You are on page 1of 19

Student Library Research Ethics Presentation

Presented by: Tracie Etheridge, Heidi Hansen, Kathryn Loch, and Shannon Savitskie

The Issue
You are working a public reference desk and a parent comes up to you with a junior high school student’s school assignment in hand. The assignment asks the student to do library research and write up the results. The parent is without her child and requests that you do everything on the research list so that she may bring the research home to her child How do you react to this request?

What is the ethical issue?
• Doing the student’s homework for them? • Making homework decisions for them? • Possibly aiding the parent in doing homework for the student? • Bypassing the teacher’s expectations of “library research”?

Sample Lesson
• 7th Grade Business – Library/Research Project
• Overview: Your assignment is to research an entrepreneur of your choice, and then write a 3-page paper on the questions that follow. • Please follow these steps when completing your assignment.

Sample Lesson (cont.)
1. Choose an entrepreneur of your choice. 2. Research this entrepreneur at your local public library. You must have 3 different sources. The sources you MUST HAVE are: 1 journal, 1 book, and 1 source from the Internet. These sources must be published after 2000.

Sample Lesson (cont.)
1. Pick 8 of the 11 questions/statements to complete your paper.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. How he/she became successful How long he/she has been in the business Any difficult times/challenges he/she may have had What he/she (or their company has accomplished What kind of work experience he/she had before they opened their business 6. Education he/she has 7. Profits/losses 8. Support (help) he/she had in building the company 9. The future of the business (goals) 10. Priorities for business and community involvement 11. Origin and objectives of the organization

Sample Lesson (cont.)
1. Write a 3 page, double spaced research paper on the information you found on the entrepreneur you choose. 2. You must have a reference page documenting ALL sources you used.

Perspectives of the Issue
• Student Expectation
• The student wants to get work done as soon as possible with as little effort as possible. • He/she will accept as much help as possible. • The main objective is to get the assignment done. The student isn’t really concerned about the learning aspect.

• Parent Expectation
• The parent wants their child to get the best grade possible. • They expect any and everyone to help the child if possible. • The parent more than likely doesn’t have the time to give the child in depth help.

Perspectives of the Issue (cont.)
• Teacher Expectation
• The teacher gives an assignment that will teach students about research, writing, reading and comprehension. • His/her primary expectation is to have the student learn.

• Librarian Expectation
• The librarian wants to provide student with as much help as possible. • The librarian wants to make sure the information is obtained. • Depending on the librarian, some will give the student the basic information and encourage them to use it to find the bulk of information on their own. Others will do the majority of the project to ensure student gets what they need of the assignment.

Parent comes alone to the reference desk and the librarian chooses to assist

• What are your options?
• Locate all information for the parent to take home with them for the student (print and online)
• Is this doing too much and where do you draw the line?
• Source: Parents' Presence Poses No Problem. (1986). American Libraries, 668.

Parent comes alone to the reference desk and the librarian chooses to assist (cont.)

• What are your options?
• Locate the call numbers in the catalog and instruct the parent to browse the stacks for the student.
• Is this doing too little and are you really helping the student or the parent?

Parent comes alone to the reference desk and the librarian chooses to assist (cont.)

• What are your options?
• Instruct parent in use of online catalog and databases, tell the parent that the student can access a lot of the information at home and on their own or with their help too.
• Source: Broderick, D. (1982). Value laden barriers to information dissemination. The Reference Librarian, 4(Summer), 19-23.

The parent comes to the reference desk with the student • The reference librarian provides short, individual instruction (a mini-lesson) to the student in how to conduct library research
• Source: Beck. S. E., & Turner, N. B. (2001). On the fly BI: Reaching and teaching from the reference desk. The Reference Librarian, 72, 8396.

The parent comes to the reference desk with the student (cont)
• The Mini-Lesson:

• Begin by asking the student questions to jump start critical thinking and problem solving. • Instruct the student in the use of the online print catalog and databases • Instruct the student in advanced Internet searching beyond Web browsing
• Source: Chen. S. L. (2003). Searching the online catalog and the World Wide Web. Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences, 41(1), 29-43

The parent comes to the reference desk with the student (cont)
• Verbalize each step in the search as a strategy to help student store the information in his/her memory • Have student actually do the hands-on keyboarding as you talk him/her through each process so that he/she takes responsibility • Provide the student with handouts and other materials to take away and reference later • Create quick organizers as you work with the student, mapping out the steps as you go through the minilesson • Create advance handouts to have on hand at the reference desk, answering specific questions and/or helping to organize research

• General Websites
• Ethics Updates • Complete Guide to Ethics Management: An Ethics Toolkit for Managers • Business Ethics: Managing Ethics in the Workplace and Social Responsibility
• • •

• Professional Websites
• ALA Code of Ethics

• ACRL Standards and Guidelines

• • •

• IFLA Professional Codes of Ethics/Conduct

Resources (cont.) • Books
• Donnarae MacCann ed. Social responsibility in librarianship : essays on equality (1989) Z716.4 .S631989 • Hauptman, Robert. (1988). Ethical challenges in librarianship. Oryx Press. Z 682.35 .P75 H38 1988

• General Resources
• The Blackwell Guide to Ethical Theory • Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics

Resources (cont.)
• Journal Articles
• Chelton, M.K. (2002). The “Problem Patron” public libraries created. The Reference Librarian, 36, 23-32. • Chelton, Mary K. (1997). Three in five public library users are youth: Implications of survey results from the National Center for Education Statistics, Public Libraries, 36(2), 104-109. • Dewdney, P. and G. Michell. 1997. Asking ‘‘why’’ questions in the reference interview: A theoretical justification. Library Quarterly 67: 50-57. • Gross, M. (1995) Imposed Query. RQ, 35(1), 236-243. Retrieved July 26, 2006, from Extended Academic ASAP database. • Lubans Jr., J. (1982). Teaching the user: ethical considerations. The Reference Librarian, 4(Summer), 89-98. • Philip, B (2001).Let's not keep the code a secret. PNLA Quarterly, 65 (3) Spring 2001, p.8-9. • Smith, M. (2001). Information ethics. Advances in Librarianship, 25, 29-66.

• Not right or wrong answer • No easy conclusions • Personal ethics based on upbringing and teaching • Use objectivity and compassion in your ethical choices