Ethics in AI Statement

Statement on AI ethics and the contributions of diverse voices in the discussion

Recent events surrounding Dr. Timnit Gebru, formerly the co-lead of Google’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI) team, have shed light on the importance of unbiased research into the ethical issues surrounding the use of AI and the need for diverse voices to be part of the discussion. As the preeminent global voice of information science and technology research and its implications for practice, the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) is joined by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) and the iSchools in strongly advocating for rigorous and thorough research into the use of AI to ensure its ethical application in all aspects of society. ASIS&T, ALISE and the iSchools support the work of researchers, such as Timnit Gebru and others, who seek to identify potential flaws and biases in the algorithms used by AI that may disproportionately impact diverse populations. As an association that embraces the diversity of voices contributing to scholarship in the information science and technology field, we encourage continued research into the ethical use of AI and transparency in the dissemination of the results of such research. ASIS&T, ALISE and the iSchools recognize the importance and need for organizations to consider both the positive and negative effects of AI and to find ways to mitigate, if not prevent, the negative impacts of AI while achieving AI’s benefits. Importantly, diverse voices are needed in such discussions.

Adopted December 21, 2020

Ethical Guidelines for Library and Information Science Education
FINAL  --  4 May 2010


As the intellectual home of university faculty and students in graduate library and information science programs in North America, the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) promotes excellence in research, teaching, and service. The field of library and information science is multi-disciplinary, global, and dynamic; its faculty and graduate students represent diverse fields of study, nationalities, and cultures. As instructors and mentors of LIS students, ALISE members prepare future professionals and scholars for careers in a wide variety of information-related positions in diverse institutional settings, some of which are governed by their own policies and codes of ethics.  As scholars, ALISE members conduct research and publish their findings to extend the knowledge in their field and expand its applicability to practice. As leaders in professional organizations, campus administrators, and community partners, LIS educators serve their profession, their institutions, and society.  

Core Values

We, as LIS educators, share a commitment to core ethical values. We believe that education is a fundamental human right and a common good that benefits all. We strive to act with integrity, honesty, openness, and fairness, respecting others and recognizing their human value and dignity. We oppose discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, social background, country of origin, or family status. In all our work, we respect the right to privacy and confidentiality of our students and colleagues. We acknowledge and disclose possible conflicts of interest in our teaching, research, and service. We aspire to ethical conduct in each dimension of our multi-faceted and interconnected professional activities.


As LIS educators, we respect and uphold academic freedom and protect the freedom to learn and to teach.  We resist censorship and actively promote access to diverse points of view.  

In our courses we provide full information about expectations, assignments, and grading standards, give fair notice of any changes, encourage and respect the expression of controversial ideas, and avoid the use of the classroom to promote ideas or products for personal gain.

As teachers, we provide the highest level of service to students through appropriate preparation, presentation, and assessment.  

We develop and maintain expertise in our areas of specialization, ensure that course content is informed by related research, understand a variety of teaching methods, are aware of pedagogical advances, and strive to improve our teaching effectiveness.

We treat all students fairly, recognize the diversity of their backgrounds and abilities, avoid favoritism, and strive to promote the advancement of each.  We afford all students due process when evaluating their work.

As academic advisers, we provide adequate time and attention to the needs of our advisees for counsel on course selections and career directions, advise students on the basis of their interests and not on personal perceptions or administrative imperatives, and provide fair and objective employment references.


As scholars, we pursue research and creative activities guided by openness, honesty, and fairness and are conscientious in gathering, analyzing, and presenting evidence, especially in our treatment of human subjects.  

We avoid unfair borrowing of ideas from others, give appropriate credit for joint authorship, and acknowledge the contributions of others to our work.

We promote the scholarly process by respecting timelines for reviews and deadlines for publication.

We recognize our obligation to serve on paper juries, editorial boards, award committees, and grant review panels.

As faculty members, we are fair and open-minded participants in the promotion and tenure process, respecting research in areas and using methods not our own.

We promote library and information science by sharing our research findings with both scholarly and community audiences.


We recognize that service is an integral responsibility of all faculty members that, at its best, enhances both teaching and research

We work collegially in the governance of school and campus, promote the interests of LIS education within our universities, and collaborate with other academic programs that share common interests.

We participate willingly in the peer review process and offer fair and informed opinions in evaluations of teaching and references for positions.
In ranking journals and other LIS programs, we give opinions based on our expertise and experience and not for institutional or personal gain.

When called upon, we share our best advice for improved practice and professional development, including mentoring of students and junior faculty members, and avoid any appearance of conflicts of interest.

In all our activities, we represent the field of library and information science with pride and professionalism.


During a plenary session at the 2007 ALISE Conference, Toni Carbo, a speaker in the session and a past-president of ALISE, suggested that ALISE should have its own Code of Ethics.  She accepted the invitation of ALISE President, Connie Van Fleet, to chair a Task Force to develop a draft code for consideration by the ALISE membership for the 2009 ALISE Conference.  The charge to the Task Force is: to develop a code of ethics for library and information science educators.  The Minimum Expectations for 2007 – 2009 were to review existing codes of ethics, develop a code of ethics for library and information science educators, and to bring the code of ethics to the ALISE membership no later than the January 2009 business meeting.  The Task Force requested and was granted a one-year additional time period.  The original members of the Task Force were:  Johannes Britz (Dean and Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee); Toni Carbo (Teaching Professor, Drexel University Center for Graduate Studies; formerly, Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh)  -- chair; Ann Curry (Professor and Director, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada ); Mary Niles Maack (Professor, Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles); Jean Preer (Professor, Indiana University School of Library and Information Science-Indianapolis); and Wally Koehler (Professor and Director, MLIS Program, Valdosta State University).  The Task Force members reviewed a diverse and broad number of codes of ethics and developed a series of drafts, presenting one at a session during ALISE 2009.  Comments from that session were incorporated into the latest draft.  These members served on the Task Force during its first two years (2007-09). Johannes Britz, Toni Carbo (Chair), Ann Curry, and Jean Preer continued on the Task Force for the third year (2009-2010).