Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date




Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline ethical implications of the practical challenges facing resource sharing practitioners in the digital age.

Design/methodology/approach – The author presents an overview of major ethical challenges related to digital resource sharing using a framework of four key ethical theories: justice as fairness; utilitarianism; rights theory; and common good theory.

Findings – When administrators, publishers, lawmakers, or the public dictate policies and rules that are inconsistent with librarian values and norms, librarians should turn to ethical reasoning in defense of their work.

Social implications – Resource sharing practitioners everywhere will find the ethical theories useful when presented with questions related to user access to information.

Originality/value – Library managers charged with development and assessment of resource sharing policies and practices will benefit from this paper.


This work was originally published in Interlending & Document Supply.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.