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Title:The ethics of access: Towards an equal slice of the pie
Author(s):Morrison, Samuel F.
Subject(s):Librarians --Professional ethics
Access to information
Public libraries
Abstract:Ethics is a system of moral principles and of values relating to the Tightness and wrongness of certain actions. When two diametrically opposed obligations conflict with one another, an ethical dilemma occurs. It is settled only by weighing and evaluating the importance of the conflicting obligations. The moral conviction of a democratic society supportive of freedom of information versus the welfare of that public might well be an example of two opposing obligations. Equal access to information by the people versus the provision of relevant and friendly information is another wordset of potentially opposing obligations. The free library for the good of the public versus quality library services is also a contender. It is not so opposing if one considers the statement of Alphonse Trezza (1986) during his tenure with the National Commission on Library and Information Services (NCLIS): "The commitment to public good requires the library to constantly improve quality of services, the effective use of technology, and the efficiency of the operation" (p. 52). Providing access and fulfilling the needs of the majority versus providing access and fulfilling the needs of the minority is yet another opposing set. If one adds the words "equal opportunity" then the impact of this statement upon the library is significant.
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): 93-100.
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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