Monday, 9 July 2007

Ethics in practice

Barnsley Central Library

  • Should you install a self-issue system that uses fingerprints to check user ID?

  • Is it right to subscribe to a journal as a personal copy and then donate it to your library to avoid a higher institutional subscription?

  • Would you include experience of using an on-line database on your CV if you had just used it once?

  • Is it right to give preferential treatment to the chief executive in your organisation in order to get them to support the library?

    These are the sort of ethical dilemmas that are presented in a new web site from CILIP. Information ethics is a joint initiative of Info Response Associates and Oxford Business Intelligence in collaboration with CILIP. You can explore a series of case studies arranged by ethical principles or by the CILIP code of professional practice. Each case study presents a fictional situation and discusses the issues that it raises.

    I suspect that in most cases we don't spend our working lives debating ethical issues. We just do things in the most practical way or because that is how things have always been done and we seldom step back to consider if we are following ethical principles. This web site is therefore a useful tool to review what we and our library services are doing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Carl - Many thanks for highlighting the Information Ethics website. We welcome comments on the site, and in particular additions to the growing database of case studies. As your blog suggests, so often we as librarians overlook ethical issues, yet there is evidence that there is an ethical imperative not to overlook ethics in our mediation or management of information. Regards: Jonathan Gordon-Till,