Living our professional values in disruptive times 2012


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A talk to the SLAIS Alumni Association meeting, Vancouver Public Library, October 25th, 2012

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Living our professional values in disruptive times 2012

  1. 1. LIVING OUR PROFESSIONAL VALUES …in disruptive times Dean Giustini, SLAIS AlumniA talk to the SLAIS Alumni Association | October 25th, 2012
  2. 2. Why rely on our professional values?We live in a very uncertain time….of deep economic uncertainty and disruption … In the face of so much change, how can we find our bearings? Many professions rely on their core values …Librarianship’s core values ground & steady us, reminding us of what’s important What core values are important to you?
  3. 3. S.R. Ranganathan, 1892-1972, Indian librarian & pioneer Source: Wikicommons
  4. 4. ACCESSto information & expertise
  5. 5. Library Bill of Rights: “a person’s right to [use a library] is critical to democracy …access to information should never be abridged (or denied) due to someone’s origin, age or economic background” Thomas Jefferson: "No nation can remain both ignorant and free"
  6. 6. EQUITYfor everyone & everything Source: Wikicommons
  7. 7. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on library cutbacks:“Who is she (Margaret Atwood)? …I don’t have a clue who she is…” Atwood tweets: “…sounds like (Rob Ford) needs to expand his library a bit… not reduce Torontos public libraries…”
  8. 8. SERVICEon demand | ‘service ethic’ Desk Set, 1957
  9. 9. RESPECTfor tradition(s) & people Fiddler on the Roof, 1964
  10. 10. Samuel Rothstein, 1921- SLAIS’ first director “…traditionally, the library profession has stressed the need for standards…the emphasis on a balanced (reference) collection assumes embedded values thatinclude not only a desire for a fair opportunity for all to say their piece …but also the concept of quality (in reference collections)…” ~ 1978, p511
  11. 11. INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM as a basic human rightAnd, a core value of librarianship Source: Wikicommons
  12. 12. (BETTER)CONSULTATIONwith users, staff & leaders
  13. 13. STEWARDSHIPof our Canadian heritage, libraries & archives Archivists & librarians in “Day of mourning” 2012 Re: $9.5 million dollars in cuts
  14. 14. Charles Ammi Cutter (1837 – 1903) a key figure in librarianship, anda founding member of the American Library Association said:"...our library is not a cemetery of dead books, but a living power,which supplies amusement for dull times, recreation for the tired,information for the curious, inspires the love of research in youth,and furnishes the materials for it in mature age, enables and inducesscholars not to let study end with their school days.“ ~ Charles A. Cutter, 1903 Source: Wikicommons
  15. 15. In conclusionWe have discussed a number of core values in librarianship, such as: • We value equity & access to information • We value the expertise of the librarian • We value knowledge and we value a book culture • We value diversity AND community • We value literacy & lifelong learning • We value kindness and fairness in dealing with others • We value consultation AND our right to be heard • We value our Canadian documentary heritage AND our brothers and sisters in other information professions • We value our civic responsibility to safeguard our legacy institutions, artefacts & collections
  16. 16. References• American Library Associations (ALA) Core Values of Librarianship website.• Dole W, Hurych J. Values for librarians in the information age. J Info Ethics. 2001;10(2): 38-50.• Foskett DJ. The creed of a librarian: no politics, no religion, no morals. Libr Assoc. London, 1962.• Foster WE. Charles Ammi Cutter: a memorial sketch. Library Journal. 1903;28:697–704.• Giustini D. Doing the right thing, for the right reasons. Living our professional values as librarians. HLWIKI,_for_the_right_reasons: living_our_professional_values_as_librarians%22• Glassmeyer S. Ranganathan 2.0: despite furor over the future of information, the essence of libraries stays constant. American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2010• Gorman M. Our enduring values: librarianship in the 21st century. ALA Editions, 2000.• Gorman M. The enduring library: technology, tradition, and the quest for balance. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.• McMenemy D. Librarians and ethical neutrality: revisiting the creed. Libr Rev. 2007;56 (3):177-181.• Pavlina S. Living your values website:• Ranganathan SR. The five laws of library science. London: Edward Goldston. 1931.• Save Libraries and Archives Canada website• Severson R. The recovery of ethics in librarianship. J Info Ethics. 1995;4:11-16.• Vann SK. Melvil Dewey: his enduring presence in librarianship. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unltd, 1978.• Wright A. Glut: mastering information through the ages. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press, 2007. Dean Giustini, SLAIS Alumni Talk, October 25th, 2012 – Vancouver Public Library
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