My library supports anti-harassment policies

So, this happened and I’m incredibly proud – SUL supports conference anti-harassment policies:

I encourage all Stanford University Libraries staff members to participate only in those conferences that have clear and public anti-harassment policies and/or codes of conduct. If you are asked to speak at or otherwise contribute to a conference, I encourage you to ask the conference organizers if the conference has an anti-harassment policy, and to decline the invitation if the conference does not have such a policy and/or is unwilling to create one. I also encourage Stanford Library staff to help advocate for, draft, and implement such anti-harassment policies for the conferences they attend, and thus to effect positive change in our professional culture and extended work environments.

-From Michael Keller, University Librarian

Actually, truth be told, it didn’t just magically happen. Last week, I decided that in addition to making a personal pledge, I also wanted to recommend to our University Librarian that he encourage all Stanford Libraries’ staff to participate only in those conferences that have clear and public anti-harassment policies and/or codes of conduct. And he agreed.

Yeah, I’ll say it… I freakin’ Leaned all the way In to advocate for this.

OK library friends, especially those of you in leadership positions, the gauntlet has been thrown. Which libraries are going to join Stanford in advocating for civil discourse and harassment-free professional conferences?

13 Responses to “My library supports anti-harassment policies”


  1. 1 Dennis Clark July 18, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Thanks Chris, I was really uneducated about the issues raised. I’ve done some learning! We’re discussing an anti-harassment statement for a planned THATCamp focusing on the New South for later in the year. More as we understand the issues better.

  2. 3 Eleanor Cook July 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I support this but nothing like this has happened to me in a long while. Not since my early ALA conferences. But that’s because I am in an age group where no one harasses me anymore. I am not making light here, it’s the truth!

    • 4 Chris Bourg July 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Eleanor-
      I haven’t personally been harassed at a conference in a long time either (unless you count being told, loudly and agressively “This is the WOMENS restroom!”), but I know it happens and I have seen sexist, homophobic, and racially/ethnically insensitive slides and comments made in presentations. Anti-harassment policies provide standards & recourse.

  3. 5 AmyK July 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Have I ever said out loud how much I adore Jonathan Eisen (and others) but really Jonathan. He is an open access champion and a feminist: http://sociobiology.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/gender-bias-is-terrible-at-scientific-meetings/

  4. 7 Amy July 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    So, I’ve been partially educated. Can you share a few links for good examples of anti-harassment policies?

    • 8 Chris Bourg July 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      You betcha!
      “For background information on anti-harassment policies, including why they are important, sample policies, and a list of conferences with anti-harassment policies, please see the Ada Initiative Anti-harassment work (http://adainitiative.org/what-we-do/conference-policies/). Additional resources, including this definition of harassing behaviors, can be found on the Geek Feminism Wiki (http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Policy) :

      “Harassment includes offensive verbal comments [related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, [your specific concern here]], sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.”

  5. 9 Melia Erin July 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    This is incredible and I am so excited about it!! I will be sharing now with others. Thank you for your hard work on this initiative – it definitely gives us all a model to follow!


  1. 1 This librarian supports the Ada Initiative | Feral Librarian Trackback on September 10, 2014 at 6:28 am
  2. 2 Gender issues panel | Feral Librarian Trackback on January 25, 2014 at 1:00 pm
  3. 3 Getting your boss to endorse org-wide anti-harassment stance | Feral Librarian Trackback on July 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

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