RISS, the Reference & Information Services Section, presents two talks on the theme “Enabling information ethics in a technologically saturated world.”

We recognize that new AI-centered technologies can inspire us with their power and ability to discern relevant information, but they lack transparency, too often returning search results that are biased, incomplete, and flawed. The ethical responsibilities of librarians are the focus of this webinar. 

The event will feature two presentations, followed by a Question and Answer session.


  • Matilde Fontanin
    PhD student, University La Sapienza (Italy)
  • Peter Johan Lor
    Research Associate, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Johannes Britz
    Professor, School of Information Studies, Univeristy of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA)
  • Bradley J. Wiles
    PhD Student, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA)

Matilde Fontanin in her talk “The connecting machine: Librarians’ mission after the Fourth Revolution” looks at how ethical issues involved in information sharing affect its evaluation, fair use, privacy and openness. The same technology that generates information can help govern it, disclose science to citizens, and foster social justice. However, technology also stimulates the spread of fake news and misinformation. Raising citizens’ awareness on the way algorithms work requires bridging differences among many different disciplines. Librarians and digital humanists could step in as connectors. This paper will review literature, consider recent facts and offer some proposals for the renewed ethical commitment of the digital humanist and the librarian facing new technologies and bearing in mind the IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers.

Peter Lor, Johannes Britz, and Bradley Wiles speak on “The Infodemic of our choosing: Truth, conspiracy theories and librarians in the COVID-19 Era”. Today’s worldwide health crisis generates an amplified public discussion that is both politically contentious and rife with misinformation, creating many challenges for librarians. Our speakers discuss an ethical framework based on alethic rights (the right to truth.)

Join the webinar on 7 October 2020, 16.00 – 17.00 CEST

Check your timezone and save the date!

Audience: IFLA Members and other interested persons

Organiser: Marydee Ojala (marydee@xmission.com)

Sponsored by: Reference and Information Services Section