Teaching and Learning the Ninth Principle of the ALA Code of Ethics
In 2021 the American Library Association (ALA) Council 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. This panel addresses 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, as well as 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 panel presenters and their talk titles are: (1) John Budd, The Ninth Principle and Global Ethics: The Case for Global Ethics; (2) Suliman Hawamdeh and Michele A. L. Villagran, Multiculturalism and the Role of Information Ethics in Dealing with Academic Integrity Issues; and, (3) Bharat Mehra, “White Pricks” (a.k.a. Inoculations Against Racism) to Decenter Shades of White Privilege in a Professional Association’s Leadership Networks of LIS Educators. Facilitated by John Burgess, delegate for Information Ethics SIG convenor Toni Samek, the panelists will engage 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).
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