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Code of Conduct and Ethics
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LIASA Code of Ethics and Conduct


The growth and sustainability of democracy in South Africa is dependent upon equitable access to information and knowledge which is the core business of the library and information services sector.  The Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), representing the interests of the library and information services sector, is an institution that must be recognised as a significant contributor to the growth and development of South Africa.

To this end, members of LIASA significantly influence or control the selection, organisation, preservation and dissemination of information through a wide network of libraries in South Africa.  In alignment with international standards, LIASA members belong to a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and access to information.  In order to uphold these ideals, LIASA members should subscribe to a code of ethics and conduct that establishes principles of professional practice and responsibility thereby contributing to an informed and responsible citizenry.

Purpose of the Code

The purpose of this code is to set forth guidelines for the ethical conduct of all members of LIASA.  The principles of this code are expressed in broad terms in order to guide decision making.  Membership of LIASA implies adherence to the Code of Ethics and Conduct.

  1. Members should adhere to the Constitution and Rules of LIASA and the provisions of this Code of Ethics and Conduct.
  2. Members in professional positions should have relevant qualifications from accredited service providers.
  3. Members in support positions should be encouraged to acquire the relevant qualifications from accredited service providers.
  4. Members should not engage in conduct that will bring the profession and LIASA in disrepute.
  5. Members, who are elected LIASA Office bearers, should not engage in conduct that will bring the profession and LIASA in disrepute. (See Article 10.4 of the LIASA Constitution)
  6. Members should actively work towards the improvement of library and information services in general and acknowledge the need to protect the reputation and integrity of the profession.
  7. Members should at all times be competent in their professional tasks as per international standards.
  8. Members should ensure that their knowledge and skills are kept current.
  9. Members should observe the laws of South Africa especially those concerned with copyright, confidentiality and freedom of access to information.
  10. Members should ensure the free flow of information, freedom of speech and freedom of expression and the right of access to information.
  11. Members should ensure that, upon request, the right information in the right format is provided so that public interest and public good is not compromised.
  12. Members should ensure that the contractual obligations owed to their employers are fulfilled to the best of their ability.
  13. Members should follow the highest level of personal integrity and competence in the performance of their duties.
  14. Members should provide and promote the highest level of service that is accurate and unbiased regardless of their own personal beliefs. The personal views of the member are subordinate to his / her professional principles.
  15. Members should not exercise censorship, but facilitate and allow for the free and equal access to all sources of information.
  16. Members should support intellectual freedom.
  17. Members should protect the right to privacy and dignity of all library staff and users and show respect for the confidentiality of the library-client relationship, even after the relationship ceases.
  18. Members should treat their fellow workers with respect.
Disciplinary Action

For members who are elected LIASA office bearers will be guided by Article 10.4 of the LIASA Constitution.

Any member may be required to answer inquiries from the Association concerning their professional conduct. Failure to respond within 21 days may lead to suspension and withdrawal of membership.

Any actions found to be in contravention of the Association’s Code of Conduct may incur disciplinary action after investigation and consideration by a Commission nominated by the Representative Council.

Revised: 2013

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