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I’m attempting here no small feat – to distill my observations and philosophies of the last few weeks into one cohesive code.  During the course of my perusal of the various library codes of ethics, it dawned on me that this would be an ideal way to create a succinct structure for the more meandering and disjointed observations and declarations of my previous posts.  In particular I was inspired by the short and sweet statements laid out by Rich Gause of the University of Central Florida in his “Philosophy of Librarianship” and wanted to attempt something similar. 

My distillation is even shorter, if not sweeter.  I took some time looking at the various resources we have explored in this course, including the ALA Code of Ethics and Library Bill of Rights, Fay Zipkowitz’s Case Studies, Mark Alfino & Linda Pierce’s Information Ethics for Librarians, Michael Gorman’s values, Ranganathan’s 5 Laws, and the code of ethics of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.  I came up with 5 statements based upon what I saw to be the most striking, essential, and personally applicable facets of these various resources within the context of the thinking I have done about my own professional development and philosophies of librarianship.

My Professional Ethics of Librarianship:

1. We have a responsibility to care for the cultural resources entrusted to us by our communities.

 2. We have a responsibility to provide equal access to unbiased information for all patrons to promote literacy and the opportunity for lifelong learning.

3. We have a responsibility to continue learning new skills, thinking critically about current issues in libraries, and reaching out to the community and colleagues.

4. We are organizers of information in order to make information more accessible through effective subject analysis, cataloging, and classification principles.

5. We must be responsive to our patrons and our communities.

I feel that these points get to the heart of why this profession continues to be relevant and essential to an information-driven society.  These are the philosophies I try to keep in mind when I consider the course of my career and prioritize my goals at work and in continuing education.

WWALD? (what would a librarian do?)

January 2020
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