Applying Ethics in Evolving Librarianship Intersectionality Implications in Ethical Decision Making

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Rory Patterson


Librarianship and cultures are changing, which impacts what ethics and virtues remain and how they are prioritized. Ethical Decision Making (EDM) is when values or ethics conflict. To make decisions which decrease bias and marginalization, one needs to consider not just the surface characteristics of those involved, but the full identities so that one does not inadvertently amplify oppression. Using intersectionality seeks to understand the multiple identities of people towards that end. Applying the University of Michigan’s Social Identity Wheel helps the reader find their identities and consider internally the need to build trust so others can share their full characteristics. When librarians consider intersectionality in EDM, they can navigate changes in ethics and the concomitant conflicts in ways that benefit all stakeholders.

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