Resources for the Study and Practice of Ethics




Ethics for librarians and other public sector agency professionals, including appointed and elected officials, are among the popular webinars and face-to-face programs we offer. We warn our clients that ethics teaches the importance of asking questions but does not supply easy answers.

These websites host information about codes of conduct and guidelines for librarians, government officials, and politicians, as well as community and political activists, degreed professionals, reporters and researchers, and interested employees and citizens.

Library Ethics: 

  • Everyday Ethics for Libraries video series by Pat Wagner
  • Resources on intellectual freedom from the American Library Association
  • American Association of Law Libraries Ethical Principles
  • Banned Book recommendations from the Highline Community College Library
  • Valdosta State University resources for library ethics
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Professional Code of Ethics for Librarians (of particular interest here is the information regarding indigenous peoples, including a link to the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials)
  • Medical Library Association Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarianship
  • School of Library & Information Science links to professional associations 
  • ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries’ Code of Ethics for Special Collections Librarians
  • SLA Professional Ethics Guidelines

General Ethics:

Photo Credit:


Would You Pass The Culture Test?

This week, I asked our team members to write down what they thought were the values and principles of our workplace. I did not give them definitions, examples, or a form to fill out. People were asked to write their ideas on an index card and turn them into me by the end of their shift. No discussion. No sharing.

This was a test of how well our leadership has communicated, through word and deed, the values and principles of our workplace. Our aspirations and the principles by which we live and work. How we treat each other and our customers, vendors, and competitors. What are the big ideas that guide us.

Everyone approached the issue differently, which pleased me. I would be concerned if my co-workers had recited identical platitudes.

I was touched, amazed, surprised, and dismayed. Touched by what team members wrote. Amazed that important ideas are being communicated well. Good job, boss. Surprised that we all missed some key issues. A wake-up call. And dismayed that I will have to live up to what are some lofty goals. Motivates me to be a better person in 2014.

WordleFinalColor2013 was my obvious choice to create this portrait of the ideas the team collected. Their shared top picks made me very happy.

Your turn. Ask your employees, co-workers, customers, and/or bosses to write down what they think your workplace’s values and principles are. Don’t coach them what to say or how to say it. Limit their contribution to what fits on an index card. If you are lucky, you will be heartened and humbled like I was.

American Library Association 2013 Annual Conference participation

Hope to see my library, school, and higher ed friends at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago in two weeks. Here is the schedule for the panels and training showcase at which I will be presenting, with short descriptions of my contributions to the panels.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – LearnRT panel; Saturday, June 29th from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in McCormick Place Convention Center, S102a

The Best-Laid Plans: Mistakes Experienced Trainers and Staff Development Managers Make

A dedication to helping others brings responsibility. It is easy for even the best trainers to develop blind spots, especially if they develop routines that rarely are questioned or evaluated. In olden days, stale teachers would mimeograph the same curricula over decades. Today, longtime trainers and educators are at risk at falling in love with one model of education or one set of tools and resting on past successes. In my experience, it can help both new and experienced staff development specialists to reflect on what it takes to stay open and aware.

Learning Round Table Training Showcase (LearnRT), Sunday, June 30th from 1:30 to 3:30pm in McCormick Place Convention Center Hall A, Meeting Room D

Showcase of trainers and vendors, highlighting programs and products for staff training, staff development, library continuing education, and professional development.

Best Practices in Training – LearnRT panel; Monday, July 1st from 10:30am to 11:30am in McCormick Place Convention Center, S102bc

Fresh Eyes: Evaluating Training Programs

We can forget that most workplace learning happens outside of the classroom – and the training department. What questions should be asked to improve the effectiveness of staff development programs? And which sacred cows need to be put out to pasture?

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Stress Management On-Demand Webinar

We partner with other training organizations and share our work with their audiences. After so many years of creating, broadcasting, and recording webinars, we have a decent inventory of free and fee-based programs out in the ether. We will start tracking them down and linking to them for your convenience. The free programs are a great way for you to audition some of our work, and most of the fee-based programs are reasonably priced. (The ten-year-old webinars are simple, but the ideas are still sound.)

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Stress Management

A corporate client asked me to craft a stress management program maybe 17 years ago. I quickly realized that most of the popular stress management models were really limited to “respite” tactics. Translation: Pause during the day while you continue to burn yourself out. Also, every author had their own favorite approaches, which might not fit the realities of the diversity of customers I serve. So we created a different model – a framework of four main ideas where participants could plug in their own ideas to complete. So, regardless if you work in a rural library, an urban business, or a suburban agency, you can create your own stress management model.

In January 2013, I broadcast a webinar using this model for the Public Library Association.

Although I like the webinar format, this program is well-suited for face-to-face staff meetings; most of the work is accomplished by the participants, sharing ideas with each other and the larger group. I have facilitated the program for hospice workers, government bookkeepers and accountants, librarians, and religious workers in hospitals.

Below is a list of this and related topics from our program database.

The Necessity of Joy

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Stress Management

Falling Between the Cracks: Addressing Mistakes and Misunderstandings