AC Code of Conduct

MiALA Annual Conference Code of Conduct

The Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA) is committed to creating and supporting inclusive, diverse, and equitable conference participation, task forces, and interest groups (IGs). We strive to be a welcoming organization that seeks to create new shared understanding and the focal point for an academic library culture that is anti-oppression, recognizes intersectionalities, and works compassionately across differences. Together, MiALA members strive to advance academic librarianship, libraries, and services as well as serving as a catalyst for statewide collaboration and as a connector to national academic library interests. We know that the best problem-solving and critical thinking happens when people with a wide array of experiences and perspectives come together to work in comfort and safety as peers. We therefore expect participants in the MiALA community to help create thoughtful and respective environments where that interaction can take place.

MiALA is dedicated to providing collaborative conference experiences that are free from all forms of harassment, and inclusive of all people. All participants, in person and online, are expected to follow the MiALA Code of Conduct, which is a mutually agreed upon standards of behavior for a group of colleagues.

MiALA does not tolerate harassment of community members in any form. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the MiALA Board using the email address

Participants and presenters agree that by attending the event, they agree to abide by the following code of conduct.

Behavior that is expected and encouraged includes:
  • listening as much as you speak;
  • 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 pronouns and favoring gender-inclusive 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;
  • and staying alert, as Active Bystanders, to the welfare of those around you.

Likewise, it is important to understand the range of behaviors that may constitute harassment.

The Digital Library Federation has developed Active Bystander advice:

Unacceptable behavior is defined as:
  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form.
  • Verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, MiALA staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of presentations during sessions or at other events organized by MiALA throughout the conference. All participants must comply with the instructions of the moderator and any MiALA event staff.
  • Solicitations: Presentations, postings, and messages should not contain promotional materials, special offers, job offers, product announcements, or solicitation for services. MiALA reserves the right to remove such messages and potentially ban sources of those solicitations.
  • Participants should not copy or take screen shots of Q&A or any chat room activity that takes place in the virtual space.

Sexual, discriminatory, or potentially triggering language and imagery is generally inappropriate for any MiALA event venue, including talks. However, this policy is not intended to constrain responsible scholarly or professional discourse and debate. We welcome engagement with difficult topics, done with constructive intentionality, respect, and care.

MiALA reserves the right to take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund, in response to any incident of unacceptable behavior, and MiALA reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting, virtually or in person.

Examples of Unacceptable behaviors
  • Harassment can include, but are not limited to, unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or nonverbal expressions related to: age; appearance or body size; employment or military status; ethnicity; gender identity or expression; individual lifestyles; marital status; national origin; physical or cognitive ability; political affiliation; sexual orientation; race; or religion. Harassment is persistent, sustained, and repeated behavior. One-time incidents, such as micro-aggressions, may constitute harassment.
  • Harassment can also include the use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online); deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; bullying behavior; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Verbal abuse can include, but is not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, MiALA staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.


Additional information regarding sanctions

The following is a list of potential sanctions for anyone who violates the Code of Conduct, depending on the severity of the violation. The sanctions will be decided by the Code of Conduct team:

  • Warning the accused to cease their behavior and that further reports may result in sanctions
  • Ending a talk that violates the policy early
  • Not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy
  • Not allowing the speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event
  • Immediately ending any event volunteer responsibilities and privileges the accused holds
  • Requiring that the accused not volunteer for future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • Requiring that the accused immediately leave the event and not return
  • Banning the accused from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • Being reported to the proper authorities


How to make a report

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the MiALA board by using the email address

On site, MiALA board members, the conference planning committee, and official community volunteers can be identified by their name badges. They can assist participants by calling in possible offenders and if necessary, contacting hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, providing escorts, or otherwise helping those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. Guidelines set by the host institution/venue will be kept in mind.

After our events, in online venues, or on site but in the absence of a board member, to report occurrences that might contravene this policy, please email However, if you or others are in imminent danger, please first phone emergency services at 911.

During the annual conference, in addition to reporting incidents in person, please consult any additional resources and links provided by local organizers and hosts. If you would prefer not to contact MiALA leadership directly, you may write to the chair of the IDEA Committee and/or to individual Interest Group chairs.

What will happen to a report?

The receiving individual will work with MiALA Administrative Assistant, Kalyn Huson. The incident will be documented, the Code of Conduct (CoC) team will be notified, and the person making the report will be contacted (if possible) to confirm the report, gather more information, and determine how the person making the report can be best supported.

All reports will be investigated to the extent the details provided allow, including speaking with the possible offender. The CoC team, which will be a subset of the conference planning committee, will meet to discuss the report and decide what actions to take, in consultation with the person making the report, if known, and in as timely a manner as possible. During this part of the process, we will do our best to protect your confidentiality, if you wish your report to be confidential. However, reporting an incident anonymously or wishing not to disclose key details (e.g. the name of the person being reported) may inhibit the CoC team's ability to take action.

Once appropriate actions are determined by the CoC team, they'll be communicated to the person who violated the Code of Conduct and the person making the report. Actions in response to reports can range from warnings with instructions on how to correct behavior that violated the Code of Conduct to immediate removal from MiALA events, online communities (e.g. email lists, community calls), and future engagement.

Participants at the Annual Conference or any other MiALA event (held online or in person, including sponsored social events) who are asked to stop harassing or intimidating behaviors are expected to comply immediately. Those who violate our Code of Conduct may be warned, sanctioned, or expelled at the discretion of the organizers or MiALA Board.

We value your presence and constructive participation in our shared community, and thank you for your attention to the comfort, safety, and well-being of fellow MiALA collaborators and attendees.