The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) 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, WLA 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, WLA is strongly committed to diversity, equity and the free expression of ideas. Taken cumulatively, these values are based on our professional organization’s (Wisconsin Library Association) 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 this WLA Code of Conduct and, more broadly, the freedom of expression, 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.

WLA 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 option of leaving a presentation or exhibit. Exhibitors must follow all WLA Exhibits rules, regulations and 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 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.

If you believe you have been harassed or that a harassment problem exists, report the incident on WLA's website, using this link. After an online report is submitted, WLA will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action, and may engage WLA Directors, staff or legal counsel as appropriate. For more details about reporting, see WLA's Reporting Guide. 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 the harassment.

Special considerations for virtual events

The provisions of the Wisconsin Library Association Code of Conduct apply to virtual WLA events. We remind virtual event attendees to remember that threats, harassment, and intimidation are just as damaging when transmitted online as they are in person and will be not be tolerated.   

Attendees are prohibited from sharing content, recordings, chat logs, comments, or screenshots from WLA virtual events on any other online platforms or in any other virtual communications. Attendees should take only the notes they need for personal use. Recording of program sessions is prohibited, except for authorized agents of WLA capturing recordings for official WLA use.  

Disruption of presentations during sessions or other conference events is not acceptable. Any attendees who attempt to take over screensharing or broadcast unrelated images or messages during a conference event shall be removed from the meeting. People found in violation of any part of the WLA Code of Conduct will face consequences including but not limited to: expulsion from the conference, prohibition from returning to any future virtual event, and will not receive a refund of their registration fees.  

Questions/concerns about this policy should be sent to the WLA Executive Director ([email protected]).

Adapted from the American Library Association Code of Conduct