When are we in a conflict of interest?

Cataloguers work in many fields. We work in libraries, in legal environments, universities and businesses. We are found in grassroots campaigns, political offices and special interest groups. Our career paths lead us to many things. This could be a former liberal cataloguing for the conservative government, or a former employee of one business now cataloguing for a competitive company. When this happens, should our expertise be called into question? Does our personal interest, perhaps even our past experiences lessen our credibility as an expert in cataloguing? Should our knowledge of one political party, business or event regard others to call our professionalism into question?

When I am cataloguing, I am only interested in content as it pertains to cataloguing. I catalogue numerous documents, books and CDs everyday. I create reading lists with hundreds of books. Can I recall their exact information? No. I require only enough information to catalogue the item so that others may recall the information when they need it.

A professional is someone who separates his/her professional responsibilities from their personal views and opinions. It does not matter who I worked for, what I did in the past or what religious view points I have. I am responsible for cataloguing fairly, honestly and without censor or malice. That is the role of a professional.

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Filed under Professional Ethics, The Cataloguer

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