Code of Conduct

Statement of Appropriate Conduct: 2020 Virtual Institute

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), 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 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, sexuality 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). Taken cumulatively, the values and beliefs delineated within ALA policy and ALSC’s strategic plan describe conduct based on a firm belief in the 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”: the option to leave a session or conversation.

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 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. 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.

How to Report an Incident

Report incidents of any sort to ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter at astrittmatter at or (312) 280-2162.

Important notice! -- The American Library Association (ALA), including its divisions, is a 501(c)(3) organization and is prohibited from engaging, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign for or against a candidate for local, state or federal office. The penalty for violation of these prohibitions is revocation of tax-exempt status. Any post, on any ALA communication platform, that would put ALA/ALSC at risk will be deleted. Thank you for in advance for steering clear of discussions regarding current campaigns and election commentary.