ALIA Code of Ethics for the LIS Workforce now open for consultation 

The ALIA Board of Directors and ALIA Library and Information Services Workforce Advisory Board are inviting feedback on the draft Australian Code of Ethics for the LIS Workforce.

This consultation is the first opportunity for those in the library and information sector to provide feedback on a specifically Australian Code of Ethics. In 2012 the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) published the IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers, and this was endorsed by ALIA in 2018. However the limitations of relying on an international Code of Ethics were repeatedly raised during ALIA’s workforce consultations, especially in key areas such as First Nations contexts.

Acknowledging these limitations, the LIS Workforce Advisory Board and the ALIA Board are pleased to preset this draft Australian Code of Ethics for consultation, as committed to during the launch of the ALIA Framework of Skills, Knowledge and Ethics for the Library and Information Services Workforce in November 2023.

The draft Australian Code of Ethics takes the IFLA Code of Ethics as its base, and develops a uniquely Australian approach. Each of the eight clauses contains a description of the clause, highlights the related ALIA Core Values and elaborates and illustrates the clause with a number of action examples. Institutions will be encouraged to tailor the resource to their needs. 

The Code of Ethics is intended to be representative and supportive of the entire LIS sector, so everyone in the sector is invited and welcome to contribute feedback, with the aim of creating a Code of Ethics that embraces the sector’s diversity and unites the workforce in ethical practice.

Jane Cowell, ALIA President says “You spoke, and we listened. People are the heart of the LIS sector and it’s incredibly important that ALIA is committing resources to support the workforce in the areas that matter. The Australian Code of Ethics has clearly been identified as a resource that matters to the people working in LIS, and we are looking forward to making this draft stronger with your feedback.”

Geoff Strempel, Chair of the ALIA LIS Workforce Advisory Board says “Throughout the prior consultation periods, focus groups and workshops, we heard just how important the ethics and values that unite the library and information services sector are to those who work in it. They are our foundation and unite and guide our work to provide services to our communities.

I encourage everyone in the sector to read the consultation document carefully, discuss with your colleagues, and provide your feedback so that we can improve the draft and ensure that we have a robust Australian Code of Ethics to guide the sector into the future.

We are hosting a free information session about the Code of Ethics with Jane Cowell and Geoff Strempel on June 19 at 12:00pm AEST. Register for the event here.

The public consultation phase will conclude on Sunday 7 July 2024.

Download the consultation paper here.