There is an ethical component to information literacy. Most often it’s been framed in terms of plagiarism and piracy, as in the old ACRL Standards for Information Literacy. But the current ACRL Framework for Information Literacy puts it in the threshold concept Information Has Value and begins to recognize issues of power and influence in information production and dissemination.  “Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination. … Experts understand that value may be wielded by powerful interests in ways that marginalize certain voices.” (

The difference, as I see it, is that the Framework is aspirational where the Standards were practical. 

Zurkowski called upon librarians to lead by example almost forty years ago:

“New ethics

This new context calls for a new ethical order. The ability to manipulate all of these information counterparts of people requires that whoever does the manipulation must respect the privacy of the individual and provide individuals the time and space to live, grow, and to become.”

Zurkowski, Paul G. 1981. “The Library Context & The Information Context: Bridging The Theoretical Gap.” Library Journal 106 (13):1381.