PACSCL Adopts Code of Conduct

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, February 11, 2021)

In recognition of the value of respectful conduct, the PACSCL Board of Directors approved the following code of conduct for all PACSCL events at their February Board meeting.

The code of conduct is inspired by PACSCL’s mission and vision:


PACSCL members collaborate to make their collections broadly available. PACSCL supports joint projects, promotes professional standards, and fosters the special collections community.


PACSCL and its member institutions are recognized globally for the depth and broad accessibility of their unique materials, and make the Greater Philadelphia area a preeminent center for engagement with special collections. 

This code of conduct is framed by PACSCL’s Statement on Diversity and Inclusion. 

This Code of Conduct applies to all meetings, events, Board and committee work, and other activities organized through PACSCL, including those taking place in-person or online.

How to Be

PACSCL is dedicated to providing collaborative experiences and opportunities that are free from all forms of harassment, and inclusive of all people. Small actions you can take will help us meet this goal. For instance, we suggest:

  • listening as much as you speak, and remembering that colleagues may have expertise you are unaware of;
  • encouraging and yielding the floor to those whose viewpoints may be under-represented in a group;
  • using welcoming language, for instance by using an individual’s stated pronouns and favoring gender-neutral collective nouns (“people,” not “guys”);
  • accepting critique graciously and offering it constructively;
  • giving credit where it is due;
  • seeking concrete ways to make physical spaces and online resources more universally accessible; and
  • staying alert, as Active Bystanders, to the welfare of those around you[1].

Likewise, it is important to understand the range of behaviors that may constitute harassment.

Harassing behavior may relate to

  • age;
  • appearance or body size;
  • employment or military status;
  • ethnicity;
  • gender identity or expression;
  • individual lifestyles;
  • marital status;
  • national origin;
  • physical or cognitive ability;
  • political affiliation;
  • sexual orientation;
  • race; or
  • religion.

Harassment can include unwelcome or offensive verbal or written comments or nonverbal expressions, used in person or online, in private or in public.

Examples of harassment can include:

  • use of sexual and/or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online);
  • deliberate intimidation;
  • stalking;
  • following;
  • trolling;
  • harassing photography or recording;
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events;
  • bullying behavior;
  • inappropriate physical contact; and
  • unwelcome sexual attention.

Sexual, discriminatory, or potentially triggering language and imagery is generally inappropriate for any PACSCL venue. However, this policy is not intended to constrain responsible scholarly or professional discourse and debate. We welcome engagement with difficult topics, done with respect and care.

We value your presence and constructive participation in our shared community, and thank you for your attention to the comfort, safety, and well-being of fellow PACSCL colleagues and members of the special collections community.

Source of inspiration

This Code of Conduct is adapted, with gratitude, from the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Code of Conduct.


[1] For definition and philosophy of “Active Bystander,” see