Ethics Case

Artifact Name:

LI801 Information Ethics Case: To Prevent a Suicide (Artifact)

MLS Value:

P.V. 3 Integrity: Exhibit ethical behavior, knowledge, and attitudes.

Reflective Statement:

The purpose of Information Transfer and the Knowledge Society (LI801) is to introduce the students to the information profession involving the examination of its philosophical and ethical foundation. One of the greatest ethical underpinnings of the library profession is that of privacy. This is reflected in the ALA Library Bill of Rights dating back to the 1939 Code of Ethics for Librarians where it states, “It is the librarian’s obligation to treat as confidential any private information obtained through contact with library patrons.” One of the assignments for the course was a group project centering on the issue of ethics which involved creating a hypothetical case with an ethical dilemma using Stevenson’s Principles of Information Ethics, along with his model for ethical decision-making.

My group’s ethical dilemma is comprised of the police requesting patron information sans warrant from a library assistant in order to prevent a possible suicide. The group considered how it would affect a patron giving out private information without their consent or without a warrant as dictated by Utah state law. This project demonstrates my knowledge of information ethics and my ability to apply a model for ethical decision-making.