Ethic Dilemma Example Given in Library Reference Class
This was only an assignment we were given in class, not something that actually happened to me. What would you do if the wife of your town’s police chief asked for help locating resources for battered women? I would help her to find the resources she requested without trying to meddle into her business for fear of frightening her away. I would give her the 24-hour hotline phone number. I would assure her that the hotline people give support and will help by exploring the choices that are available to those that contact them. I would also give her the phone number of the local women’s shelter and a contact person’s name from the shelter. I would assure her that any information she was to give me would be kept confidential. I would not come out and ask her if anything’s wrong at home but let her know that I would help her in any way possible to find the information she requested.
Everyday reference librarians have to make difficult decisions. There are no stupid questions. And you are a never a bother. The skill to communicate is what reference service is about. This back and forth dialog is very important. Our library users have the right to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Librarians are guided by the ALA (American Library Association) Code of Ethics. The principles may be broad statements but they help to guide us in making ethical decisions everyday. It has been adopted several times since 1939 and is still valid today. We are obliged to ensure that future generations have access to all information and ideas available. We are committed to intellectual freedom and access to that information.
"Code of Ethics of the American Library Association", American Library Association, July 7, 2006.http://www.ala.org/advocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics (Accessed December 8, 2013)Document ID: 615b49c6-2ba0-1f64- f914- 6bfb9b240357
My local public library
My local library where I work and also frequent the most is the Parkersburg and Wood County Public Library. It is located in Parkersburg and is considered the third largest urban city in West Virginia that serves Wood County citizens. I consider our library to be medium size consisting of two floors, the first floor is the main level or street level and then the second floor is the lower level accessed by stairs or the elevator. The library is open seven days a week except for the summer when it is closed on Sundays. It is well staffed because it is a very busy gathering place.
As the patrons enter the library heading toward the reception/checkout desk, they pass by a section dedicated to new books, fiction, non-fiction and biographies. The reference desk is located at the end of the reception desk. There is also a reference office located behind the reference desk where a lot of the behind the scenes work takes place. This includes the selecting and the ordering of fiction, non-fiction and biography books that are to be added to the collection. We have two full-time reference librarians that are kept extremely busy. When they are not on duty, coverage is provided by the librarian in the talking books office, the technical processing supervisor or the library director. All of the reference librarians and supervisors rotate in providing coverage at the reference desk on weekends. There is at the very least one reference librarian on duty every day the library is open. Our reference staff is the heart of the library.
Located in the center of the library on the main level are sixteen patron computers that can be used if you have a current library card. Each patron is allowed 3 thirty minute sessions a day on the computer. There is EBSCO HOST, Consumer Health Complete, Points of View Reference Center, Student Research Center, Kids Search, NoveList, Chilton Library, free Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest, Learning Express Library and other online research tools available. Located near the patron internet computers are three OPACs (Online Public Access Computers). The non-fiction books, biographies, all DVD’s, music CDs, books on cassette tapes and CDs, magazines and newspapers are located and shelved on the main floor of the library.
To the right of the reception/checkout desk you are able to enter the Young Readers room. It is a bright and colorful room filled with shelves of books to checkout. There are learning games and puppets for children to interact with. The librarians in the Young Readers Room’s duties involve conducting several story hours during the day and providing some evening story hours for those that cannot attend during the day. During the summer the children’s librarians stay very busy with the summer reading programming and the RIF program. Their duties also include ordering new materials for their room and weeding the materials that have not been circulating.
When you take the elevator or the stairs to the lower level you will find three meeting rooms that can accommodate different group sizes. There is no charge for using these rooms. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed in the rooms but cleanup is the responsibility of the persons reserving and providing the food. You would also find the large print books, all the fiction books, paperbacks, graphic novels and young adult books on this floor. Recent improvement and updates have been done to the Young Adult section. There are colorful seating arrangements and high-top tables and chairs. There are posters and pictures on the wall geared toward young adult culture. It just looks attractive and appealing to this age group.
Located on the lower level is our wonderful Genealogy room. There are two dedicated internet computers for family history research. There are also three microfilm readers with printers. Located in cabinets are state and local newspapers, old Virginia and West Virginia County censuses and the 1930 census on microfilm. The stacks are divided by states and counties. Most genealogy books do not check out but pages can be copied on the copier available in the room.
I notice most about my library is how busy and sometimes noisy it is. I remember as a child, the library was a quiet gathering place. The librarian seemed to be on a pedestal and if you talked or made a sound you were shushed with a stern look. Libraries are still a gathering place and have quiet areas but with computers and cell phones they are not the same as they were ten years ago.
What is your local library like? Do you visit it often?
Assignment Search Challenge
During week 4&5 we had an assignment to search for answers from several different sources that are available from our local public library. I chose the topic question “My Dr. told me that I should take a fish oil supplement every day. What are the benefits and what are the dangers?”
I checked for several reliable sources online and in print. I made comparisons and used several different source terms, such as fish oil, omega 3, dietary supplements, fatty acid supplements, and flaxseed.
These are my findings. According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended to include fish oil/omega-3 fatty acid supplements into your daily diet. “The American Heart Association has a longstanding bias against dietary supplements” and yet they recommend taking fish oil daily or consuming fish twice a week because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and thus reduce the chance of a heart attack, strokes and cardiovascular disease. (Faloon 7) “Fish oil and flaxseed are the two most common supplement sources for omega-3 fatty acids”. (Better Nutrition 3) In recent years, studies have been done proving that including omega-3 fatty acids into your diet helps people with a healthy heart as well as those with a family history of heart disease. If you are not able to consume fish in your diet then the next best thing is to take a good supplement. Findings have shown that taking fish oil supplements can help to lower your blood pressure, slow down plaque buildup in your arteries, reduce heart arrhythmia, reduce the chance of a heart attack or stroke, and cut the signs of heart disease. Studies have also shown that fish oil/omega-3 can sometimes lower your cholesterol and triglycerides without taking additional prescription medication. Fish oil is also good for the eyes. As we age, especially in women with hormone changes, we experience dry eyes. It is shown that taking fish oil/omega-3 supplements can help with necessary tear production. There are companies that produce these supplements specifically for the eyes. It is also believed that taking fish oil can help to relieve inflammation in your body and joints thus helping with arthritis and the overall health of your body. It is reported that foods rich in antioxidants such as foods with omega-3 fatty acids can help the brain. This is especially of interest to adults as we age and worry about how to prevent the onset of Alzheimer disease.
I also learned that there can be side effects. This can include diarrhea, nausea, fishy breath, and an upset stomach with a belching fish taste. But the benefits far exceed the risk of the side effects. You need to take high quality fish oil supplements without overuse in order to avoid most of the negative side effects.
I think I prefer the print sources I found in our local public library because I feel that I can rely on the information more. Although there are many sources on the internet I had to weed out the ones that I was not too sure about. I had more trouble finding what I considered reliable sources online. I suffered the same results with EBSCOhost, I could find a lot of sources but not having the piece in hand I questioned it’s reliability.
Information I found in the print sources was wordier than what I found on the internet or database articles. A lot of the information I found in the database and online I also found within the text of the print sources. The internet seemed to get newer, more up-to-date, current information out to the public quicker than what was already on the shelves in our local public library. The strategy I used for all the sources I accessed was about the same. I used keywords and subjects to locate material. I tried to discern websites that seemed the most trustworthy, some by experience of having used the website before. I felt sites with articles by doctors more credible and trustworthy.
Faloon, William. “How Much Fish Oil Is In Your Blood? (Cover Story).” Life Extension 13.6 (2007): 6-9. Alt HealthWatch. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Mason, Roger. Lower your cholesterol without drugs : curing high cholesterol naturally. Revised ed. Garden City Park: Square One Publishers, 2012. Print.
Orrange, Sharon. “10 Potential Side Effects of Fish Oil Supplements You Need To Know About.” DailyStrength. N.p., 15 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://www.dailystrength.org/health_blogs/dr- orrange/article/10-potential-side-effects-of-fish-oil-supplements-you- need-to-know-about>.
"A Scientific List of the Best Fish Oil Benefits and Inspiring Insights into Natural Fish Oil Supplements." The Best Fish Oil Benefits and Supplements. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://best-fish-oil- benefits-and-supplements.com/>.
”Shopping List.” Better Nutrition 70.8 (2008): 49-59. Alt HealthWatch. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
"Should You Give Up On Fish-Oil Pills?." Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 30.10 (2012): 7. Alt HealthWatch. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
Small, Gary W. The Alzheimer’s prevention program : keep your brain healthy for the rest of your life. New York: Workman Publishing, 2011. Print.
Smith, Michael W. “Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements for High Blood Pressure.” WebMD. WebMD, 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood- pressure/guide/omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-for-high-blood-pressure>.
Tribole, Evelyn. The ultimate omega-3 diet : maximize the power of omega-3s to supercharge your health, battle inflammation, and keep your mind sharp. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print.