Competency A

Standard

Introduction

Competency A: demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that

As information professionals, we are professionally obligated to ensure that libraries uphold that Library Bill of Rights. We are required to ensure that all library policies and services uphold ensure these rights to our patrons. The main code of ethics in which information professionals are bound to is the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics. These ethical guidelines are the basis for Information Professional ethics and when considering ethics in librarianship we must begin with the ALA’s code of Ethics, which states the following:

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

In keeping with the first code of ethics, my information communities’ coursework focused on providing equitable access to services for individuals with disabilities. I explored individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents as an information community. I explored their information needs and information seeking behaviors. They are a diverse community that is served by libraries and need specialized assistance in order to have equitable access to services. They also need assurance of privacy due to the sensitive nature of an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. As information professionals, we must respect these parents right to confidentiality regarding the information they seek and knowledge give to information professional regarding their children’s mental health which is highly sensitive and protected information. Information professionals need for confidentiality is laid out in the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Privacy and Confidentiality statement . This is one of the most important aspects of having ethical behavior as an information professional. Our patrons have, “the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others” (American Library Association, 2017).  Keeping the reference inquiries, reading materials, personal data of borrows private is necessary to protect patrons and to have professional ethics in the library arena. Protecting our patron’s information and access to materials help patrons to build relationships and trusts with us as information professionals. This allows us to provide better service to our patrons and our community.

As information professionals, it is necessary to ensure that all patrons have access to library materials that span a wide variety of topics, opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Ethical behavior as a librarian means that we do not select or censor materials in a collection based on personal beliefs, but we select library materials that serve the information needs of our patrons and our communities. As information professionals, it is our duty to ensure that patrons are able to read materials that may be subject to censor or criticisms from various groups. Offering a choice of information on any given topic allows us to provide access to information and to facilitate information seeking behaviors. Ensuring that reading materials are broad and that they demonstrate multiple sides of any topic can cause difficulties when it comes to collection development. Balancing the libraries budget while attempting to address your community’s information needs and respecting that values of your institution and fighting censorship can be a difficult juggling act. This can cause collection development decisions to be complicated and require a great deal of thought. Constructing careful policies in collection development and examining collection development policies of other libraries can help to prevent any issues related to collection development and intellectual freedom that may arise. When objects or censorship requests or complaints arise in libraries it is important to have policies in place and to have them in line with your institutional strategic plan is essential to avoid unethical removal or inclusion of library materials.

Evidence

1 The final paper from my Information Communities class

2 Presentation 5 from my Collection Development Course

3 A Blog Assignment # 4 exploring information communities from my Information Communities class from Lib 200 (Information Communities)

Lib200 Final Paper

Information Communities Blog assignment #4

Info266 Presentation 5. Presentation 5

Ethical concerns for Information Professionals when working with parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

EthicsOne ethical concern regarding assisting parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is that they are possibly revealing to sensitive medical information related to their child. There is the matter of protecting their privacy and the privacy of possibly a minor depending on the age of their child. These are serious issues and ensure confidentially of this information is essential to upholding the code of ethics established by the American Library Association. The code of Ethics states that information professionals will, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted”(“Professional Ethics,” 2017). Any information given or exchanged when communicating with members of this information community is sensitive information and requires complete confidentially regarding discussions or exchanges of information related to their child’s diagnosis or other pertinent medical information relied on the information professional. Ethical behavior on the part of the information professional is required to address the information needs of this community. Being able to meet their needs discretely and without compromising their privacy is of the utmost importance. Patron privacy related to these issues may also be protected under other state or federal laws. Check the laws of your state related to privacy and confidentiality.

There comes a conflict of ethics in providing information to parents of individuals with ASD and giving medical or legal advice. Librarians are qualified to assist in research, but we are not medical or legal professionals. Interrupting research goes beyond the bounds of our position. This especially becomes an issue when the patrons are asking for assistance with a question that related to a legal, a mental health issue, or a medical issue. If parents begin asking about advice on what to do on this issues or to understand the medical information that they found within books. In our lecture asked the question “when do you cross over from providing information to actually dispensing professional advice” (Hansen, 2014). It is important to think about this when assisting patrons with issues that related to the mental health, medical, or legal professions. It is important to help them find sources to do research on the topic. Just as if a professional librarian would not interpret a book for a student’s assignment, we cannot interpret medical information that is when librarians should refer them onto a professional in the medical field.  According to our lecture, “Librarians are advised to show sources and explain how to use them, but not interpret the information” (Hansen, 2014).  Patrons may come to the desk asking librarians to help them choose which therapies are best for their child. We need to let these patrons know that we can give them information on what therapies are out there so they can make an informed decision with their mental health or physician. Making a recommendation would be unethical.This could be the case for parents of ASD especially when it has been recently diagnosed and they are trying to understand their child’s diagnosis. It can be emotional and overwhelming for a parent to receive a diagnosis of ASD for their child.  As information professionals dispensing medical advice or interpreting medical information would be unethical. We can provide library patrons with appropriate sources, but we cannot make decisions related to the material. The major conflict that exists in the in the world of parents of children with ASD is the issue of vaccines causing Autism. We cannot take a side on this issue because it is unethical to participate in this debate, but we do try to choose the best possible sources of information for any patron regardless of our personal opinions or conflicting public opinions. It is our job to provide information not impose our opinions, convenience a patron, or interpret information. We simply provide information and instruct in research skills patrons need to be able to form and adhere to whatever beliefs or opinions they choose to uphold.

There is also the possibility of parents seeking legal advice regarding the IDEA act or the ADA. There are many laws that apply to individuals with disabilities especially with regards to education. We can provide information on these laws, but we cannot give legal advice regarding how to help them with their child’s IEP or how to get better access to services from the public education system. As information professionals, it is not our job to help patrons interpret the law only to provide them with the information needed to do their research. There may exist books that give legal advice to parents on these issues and we can find these information sources for this information community as long as we do not give advice on whether they follow the advice in these informational sources. It is important to remind patrons that they should contact a legal professional for any legal advice or an advocate for individuals with disabilities. You can also find listings for advocates or lawyers in their area, but we cannot recommend lawyers.

There is also the issue of banned books related to the ASD has been challenged. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a fictional book written from the perspective of a high functioning 15 years boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to Doyle (2014), this book was challenged in 2006 in Texas because the book could cause young minds to become polluted and it was removed from a summer reading program for having foul language in Michigan.  As Information Professional we must uphold the rights guaranteed by the library bill of rights established by the American Library Association which states that ” Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment” (“Library Bill of Rights,” 2017). As an information community parents of individuals with ASD want to understand their child better they also want to spread awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder and what an individual with ASD is truly like to dispel misinformation regarding Autism. The popularity of this book and play has brought worldwide attention and awareness about issues relating to Autism. Ensuring access to this and other books that have been challenged or banned is part of upholding the professional ethics of librarianship. The ALA’s library code of Ethics states that information professional should “uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources”(“Professional Ethics,” 2017). This means making books accessible that may be controversial or otherwise be challenged by certain groups for a variety of reasons. Ensuring that these underserve information communities have access to non-fictional and fictional literature that is relevant to them is an important part of having professional ethics in librarianship. As well as our professional duty to challenge censorship of reading materials and limitations to the access of information.

References:

Doyle, R. P. (2014). Banned Books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Hansen, D. (2014). Ethical Issues and the Information. Addressed at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.

Library Bill of Rights. (2017, February 16). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

Professional Ethics. (2017, August 22). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/tools/ethics

Find out more information here:

http://www.librariesandautism.org/strategies.htm

https://snailsgroup.blogspot.com/

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/mental-health/index.html

https://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm

/http://www.copaa.org/

Read blog here

Introduction

This paper is focusing on parents of children with Autism Spectrum disorder as a
community. This community is diverse ranging in age, race, socioeconomic status, and nationality.According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). This community is growing in number and becoming more prevalence with the increasing amount of children identified as having ASD.
Parents of children with ASD are advocating for improvements in research, treatments, politics, services, and understanding of ASD. Parents of children with ASD are affecting our society in both positive and negative ways. It is important to understand this
community and ensure they are informed. Due to the large amount of cases, this disorders is going to have a large impact on the future of our society. Parents of children with ASD make important decisions for children with ASD and these children will grow to be adult members of our society. The better-informed parents of children with ASD are the better they can care for and assist their children improving the lives of their children and improving their ability to function within our society. Parent advocacy has led to researchers to new finding regarding ASD and it has led to widespread misinformation that has had serious consequences for our society. This paper explores the impact that advocacy from the parent of children with ASD has had on improving awareness, research, understanding, services for children, treatments and policy
for children with ASD over the past few decades. This study also explores consequences that have resulted from misinforming parents of children with ASD. This paper describes the affect ASD has on parents and family members. This paper will also recover ways for information professionals to meet the information needs of parents of Children with ASD and to improve services for children with ASD.

Read paper here

Presentation 5: Acquisition

Selection Criteria:

The major factors that influence acquisitions at Andrew G. Truxal library are:

  • Relevance to the education programs of AACC
  • Currency, accuracy, and objectivity
  • Balance in the collection
  • Professional reviewing media recommendations
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, and/or producer

Purpose:

The purpose of the collection is to support other academic and community programs and provide academic library service to residents of Anne Arundel County. The Truxal library seeks to provide quality and relevant materials in a collection designed to support the mission of Anne Arundel Community College.

Responsibility for selection:

The library staff, faculty, and instructional staff share the responsibility for collection development. The faculty makes recommendations in their disciplines and incorporate library materials into course development. The library faculty makes the final decisions concerning acquisition. The director of the library Cindy Steinhoff has chief authority over collection decisions and coordinates the collection development process. All patrons are able to make purchase recommendations to the library director.

Acquisition priorities:

Priority is given to materials that support the curriculum requirements. These materials are given first priority for purchase. The second is to provide faculty members with advanced materials that support faculty research when funds are available. General materials that meet the needs of community members are given final priority and are only purchased when funds permit. The college serves as a repository for major college documents, such as the college manual, accreditation reports, and annual reports.

Format policy:

Hardbound books versus paperback book are purchased due to durability. Paperbacks are purchases as additional copies or for topics whose currency is in constant need of updating. Textbooks are purchased by student associations and available in the reserve collections that library does not purchase textbooks. Priority is given to database purchases over print periodicals. Online is the preferred format for Reference books when funds are available. Online formats use the same criteria as the selection of books process while also considering the ease of uses, cost, and licensing requirements. Open source materials are used whenever possible to provide materials cost-effectively using the same criteria as other electronic resources.

Acquisition process:

The library Director selects materials to purchase based recommendation from faculty and staff. The business office creates a purchase order and items are frequently purchased through book vendors such as Amazon. Online and print periodical subscriptions are handled by an outside subscription service.

Processing materials:

Once materials are purchased they are sent to the cataloging department where the cataloger categories and catalog materials.

Intellectual freedom:

A librarian’s responsibility is to ensure that the materials in the library represent all relevant points of view and represent the college’s mission. The Truxal library supports the ALA Library Bill of Rights and its principals. Patron complaints about materials in the collection can be submitted in writing to the library director. A committee of librarians and faculty members will then meet to review the materials and make a recommendation to keep or remove the materials from the collection. The complaint will receive a written response from the library staff.

Read paper here

Read Presentation 5 here

Sources:

American Library Association. (2017, May 09). Privacy. Retrieved September 23, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/privacy

Library Bill of Rights. (2017, February 16). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

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