LIBR 563

INFORMATION ETHICS AND INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM

PREREQUISITES:
MLIS and Dual MAS/MLIS: Completion of the MLIS core
MAS: completion of MAS core and permission of the iSchool Graduate Advisor

GOALS: The goal of this course is to introduce students to both emerging and perennial ethical issues facing information professionals. The course will assist students in developing the skills needed to identify, analyze, and address ethical quandaries throughout their professional careers in information studies, whether in Canada or abroad.

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Express a basic knowledge of ethical theories and theorists
  • Critically evaluate an ethical argument
  • Draw upon their knowledge of ethics to analyze both perennial and emerging issues in information studies from various perspectives (e.g., Canadian library, U.S. search engine, Chinese government)
  • Construct a defensible ethical argument to support their position on an information studies issue

CONTENT:

  • Explorations of past information ethics topics and topics of current interest (e.g., intellectual freedom, privacy)
  • Critical analysis of the values statements of various information organizations
  • Instruction in verbal debate and written argumentation
  • Investigations of how information technologies, past and present, push on ethical stances

NOTE: Topics discussed may include sensitive/offensive material related to issues of intellectual freedom (e.g., sexually explicit heterosexual and gay/lesbian materials, witchcraft, hate literature, religious/blasphemous information, seditious or war-time information, information regarding illegal acts or substances, etc.).