As always, CMLE works to keep you informed on news around the profession. In this case, we are sharing the official American Libraries Association (ALA) stand on recent actions taken by the new administration because we want you to know what is happening, and to give you some ideas and details from your professional body. CMLE is not a political organization, but we support the values of the profession, including a free flow of information; and we always support the best libraries and the best service to our communities!
There are links you can use here to build your own advocacy skills, and of course we are always happy to help you in advocating for your library and for your community!!Talk to your legislators, and other stakeholders, to be sure your own voice is heard!
If it has been a while since you read through our professional Code of Ethics, this is a good time to do so. (We have the entire thing after the page break, for your convenience!)
The work libraries do to support their communities is important; keep reminding everyone of the value we bring!
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.
Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.
We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.
The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.
We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
CHICAGO — Today American Library Association President Julie Todaro released the following statement responding to recent actions by the new administration and specifically addressing issues regarding access to information, discrimination and intellectual freedom.
“We are shocked and dismayed by recent executive orders and other actions by the new administration, which stand in stark contrast to the core values of the American Library Association (ALA). Our core values include access to information; confidentiality/privacy; democracy; equity, diversity and inclusion; intellectual freedom; and social responsibility.
“The American Library Association strongly opposes any actions that limit free access to information, undermine privacy or discriminate on any basis. This includes the temporary suspension of visas and entrance to the US based on anyone’s nationality or religion as well as the increased scrutiny of any individual’s communication such as mobile phone and/or social media activity.
“Our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion and diversity.
“ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination is central to our mission. We will continue to speak out and support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.
“We will continue to speak out and support our members as they work tirelessly for access to library and information resources on behalf of all of their community members, while advocating for privacy, intellectual freedom, critical global research, information literacy, ongoing access to scientific research, and fair and equitable treatment for everyone.
“As our strategic plan states, ‘ALA recognizes the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, housing status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment and housing.’
“We encourage our members to continue to speak out and show their support for and work on behalf of our core values, in their communities as well as with their local, state and national elected and appointed officials. Additionally, ALA has tools and resources online to help you advocate for our core values:
- Advocacy: http://www.ala.org/offices/ola/
- Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services: http://www.ala.org/offices/diversity/
- Government Relations: http://www.ala.org/offices/ogr/
- Information and Technology Policy: http://www.ala.org/offices/oitp/
- Intellectual Freedom: http://www.ala.org/offices/oif/
- Libraries Respond: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/diversity/libraries-respond
“ALA is committed to using its national platform for speaking up and speaking out for its members and constituents in these chaotic, unprecedented and challenging times. We appreciate the library community’s continued support.”