ALISE: Information Ethics SIG
Below is the document we'll discuss on January 18th. Feel free to comment here or to the email. Thanks to Toni Samek. (Posted by Marti Smith, 1/3/06)
Information Ethics Positioning in LIS Teaching & Scholarship:
An Interactive Session
Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)
Information Ethics Special Interest Group (SIG) Session
San Antonio, Texas. Wednesday, January 18, 2006.
The purpose of this session is to provide the “space” and opportunity for ALISE members to engage in open dialogue about the early stage development (structure, content, use) of a position statement on information ethics in LIS education.
The eventual outcome statement will be distributed by the SIG to ALA-accredited program deans and directors with the request that they use it to give consideration to developing and/or enhancing attention to information ethics (curriculum, instructor expertise, resources, activities) in their home institutions.
Ideally, the statement will also be officially posted on the ALISE website in such a fashion as to support open access by both members and non-members (international counterparts and in kind stakeholders).
Convenor Toni Samek introduces the session, the moderator Tom Froehlich, and the interactive process (10 mins).
Froehlich coordinates participant comments to be reported at a microphone stand (45 mins).
Samek summarizes the 45-minute commentary (10 mins).
Samek reports on the next step in the process, post conference (10 mins).
Samek & Froehlich coordinate a general Q & A to discuss future directions for the new SIG (e.g., striking of task forces) (15 mins).
Total: 90 minutes.
· What are your thoughts on the DRAFT (see next page) re: title, structure, content, use, and dissemination?
· What alternatives might you suggest?
POSITION STATEMENT ON INFORMATION ETHICS
IN LIS EDUCATION
Knowledge and pluralistic intercultural understanding of information ethics theories and concepts, including the ethical conflicts and responsibilities facing library and information professionals, are necessary to relevant teaching, learning, and reflection in the field of library and information studies. Many of the most important issues currently facing library and information professionals – including intellectual freedom; intellectual property; open access; preservation; balance in collections; fair use; post 9-11 surveillance; cultural destruction; censorship; cognitive capitalism; imposed technologies; public access to government information; privatization; information rights; academic freedom; workplace speech; systemic racism; international relations; impermanent access to purchased electronic records; general agreements on trade and services (GATS) and trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS); serving the poor, homeless, and people living on fixed income; anonymity, privacy, and confidentiality; human security; national security policies; the global tightening of information and border controls; transborder data flow - can only be understood in light of their ethical contexts. Also, the contributions that library and information studies can make to knowledge societies can be significantly informed by attention to information ethics.
Furthermore, by virtue of our contemporary core values (e.g., Access, Confidentiality/Privacy, Democracy, Diversity, Education and Lifelong Learning, Intellectual Freedom, Preservation, The Public Good, Professionalism, Service, Social Responsibility), it is our responsibility to participate critically in the global discourse of information ethics, as it pertains to the following articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Respect for the dignity of human beings (Art. 1)
Confidentiality (Art. 1, 2, 3, 6)
Equality of opportunity (Art. 2, 7)
Privacy (Art. 3, 12)
Right to freedom of opinion and expression (Art. 19)
Right to participate in the cultural life of the community (Art. 27)
Right to the protection of the moral and material interests concerning any scientific, literary or artistic production (Art. 27)
The Information Ethics Special Interest Group of the Association for Library and Information Science Education therefore strongly advocates that attention to information ethics (curriculum, instructor expertise, resources, activities) be developed and enhanced in all programs of library and information studies education. Schools of library and information studies are urged to implement this recommendation in the following ways:
1. The curriculum should be informed by information ethics through a unit in the required foundations (or equivalent) course. This unit should cover the following student objectives:
· to be able to recognize and articulate ethical conflicts in the information field;
· to activate the sense of responsibility with regard to the consequences of individual and collective interactions in the information field;
· to improve the qualification for intercultural dialogue on the basis of the recognition of different kinds of information cultures and values; and,
· to provide basic knowledge about ethical theories and concepts and about their relevance in everyday information work.
2. There should be offered periodically one or more courses devoted specifically to information ethics. Such courses should be taught by a qualified member of the faculty and be based on the international research literature.
3. Information ethics should be included in the study and discussion of library and information management, service, technology, and policy.
4. Information ethics should be encouraged as an important aspect of education, research, scholarship, and service in library and information studies.
Information produced by the International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE) in addition to the American Library Association (ALA), Library History Round Table’s (LHRT) Statement on History in Education for Library and Information Science was used to inform the content and structure of this positions statement.
-- November 14, 2005.