Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALA Conferences

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, exhibitors, staff and volunteers – the opportunity to benefit from the event, the American Library Association 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, ALA is strongly committed to diversity, equity and the free expression of ideas. These values have  been repeatedly delineated in 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 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 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.

ALA 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 their option to leave a session or a conversation. Exhibitors must follow all ALA Exhibits rules and regulations and ALA policies.

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 Conference Services staff in the ALA Office at conference if you believe you have been harassed or that a harassment problem exists. All such reports will be directed immediately to the Director of Conference Services, who will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action, and who may consult with and engage other ALA 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.

To report an incident or problem to ALA Conference Management during the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia:

Go to the Conference Services Desk, ALA Offices
Pennsylvania Convention Center, Hall C
Or call 215-418-2400 or 215-418-2401

Other Contact Information:

For an emergency in the Pennsylvania Convention Center:
Contact Security Control immediately. Dial x4911 from any house phone. There are also beige “hot line” phones around the facility that ring directly into the Security Control Office. From outside or from a cell phone, call 215-418-4911.

First Aid in the Pennsylvania Convention Center
Next to Room 202 B (starting Monday, January 20 through Wednesday, January 29) or Exhibit Hall D Lobby (starting Friday, January 24- Tuesday, January 28)

Philadelphia Police (Non-emergency): 311

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals
111 S. 11th Street
Philadelphia 19107

CVS, 1046 Market St.
Philadelphia 19107

To Call a Taxi:
City Cab Company - 215-492-6600
All City Taxi – 215-467-6666
PHL Taxi – 215-232-2000

For Wheelchair Accessible Cabs:
Freedom Taxi – 215-222-9999
All Threes Taxi – 215-333-3333
Supportive Transportation of Philadelphia – 484-324-8809

WOAR – Women Organized Against Rape, 215-985-3333
Philadelphia Crisis Intervention Hotline – 215-686-4420