Library Ethics: Earning Trust and Respect During Difficult Times
One common definition of ethics is the study of good vs. evil or right and wrong. In practical terms, a code of ethics establishes guidelines and processes for making decisions and taking action. Four principles that support ethical behavior in libraries are transparency, privacy, access to information, and fair and equal treatment. In turbulent times, communicating these principles to the public and library personnel, and adhering to the letter and spirit of their ideas, can earn the trust and respect of your community and institution, even among people who disagree with you. And earn your staff and leadership a good night’s sleep when you have to make difficult decisions.
Topics include a brief history of the origins of library ethics, four principles of ethics, how they are embedded in current management and governance practices, and conflicting ethical codes in the library community.
Following this webinar, you will know how to:
1. Review library policies based on these four ethical principles.
2. Discuss with your stakeholders one process of ethical decision-making before there is a crisis.
3. Incorporate ethical standards in the library strategic plan, contracts, and job descriptions.
Pat Wagner is a trainer and consultant with 40 years of experience working for libraries, universities, local government, nonprofits, and small businesses. She supports the success of libraries with programs on personnel, supervision, management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, project management, and communication. Pat has worked with libraries and library organizations throughout the United States, from the smallest rural storefronts to the largest academic and urban library institutions. Pat also is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences. She is known for her good-humored and practical presentations.