Ethics review

CILIP is undertaking a major review of professional ethics and, in particular, of the Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Practice for Library and Information Professionals it produced in 2005. In the ten years since they were published there have been great changes in the profession driven by technological development, changes in information governance and regulation, the growing importance of data and its management, new professional roles and responsibilities, and changing user expectations. For much of the period the financial crisis has also meant limited funding for many services and big changes in governance and service delivery.

Therefore it is time to look again at the ethics of our profession. The CILIP Board has agreed to a major Ethics Review that will take place between the CILIP Conference 2017 in Manchester and the CILIP Conference 2018 in Brighton. It will include workshops across the UK run by CILIP, its member networks or other interested parties; a survey seeking to include as many voices in our profession as possible; and a “Big Conversation” across social media. At the CILIP Conference Manchester the Review will be launched with a Breakfast Workshop open to all conference delegates on Thursday 7 July at 8.30am and a mini-workshop at the CILIP Board meeting over lunch on the same day. At the CILIP Conference 2018 it is planned to launch the new CILIP Ethical Framework (precise title to be considered at a later stage).

There are two strands to the CILIP Ethics Review. The main strand will be looking at the current place of ethics within the information professions and how widely they are incorporated into professional work. It will seek to identify the major issues facing the profession and individual information professionals in their work. At the same time awareness and use of the existing CILIP Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Practice will be assessed.

In 2018 it is planned to take the big issues surfaced in this year’s consultation and explore them from an ethical perspective. This will be an important part of a “Big Conversation” and also feature in a number of more intensive workshops designed to identify key components in a revised Ethical Framework. The existing Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Practice will be assessed against criteria developed during the consultation and changes made if needed.