University Library

Core Values of Librarianship

Members of the library and information science profession are guided by a set of values that are universally applicable, regardless of their special role and the type and size of institution or organization they serve. Arising from these and from our own professional lives are shared core values - timeless, universal, and inclusive. We hold these values as the foundation of librarianship:

  • The connection of people to ideas.
    All others flow from that. We guide the seeker in defining and refining the search; we foster intellectual inquiry; we nurture communication in its myriad forms and formats.
  • Unfettered access to ideas.
    We recognize access to ideas across time and across cultures as fundamental to society and to civilization.
  • Learning in all its contexts.
    We select and make accessible materials that support the scholar, allow democracy to flourish, nourish creativity, and permit people to learn in and outside of formal education throughout their lives.
  • Freedom for all people to form, to hold, and to express their own beliefs.
    Each person has the right to seek, to know, and to find within the context of their own lives.
  • Respect for the individual person.
    We honor each request without bias and we meet it with the fullness of tools at our command. We respect the individual's need for privacy and for confidentiality in their search or their study.
  • Preservation of the human record.
    The cultural memory of humankind and its many families, its stories, its expertise, its history, and its wisdom must be preserved from the past so it illuminates the present and makes the future possible.
  • Interdependence among information professionals and agencies.
    Librarianship is collaborative by nature, and collections and services evolve through that collaboration.
  • Professionalism in service to these values.
    Our commitment requires integrity, competence, effective stewardship, and service to our discipline as well as to our public.

  Updated April 24, 2009
Text based on: American Library Association Core Values of Librarianship, version 6/29/04

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