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Report on ALA Ethical Fitness Workshop

Rebecca Routh, University of Iowa

As the twenty-first century heralds a new era of progress in information technology, the need for ethical awareness is becoming more urgent, although training in this area is rarely offered in library and information science programs. Members of ALA’s Committee on Professional Ethics and the Intellectual Freedom Committee met in Chicago on March 14, 2008 for a workshop aimed at providing a language and framework in which to promote ethical fitness. Recommended pre-reading for the session was from Rushmore Kidder’s How Good People Make Good Choices (William Morrow and Company, 1995).

Nancy Zimmerman (Associate Professor and Assistant Dean, College of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina) and Veanna Baxter (Professor, Mansfield University, New Holland, Pennsylvania) presented the ALA Ethical Fitness Workshop that posed the question “What is ‘ethical’ behavior?”

Participants concluded that the workshop was a valuable tool for promoting ethical fitness and that the outline provided by The Institute for Global Ethics in their workbook, Ethical Fitness: Preparing for the Challenges of the 21st Century offers a useful framework for ethics training within the library profession.