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OLA Resolutions: 2009
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The following Resolutions were approved by the membership at the OLA Annual Conference in Midwest City, on April 22, 2009:

Resolution to Endorse the Oklahoma Library Association Endorsement and Amplification of the
Code of Ethics of the American Library Association

Whereas, the members of the Oklahoma Library Association, in recognition of the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs, first created and endorsed the amplification of the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association in 1989; and

Whereas, the Oklahoma Library Association Endorsement and Amplification of The Code of Ethics of the American Library Association has been identified as a key document and is included in the Oklahoma Library Association Intellectual Freedom Handbook; and

Whereas, the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association was last revised in 2008; and

Whereas, the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Oklahoma Library Association has revised and expanded the amplification to reflect the 2008 Code of Ethics of the American Library Association; and

Whereas, the Oklahoma Library Association is committed to the highest level of ethical and professional conduct in serving Oklahoma residents; and

Whereas, the American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in a changing information environment,

Therefore be it resolved, that the Oklahoma Library Association approves the 2009 Oklahoma Library Association Endorsement and Amplification of the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.

Submitted  by the Intellectual Freedom Committee; Co-chairs: Karen Bays, Charri Stratton, and Connie Van Fleet


As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

    The library profession expects its members to be competent, committed, dedicated individuals who care about providing a high level of service to their clients. In order to provide that service effectively, they must know their clients and be familiar with their needs and abilities. Based on this knowledge, they endeavor to select and develop an appropriate collection that is organized according to recognized bibliographic standards, to ensure not only physical or electronic access, but also intellectual access. Written policies and procedures ensure equitable circulation policies and service to all clients, regardless of age, background, or views. Skillful, accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests result from collection knowledge, careful reference interviews, and bibliographic instruction. Paraprofessionals and other library employees or volunteers are given appropriate training to familiarize them with all policies and procedures.

  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

    We respect the freedom of library users to seek and obtain information and to participate in the dissemination of ideas, regardless of point of view expressed. Librarians have the unquestioned obligation to provide a representative selection of materials on all subjects of interest to readers, including each side of controversial issues. No material shall be eliminated from consideration in the collection simply because of language or frank treatment, verbal or illustrative, of certain situations which may be objectionable to some people. Librarians serve as the bridge between patrons and the materials and information that those clients desire; the duty of the librarian is to facilitate that interchange without bias. Any action on the part of a librarian to impede that flow shall be deemed inappropriate. Librarians must be consistently vigilant against groups and individuals attempting to impede that free flow of information by attempting to restrict or deny access to materials in any format. Accessibility is the responsibility which librarians have to their clients.

  3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

    As an institution basic to democratic society, libraries must preserve an atmosphere in which the patron’s access to information and search for knowledge are treated as matters of privacy. The right to privacy is a basic human right; abrogation of that right can damage the service role of a library and compromise the integrity of librarians. Information deemed confidential in nature is protected by Oklahoma law and includes circulation records, interlibrary loan requests, computer activity, reference questions, and other such professional services. Information gained by a librarian in serving a patron should be treated with confidentiality accorded by doctors and lawyers and shall be released only upon issuance of a court order or a subpoena in proper form and for demonstrable cause, or upon the request or granting of permission in writing by the patron. Library patrons have the right to be informed about the nature of records created and maintained and about their rights regarding the use of that information.

  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.

    Authors, artists, musicians, and others who generate and disseminate ideas are legally entitled to certain protections regarding the use or reproduction of the results of their intellectual or creative efforts, including works from which they do not profit financially. As librarians, we recognize those rights, and so provide access to information within the bounds of copyright and other intellectual property laws. We seek to educate our patrons about key intellectual property issues, such as plagiarism of print or online resources or the illegal reproduction of protected digital information. We also recognize the fair use rights of our patrons, and encourage unfettered use of and access to intellectual property within the bounds of law.

  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.

    As a part of the social and intellectual human experience, libraries apply ethical standards and practices to ensure equality in all aspects of employment and work relationships. Employment-related decisions must be made on the basis of valid job-related criteria only and without respect to personal traits that are unrelated to job competency. Any discriminatory practices are unacceptable. In addition to following fair and equitable hiring and employment practices, librarians behave with professionalism and respect toward all co-workers in order to engender an atmosphere of collegiality and to encourage professional development that will be of benefit not only to library employees, but to the patrons and communities they serve.

  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.

    As a profession, librarians are sometimes entrusted with information or knowledge that can be sensitive, confidential, or timely. It is inappropriate for librarians to exploit that knowledge to further private interests, whether their own or another party’s, especially if such use would cause detriment to the source of the information. The profession expects high levels of both professional and personal integrity from librarians, including a character and conduct that promotes confidence in the profession. Use of professional position or knowledge to advance private interests illegitimately violates the integrity and health of the library profession and frequently breaches our promise to respect the privacy and confidentiality rights of our patrons. In conducting professional affairs it is imperative that private interests not be allowed to supersede professional duty—a duty which is understood to be analogous with service.

  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

    Librarians should not refuse to provide information or other library services on the grounds of their personal beliefs or the possible uses to which patrons may put the knowledge or resources gained. As a professional, the librarian must have the objectivity to differentiate between personal bias and professional duty, which requires first a knowledge of the philosophies of the professional body of librarianship. Although we respect the rights of library employees to their own beliefs and convictions, it is our professional responsibility to provide access to information, not to advocate particular viewpoints or to make moral judgments.

  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

    Given the rapidly changing nature of the means and technologies by which access to information is obtained, librarians must continually update their professional knowledge and skills in order to provide their patrons with the best possible service. Continuing education, whether formal or informal, is a vital component of ongoing professional development. Librarians make every effort to keep their understanding of trends, services, and technologies current, as well as anticipate and respond to the changing needs of their patrons and communities. In addition to their professional development as individuals, librarians foster the continuing health of the profession as a whole by encouraging and mentoring those interested in joining it.

Adopted May 1989 by the Oklahoma Library Association. Amplification revised and expanded to reflect 2005 revision of the ALA Code of Ethics and approved by the Oklahoma Library Association Executive Board March 2006. Revised to reflect 2008 revision of ALA Code of Ethics and adopted by Oklahoma Library Association April 2009.

Memorial Resolution in Honor of Judith Fingeret Krug

Whereas, Judith Fingeret Krug, served for over 40 years as Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation and the Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association; and

Whereas, Judith Krug was a tireless defender of intellectual freedom, privacy rights, equal access to information, and the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America; and

Whereas, Judith Krug established Banned Books Week in 1982 as a means of calling attention to challenges to the public’s right to read; and

Whereas, Judith Krug represented the intellectual freedom values of the profession in countless venues, including the Supreme Court; and

Whereas, Judith Krug was a source of inspiration, information, and support for Oklahoma librarians who promote and defend First Amendment rights for the people of Oklahoma;

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the members of the Oklahoma Library Association recognize Judith Fingeret Krug and honor her contributions and legacy and

THEREFORE, be it further resolved that this resolution will be transmitted to the family of Judith Krug and to the American Library Association.

Resolution Honoring Sequoyah Book Award Committee Members

WHEREAS, the Sequoyah Book Award was initiated in September 1959 becoming the 3rd oldest children’s choice award in the nation;

WHEREAS, the purpose of the Award was and still is today to encourage children to read more widely and selectively from the most distinguished books published during an established time period;

WHEREAS, Frances DuVall of Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva was instrumental in her leadership as Executive Director for the Sequoyah Book award committee until 1969 and afterwards as an advisor;

WHEREAS, the award has expanded into three masterlists for children in grades 3-12;

WHEREAS, 75 authors have been honored with a Sequoyah Book Award in the past 50 years including an honorary award bestowed on S.E. Hinton for The Outsiders;

WHEREAS, 2009 commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Sequoyah Book Award;

RESOLVED, the Oklahoma Library Association membership recognizes and commends all those, past and present, who have served on a Sequoyah Book Award committee and asks that those present today stand and be recognized.

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