Do They Still Teach That in School? Ethics in LIS Curricula

Ethics WebinarAs a degree, the master of library science is regularly questioned as to whether it is still effective as preparation for professional roles in the field. Concerns range from a lack of technical proficiency and practical skills in graduates to whether a graduate degree is even necessary to be a librarian. Defenders of the degree talk about the theoretical foundation given to graduates of library and information science (LIS) programs, including a grounding in the principles and values that undergird the professional work of a librarian. If that is one of the primary justifications of the degree, then it is important to understand how those principles and values, including professional ethics, are taught in library and information science programs.

More than twenty years have elapsed since the last comprehensive review of ethics education in LIS programs, so the American Library Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics decided to undertake a survey of all accredited LIS programs to ascertain the current state of ethics education in graduate programs, compare it to historical approaches, and discover how the committee can best use its resources to support the teaching of ethics to future librarians. This webinar will review the study’s findings, discuss future research needs, and ask participants to reflect on their own educational experiences with ethics in LIS programs.

The webinar is sponsored by the Freedom to Read Foundation

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will
  • gain an understanding of the current landscape for ethics education in LIS courses.
  • hear and discuss what the needs are for LIS education and discuss future research needs.
  • share their own educational experiences with ethics and discuss the needs of current and future students.
  • discuss how ethics education has an impact once students have graduated and are working as librarians.

Who Should Attend

  • ALA leaders and councilors
  • ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) members
  • Committee on Professional Ethics and Intellectual Freedom Committee members
  • State Library Associations
  • Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) members
  • ACRL Professional Values Committee members
  • LIS Instructors and academic librarians
  • Library administrators: directors, managers, and library system staff
  • Library Boards and School Boards
  • Organizations concerned with Ethics, the First Amendment and Intellectual Freedom 


Martin GarnarMartin Garnar is the dean of the Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. He started teaching professional ethics for the University of Denver’s library and information science program in 2005 and has served as chair of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics, and the ACRL Professional Values Committee. He’s currently serving as the president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. Martin is a frequent speaker on ethics and intellectual freedom at state, regional, and national events, and served as the assistant editor for the 9th edition of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Manual.



  • FTRF member: Free
  • IFRT member: Free
  • ALA member: $20
  • Non-member: $25

How to Register

Email if you'd like a link to this webinar recording.

Tech Requirements

  • You’ll need a stable internet connection and working headphones/speakers.
  • If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before, please test your connection in advance of the session.
  • The meeting room will open 15 minutes before the start of the webinar.
  • Questions regarding technical requirements and issues can be directed here or here.
  • Adobe Connect Accessibility Features


Questions about content should be directed to ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom: or 312-280-4221.

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Freedom to Read Foundation

The Freedom to Read Foundation, founded in 1969, is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association.  FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information. Please consider joining FTRF as an individual or an organization to share this opportunity as a group. Members have free access to this and other educational opportunities throughout the year. Visit to become a member today.

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