"The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations."
(ALA | Code of Ethics, Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics.cfm)
I'm on board with having a code of ethics or professional guidelines or whatever an organization wants to call it. I get concerned when people get too literal about rules and start to feel boxed in by them. These sorts of guidelines are and should be very broad statements, and as the ALA recognizes, they shouldn't dictate every little action a library or organization undertakes. To use a tired example, a library wonders if they should collect holocaust denial literature. They feel like they should because to actively avoid it would be a form of censorship. In most cases though there's probably no point it collecting this literature, a library has a budget which is probably small to begin with and it's resources could be better spent ordering another copy of The Wire or the latest Jane Austen mash-up novel. (how did we not talk about this last unit?) The library shouldn't feel like they have violated ALA's code of ethics because not every action needs to be analyzed under the microscope of the code. If they have the jist of it and generally follow some sort of guidelines, then all is well in the world.
For my other organization's code of ethics I chose our neighbors to the north the Canadian Library Association. Sadly, it is sorely lacking in hockey and fur trapping rules.
We believe that libraries and the principles of intellectual freedom and free universal access to information are key components of an open and democratic society.
Diversity is a major strength of our Association.
An informed and knowledgeable membership is central in achieving library and information policy goals.
Effective advocacy is based upon understanding the social, cultural, political and historical contexts in which libraries and information services function.
(Canadian Library Association | Our Mission, Values & Operating Principles, Retrieved from http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Mission_Values_andamp_Operating_Principles&Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8621)