental Controls

From July 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, 1,145 books were banned across the United States, 41% and 33% containing characters of color and LGBTQ+ themes or main characters, respectively. One instance of mandated censorship is Flordia's HB 1557 "Don't Say Gay" bill. Legislation supporters emphasize concern about parental rights to control what children are taught about gender and sexuality, whereas critics of the bill point to the LGBTQ+ youth suicide rate and the benefits of representation. What is the relationship between parents, teachers, and the content of classroom discussion? When, if ever, is it morally permissible to ban books?

Data Ethics Case Study Library

What is it.

LOTI have collected a range of case studies from different government organisations, both local, national and international, detailing different approaches to data ethics.

Why did we create it?

LOTI boroughs recognise that the data they collect and hold is one of their most valuable assets. Whilst this data can and will be used to improve residents’ lives, there are also risks of it not being used correctly. Beyond legal constraints, there are also ethical questions about how residents’ data should be used, and what processes and systems are needed to ensure organisations have a good data ethics practice.

These case studies map some of the practices that have emerged in the public sector in response to this challenge. As this is a new ethics domain for public sector across the world, we are still seeking to establish what exactly best practice is, and would look like in London. These case studies provide the foundation for our analysis and the subsequent support that we will deliver for LOTI boroughs as part of our ongoing data ethics investigation.

Who should use it?

Local authorities and other public sector organisations interested in learning about different approaches to data ethics, with an interest in setting up their own data ethics processes.  

Case Studies:

Amsterdam’s Algorithm Register Amsterdam have created an Algorithm Register to provide transparency in a standard format about how data is being used in public services, along with a host of other complementary initiatives to be truly an ethical municipal authority.

Brent Council’s Data Ethics Governance Board Brent created a Data Ethics Board with the help of LOTI, which serves to provide the borough with advice from data ethics experts to guide their data projects in their ethical considerations.

Essex Council’s Essex Centre for Data Ethics (ECDA) Essex created a Centre for Data Ethics to serve as an independent and advisory ethics board.

Camden Council’s Data Charter Camden residents created a Data Charter for the borough, with a set of principles and recommendations for the Borough to adopt to ensure a transparent, accountable ethics practice on data.

The Metropolitan Police Service is working to build public trust through transparency The Metropolitan Police Service’s ambition is to develop a data ethics framework that is embedded in the organisational culture, and supports its work to build public trust and confidence through transparency in its decision making.

The National Health Service (NHS) is trialling Algorithmic Impact Assessments The NHS will be trialling an Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA) to ensure that those who seek to use its data to train their artificial intelligence applications are open about the design of their algorithms and what impact they will have on research outcomes. 

Police Scotland is exploring how to institutionalise using data for public good Amongst various initiatives being explored by Police Scotland are publishing a Data Ethics Strategy and associated framework, integrating into the role of senior leaders, establishing a Scrutiny Group and embedding it into project management processes.

Transport for London (TfL) incorporate Ethics into their Data Privacy Impact Asessments (DPIAs) TfL have mirrored the Open Data Institute’s Data Ethics Canvas in its DPIA process. Each of the 15 elements of the Canvas are reflected in the DPIA so that privacy and ethics are as one.

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Practice of Professional Ethics by Librarians: A Case Study of the University of Calicut

by ILIS Journal of Librarianship and Informatics (IJLI)

2019, ILIS Journal of Librarianship and Informatics,

The study analyses the practice of professional ethics among library professionals of the University of Calicut, based on the framework of the IFLA code of ethics for librarians and information workers. The professionals, attitude to ensure patrons access to information, keenness in fulfilling their responsibilities towards individuals and society, attitude towards the rights of authors and the right of users for access to information, and views on neutrality, integrity, skill development and inter-personal relationships are subjected to study. Though the professionals have little awareness about the codes of professional ethics, they practice it in routine work in their respective libraries. More than 50% of the librarians express their strong opinion on the various aspects examined. It is recommended to have a detailed coverage of professional ethics in LIS curricula, to hold conferences/seminars on the topic and to frame a code of ethics for the Indian situation.

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Ethics in the information professions are related to the use of moral standards to behavior of librarians and other individuals included in information dissemination. These professional ethical codes should define the limits of acceptable conduct and give guidance as to what kind of actions are regarded as right or wrong in an occupation. To learn and reflect ethically and think critically and carry these abilities to their professional. Research design and the specific procedures used in conducting research Research methodology includes information regarding research design, sample selection, research instrument and its development, data collection method, and methods of data analysis. There are 417 colleges affiliated to this Sant Gadge Baba University, Amravati from five districts. For this study, self-prepared questionnaires were used as a primary source of data collection. Codes of professional ethics are often established by professional organizations to help guide members in performing their job functions according to sound and consistent ethical principles. It is evident from the study results that more than 95% librarians were aware of professional ethics in librarianship.

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This paper describes the meaning of professional ethics. The paper discusses about the various aspects of professional ethics such as purpose, need, importance, and principles. Various countries have prepared and adopted professional ethics which is shown in the table. Role of IFLA is mentioned here for the development of professional ethics at international level.

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Library and Information Science (LIS) education started in the year 1911 in India yet there is no code of ethics and professional conduct for LIS professionals till date. This paper suggests and presents a code that is based upon internationally acknowledged ethical standards and principles. In the absence of any government agency to suggest or approve an LIS ethical code, any professional association of national stature or LIS associations in India can meet on a common platform to brainstorm and bring out a final collaborative document to be implemented.

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The present paper focuses on the professional ethics of Library and Information Science Profession. The paper reveals the origin and development of profession, ethics and professional ethics. The different kinds of ethics are also discussed in this paper. The paper also highlighted the codes of professional ethics of library and information science profession developed by different professional organizations.


Srinivasa Rao Muppidi

The purpose of this study is too ethical standards in the library information services in the digital library information centers. How ethical values can help to manage and organize the library system. What are the libraries professionals have to follow, and what are the users can follow, support and enhance the library services. The library professionals should exercise some moral duties, judgments performing in their work place. Ethics, also known as a moral philosophical theory, is a part of philosophy that involves systematization, defending, and recommending concepts of Proper and Improper conduct. The term comes from the Greek word ethnos, which means "character". The Libraries are striving to provide the right information for the right user to meet the needs of the readers or users. The Libraries playa vital role in enriching the society ethically, intellectually, economically, and socially (Zing war, 2019). The code recognizes that in a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, library workers are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. Librarian has a special compulsion to make sure the free flow of information and ideas to present and forthcoming generations.

Ethical Challenges for the Digital Librarians: An Indian Perspective

Damaris Odero

A proposed model of code of ethics for Kenyan librarian

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Attitudes and roles of librarians in the modern era (an ethical and cultural approach)

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Ethical Values of Information and Library Professionals — An Expanded Analysis

Tetiana Hranchak

University Library at a New Stage of Social Communications Development. Conference Proceedings

Objective. Substantiation of the ethical component place in the set of modern librarians’ key competencies. Methods. Conclusions and results have been obtained due to use of dialectical, socio-communicative, analytical-review methods, methods of systematization, comparative analysis, bibliographic analysis, content analysis and document analysis. Results. The need to supplement the educational standards on the speciality 029 “Information, Library and Archival Affairs” bachelor’s and master’s levels with ethical component – the librarian’s understanding of the principles and values of information and professional ethics, academic integrity and capacity to follow them was justified. Conclusions. Adherence to professional ethical norms and the spread of the academic integrity culture creates the conditions for the demand for other librarian’s professional competencies because it provides the value of knowledge and personal theoretical and applied achievements. Given the urgent need to ...

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PurposeTo provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.Design/methodology/approachThis paper argues for the importance of information ethics to twenty‐first century library professionals. It describes what various authors have said about how information ethics can be applied to the ethical dilemmas faced by library professionals.FindingsIn order to deal effectively with their ethical dilemmas, library professionals must have a good working knowledge of information ethics. Codes of professional ethics can help to provide such knowledge, but they are not sufficient. Courses on information ethics must be part of the education of information professionals. Such courses should provide library professionals with an understanding of ethical theories and how they apply to concrete practical cases. Such courses should also make explicit the connection between information ethics and the mission of the library ...

Information ethics for twenty‐first century library professionals

Glory Onoyeyan

Ethical values underline actions adjudged to be morally right and good and conforming to acceptable standards of behaviour. This paper looks at ethical values and attempts an analysis of the Librarians Code of Ethics of the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) for librarians in Nigeria. The various ethical elements of the Code of Ethics is highlighted in reference to their relationship to universal ethical values and standards. By reviewing literature, the paper highlights principal ethical values in light of the LRCN code of ethics for librarians and information professionals. The paper also stresses the relevance of a professional code of ethics. The paper recommended, among others that the LRCN should educate library and information professionals on the significance of conducing their professional affairs in accordance with prescribed ethical standards and values of the profession, and to review the language of the Code to Ethics in order to constrain compliance.

An Appraisal of Ethical Values in Librarians’ Code of Ethics in Nigeria


This study was designed to investigate the perception and practice of Information Ethics by librarians in four higher institutions in Oyo State, Nigeria. Survey research design was adopted with population size consisted of 47 librarians under population of the study; total enumeration sampling technique was used. Questionnaire and interview for four (4) Senior Librarians were the instruments adopted for data collection. Out of 47 copies of the questionnaire that were distributed, 46 were returned, and considered suitable for data analysis. Three research questions with one null hypothesis (tested at 0.05 level of significance) were formulated for this study. SPSS output format based on simple frequency count and percentage distribution, mean, standard deviation, and Pearson’s Chi-Square was used for data analysis. The findings of this study revealed both high positive and negative perceptions that: the activities of librarians in higher institutions are shaped by norms which include ethical and legal ones; ethical aspects of information profession are to be considered for professional practice and information services by librarians. Meanwhile, the level of practice of Information Ethics (IE) by librarians was moderate in some aspects and low in other aspects of Information Ethics; this also varies from institutions. However, it was revealed that there is no significant relationship between perception and practice of Information Ethics by librarians in four higher institutions in Oyo State, Nigeria. One of the recommendations made include: Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) should intensify her efforts in promoting professional ethics among librarians in Nigeria.

Perception and Practice of Information Ethics by Librarians in Four Higher Institutions in Oyo State, Nigeria

INTRODUCTIONProfessions are described as having characteristics such as mastery of esoteric skills. A profession is a calling, admission to which special training, education and character is required. An individual and collective concern for the common good is often included in this list of professional attributes. A profession is not deemed a profession without a set of basic or fundamental principles or ethics. In other words, all real professions are rooted in an ethical concern for some fundamental good. Ethical considerations are significant to the library and Information Science Professions (LIS) (Singh 2014, Bayles, 1989, Bayles, 1989, Bowie, 2006 as cited by Smith, 2009). There are defined goals, values, principles, attributes, rules, regulations, laws and the likes for a profession. These core values are related and the purpose is to give a standard direction towards the inculcation and attainment of the ideals of the profession. For this unique reasons, it is generally kno...

A critical examination of the Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria Code of Ethics in the Light of International best practices in Library and Information Science Professions

This study was designed to investigate core values of librarianship and practice of Information Ethics by librarians in four higher institutions in Oyo State, Nigeria. Survey research design was employed to study the population size consisted of 47 librarians using total enumeration sampling technique. Questionnaire and interview for four (4) Senior Librarians at the selected institutions were the instruments used for data collection; three research questions and one null hypothesis were formulated for this study. Output format of SPSS based on simple frequency count, percentage distribution, mean, standard deviation, and Pearson’s Chi-Square was used for data analysis. The findings of this study revealed the following core value of librarianship to include: protection of personal data; privacy and confidentiality; equal treatment of users; and intellectual freedom. Also, factors responsible for low practice of Information Ethics (IE) by librarians were established to be; lack of exposure to a course specifically on Information Ethics in most Nigerian library schools; low level of enforcement of ethical conducts by library management; concern for self-survival at the expense of rule of law; and low awareness and promotion of professional code of ethics by professional associations. Effects of perception on practice of Information Ethics by librarians were also revealed. One of the recommendations made was that all library governing councils in Nigeria and Africa should the level of awareness of Information Ethics and criminalize violation of professional ethics among librarians in Nigeria because such acts affect core values of librarianship as a profession.

Core Values of Librarianship and Practice of Information Ethics by Librarians in Four Higher Institutions in Oyo State, Nigeria

Pnina Fichman (Shachaf)

This study of 28 countries involves comparative content analysis of the English versions of codes of ethics proposed by professional associations. It yielded an empirically grounded typology of principles arranged in twenty categories. The most frequently identified principles were professional development, integrity, confidentiality or privacy, and free and equal access to information.

A global perspective on library association codes of ethics

Lbn.Rajashekhar S Devarai

An Attempt is made in this paper to critically highlight some of the sociological issues concerning Librarianship (LIS) as a Profession. Different theoretical formulations are discussed. Importance of the studies of Sociology of Occupations and Professions for Librarians is emphasized. useful suggestions are offered towards achievement of fulfledged status of Librarianship (LIS) as a Profession.

Librarianship and the professional model - rajashekhar devarai and LSRCV Ramesh

David McMenemy

Thirty-six ethical codes from national professional associations were studied, the aim to test whether librarians have global shared values or if political and cultural contexts have significantly influenced the codes' content. Gorman's 8 core values of stewardship, service, intellectual freedom, rationalism, literacy and learning, equity of access to recorded knowledge and information, privacy and democracy were used as a benchmark. A quantitative analysis was carried out of which values each code contained.

Do librarians have a shared set of values? A comparative study of 36 Codes of Ethics based on Gorman’s Enduring Values

chinwe ezeani , Helen Nneka Eke

2015, The Electronic Library

Purpose – This paper aims to examine the current trends, needs and opportunities of professionalism in librarianship in Nigeria. The broad purpose of the paper was to investigate the level of professionalism in librarianship and to ascertain the current status, trends and opportunities within the profession among academic librarians in Nigeria. Five specific research questions were formulated which are: to examine how librarians value librarianship as a profession, to elicit the efforts made by librarians with regards to professional development, to ascertain methods of acquiring current competencies within the profession, to investigate the role of professional bodies in promoting professionalism and excellence within the library and information science (LIS) profession and to proffer strategies to enhance professionalism and excellence among librarians in Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach – Descriptive survey design was adopted in the study across both quantitative and qualitative research methods. The area of the study was the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka Anambra State. Population of the study comprised a total of 63 librarians in the two universities. All librarians were sampled because of the small sample size. The instrument for data collection was oral interview and questionnaire which contained 53 items derived from the research questions and built on a four-point scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree, (A) Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD). The criterion mean was 2.50. Therefore, any calculated mean below 2.50 was adjudged a negative score, while any mean from 2.50 and above was regarded as a positive score. Findings – The study revealed the challenges facing professionalism and excellence within the LIS field as lack of funding for professional development, lack of sponsorship to workshops and conferences, lack of uninterruptible internet facility and a dearth of professional mentors in the South East zone. Other problems gathered from a scheduled interview with some senior professionals in the institutions revealed that most librarians are still facing the challenge of imbibing and utilizing emerging skills in the LIS professions such as digital archiving and data mining skills for their day-to-day activities. Originality/value – Recommendations arising from the study were proffered such as the creation of staff development programmes by management; collaboration and partnership by libraries within the zone; acquisition of training through workshops and conferences irrespective of sponsorship by the institutions; and teaming of academic librarians to enhance their visibility and publication output. International staff exchanges and opportunities for sabbatical leave, which hitherto was not common in the South East Zone, were recommended. Among other recommendations also were building of consortia with libraries in the country; LIS professional bodies helping to create visibility and prestige of the LIS profession; and, finally, to scale up the image of the profession the marketing of library products through profiling of patrons and furnishing them with required information has not only become necessary but critical.

Professionalism in library and information science

Oluyinka Afolayan

2017, International Journal of Library and Information Services

Library and information science professional play an extremely important role in the society. However, in discharging their responsibilities and duties, core ethical principles are expected to be upheld by librarians and information workers as outlined in the professional codes of ethics. The aim of this paper is to appraise core ethical issues in library and information science profession in Nigeria. This paper discusses core ethical principle in library and information science profession such as universal access to information, intellectual property rights, intellectual freedom, copyright/fair use and privacy/confidentiality among others. This paper further identified ethical challenges confronting library and information science professionals in Nigeria. This paper concludes that regardless of the ethical challenges confronting library and information science professionals in Nigeria, the professional codes of ethics should be upheld.

Ethical Issues in Library and Information Science Profession in Nigeria: An Appraisal


Librarians’ Proffessional Ethics and Reference Service Delivery in Colleges of Education in South-South, Nigeria

Blessing Iheanacho


Skills and Ethics for the Library and Information Service Businesses


Assessment of ethical concerns among practicing librarians in Nigeria

Ruchira Bhargava

This research paper has been revealed an impact of professional ethics on modern re-engineering college library services. College library development is software package selection has most important role in the computerization of library. Software is the necessary prerequisite of re-engineering. It is the systematized representation of our knowledge, to know about our problems and how to solve them. It makes possible to exploit and multiply this knowledge and to know by means of computer and communication technology. Re-engineering library plays important role in socio-economic changes of the society. Re-engineering the very fact, the present day society advocates for the establishment of re-engineering library, which is capable of delivering right information to right user at right time in form it is needed. It is rightly said that the fast paced developments in ICT have converted this big physical world into a global village.

Impact of Professional Ethics on Modern Reengineering College Library Services

Robert Wengert

Library Trends 49 (3) 2001: Ethical Issues of Information Technology

Adebayo Olaniyi

2019, National Library of Nigeria, Kaduna State Branch, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Academic libraries were established and attached to higher learning institution and overseen by governing bodies to provide equitable, optional, access to books or physical artifacts free of charge for everyone. Their basic characteristics have not changed but the services and how they are provided has been reinvented many times since the 19th century. Today the challenges facing academic libraries are profound. Continued technological advances, increased competition, demographic transformations, and financial constraints among others are putting huge pressures on libraries to innovate and to reexamine the services they offer. This paper examines these challenges and the ethical issues in academic libraries.


Japheth Yaya

Every profession in the human history has its origin, prospects and challenges; it is the desire of every member of the professional body to seek for solutions to the problems militating against their successful journey in the society. Thus, this paper discusses Professionalism in librarianship with emphasis on the prospects, challenges and it suggests some factors that could help in resolving the problems of librarianship profession in Nigeria; several issues were also discussed. Thus, the practitioners of this laudable profession must possess some characteristics that would make them more effective in providing the much needed information to an individual, organizations and the general populace. The paper concludes by suggesting the following steps as the way forward from the problems militating against the librarianship profession in Nigeria: The activities and programmes of the librarianship profession should be given a wide publicity; People should have a right attitude towards...

Professionalism in Librarianship: Librarians’ Functions, Challenges and the Way Forward

Yusuf Yalçın

Both administrative ethics and organizational justice concepts that are the subparts of occupational ethics have become important day by day. In this context, creating ethical values has an important role in establishing a safe relation among users, libraries and top management. The concept of “administrative ethics and organizational justice” that guide to select and apply the truth in the process of decision–making also leads to apply the principles such as justice, equality and merit in management. Within the scope of the principles of the study, a survey was applied to the staff and the managers of the library who work in both public and private libraries in Izmir in order to measure the perception about the concept of “administrative ethics and organizational justice”. The results of the survey revealed that the answers of the managers have been more positive than the answers of the staff. Keywords: Ethics, Administrative ethics, Organizational justice, Administrative ethics and organizational justice in libraries, Job satisfaction.

Libraries in the Light of the Concepts of Administrative Ethics and Organizational Justice: Libraries in Izmir

fatemeh sheikhshoaei

Journal of the Medical Library Association

Objective: Developing and promoting professional ethics principles for clinical librarians can help the health care system balance the interests of all stakeholders, including clinical librarians, health care professionals, and patients. Therefore, the goal of this study was to design a model of professional ethics excellence for clinical librarians.Methods: The authors conducted a descriptive applied study using literature review and the delphi method. The delphi panel included eleven experts in medical librarianship, library and information sciences, or information sciences and knowledge studies.Results: After the delphi rounds, five concepts and forty-six components were identified and confirmed to provide a model of professional ethics excellence for clinical librarians. The highest-rated concept was excellence in communication. The highest-rated component was mastery in developing search strategies in information resources and databases.Conclusions: Identifying and applying pri...

Designing a model of professional ethics excellence for clinical librarians

Marcelo Calderari Miguel , Antonio Luiz Mattos de Souza Cardoso

2022, V. 20 (2022): PUBLICAÇÃO CONTÍNUA / Artigos

Introduction: This paper discusses some aspects of librarian ethics based on Paulo Freire's thought. The research identifies points of the universal ethics of the human being and its importance as a code in the librarian's work. Method: The methodological approach uses Freire's classic texts, entitled "O compromisso do profissional com a sociedade" (The professional's commitment to society) and the work "Educação como prática da liberdade" (Education as a practice of freedom) to build reflections about professional performance. With the bibliographic research, items of the Code of Ethics and Deontology of the Brazilian Librarian are addressed, highlighting subsidies that expand the dialectical and dialogical proposal in the political, historical and social context - mediated by technology and information flows. Results: The diagnosis retrieves items indexed in digital platforms such as: the Oasisbr portal; the SciVerse Scopus - Elsevier; the SPELL electronic library and the Brapci base. The databases situate approaches indispensable to the contextualized teaching of ethics - which erects, grounds the character of all its members and, ensuring a contribution to citizenship. Conclusion: The results show that ethics and commitment are essential precepts for high professional and institutional performance. The selected documentary items are significant to the literature review study of librarian's ethics and commitment to society. >>>> CARDOSO, A. L. M. de S. .; MIGUEL, M. C.; MODOLO, P. P. . O código de ética e deontologia do bibliotecário: reflexões freirianas a respeito de elementos sociolaborais. RDBCI: Revista Digital de Biblioteconomia e Ciência da Informação, Campinas, SP, v. 20, n. 00, p. e022018, 2022. DOI: 10.20396/rdbci.v20i00.8670110. Disponível em: Acesso em: 22 ago. 2022.

The Librarian's Code of Ethics and Deontology: freirian reflections regarding sociolabor elements

Margaret Blackmore

2009, Library Management

A Handbook of Ethical Practice: A Practical Guide to Dealing with Ethical Issues in Information and Library Work (book review)

The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics

Information Ethics and the Library Profession

Sunday Popoola

Legal and Ethical Issues of Information Service Delivery and Library Information Science Professionals in University Libraries in Nigeria

Luyanda Dube

This paper investigates the nature and level of information ethics education in library and information science (LIS) departments in South Africa. The study entailed both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in that a survey and content analysis were conducted. The study involved all 12 LIS departments in South Africa. Within these departments, the heads of department, lecturers teaching the module, and the course outlines / study guides for information ethics modules formed the target population. Data was collected via questionnaires that were emailed to the heads of the various LIS departments, who were also requested to forward a separate questionnaire to the lecturers teaching an information ethics module. Responses were received from 7 of the 12 LIS departments to which questionnaires were sent. The study revealed that in most LIS departments, information ethics is incorporated into the content of other modules and is not taught as a stand-alone course. In the LIS departm...

Information ethics education in Library and Information Science Departments / Schools in South Africa

Dr. Vishnu M Pawar

2020, Studies in Indian Place Names

Present paper deals with the librarianship as a profession. A librarian conserves the cultural and intellectual heritage of humankind and acts as an agent of communication from information generation to the point of use. His services are indispensable in information transfer chain. Many social and information scientists like Melvil Dewey, Butler, Greenwood, Schaffer et al., shared their opinion and they tried to prove that librarianship is a profession as it has many attributes of a profession. Paper has covered various topics such as definition of profession, characteristics of the profession, and various opinions about the library profession and has explained in detail why library science is a profession.

Librarianship as a Profession

vijesh p v , Neethu Mohanan

2018, Teaching role of Librarians

This paper describes the successful design and implementation of various services for Extension at the Rajagiri College of Social Science Library. It also examines the challenges and opportunities of a Library within the capacity as a Social work Institution .It also discusses the role of academic libraries and librarians to using their resources for the betterment of the society.It also deals with the case study of how to correlate the involvement of the Library staffs and its resources for the socially relevant academic extension programmes .This paper has highlighted the role of socially responsible librarianship within the ability as an Academic Library. Introduction:


Faustina K Y E R E W A A Barfi


oyelami kamorudeen ajadi

Information resources are useless when access is not provided. This fundamental function and practice of librarianship as a profession is within the concept of cataloging, classification, bibliography, indexing and abstracting. Thus, all these practices are essential process that provides access to all acquired information resources of the library for it allows people to find information needed for their personal and professional growth and development. It also provides access points to information resources in a way that users will be able to find the need information or resources. This study is to determine the cataloging, classification, bibliography, indexing and abstracting skills of library and information center which is centered on practices that make librarianship a professional. It generally takes an extensive look at the importance of cataloguing, classification, bibliography, indexing and abstracting as a tool for effective retrieval and dissemination of information in any library-academic, public or special. Researcher discover that most library materials are not properly catalogue, classify, bibliography, indexed and abstracted because librarians/library Staff are not properly trained in the art of cataloguing, classifying, bibliography, indexing and abstracting; and for any library to achieve the purpose for which it is set up, it must ensure that materials are properly catalogue, classify, bibliography indexed and abstracted. The paper concludes by recommending ways the library services can be improved in disseminating information through knowledge acquired in cataloguing, classifying, bibliography indexing and abstracting.


Muhammad Arif

2012, The International Information & Library Review

Information ethics in Pakistani librarianship: The role of online mailing groups

Alka Horvat

revival of interest for the ethical issues in the library community is related both to the changes brought about by the application of new technologies in libraries and the societal changes taking place in the countries in transition. A survey of five ethical codes of national library associations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro was made and professional values emphasised in the codes were compared. In order to find out whether the professional values proclaimed in the codes agree with the personal attitudes of librarians an investigation of the professional values of Croatian librarians was conducted. The preliminary results point to the conclusion that Croatian librarians share at least some of the values with their colleagues in other parts of the world, while some of the values have not yet been fully recognised.

Professional values revisited: the case of Croatia

Jasmine Kershaw

If we strike down the public monument to a colonialist does it help to heal the wounds of the past? Or does ending the celebration of a contentious figure effectively whitewash history? We cannot heed warnings against repeating a history that we have no way of learning. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the context and processes of moral decision making, ethical systems, and professional codes of practice within the information profession, in recognition of the significant cultural, educational and moral power wielded by archivists and librarians over the historical record. This examination of archival ethics, as embedded in formal and informal ethical guidance, touches on past and current conflicts over moral decision-making in archiving and information dissemination, exposes issues faced by archivists and librarians and raises questions as to whether existing codes of ethics and professional guidelines are fit for the purposes of practitioners and the communities they...

Principles into practice - an investigation of codified ethics for information professionals

Blessing Chiparausha , Josiline Chigwada

A critical review of the association of college and research libraries (ACRL) information literacy framework for higher education in addressing information ethics

Silvia Tomescu

2018, Information and Communication Sciences Research

Romanian libraries are institutions strongly attached to the social environment, through which carry out the role of cultural and educational pole of the community. Any change at the social level affects more or less the internal mechanisms of the organization. Amendments to international law on the processing of personal data also have effects on these information structures. From this perspective, we intend to analyze, in a comprehensive way, the main areas of influence that privacy and privacy laws have upon the library. Thus, we investigated the library-user relationship, library-employee, and some of the ethics of information issues. Obviously, on a national scale, all these ideas will have a specific treatment after the unitary analysis of the intersection of legislation with the field of practical data activity. We consider that approaches related to the convergence of the personal data processing with the ethics of information and the main practical procedures that will be implemented in Romania have not only a theoretical justification but above all, became a prerequisite to act rightful.

Ethics and pragmatics of information Security and privacy in traditional and electronic libraries

2016, The Christian Librarian

This paper is a comparative study that discusses ethical issues in librarianship and the Bible. Such issues include: Laws in librarianship vs. laws in the Bible; censorship in librarianship vs. censorship in the Bible; Bible teachings on access to information and access to information in librarianship; purification (i.e., book binding), conservation and preservation practices in the library and in the Bible; weeding of library collections and weeding practices in the Bible; privacy and confidentiality in the library and in the Bible; orderliness of the library collections and the Bible; consortium building of library collections and in the Bible; and consequences of human action in the library and in the Bible. These topics are carefully discussed in order to discover the differences and similarities between the library and biblical ethics. The paper concludes that there is correlation between some ethical issues in the Bible and that of librarianship. It is clear that some aspects ...

Comparative Study of Ethics in Librarianship and the Bible

Don Hamerly , Bill Crowley

This essay analyzes the development and status of professionalism in general and in the fields associated with library and information studies (LIS) in particular. The notable American resistance to educated professionalism is explored and placed in its historic, multinational framework. Throughout, the limitations of various theoretical approaches to analyzing professionalism are addressed and more realistic methods of defining professionalism in context are offered. The field of school librarianship is examined as a domain where professionalism and appropriate LIS education are sustained to some degree in law and regulation but face challenges at the system and building level. Expressed preferences of funders and customers for LIS educational programs, as reflected in recent government reports and other studies, are explored, as well as the approaches to service that appeal to significant stakeholders within and without selected LIS fields. Recommendations are offered for equipping practitioners with the knowledge necessary to determine and strengthen the contemporary relevance of their missions, as well as for managing the perceptions of significant stakeholders while sustaining multiple LIS professionalisms.

Sustaining Professionalism in the Fields of Library and Information Studies

Dr Sabahat Nausheen

To help manage the uncertainty has become an enduring aspect of the today's professional environment. In librarianship and information services we are going through a radical redefinition of the task and nature of work where the interpersonal relations, the challenges, the conflicts, and strains that are involved require for good peer relationship. This paper is aimed at examination of generic human aspects of library and information work in this conjecture. The paper focuses on to explore the role of individuals to interact effectively with each other to bring collegiality in work place. It deals briefly the behavioral competencies, the core professional competencies and the interpersonal skills of the worker specially the librarians. The paper briefly mentions the library curricula and the workplace etiquette for healthy work place environment in the library].

Insights into the Library: Professional Competencies, Responsibilities and Interpersonal Skills of Today's Librarians

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Case Studies in Library and Information Science Ethics. Eds. Elizabeth A. Buchanan and Kathrine A. Henderson. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2009. 165p. alk. paper, $49.95 (ISBN 9780786433674). LC2009-034606.

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