Tuesday, January 03, 2006

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.

Session Purpose:

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).

Session Structure:

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.

Feedback Sought:

· What are your thoughts on the DRAFT (see next page) re: title, structure, content, use, and dissemination?
· What alternatives might you suggest?


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.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A New Start: ALISE Information Ethics SIG--Invitation to Participate

Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Information Ethics Special Interest Group (SIG) will launch in January in San Antonio http://www.alise.org
Blog life is a new way of living for those of us who lived most of our lives without email or amazon.com. We're all learning about how blogs can enhance our scholarly and professional lives. This blog has been germinating for the last few months and is now ready to provide a forum for the new ALISE SIG on information ethics. Toni Samek and I will be posting here and inviting your participation to get ready for our meeting in January. You will hear from Toni soon. Thanks to all of you who contributed to planning our first program session as an official SIG.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

May Focus Topic--Marti Smith--Introductions of Contributors

For the beginning of our group blog, I'm going to ask everyone to post an introductions following some basic guidelines. I'll also invite others working in the field to post introductions as well so that our reader may see the diversity of our community.

Let's start with these. Post as much or as little as you like.

When and how did you get interested in information ethics as an academic field?

Please describe your academic background including formal education and other studies or interests that apply?

What is the scope of your previous work in the field?

What is the scope of your current work in the field?

If you are affiliated with any professional or scholarly group related to information ethics, please note those here. Also, note if you have attended any conferences or intend to do so in the future.

How do see your involvement in the group blog? How can we make it meet our goals?

Please add anything else that will give us all some insight into your thinking and interests.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Welcome New Bloggers

Welcome to New Bloggers
So far three people have contracted me about being a part of the group blog. Look forward to seeing their introductions here. I'll get busy and introduce myself again. Consider joining us if only to include your introduction--make new colleagues and friends, make history, and who knows--you might find a job or a research partner.
Think of what we've accomplished in the last eight years or so by having the ICIE website and listserv. Did you know that all of that began with Rafael Capurro's experimenting with a website and inviting some of us to join with him. What a wonder it all has been.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Marti Smith--Pointing from Blog to Blog

Knowing very little about how blogs can support each other, I decided to try a posting about this blog on my InfoEthicist site http://infoethicist.blogspot.com Click and see what I've posted--for May 1. It's about my goals for the group blog. I'll post it here too if I can figure out how to do it. Any ideas? Be sure to link your own blog or favorites here too. Does anyone know a good way to index our content here?

Saturday, April 30, 2005

How Will This Group Blog Work? Logistics

Logistics: This is what I suggest that we try for the first few months.

  • Month 1 (May): Introductions of Contributors
  • Month 2 (June): Defining Global Information Ethics
  • Month 3 (July): Teaching Global Information Ethics

If you would like to post, email me for the Username and Password. msmith@infoethics.org or marti.smith@cis.drexel.edu

Start the subject line of your post with your name: ex. Marti Smith-- My Definition; Alan Ethical-- Cloning and DNA; Debbie Peterson-- Fall Syllabus

Post on the topic of the month anytime during that month. Feel free to post anything else that comes to mind as well--current issues, new goodies to read, an excerpt from your current research. We'll keep it focused but not too rigid and see how it works. All of us are busy, so if it doesn't work out, we'll rethink. Let's see what happens. No rules. What happens on the blog, stays on the blog! How's that for ethics!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Group Blog: Global InfoEthics

Starting a Group Blog:
Global Information Ethics
Look here in the next few weeks to see the creation of a group blog in Global Information Ethics. My hope is that seven to ten of us who are working in the area can share our ideas and do some public social networking, inviting others into the discussion and sharing. Email me if you are interested in participating:
See my blog: The InfoEthicist
Contact info:
Martha M. Smith, Ph. D.
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA