INF1322H Communities and Values
Librarianship is a service profession that conceives of knowledge, in all its aspects, as fundamental to the human condition. People and communities exist at the heart of the discipline and at the heart of professional practices. They are the focus of our research and the clients of our practitioners. They come to us as unique individuals at any point along the life course seeking knowledge, and in communities (both large and small, formal and informal) working to achieve a common end. These social interactions bear the imprint of the professional values, core assumptions and principles upon which our discipline is founded. Some of these values include intellectual freedom, diversity, a respect for privacy, human rights, social justice, equal and open access without barriers, compassion, and empathy. Further, a commitment to these values demands knowledge of and participation in the public policy arena where decisions around the social, economic, cultural, and political implications of innovating information and communications technologies and their distribution are debated. Then there are the information professionals whom we work with and for; they are the communities of practice of which we are a part.