Code of Conduct

The ACRL New England Chapter (ACRLNEC) is dedicated to providing a safe and collaborative conference and event experience that is free from all forms of harassment and inclusive of all people. Small actions you can take will help us meet this goal. For instance, we suggest:

  • Listening as much as you speak and remembering that colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of
  • Encouraging and yielding the floor to those whose viewpoints may be under-represented in a group
  • Using welcoming language, for instance by honoring pronoun preferences and favoring gender-neutral collective nouns (“people,” not “guys”)
  • Accepting critique graciously and offering it constructively
  • Giving credit where it is due
  • Seeking concrete ways to make physical spaces and online resources more universally accessible
  • Staying alert to the welfare of those around you

It is important to understand the range of behaviors that may constitute harassment. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or nonverbal expressions related to: gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, individual lifestyles, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, national origin, employment or military status, physical or cognitive ability; political affiliation; or religion (or lack thereof)
  • Use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online)
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Inappropriate or unwelcome physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Bullying behavior
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Some discussion related to sensitive issues may be appropriate given the topic of a presentation. Discussion or images related to sex, discriminatory language, or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • It is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists
  • It is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards people of color, women, people of differing mental or physical abilities, and LGBTQIA people
  • Attendees are warned in advance in the program and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand.

The above exception specifically does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.

Enforcement of the Code of Conduct

Participants at the ACRLNEC Annual Conference who are asked to stop harassing or intimidating behaviors are expected to comply immediately. Speakers, presenters, and exhibitors are also subject to the code of conduct. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, conference organizers retain the right to take any actions to keep the conference a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expelling the offender from the conference with no refund. During the ACRL New England Annual Conference, in addition to reporting incidents in person, please consult any additional resources and links provided by local organizers and hosts. Conference participants are expected to respect this policy at all conference venues and conference-related social activities.

Reporting Process

All reports and inquiries will be handled in confidence. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, if someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, or if you have any other concerns, please contact a member of the conference staff as soon as possible. Conference staff can be identified by their staff badges. You can make a report either personally or anonymously. We cannot follow up with you directly on an anonymous report, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action possible to prevent a recurrence.

When taking a personal report, conference volunteers will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other conference volunteers to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we will ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we will handle it as respectfully as possible, and you can bring someone to support you. You will not be asked to confront anyone and we won't tell anyone who you are.

Our team will be happy to help you contact venue security, local law enforcement, and local support services; provide escorts; or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your participation.


ACRLNEC Volunteers

Please note that this email address and phone number are not being monitored as of May 8, after the conference. If you wish to report a concern or violation of the Code of Conduct after that date, please contact the Conference Planning Committee Chair at

This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policies from the Digital Library Federation and the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.