Statement of Professional Ethics

Revised Draft, August 26, 1979

Librarians have a special concern for the free flow of information and ideas.  The American Library Association has set forth its views in such policy statements as the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement where it is clearly stated that in addition to the generally accepted legal and ethical principles and the respect for intellectual freedom which should guide the action of every citizen, membership in the library profession carries with it special obligations and responsibilities.  The statement which follows sets forth certain ethical norms which are basic to librarianship.

The Statement

A Librarian

  • Has a special responsibility to maintain the principles of the Library Bill of Rights.
  • Should know and execute the policies of the organization of which the librarian is a part and should endeavor to change any policy which conflicts with the spirit of the Library Bill of Rights.
  • Should provide competent and complete professional service both to the individual user and to the clientele as a whole.
  • Should recognize and protect the user’s right to privacy with respect to information sought or received and materials consulted or borrowed.
  • Should recognize and avoid situations ion which the librarian’s personal interests are served or financial benefits are gained at the expense of the employing institution.
  • Has an obligation to insure equality of opportunity in actions dealing with staff appointments, retentions and promotions.