Everyday Ethics For Libraries

Everyday Ethics (banner art)

The Everyday Ethics For Libraries are a series of programs that explore how library professional ethics as presented in the Library Bill of Rights, along with intellectual freedom concerns and privacy, impact library operations, collection development, policies, planning, and customer service.

Everyday Ethics For Libraries: An Overview By Pat Wagner 

Everyday Ethics: Part 1Overview To Ethics For Libraries

Everyday Ethics: Part 2Transparency (Library Ethical Standards)

Everyday Ethics: Part 3Equal Treatment (Library Ethical Standards)

Everyday Ethics: Part 4Privacy (Library Ethical Standards)

Everyday Ethics: Part 5Information Access For All (Library Ethical Standards)

Everyday Ethics: Part 6 – Summary (Library Ethical Standards)

Resources for the Study and Practice of Ethics

 

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Resources:

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: http://pixabay.com

 

Introduction to Lean Government Reading List

Our friend and training partner Steve Elliott of Constant Improvement Consulting, Inc. has annotated this reading list for both new and experienced Lean enthusiasts. You can find information about his introductory webinar series at https://patternresearch.com/free-webinar-kicks-off-lean-government-webinar-series/

The Change Agent’s Guide to Radical Improvement, by Ken Miller. Copyright 2002 by American Society for Quality. This is a handbook chock full of exercises, templates forms, and step-by-step instructions for how to work your way through implementing Lean in your organization. I was a member of a book club that read this book and met every week to go over one chapter. It brought up some good discussions!

We Don’t Make Widgets, Overcoming the Myths that Keep Government from Radically Improving, by Ken Miller. Copyright 2006, Governing Books. If you are in government, you need to read this book. It’s small: 118 pages; you can read it in a day.

Extreme Government Makeover, Increasing our Capacity to Do More Good, by Ken Miller. Copyright 2011 by Governing Books. I’m a Ken Miller fan; have you noticed? Another good book for government employees.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins. Copyright 2001 by Jim Collins Published by HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. The first line of this book is: “Good is the enemy of Great.” Think about it. Complacency is an insidious, seductive siren. Good enough is good enough. If you believe that, you’ll never be great. This book identifies great companies and the common threads that make them great. Read this book.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, Lessons from the Road, by Jamie Flinchbaugh and Andy Carlino. Copyright 2006 Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Again, aimed at manufacturing. But it contains some of the best real-life examples of how to overcome problems usually passed over in books trying to champion a new methodology. Things like: Where do you start, how do you overcome resistance, and managing expectations.

Lean for Dummies, by Natalie J. Sayer & Bruce Williams, Copyright 2007 by Wylie Publishing, Inc. Need I say more? Like all the Dummy books it gets right to the meat and lays it all out.

Lean Six Sigma for Service, by Michael L. George. Copyright 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies. At last, a book about Lean that isn’t aimed at manufacturing.

Lean Thinking, by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones. Copyright 2003, Free Press. This is one of the very first books about Lean I read and one of the few available when I got interested in Lean. A good overview of Lean Thinking – but definitely aimed at manufacturing.

Office Kaizen, by William Lareau, Copyright 2003 American Society for Quality. This is the book that translates manufacturing into service and describes how to identify Lean concepts in an office environment. For example, waste in the office is waiting for a return phone call or a signature, or being given an assignment to create a report that isn’t needed.

Kaizen Event Planner, by Karen Martin and Mike Osterling. Copyright 2007 by Karen Martin and Mike Osterling. 2010 reprint by CRC Press. Charts, graphs, checklists worksheets, and a CD in the back. If you’re going to facilitate a Kaizen event, this will help to make sure you are really prepared.

The Big Book of Six Sigma Training Games, by Chris Chen and Hadley Roth. Copyright 2005 McGraw-Hill. Let’s face it, if you’re going to do any training, you’re going to have to have exercises for your class. Somewhere in here is an exercise that you can use. It will, at least, get your brain cells working on the kinds of things you can do.

Innovator’s Toolkit, Second Edition by David Silverstein, Philip Samuel and Neil DeCarlo. Copyright 2012 by BMGI. Wiley & Sons. Buy this book. Study this book. Memorize this book. Reference it weekly. People will think you’re a great consultant. You don’t have to tell them how you got that way.

Visual Thinking, by Nancy Margulies and Christine Valenza, Copyright 2005 by Nancy Margulies and Christine Valenza. Crown House Publishing. OK, this isn’t strictly a Lean book, but if you ever have to stand up in front of a white board with a marker in your hand this will make you look better. With a bit of practice, you can wow people with your fantastic cartoon capabilities. And, you’ll be able to get simple concepts across to everyone.

Hoshin Handbook, by Pete Babich. Copyright 2005 by Pete Babich. Total Quality Engineering. At some point you will realize that Lean is just one part of the puzzle. If you are going to have an organization with purpose and direction, there has to be a way to get the entire organization aligned and to coordinate everyone’s efforts. This is how it’s done.

Everyday Library Ethics Series

Is it selfish to buy books we love for our collection, even if they never circulate? What should we do when the sheriff arrives to seize circulation records? How can gossiping at a front desk hurt our library’s funding? Can we hire the best architect in town even if she is our director’s sister? Is it okay to give senior citizens a break on library fines?

The most requested programs this year, both face-to-face and online, are on the topic of ethics. Although the focus is libraries, the issues apply to most government and nonprofit workplaces, as well as schools, higher education, and medical institutions. Businesses would do well to pay attention.

[Special offer: When you register for these webinars, apply the discount code SAVE20 for a $20.00 discount.]

thumLI210oct12Everyday Library Ethics Series: Part One – Four Key Principles That Will Build Trust and Respect for Your Library

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am EST

 

Everyday ethics is about guiding the decisions and actions at your library according to principles that ensure that everyone is treated fairly, that governing the library does not happen in secret, that library users have access to all types of information, and that confidentiality is respected.

In Part 1 of this series, participants will learn to apply ethical standards to:

  • Establishing policies that protect user and staff records
  • Creating decision-making processes that are fair and open
  • Ensuring that library resources are available to everyone
  • Providing services without regard to status or influence
  • Making difficult decisions that balance differing opinions and facts

thumGP210nov12-POSSIBLEEveryday Library Ethics Series: Part Two – Making the Big Difficult Public Decisions and Staying Open, Fair, Credible, and Effective in the Process

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am EST

 

The principles of everyday library ethics make sense to most people. However, the test is when library users, staff, directors, and library boards disagree. Protecting library records, dealing with book challenges, and implementing fair treatment regarding library policies can result in workplace conflicts, formal grievances, and even lawsuits and court appearances.

Library ethics is about the processes people use to create policies, inform the public, gather input, and make hard decisions. A successful process builds support for the library, regardless of the outcomes.

Participants will create and implement ethical decision-making methods by:

  • Educating staff, leadership, and the community about ethics
  • Creating public and transparent methods for input and dialogue
  • Staying calm and positive during difficult discussions
  • Gathering facts and opinions from all sides before deciding
  • Treating all parties and points of view with respect

thumBA212oct12Everyday Library Ethics Series: Part Three -
Case Studies: Ten Real Library Ethical Dilemmas

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 from 10:30 am to 11:30 am EST

 

Case studies are stories that provide us ways to discuss and analyze situations and learn from the mistakes and successes of others. Many people think the best way to understand library ethics is from talking about these stories. Talking about other people’s concerns can help us recognize and empathize problems that we are too close to see. And, case studies remind us that others have had to deal with the same ethical situations.

These ten examples are based on real events, although the details have been changed to protect the identity of the libraries and the people involved. They don’t provide cut-and-dried answers, but case studies can prepare us by helping us work through potential problems and solutions.

Participants will be able to address ethical challenges in their libraries by:

  • Creating policies and procedures before there is a problem
  • Clarifying shared concerns inside and outside the library
  • Building support for making difficult decisions
  • Educating the public about ethical guidelines
  • Evaluating current situations for possible interventions

Pat has been working with libraries as a trainer and consultant since 1978, from one-room rural storefronts to the largest public and academic libraries in North America. She presents and consults on library and public sector ethical topics, including material challenges, filtering, collection development, personnel, customer service, development and enforcement of policies and by-laws, governance, and conducting public meetings regarding volatile issues.

Photo Credits:

Stamps: This work is in the public domain.

Crowd: U.S. National Archives 1945. Licensed under CC BY 2.0. This is an adaptation of the original work.

Man in Stocks: © Bronwen Abbattista 2012. Used with permission.

 

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?