Professional Practice

The six principle commitments are:

  1. Being personally responsible:
    • For own professional development keeping abreast of new developments in specific field/s and the changing subject related legislative requirements
    • For only claiming expertise in areas of the subject where skills and knowledge justify it
    • For refraining from criminal or disreputable behaviour which could reflect badly on the profession
  2. Being socially just and responsible to the information user:
    • By ensuring they are fully aware of both the scope and remit of the service provided
    • By ensuring all standards and procedures managing the provision of service is clear and available to them
    • By protecting the confidentiality of their information, their enquiries, and all aspects of their circumstances
    • By remaining completely unbiased while engaging with a user and/or group of users
    • By showing due care and consideration with data throughout usage cycle when researching user behaviour (customer surveys) and need
    • By dealing fairly, promptly and openly with user complaints
    • By upholding their legitimate information needs while not breaching the legal rights of creators and distributers of intellectual property
  3. Managing all information, data and other material assets responsibly:
    • By citing sources used as appropriate
    • By remaining completely unbiased in the selection and management of material (books, e-resources and data) for the collection
    • By future proofing the collection/resources through proper records management and long term development, preservation, conservation of materials and supporting library tools
    • By ensuring the supporting systems are the most effective (within available resources), to meet the user/s needs
  4. Promoting the profession by being respectful and professional with colleagues and the information community:
    • Acknowledging the ideas, contributions and work of other professions wherever and whenever appropriate
    • Promoting the profession to colleagues and the public at large
    • Respecting the rights and interests of others when working in an independent capacity
    • By not discrediting or criticising colleagues work unreasonably or inappropriately
    • Ensuring staff have the necessary knowledge and skill to carry out whatever task is assigned to them effectively and efficiently. Encouraging line managed colleagues to maintain and enhance their professional knowledge and competence
    • Not speak or claim views on behalf of any organisation unless specifically commissioned to do so. Reporting significant breaches of this code to the appropriate authorities 
    • Sharing results of research and development projects (where possible) to help encourage best practice across the profession and enable colleagues to improve the services they provide
  5. Serving society:
    • By considering the public good, in general and as it refers to specific vulnerable groups, as well as claims arising from their employment and their professional duties
    • By promoting equitable access for all users to all kinds and formats of public domain information
    • By promoting the skills and knowledge amongst users to become effective independent learners and researchers
    • By encouraging and promoting wider knowledge, acceptance and compliance with these principles among colleagues and more widely among whose whom we serve
    • By balancing the demands of the user, the need to respect confidentiality, the public good, where applicable terms of employment and the responsibilities outlines in these principles
  6. Employee responsibilities:
    • Wherein the employee should use their skills and expertise to promote the legitimate aims and objectives of their employer aided by a deep knowledge and understanding of the organisation
    • Never engage in unethical practices during work. Bring ethical and legal concerns of specific decisions, actions, or behaviours at work to the attention of employer

These have been drawn and simplified from the Chartered Institute of Library and Informational Professionals (CILIP) Code of Professional Practice for Library and Information Professionals, CILIP 2004, amended 2012.