ETHICS AND PHILIP­PINE LI­BRAR­I­AN­SHIP

Vyva Victoria M. Aguirre

PLAI Congress 2018 Program - - PLENARY SESSION | DAY 4 -

De La Salle Uni­ver­sity Manila Email ad­dress: vy­[email protected] Ab­stract

In gen­eral, “Ethics” is “the branch of phi­los­o­phy deal­ing with right and wrong and the moral­ity of mo­tives and ends.” In a more par­tic­u­lar sense, eth­i­cal norms gov­ern the prac­tice of pro­fes­sions. While peo­ple en­gaged in busi­ness or trade are reigned in by the ethics of mar­ket forces and by law, all pro­fes­sions op­er­ate un­der strict codes of con­duct drawn up by and for the mem­bers of a spe­cific pro­fes­sion. These codes of con­duct go be­yond the lay­man’s un­der­stand­ing of what is “eth­i­cal” be­cause the norms ad­dress some spe­cific or fun­da­men­tal end with re­spect to the pro­fes­sional’s be­hav­ior when deal­ing with each other and with the pub­lic.

Li­brar­i­an­ship, one of the pro­fes­sions reg­u­lated by the Pro­fes­sional Reg­u­la­tion Com­mis­sion, fol­lows a Code of Ethics for Philip­pine Li­brar­i­an­ship. This Code enu­mer­ates the “do’s” and “don’ts” per­ti­nent to a li­brar­ian’s con­duct to­wards so­ci­ety and the pro­fes­sion.

This pa­per will not dis­cuss the Code of Philip­pine Li­brar­i­an­ship in de­tail, since every li­brar­ian is ex­pected to know this by heart. In­stead, it will first deal with in­for­ma­tion ethics and the li­brar­ian’s re­spon­si­bil­ity in the ar­eas of ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, in­tel­lec­tual free­dom, and in­tel­lec­tual hon­esty. Se­condly, it will deal with the eth­i­cal is­sues that can arise from the li­brar­ian’s mul­ti­ple loy­al­ties to self, clients, and pa­trons, as well as the em­ploy­ing in­sti­tu­tions. Thirdly, it will dis­cuss some prob­lem­atic eth­i­cal sit­u­a­tions that li­brar­i­ans face in the work place: in the area of hu­man re­sources man­age­ment, con­flict­ing in­ter­ests, and in­sti­tu­tional poli­cies that af­fect the li­brar­ian’s view of his or her mis­sion as in­for­ma­tion provider.

Fi­nally, an at­tempt will be made to as­sess whether the Code of Ethics for Philip­pine Li­brar­i­an­ship suf­fi­ciently ad­dresses the is­sues raised, or whether there is a need to re­vise the Code to make it more at­tuned to the com­plex­i­ties of the post-mod­ern world. Key­words: ethics; li­brar­i­ans; Code of Ethics for Philip­pine Li­brar­i­an­ship

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