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Ethics, At Last


Which links to these two great resources:

Rebecca Blood’s Weblog Ethics:, A Blogger’s Code of Ethics:

For some time I’ve grumbled and groused about the practices of librarian bloggers. Too many of us want to be considered serious citizen-journalists, when it suits us, but fall back on “hey, it’s only a blog” when we’d rather post first and fact-check later, present commentary as “news,” or otherwise fall short of the guidelines of the real profession of journalism. (This is doubly ironic, considering how librarians squeal when people without library degrees claim to practice “librarianship.”)

We’re on the eve of having the first serious blog coverage for an ALA conference. (I’m going to be one of the Citizen Bloggers for PLA, thanks to Steven Cohen’s advocacy in this area.) I really would like this to be a credible event that reflects well on blogging in librarianship. But I worry that if we start off without agreeing, however informally, to a code of ethics, we may prove to our colleagues why blogging has its bad reputation.

I also feel that as librarians our “code” has to go even farther than in the examples I cite at the beginning of this entry. We are the standard-bearers for accurate, unbiased information. Blogs filled with typos, half-baked “facts,” misrepresentations, copyright violations, and other egregious and unprofessional problems do not represent us well to the world.

I’m going to write about blogging and ethics over the next couple of weeks (in between discussing my holiday activities, such as baking 12 types of cookies in the next week and my hunt for The Best Ham in the World, or showing off my new holiday dress–gotta love that Lands’ End petite department!). In the meantime, give a gander to the links above. Think. Mull. Breathe it in.

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