Code of Ethics

Hong Kong Library Association Code of Ethics

The purpose of this Code is to set out guidelines for ethical conduct expected of library and information personnel in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Library Association believes in freedom of enquiry, thought and expression and in the free, uncensored flow of information. It is a fundamental principle that the primary duty of library and information personnel is to facilitate access to information to meet the requirements of their users.

In order to observe this general principle, library and information personnel should:

Responsibilities for the Collection

aim to acquire and preserve an appropriate and useful collection to meet the needs of users
organise and provide access to sources of information in order to make them available, regardless of distance

Responsibilities to Society

  1. uphold freedom of enquiry and uncensored flow of information
  2. uphold the principles of intellectual freedom
  3. recognize and respect intellectual property rights

Responsibilities to the Users

  1. protect and promote the rights of every user to have unhindered and equal access to information
  2. aim to provide users with accurate, unbiased services at the highest level regardless of personal beliefs
  3. respect and protect the privacy and confidentiality of users
  4. provide efficient services particularly with respect to intellectual freedom
  5. enable and promote any user education necessary to facilitate the use of information
  6. provide any necessary instruction in the use of library facilities
  7. recognise any changes to the information needs of users and take proactive action to satisfy their needs

Responsibilities to the profession

 Professional excellence

  1. strive for professional excellence
  2. continually update and enhance knowledge and expertise
  3. promote respect and networking among library and information professionals
  4. enhance public understanding of the profession

Professional integrity

  1. maintain high standards of professional integrity
  2. not engage in conduct which could prejudice the standing of the profession
  3. not advance their own personal interests at the expense of their employers, colleagues or user communities
    Adopted by the Hong Kong Library Association Council


January 7, 2005