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Ethics and legal issues in school librarianship


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  • 1. LIB 620 Library Management Fall 2011
    Ethical & Legal Issues in School Librarianship
    “It wasn’t me!”
  • 2. What is Ethics?
    “What does ethics mean to you?”
    “Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.”
    “Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.”
    “Being ethical is doing what the law requires.”
    “Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts.”
    “I don’t know what the word means.”
    What is Ethics?
  • 3. Definition?
    Ethics is two things
    Ethics refers to well based standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.
    Ethics refers to the study and development of one's ethical standards.
    What is Ethics?
  • 4. Teachers’ Ethics
    Code of Ethics of the Education Profession
    The desire for the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, of students, of parents, and of the members of the community provides the incentive to attain and maintain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The Code of Ethics of the Education Profession indicates the aspiration of all educators and provides standards by which to judge conduct.
    NEA Code of Ethics, adopted 1975
  • 5. Kentucky Code of Ethics
    Professional Code of Ethics for Kentucky School Certified Personnel
    16 KAR 1:020
    Section 1. Certified personnel in the Commonwealth:
    1) Shall strive toward excellence, recognize the importance of the pursuit of truth, nurture democratic citizenship, and safeguard the freedom to learn and to teach;
    (2) Shall believe in the worth and dignity of each human being and in educational opportunities for all;
    (3) Shall strive to uphold the responsibilities of the education profession, including the following obligations to students, to parents, and to the education profession
  • 6. Librarians’ Ethics
    Code of Ethics of the American Library Association
    Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.
  • 7. Main points of ALA code
    As it applies to the duties of the school library media specialist (librarian):
    Librarians must provide the highest level of service through appropriate and usefully organized collections, fair and equitable circulation ad service policies, and skillful, accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests for assistance.
    Librarians must resist all efforts by groups or individuals to censor library materials.
    Librarians must protect each user’s right to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.
  • 8. ALA Code
    Librarians must adhere to the principles of due process and equality of opportunity in peer relationships and personnel actions.
    Librarians must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal actions and statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of an institution or professional body.
    Librarians must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the employing institution.
    Code of Ethics
  • 9. Library Bill of Rights
    The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
    Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  • 10. Library Bill of Rights
    Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
    Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
    Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  • 11. Library Bill of Rights
    A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
    Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
  • 12. Ethics in practice 1
    Teaching our students
    Like traditional library skills, lessons in ethical behavior need to be integrated throughout the curriculum and throughout every student's school career. For example, when I teach how to use search engines, I reinforce an earlier discussion of intellectual property by having students play an informal game of “Find the Copyright Violations” in the Web sites we retrieve.
    Teaching Virtue in a Virtual World: Internet Ethics for StudentsSchool Library Journal Match 1, 1998.
  • 13. Ethics in practice 2
    Should parents be able to prohibit their kids from reading school library books?
    Even if . . . reading restrictions were enforceable, designating certain books off-limits doesn’t guarantee that determined students won't get their hands on them.
    Reading is arguably one of the safer methods to [enable] students to experience vicariously what might prove dangerous in the real world.
    Julie Anderson, “When Parents’ Rights Are Wrong” School Library Journal(November 2002).
  • 14. Landmark court cases
    Rosenberg v. Board of Education of City of New York, 92 N.Y.S.2d 344 (Sup. Ct. Kings County 1949)
    Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26 v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 102 S.Ct. 2799, 73 L.Ed.2d 435 (1982)
    Case v. Unified School District No. 233, 908 F. Supp. 864 (D. Kan. 1995)
    See ALA’s Notable First Amendment Court Cases
  • 15. Why Are Books Challenged?
    • Books are usually challenged by people with good intentions—to protect others, usually children, from difficult ideas and truths. Censorship can be subtle, almost invisible, or it can be blatant, but regardless of the way in which it is presented, it is always harmful.
    • 16. From PowerpointCelebrate Your Freedom To Read
    Original Presentation created by Kelly Sonnanstine – FGCU Library Services in 2000
  • 17. Ethics in practice 3
    Confidentiality and privacy for kids?
    “Do parents have the right to know the answer to ‘What has my child checked out?’ When a computerized circulation system takes over library records, borrowing information becomes easily accessible by patron name. How does this change in availability of information affect children? Whose “right” do we respect when parent and child are in conflict? How does the library decide?”
    Janet Hildebrand, “Is Privacy Reserved for Adults?”School Library Journal (January, 1991).
  • 18. Ethics in practice 4
    PLAGIARISM @ Your SchoolLibrary
    The librarian stands to build political capital and influence for the library if he or she understands the problem of plagiarism and offers solutions to the faculty. The library’s Web page should have links to correct methods of electronic citation as well as links to student information about identifying plagiarism in all its forms. . . . The librarian should have lessons planned to teach information literacy and the hazards of infringing on copyright and intellectual property.
    Harry Willems, Library Media Connection(February 2002)
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  • 21. Using Google To Check For Plagiarism
    The process of checking if the contents are unique is just too simple.
    1. Open
    2.Select and copy the text (a single sentence or any suspicious part will do) and paste it to keyword searching space inside quote marks.
    3.Click Google Search.
    4.In a moment,
    a. If the content is unique, you will get a message as: No results found for “DESIRED COPIED TEXT”.
    b. If the content is copied, you will get a list of websites that contains the same content.
  • 22. Top Online Plagiarism Checkers – Protect Your Content
    October 27, 2008 By Ann Smarty
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  • 26. A central copyright website