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Information Ethics and Legal Issues (LIBT 2500)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course introduces you to ethical and legal issues related to information use and dissemination in libraries and society. You will examine the library profession's stance on intellectual freedom and censorship; ethical and legal theories of information; professional ethics and law; copyright and intellectual property; and security and privacy issues.

Topical Outline:
1. Introduction to philosophical ethics and ethical theories
2. Information ethics in society (including: the moral value of information and knowledge; privacy; free speech; and the social and governmental control of information)
3. Professional Library Ethics (including: ALA Code of Ethics; Library Bill of Rights; Freedom to Read/View; Patron Privacy; Information Access; Material Selection, Internet Filtering; Censorship of Library Material)
4. The role of the library in enforcing and challenging intellectual property laws.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Explain modern ethical theories as they apply to knowledge and information production, organization and use
2. Articulate an understanding of the moral value of information and knowledge, especially as it relates to privacy, free speech, and the control of information by government and other social institutions
3. Explain how professional library codes of ethics apply to library workers
4. Critically analyze and explain the role that libraries play in shaping and enforcing copyright and intellectual freedom

Prerequisites:  LIBT 1200, LIBT 1300, or Instructor Approval