Knowing our Value and our Values

Toward An Ethical Practice of Library Assessment

Author: Scott W. H. Young

Price: TBD

Expected: Summer 2024

ISBN: 978-1-63400-143-4

Assessment librarians make decisions every day about what data to collect, how to collect it, who to involve in the assessment, how to engage library users, how to account for social impacts, how to communicate results, and how to align with parent-entity expectations. These decisions are not straight-forward and often involve dilemmas or tensions among competing stakeholders. Knowing our Value and our Values: Toward An Ethical Practice of Library Assessment is based around a central question: how can decision-making be clarified by applying relevant values? To answer that question, a lens of practical ethics is applied, drawing from the professional values of library and information science. The book involves original research that investigates 1) the values that are relevant to assessment decision-making, and 2) how practitioners can put those values into practice to make ethical decisions about assessment. This research informs the design of a practical framework—introduced in this new book—that library assessment practitioners can apply to better discern and resolve ethical dilemmas in their work. The book contributes to the conversation around professional values and ethics in LIS, and ultimately presents a new practical model for ethical decision-making in library assessment.

Scott W. H. Young is an associate professor and User Experience & Assessment Librarian at Montana State University in Bozeman, the traditional hunting grounds of the Apsáalooke (Crow), Niitsítapi (Blackfeet), and many other Indigenous nations. His work focuses on the co-design and assessment of information services, with related interests in professional ethics. He holds an MA in Archives and Public History from New York University and an MS in Library and Information Science from the Palmer School at Long Island University, and he’s an editor of Weave: Journal of Library User Experience. Read more: