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Code4Lib seeks to provide a welcoming, professionally engaging, fun, and safe conference (and ongoing community) experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Discriminatory language and imagery, including sexual or sexualized language and imagery, is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks, or any community channel such as the chatroom or mailing list.

Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens or demeans another person or group, or that produces an unsafe environment. It includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religious or political beliefs; sexual, sexualized, or discriminatory images in public (including online) spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.

Conflict Resolution

  1. Initial Incident

    If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, and you feel comfortable speaking with the offender, please inform the offender that they have affected you negatively. The offending behavior may be unintentional, and the offender and offended may resolve the incident by having that initial discussion themselves.

    Code4Lib understands that there are many reasons speaking directly to the offender may not be workable for you (including but not limited to unfamiliarity with the conference or its participants, lack of spoons, or concerns for personal safety). If you do not feel comfortable speaking directly with the offender for any reason, skip straight to step 2.

  2. Escalation

    If the offender insists that they did not offend, if the offender is actively harassing you, or if direct engagement is not a good option for you at this time, then you will need a third party to step in.

    If you are at a conference or other community event, find the on-call Community Support Volunteer or the event organizer or staff person, who should be listed on a publicly-accessible website such as the conference website, in the Community Support Squad volunteers list, or on the Code4Lib wiki. If you can't find either any such people, there will be other staff available to help if the situation calls for immediate action.

    The primary way to reach a Community Support Volunteer online is to email the address. Messages sent to the CSV list are visible to all Community Support Volunteers and are kept private. You may use a throw-away email address if you want to ensure anonymity.

    If you are in the #code4lib IRC channel, the zoia command to list people designated as channel helpers is @helpers. There is at least one helper in the channel at most times. Helpers may not be Community Support Volunteers but know how to direct you to them.

    If you are in the code4lib Slack, you may reach a volunteer by including either the phrase c4lcsv or c4lcss in a message posted to a public channel, such as #general or #code4libcon. You may also private message a known member of the Community Support Squad; their names and Slack handles will be posted on the aforementioned publicly-accessible website(s).

    If you are in the code4lib Discord server, contact anyone who is assigned the @community_support_volunteers role. Those who are designated that role will have a green highlighted user name. For those who may not be able to see the color, you will know if someone is a community support volunteer by clicking on their name/profile and @community_support_volunteers will be listed under roles. On the desktop Discord client you can see a list of those in this role in the upper right corner.

    The code4lib listserv is maintained by Eric Lease Morgan. Our Community Support Volunteers monitor its messages and may be contacted via email.

  3. Wider community response to Incident:

    If the incident doesn't pass the first step (discussion reveals offense was unintentional, apologies offered and accepted, public note or community is informed of resolution), then there's not much the community can do at this point since the incident was resolved without outside intervention.

    If incident results in corrective action, the community should support the decision made by the Help in Step 2 if they choose corrective action, like ending a talk early or banning from the listserv, as well as support those harmed by the incident, either publicly or privately (whatever individuals are comfortable with).

    If the Help in Step 2 runs into issues implementing the CoC, then the Help should come to the community with these issues and the community should revise the CoC as they see fit.

    In Real Life, people will have opinions about how the CoC is enforced. People will argue that a particular decision was unfair, and others will say that it didn't go far enough. We wouldn't dream of asking people to stop people sharing their opinions, but we can steer discussions toward civil, constructive dialogue that leads to something tangible (e.g., affirmation of decision, change to the CoC, modification of the decision).


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expelling the offender from the Code4Lib event, or banning the offender from a chatroom, Slack workspace, or mailing list.

Specific sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • warning the offender to cease their behavior, letting them know that further reports will result in other sanctions
  • requiring the offender to avoid any interaction with, or physical proximity to, the victim for the remainder of the event
  • terminating a talk
  • refusing to publish video and/or slides of a talk
  • barring a speaker from giving (further) talks at the event
  • immediately ending any event volunteer responsibilities and privileges the offender holds, including requiring that the offender not be allowed to volunteer for future Code4lib events (either indefinitely or for a specified time period)
  • requiring that the offender immediately leave an event and not return
  • banning the offender from future events (either indefinitely or for a specified time period)
  • banning the offender from any (or all) online Code4Lib channels
  • publishing an account of the harassment

Code4Lib event organizers can be identified by their name badges, and they will help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

In the case of organized events, those responsible for the event should make readily available the following information:

  • Conference organizer: [ORGANIZER NAME], [PHONE NUMBER]
  • [MUNICIPALITY] Police Department: [PHONE NUMBER]
  • Community Support Volunteers: including the [PHONE NUMBER]
  • Code4lib IRC volunteers: @helpers in #code4lib, or /msg zoia helpers #code4lib

We expect participants to follow these rules at all conference venues, conference-related social events, community gatherings, and online communication channels.

We value everyone's participation in the Code4Lib community, and will all work to keep Code4Lib a safe and friendly space for all participants!

Based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.