We have all heard that we are gatekeepers of information. This is true, but we must not forget that we are also gatekeepers of materials and services. Being that we have so much power and influence, our professional association, the ALA, has created a Code of Ethics and a Library Bill of Rights to give patrons inalienable rights as they use library resources.
Posts Tagged ‘ethics’
As the presidential election season endures, librarians and other information professionals in public libraries may be tempted to express fondness for one political party and dislike for the other. Sometimes expression of one’s political stance is done unintentionally. Whether such expression is intentional or benign, it may convey a perceived bias to patrons and to the community that the library is for or against a certain candidate running for office whether that is for president, governor, mayor, senator, etc.
What happens when a patron wants to check out materials but has forgotten his card? When a well respected member accrues a large fine? How about when a staff member sees a young library user copying and pasting large chunks of text into a school report? Or when a resident asks for help to fax a credit application to a predatory lender? We know the laws and we know our policies, but aren’t there times when the rules should be bent? Instances when we should speak out? Occasions when we should do what we think is right rather than what is prescribed because sometimes it is more ethical to break the rule than to follow it?