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Title:Information ethics in a complicated age
Author(s):Christians, Clifford G.
Subject(s):Librarians --Professional ethics
Ethics and technology
Abstract:Conferences such as this are a priceless resource in a complicated age. It is a hopeful sign that the same academic unit sponsoring the Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems (Lancaster & Smith, in press) conference also organized this seminar on ethics. Professionals in information storage and transmission face a firestorm of issues at present, and there are many impacted levels on which a sophisticated library system operates today. Developing a library profession with integrity is akin to building a home in a hurricane: the roof can never be safely put in place given the whirlwind of demands and unending technological innovations. And while a nine-session, two-day conference can help to hammer out policy guidelines, get the ethical problems straight, and stimulate each other's moral imagination, the larger context within which we work is determined by the contours of the technological civilization sketched above. It is essential that professional ethics whether of librarians, journalists, engineers, doctors, or lawyers be integrated into the common morality. Information ethics will prosper to the degree professional ethics as a whole develops a substantive and generative framework. Information professionals work in a fortuitous area that represents the quintessence of several axial issues at present, and are in a golden position to contribute to the debates in social ethics generally. With praise to those who are lighting the proverbial candle rather than cursing the darkness, the author will describe the heavy clouds nonetheless trusting that those in ethics for the long haul will use the seminal work this week to help unravel a conundrum and a paradox which makes our task in applied ethics nearly intractable.
Issue Date:1991
Publisher:Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In F.W. Lancaster (ed) Ethics and the librarian (Papers presented at the Allerton Park Institute held October 29-31, 1989): 3-17.
Series/Report:Allerton Park Institute (31st : 1989)
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-04-11

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