Ethical Principles

CILIP's Ethical Principles set out the principles and values on which our members' conduct should be characterised.

Ethical Principles

Library and information professionals are frequently the essential link between users and the information they require. They therefore occupy a position that carries responsibilities.

The conduct of members should be characterised by the following general principles and values:

  1. Concern for the public good in all professional matters, including respect for diversity within society, and the promoting of equal opportunities and human rights.
  2. Concern for the good reputation of the information profession.
  3. Commitment to the defence, and the advancement, of access to information, ideas and works of the imagination. 
  4. Provision of the best possible service within available resources.
  5. Concern for balancing the needs of actual and potential users and the reasonable demands of employers.
  6. Equitable treatment of all information users.
  7. Impartiality, and avoidance of inappropriate bias, in acquiring and evaluating information and in mediating it to other information users.
  8. Respect for confidentiality and privacy in dealing with information users.
  9. Concern for the conservation and preservation of our information heritage in all formats.
  10. Respect for, and understanding of, the integrity of information items and for the intellectual effort of those who created them.
  11. Commitment to maintaining and improving personal professional knowledge, skills and competences.
  12. Respect for the skills and competences of all others, whether information professionals or information users, employers or colleagues.

These points are presented in no particular order of priority.