DPLAfest 2019 Code of Conduct

DPLA seeks to provide a welcoming, fun, and safe community and conference experience for everyone at DPLAfest 2019. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Discriminatory language and imagery (including sexual) is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks, event-related social media posts, or any community channel such as the DPLA mailing lists.

Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens another person or group, or produces an unsafe environment. It includes offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious beliefs, sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online), deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

By participating in this event, you are agreeing to adhere to DPLA’s code of conduct and the Harold Washington Library Center’s Use Guidelines. The code of conduct does not confer any legal rights on the participants, including participants who are sanctioned for violating the code of conduct.

DPLA has asked a group of community members outside our organization to serve as the Code of Conduct Committee for DPLAfest 2019, which will be responsible for implementing and enforcing these guidelines.

DPLAfest Code of Conduct Committee:

  • Valerie Horton, Minitex
  • Veronda Pitchford, Califa
  • Michelle Frisque, Chicago Public Library
  • Michael Della Bitta, DPLA

Conflict Resolution

Step 1: Initial Incident

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, and you feel comfortable speaking with the offender, please inform the offender that they have affected you negatively. Oftentimes, the offending behavior is unintentional, and the accidental offender and offended will resolve the incident by having that initial discussion.

DPLA recognizes that there are many reasons speaking directly to the offender may not be workable for you (including but not limited to unfamiliarity with the conference or its participants, and concerns for personal safety). If you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly with the offender for any reason, skip straight to step 2.

Step 2: Escalation

If the offender insists that they did not offend, if offender is actively harassing you, or if direct engagement is not a good option for you at this time, then you will need a third party to step in. Contact the nearest member of the event staff (Hoopla Communications), or a DPLA staff member and alert them to the situation so they can contact a member of the Code of Conduct Committee. In the event that you cannot locate a Hoopla or DPLA staff member, look for a volunteer, who will be able to contact DPLA staff or a committee member.

In the event that there is a physical altercation, or if there is any threat of physical harm to any event participants, alert the nearest Chicago Public Library Security officer or 911 immediately, then contact the nearest event personnel.

Once a Code of Conduct Committee member has arrived, they will begin working with the involved parties to report and address the incident and, if needed, make a determination about sanctions to be levied.

Contacting Chicago Public Library Security

Chicago Public Library (CPL) Security Officers will be stationed in the following locations throughout DPLAfest:

  • Main level, top of the down escalator
  • Lower level
  • Regularly scheduled stations and patrols throughout the building

If you don’t immediately see a security officer, go to the nearest reference desk and ask CPL staff to call them.

Wider community response to Incident
If the incident doesn’t pass the Step 1 (discussion reveals offense was unintentional, apologies said, public note or community is informed of resolution), then there’s not much the community can do at this point since the incident was resolved without outside intervention.

If incident results in corrective action, we would appreciate the community’s help in moving forward from the incident in a positive and constructive manner. For example, if a talk is ended early, we appreciate the flexibility in continuing with the rest of your planned schedule.

In the event participants feel that a particular decision was unfair we will, to the best of our ability, pursue constructive discussions.

Step 3: Sanctions

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, Code of Conduct Committee members may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event.

Specific sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in other sanctions
  • requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event
  • early termination of a talk that violates the policy
  • not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy
  • not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event
  • immediately ending any event volunteer responsibilities and/or privileges the harasser holds and requiring that the harasser not volunteer for future DPLA events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • requiring that the harasser immediately leave the event and not return
  • banning the harasser from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)
  • publishing an account of the harassment

We are here for you.

DPLA event organizers can be identified by their name badges, and will help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all conference venues, conference-related social events, community gatherings, and online communication channels.

We value your participation in the DPLA community, and your efforts to keep DPLAfest 2019 a safe and friendly space for all participants!

To contact DPLAfest organizers, email dplafest@dp.la.

If an incident occurs, please use the following contact information:

  • Chicago Public Library Security: Find an officer or have the nearest CPL staff contact security.
  • Emergencies: 911
  • City of Chicago Police Department: 312-745-4290, non-emergency: 311
  • Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline: 888-293-2080

If you have any issues with the way the code of conduct is implemented during DPLAfest 2019, please feel free to communicate this feedback to DPLA through the post-fest evaluation form. We will take your concerns into consideration for future events.

Based on the Code4Lib policy, which itself is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.