California Academic and Research Libraries
California Academic and Research Libraries
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Code of Conduct & Equity Statement

Equity Statement

Approved by the board 10/3/19

CARL is committed to achieving racial and social equity in our organization and in the field of academic and research libraries so that all community members can realize their full potential. Academic and research libraries have not done enough to address discriminatory behavior and institutional practices in our workplaces and professional spaces. In response, this Equity Statement guides our work. Racial discrimination has shaped academic and research libraries over generations, and it will take sustained and focused effort to transform our culture and practices.

We value equity and inclusion as core values of our work. We define these terms as follows:

  • Inclusion: The practice of treating all individuals with respect; valuing them for their distinctive skills, experiences, and perspectives; and ensuring equitable access to resources and opportunities, so that all can contribute fully to CARL’s success.
  • Equity: The practice of assuming difference and taking difference into account to ensure a fair process and, ultimately, a fair (or equitable) outcome. Equity requires an acknowledgment of the ways in which our current systems were originally created to oppress and therefore create injustice for people of color (POC), particularly Black and Indigenous persons of color (BIPOC).

We consider equity and inclusion work to be critical to achieving our mission and serving our members. We strive for continuous learning and improvement, accepting that mistakes may be made along the way, and that we will adapt and continue to learn.

Code of Conduct

Approved by the board 10/3/19

CARL exists to provide opportunities for the professional growth of its members, to encourage the exchange of ideas and information, and to disseminate educational information oriented to those working in academic and research libraries. In order to achieve our mission, we require all members to actively participate in the creation of a welcoming, harassment-free environment. We believe that articulating our values and accountabilities reinforces this and provides us with clear avenues to correct our culture should it ever stray.

We expect all participants in CARL-related spaces, including guests and vendors, to behave in ways that support the dignity and well-being of everyone present. This includes formal and informal CARL-related spaces, including digital communication, social media, and in-person interactions. We acknowledge that mistakes will be made, but we also expect all participants in CARL-related spaces to be humble, be comfortable with being uncomfortable, acknowledge the mistake, and commit to continuous learning and improvement.

CARL supports freedom of speech and the open exchange of ideas and opinions for all its members, and we prioritize the safety of marginalized people over the comfort of those with privilege. We will not tolerate hate speech, silencing, inflammatory rhetoric, harassment or any other speech or action that threatens the safety or dignity of any member of our community. The following examples are *not* against the Code of Conduct.: 

  • "Reverse"-isms, including "reverse racism," "reverse sexism," and "cisphobia"
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as "leave me alone," "go away," or "I'm not discussing this with you."
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
  • Communicating boundaries or criticizing oppressive behavior in a manner that one perceives to be uncongenial

To respect the boundaries and agency of every CARL member, members may discuss sensitive, discriminatory, offensive, or triggering topics in CARL spaces if they are the subject of the space itself (for example, webinars on microaggressions or conference presentations on racist materials in library collections). However, these topics should be shared with participants in advance.

Accountability Mechanism

All participants and presenters are expected to observe these rules and behaviors at all CARL-sponsored engagements. Participation in a CARL meeting, event, or discussion (in person or online) signals a willingness to comply with this Code of Conduct. Any breach of this Code of Conduct may result in an appropriate course of action including but not limited to:

  • verbal or written warning
  • hiding or deleting comments, and/or blocking from any CARL social media channels
  • expulsion from the event or meeting with no refund
  • involvement of external personnel
  • exclusion from future events and/or meetings
  • revocation of membership with no refund

Reporting a Problem

Anyone can report harassment at any time. All reports will be handled in confidence. If someone’s behavior has made you uncomfortable, or if you witness the same happening to someone else, this information should be reported as soon as possible. Violations to the CARL Code of Conduct can be submitted through an online form on CARL’s website, or verbally to the Equity and Inclusion Coordinator or a CARL Board member, who are then responsible for recording the report and initiating the process for an appropriate course of action within 24 hours. These members can be identified by the “Ask Me” signifier on their name badge. Information for reporting instances of code violations will be displayed at all programs, meetings and events, and on the CARL website. To report harassment after a program, meeting or event, please use the online reporting form or email

Reports of code violations will be monitored and addressed by the Equity and Inclusion Coordinator and shared with the CARL Board, and/or legal counsel as appropriate, to determine and carry out a course of action. A follow-up report will be sent to individuals who submit a report. A written summary of all code violations will be made annually by the Equity and Inclusion Coordinator to the CARL Board and an abbreviated summary will be shared with CARL membership. The CARL Board may develop additional procedures as needed.

Actions that result in expulsion or exclusion from an event, or revocation of CARL membership, may be reviewed after 1 year upon written request to the CARL Board. 

We need your help to keep CARL-sponsored engagements safe, accountable, and responsible.


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