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ALA Code of Ethics

The Library Code of Ethics was created by the American Library Association (ALA). The document is a guideline for librarians and other library associates on how to uphold the values that libraries symbolize.[1] The Code was created in 1939 and since has been updated three times. The Code of Ethics was changed in 1981 and then again in 1995. The most current version was accepted by the ALA in 2008.[2]

A common thread within the various Code of Ethics focuses on the significance of intellectual freedom and the dangers of censorship. The changes between the different versions of the Code include the language used and input. In the 1939 and 1981 Code of Ethics some the language included statements such as "librarians must" and "librarians will".[2] The 1995 and current version of the Code has different rhetoric. These Codes use words such as "we as librarians" because many librarians were able to input their concerns and ideas and this language implies a statement of fact.[2]

The ALA site shows all four versions of The Library Code of Ethics in full.[2]


  1. ^ Martin, A. M. (2009). Leadership: Integrity and the ALA Code of Ethics. Knowledge Quest, 37(3), 6-11.
  2. ^ a b c d American Library Association. (2014). History of the ALA Code of Ethics. Retrieved 2014-06-08.

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