Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Peer reviewed by Kimberly Millican


In this work, the author discusses three ethical issues that have become barriers in the library environment: information privacy, controversial materials, and personal beliefs. The specific issues are covered by the ALA Code of Ethics, which is a general but clear guideline. In the library’s everyday life, however, these guidelines are being challenged by the occasional or consistent behaviors of librarians, users, and administrators. The author has witnessed situations when the above mentioned ethical issues caused conflicts and threatened to challenge librarianship as a concept and the values that come with it. The author presents the LIS literature on the three issues and provides his opinion and suggestions on how they can be properly approached by information professionals. It is important to point out that the author does not treat the information professional as a librarianship machine that follows rules and guidelines, but as a human being with his/her unique personality and personal convictions.