Who or what is constrained by the Library Bill of Rights? A theoretical analysis of intentionality and collective action for library and information science2012 Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Annual Conference (2012)
AbstractWengert (2001) notes that ethical discussions in librarianship typically define obligations in terms of rights and corresponding responsibilities. These rights are often framed by ethical theories such as deontology (Elgesem, 2008), social contract theory (Frické, Mathiesen, & Fallis, 2000), or utilitarianism (Doyle 2002). In some cases, rights-based theories lay the foundation for other frameworks such as discourse ethics (Budd, 2006). By appealing to rights, these theories assume things about action: what an action is, who can perform an action, and who is morally responsible. In the context of library ethics, it is important to clarify what action is, especially collective action. However, this topic has not received the requisite attention in library and information science. Action theory provides the tools for such an analysis. Since librarianship is a profession (Abbott, 1998) that binds together diverse people and establishes a common identity (Goode, 1957), it requires an analysis concentrated on its collective nature, actions, and moral responsibility. In this paper, the authors justify the attribution of collective responsibility by providing a proper analysis of librarians as a collective entity. We use the Library Bill of Rights as a starting point, and this allows us to frame questions and discussions about the meaning of moral responsibility within the profession and as a profession. The outcome will be a framework for future work on action and moral responsibility within library and information science (LIS) that will explore specific issues such as collection development, intellectual freedom, organization of information, and privacy.
- library and information science,
- library bill of rights
Publication DateJanuary, 2012
Citation InformationC. Sean Burns and Matthew C. Altman. "Who or what is constrained by the Library Bill of Rights? A theoretical analysis of intentionality and collective action for library and information science" 2012 Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Annual Conference (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cseanburns/18/