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Bobby Bothmann's picture

Power That Is Moral: Creating a Cataloging Code of Ethics--CaMMS Forum

Sunday, June 25, 2017
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, US/Central

Power That Is Moral: Creating a Cataloging Code of Ethics
CaMMS Forum, Sunday 25 June 2017, 1:00-2:30 pm in McCormick Place West S101

The American Library Association (ALA) has in place a code of ethics (1), which codifies and makes known to our profession, and to the general public, the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs. In 1994, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) published a set of guidelines to help assist ALCTS members in the interpretation and application of the ALA Code of Ethics as it applies to issues of concern to ALCTS (2). However, these codes lack clarity when dealing with the specific guidance needed by those doing cataloging work in libraries. Based on the works of Sheila Bair (2005) (3) and Elizabeth Shoemaker (2015) (4), the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) of ALCTS has started the process to develop a code of ethics for cataloging. Join us for this program where Elizabeth Shoemaker will describe the concept of ethics and examine the need for a code of ethics in professional organizations. This will be followed by a presentation from Dr. Hope Olson on ethics theory and its application on how a code might be applied. The program will wrap up with an open discussion facilitated by Dr. Karen Snow and Bobby Bothmann to gather your input and needs for a code of cataloging ethics.


Elizabeth Shoemaker, MS, Rare Book Cataloger, Rose Library, Emory University
Hope Olson, PhD, Professor Emerita, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee


Karen Snow, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, Dominican University
Bobby Bothmann, MLIS, Metadata & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Minnesota State University, Mankato


1. American Library Association. 2008. Code of Ethics of the American Library Association.http://www.ala.org/advocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics

2. Association for Collections and Technical Services. 1994. Guidelines for ALCTS Members to Supplement the American Library Association Code of Ethics, 1994. http://www.ala.org/alcts/resources/alaethics

3. Bair, Sheila A. 2005. Toward a Code of Ethics for Cataloging. University Libraries Faculty & Staff Publications. 11. http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/library_pubs/11

4. Shoemaker, Elizabeth. 2015. No one can whistle a symphony: Seeking a catalogers' code of ethics. Knowledge Organization : 42(5): 353-357.

Bobby Bothmann's picture

Thank you all to those who were able to attend the CaMMS Forum. It was an amazing conversation! 

I have used Storify to construct the timeline of the Twitter feed for this session, which may be a useful read: https://storify.com/bothmann/power-that-is-moral

Also attached are the notes we took during the discussion and slides from our presenters, Beth Shoemaker and Dr. Hope Olson.


Christine DeZelar-Tiedman's picture

Will non-CaMMS members be able to access these slides through Connect?

Bobby Bothmann's picture

Yes! This is a public post. No log-in required to view, only to comment.