Ethics and Values in Librarianship: A History examines the development of and changes to library and information science through practice and the writings of library and information theorists and practitioners from Varro during the reign of Julius Caesar to the present. It documents technological and social changes that have had foundational implications for the information professions. The author argues that ethical standards may be redefined over time and new standards may emerge, older precepts and newer ones coexist. He also demonstrates that while specific ethical standards never disappear, they are not static. They change both to specific application and in order of emphasis among other standards. For example, Sir Thomas Bodley prohibited the lending of books from the Oxford library to protect the collection from damage and theft. While this early notion of stewardship has given way to service, stewardship nonetheless remains a core principle of the profession.
Topics covered include the freedom of expression; intellectual freedom; libraries and democracy; intellectual property, copyright, and fair use; and professional qualifications and credentialing. The book is not only a history, but also suitable for use in foundational courses as well as courses in information and library ethics.