Contemporary Issues in Action: Ethics for Librarians

As award winning YA books are challenged, Drag Queen Story Hour raises headlines and eyebrows, and hate groups gain mainstream forums, librarians are often challenged to navigate through tempestuous waters that may conflict with personal values. Through case analysis and readings, and discussion, this course will address how librarians can employ professional ethics to address and resolve conflicts. This course is designed as an introduction to the principles of moral reasoning in application with special consideration of the tensions that may arise in professional ethics for librarians.

This is a four week Moodle course run asynchronously, meaning you will never need to login to a class on a certain date/time. The fall offering of this course will begin the week of September 23, 2019. The winter offering of this course will begin the week of January 6, 2020.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing course, Participants will:
1. Understand the operational concepts of professional ethics as they apply to the workplace 
2. Distinguish the intersections and conflicts that may arise between personal values and professional ethics
3. Discover how professional ethics can be employed in policy level and individual decision making 
4.Develop strategies to promote self-awareness and professional ethics

Who Should Attend

All library staff serving children and their caregivers, including library school administration and library school students


An ethicist with more than a decade of teaching experience in applied ethics and cultural studies, Dr. Hogan has also worked in public library and nonprofit settings. Dr. Hogan holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Social Philosophy emphasizing ethics and social justice issues as well as a graduate certificate in the advanced study of bioethics. Past collaborations and current research interests center issues in practical ethics as they relate to diversity and inclusion.



Class size is limited to 30 students.

ALSC Personal Member: $115
ALA Personal Member: $165
Nonmember: $185

Member rates apply to personal memberships only.  Interested in joining ALSC?  Click here to learn more about ALSC and how to join.

How to Register

Registration is now open!  Visit the ALA Registration page to register online, or fill out the registration form and mail it in.  You can also register by calling ALA Member and Customer Service at 800-545-2433 ext. 5.  Course space is limited.

Cancellation and Transfer Policy:

Cancellations must be made in writing and postmarked or faxed to the ALA/MACS department by no later than seven days before the class starts.  Cancellations will result in a full refund less a $35 processing fee.  NO phone cancellations will be accepted.  Refunds will be processed two weeks after the start of the course.  ALSC reserves the right to cancel a course for reasons including insufficient numbers of students. Cancellations after the course has begun will not be accepted.

If you are registered but unable to take a course you may transfer your registration to another student if that student falls under the same registration category.  For instance, an ALSC member may transfer her registration to another ALSC member free of charge.  If you would like to transfer your registration to someone in a different category the difference between prices must be paid at the time of transfer.  All requests for registration transfers must be made in writing no later than seven days before the start of the course.  Please address all requests, including the reason for the transfer and both parties' membership numbers, to ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, Kristen Figliulo.  Transfers may not be made once a course has started.

Tech Requirements

Computer, internet connection, web browser


If you have questions about the course material, please contact the course instructor Dr. Erika F. Hogan.

If you have questions about registration, please contact ALA's Member and Customer Service Department by email or by calling 800-545-2433 ext. 5.

All other inquiries, including sponsorship questions, can be directed to Kristen Figliulo, ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, via email or by calling (312) 280-4026.