ALA Core Values, Librarianship, Library Theory and Practice
In 2004, the American Library Association (ALA)’s Core Values of Librarianship statement identified eleven core values: access; confidentiality and privacy; democracy; diversity; education and lifelong learning; intellectual freedom; preservation; the public good; professionalism; service; social responsibility.
As the ALA document explains, “the foundation of modern librarianship rests on an essential set of core values that define, inform, and guide our professional practice. These values reflect the history and ongoing development of the profession and have been advanced, expanded, and refined by numerous policy statements of the American Library Association.”
While the ALA is not the only national library association to articulate their core values, this issue is an explanation of how core values have shaped, influenced, and informed libraries and librarianship in North America and around the world.
Individual values such as democracy, diversity, access, and social responsibility have been the subject of inquiry by prominent scholars in library studies. There has not, however, been a coherent collection of scholarship addressing these specific, individual values in the practice of librarianship. Valuing Librarianship, a special issue of Library Trends, is an attempt to redress this absence within the context of public, school, special, and academic libraries.
This special issue of Library Trends features practicing librarians and LIS scholars addressing librarianship's present and future in relation to its core values. Using the ALA Core Values of Librarianship statement as a framework, Valuing Librarianship explores how these core values have informed, influenced, guided, and contextualized libraries and librarianship in the past ten years and consider how these values might guide our profession in the future.
Berg, Selinda and Jacobs, Heidi LM. (2016). Valuing Librarianship: Core Values in Theory and Practice. Library Trends, 64 (3).
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