Sometimes it’s easy…and sometimes it’s hard. Big changes. Little changes. Lots of change. Good change. And even some bad change.
I can admit to being stressed out.
I’ve been referring to (and citing) the ALA Code of Ethics quite frequently…
- 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.
We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
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.
We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
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.
We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
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.
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.
…particularly the principles mentioned in #1, 3, 5, and 6.
The ALA makes a statement prior to listing the guiding principles: “The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.”
During this period, the principles had a grounding effect — especially in the complex situations that weren’t exactly black or white, but rather a shade that’s really in-between and even then I wasn’t quite certain. The principles have definitely provided a much needed framework for ethical decision making.
After I took my stance, I asked myself:
When I’m at the end of my career, looking back at the events during this specific period of time, how will I feel?
Will the passing of time change how I feel? Will I look back and have regret? Will I look back and be proud of my leadership skills? Or will none of this matter and be just a mere blip on the radar of long career in librarianship?
At this very moment, it all feels quite raw and profound.