Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALSC National Institute

The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, holds professional conferences and meetings to enable its members to receive continuing education, build professional networks, and discover new products and services for professional use. To provide all participants – members and other attendees, speakers, sponsors, staff and volunteers – the opportunity to benefit from the event, the Association for Library Service to Children is committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion or other group identity.

As an association, ALSC and ALA are strongly committed to diversity, equity and the free expression of ideas. These values have been repeatedly delineated in American Library Association (ALA) policy (for instance: Policy A.1.4 – Core Organizational Values; Policy B.1.1 – Core Values of Librarianship; Policy B.1.2 – Code of Professional Ethics) and also within ALSC’s core values and strategic plan. Taken cumulatively, the values and beliefs delineated within ALA policy and ALSC’s strategic plan describe conduct based on a firm belief in the value of civil discourse and the free exploration of competing ideas and concepts – with a fundamental respect for the rights, dignity and value of all persons.

Within the context of ALA and ALSC policy and the professional practices of librarianship, critical examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment.  Similarly, use of sexual imagery or language in the context of a professional discussion might not constitute hostile conduct or harassment.

ALSC seeks to provide a conference environment in which diverse participants may learn, network and enjoy the company of colleagues in an environment of mutual human respect. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and hold that environment for the benefit of all. Some behaviors are, therefore, specifically prohibited:

  • Harassment or intimidation based on race, religion, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, appearance, or other group status.
  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact.
  • Yelling at or threatening speakers (verbally or physically). 

Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others. Participants may – and do – exercise the “law of two feet.”

All participants are expected to observe these rules and behaviors in all conference venues, including online venues, and conference social events. Participants asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Conference participants seek to learn, network and have fun. Please do so responsibly and with respect for the right of others to do likewise.

Please contact any ALSC staff member at conference if you believe you have been harassed or that a harassment problem exists. All such reports will be directed immediately to the Executive Director, who will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action, and who may consult with and engage other ALSC staff, leaders and legal counsel as appropriate. Event security and/or local law enforcement may be involved, as appropriate based on the specific circumstances. A follow-up report will be made to individuals who report being harassed.

Prior to each ALSC National Institute, ALSC Staff will make the following information available:

  • Emergency contact information:
    • Local emergency -  911
    • Local non-emergency - Denver Information to Come
    • Local taxi company(s) - Getting around Denver (Info to Come)
    • Other local services, e.g. hotlines

How to Report an Incident

  • Report incidents of any sort to any ALSC staff member during the conference at any time. An on-site contact number will be provided in the housekeeping email each attendee receives prior to conference as well as during opening remarks. As stated above, all reports will be directed immediately to the ALSC Executive Director to determine and carry out the appropriate course of action.
  • Following the conference please contact ALSC Executive Director Alena Rivers at arivers at or (312) 280-5866.

Community Guidelines

This website is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, as a tool to convey information about the ALSC National Institute. Additionally, information about the National Institute may be posted on the ALSC Blog and generate community discussion. Lively commentary, opinion, and reaction to social media posts are welcome but may be moderated by the ALSC Blog editor. Comments should be relevant to the specific post to which they refer. ALSC reserves the right to remove, or not to post, comments unrelated to the mission of the blog. Spam, flaming, personal attacks, and off-topic comments are not permitted.