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The Code of Ethics for Librarians

  • The main mission of librarians is to ensure that the people have free access to information, creating equal opportunities for everyone for personal development and education, creative research, for practising artistic, cultural and other hobbies, and for active participation in social life.
  • Librarians are partners of authors, publishers and other creators of copyright works, providing thus the recognition of the rights of both the users and the creators of the works.
  • Librarians respect the violability of private life and ensure the protection of personal data.
  • A good reputation of librarians is based on ethical conduct, professionalism, and a targeted activity to achieve the highest professional standards. Librarians treat their colleagues and readers with respect and confidence.

The Librarian and Society

  • Librarians knowingly create a positive image of libraries and the reputation of the profession in society.
  • Librarians are committed to neutrality regarding collections and information matters, acquiring collections in a balanced way.
  • Librarians introduce collections and services using effectively and innovately different forms of communication (the media, social media, website, etc.)
  • Librarians advocate the ethical use of information, including good practice in using the Internet, paying particular attention to the youth.
  • Librarians support such copyright regulation that facilitates the availabilty and free use of information through libraries.
  • Librarians promote the principles of open access and freeware licenses and request for exceptions necessary for libraries.
  • Librarians support cultural diversity and the integrity of society.
  • Librarians support active citizenship and contribute to the development of citizenship maturity.
  • Librarians develop cooperative relations with national, municipal, and memory istitutions; their relations are based on mutual respect and cooperative spirit.
  • Librarians ensure the preservation of cultural heritage entrusted to them and contribute to the cultural memory continuity of their home region.

The Librarian and the Reader

  • Librarians aim at the best practice of clients’ service, demonstrating willingness to serve, friendliness, high service standards and providing the best possible service to readers.
  • Librarians assist and support readers in information search and the use of library services.
  • Librarians are reliable; they observe both written and oral agreements and commitments
  • Librarians shape and support reading and information-consuming skills of readers.
  • Librarians stand for the availability of information, carrying out their work in compliance with the Public Information Act.
  • Librarians must ensure the privacy of data, guided in their activity by the Personal Data Protection Act, and are responsible for ensuring the protection of the personal data processed by the library.
  • Librarians deplore discrimination on the grounds of age, nationality, political belief, physical or mental ability, gender, marital status, origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

The Profession of Librarian

  • Librarians value their profession and develop their professional skills by continuous training and enhancing their knowledge.
  • In the name of their reputation and status librarians behave professionally and ethically
  • Librarians are loyal to their organisation and during and outside working hours are quided by a good conduct practice, observing that their behaviour will not harm their professional dignity, colleagues or the image of their organisation (incl in social media).
  • Librarians are open-minded, respectful, supportive, cooperative and without any prejudice towards their colleagues, encouraging others and assisting new colleagues in advancing their professional skills.
  • Librarians contribute to the well-being of the organisation and the development of organisational culture.
  • Librarians are actively involved in the development of the profession and contribute to the development of their professional association.


Estonian librarians are guided in their professional activity by the Code of Ethics for Librarians approved at the general meeting of the Estonian Librarians Association on 28 February 2014.