Friday, May 18, 2007

A code of ethics for Christian Librarians

Wait a minute. Isn't the ALA Code of Ethics good enough for all? Before we start ALA bashing, this problem has been argued by librarians in Christian academia for longer than I've been a librarian. Do personal ethics trump professional ethics? Can they be compatible? Maybe the whole library world isn't all that concerned, but Christians--and even others of different faiths--may have to walk a tightrope at times. One college where I was employed refused to even consider the Code of Ethics because it bordered on outside interference. Well...ok. I know some who refuse to pay dues to ALA just because they believe they cannot personally subscribe to the Code.

Greg Smith from Liberty University has identified and also edited essays and articles on this very issue. He said:
D. Elizabeth Irish published a Christian critique of the 1981 Statement on
Professional Ethics under the title “And Ne’er the Twain Shall Meet? Personal
vs. Professional Ethics.” The piece was first published in The Christian
Librarian 36 (November 1992): 14-19. It was reprinted in my anthology, Christian
Librarianship: Essays on the Integration of Faith and Profession
NC: McFarland & Co, 2002), 120-30.
His personal webpage also includes several presentations and publications on this issue. I am not techie enough to copy the .pdf he had, but this was published with his permission.
Nice job, Greg!

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