On June 29, 2021 the American Library Association (ALA) Council officially approved a ninth principle to be added to the ALA Code of Ethics. The principle reads, “We affirm the inherent dignity and rights of every person. We work to recognize and dismantle systemic and individual biases; to confront inequity and oppression; to enhance diversity and inclusion; and to advance racial and social justice in our libraries, communities, profession, and associations through awareness, advocacy, education, collaboration, services, and allocation of resources and spaces.” This principle is in keeping with the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Ethical Guidelines for Library and Information Science Educators: “As LIS educators, we respect and uphold academic freedom and protect the freedom to learn and to teach. We resist censorship and actively promote access to diverse points of view.” In both instances the primary thrust is equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and justice.
Sponsored by the Information Ethics special interest group (SIG), this proposal is for a traditional speaker panel format to address the ALA Code of Ethics, with special attention to the ninth principle. The panelists will address the core meaning of the principle to determine what it portends for education for library and information professionals. The principle is designed to guide action though praxis. The panelists will examine the degree to which that objective is met by the principle. The panelists will be selected on the basis of their knowledge and experiences related to the content and intention of the ninth principle (along with the ALISE guideline).
The panelists will examine a set of questions related to the principle: How praxis can address systemic inequity and oppression; how diversity and inclusion manifests itself in praxis; how the advancement of racial and social justice through education can be introduced in the workplace; and how the insertion of these goals can be made into the institutions in which graduates work. The matter of the pressures in which educators work related to racial and social justice work will also be brought up. Throughout the investigation of these matters, the overarching concern of the panelists will be the insertion of the matters into the educational milieu. The panelists will bring to the fore their extensive knowledge and experience in their examination. They will not only provide analyses of the elements of the ninth principle, but will raise questions about the implementation of the principle into the education of professionals.
The panelists will guide the audience in a discussion of the meaning of the ninth principle, but will also have the opportunity to compare it with the ALISE guideline and to offer suggestions regarding the implementation of the tenets of the principle into education (including which kinds of curricular elements are best suited to the insertion of the ALA Code of Ethics into instruction and discussion).
Call for Proposals
The SIG seeks abstracts from potential panelists that address the focus area above. Abstracts should contain the following information:
- A title.
- A brief panelist biography including: name; email; most recent position/title, department/program affiliation, and institutional affiliation; and, a one sentence description of core research interests.
- The proposal narrative that extends no more than 500 words, excluding any references if they are provided.
The Information Ethics SIG aims to expand the diversity and breadth of its membership and participation in SIG activities. To that end, the SIG highly encourages potential panelists whose research and scholarship, demographic background, and/or professional status does not situate them in traditionally privileged positions or that are not widely reflected in scholarly conversations. More specifically, but not exclusively, the SIG welcomes participation by doctoral students, new or potential members of ALISE, and individuals who are situated outside of the United States. The SIG convener and selected SIG members are willing to work with panelists who identify as scholars at risk in order to explore alternative presentation strategies.
Finally, the Information Ethics SIG recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is still active and affecting the work and livelihood of many of ALISE’s members and non-member allies. It understands that while the 2022 ALISE annual conference is slated to be on site in Pittsburgh, PA (USA), there is still a chance that:
- The conference format will be moved to a hybrid or fully online mode,
- and some ALISE members and non-members who may not be able to physically attend due to institutional and national travel restrictions.
The SIG intends to conduct the panel physically in Pittsburgh, but is ready and able to transition to an online environment if circumstances dictate such a change. The SIG is willing to accommodate panelists who are unable to participate on site by providing a synchronous, online presentation method (e.g., Zoom).