MDLS Code of Conduct


MDLS is a learning environment that welcomes everyone: it’s a diverse community from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. To ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and enriching experience, please bring a spirit of respect and friendly inquiry to all your interactions during MDLS.

Be friendly and willing to engage in discourse. This includes active listening, allowing others to finish speaking without interruption, and refraining from language that demeans or attacks the identity of any individual or group.

Be welcoming. MDLS strives to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. People from all disciplines and stages of their careers are welcome.

Be respectful. Participants come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. Everyone should feel comfortable to ask for the help they need to understand the discussion. Listen and support others in their learning. Remember that everyone here has their own areas of expertise.

Be kind to others. Be thoughtful about the words that you choose. Do not insult or put down other participants.

Anti-harassment Policy

We strive to create a welcoming, supportive, and comfortable space for all who participate in MDLS. These efforts include making the environment harassment-free. We do not tolerate harassment of symposium participants in any form.

Harassment includes:

  • offensive verbal comments related to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, country of origin, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion, veteran status, or other protected class status; 
  • discriminatory or offensive images in public or virtually shared spaces;
  • unsolicited discriminatory or offensive images sent to participant(s) by another participant;  
  • intimidation; 
  • stalking; 
  • harassing or unwanted photography or recording, or violation of the recording policy; 
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events; 
  • inappropriate physical contact; 
  • and unwelcome sexual attention.

A participant who violates the anti-harassment policy will be asked to stop the behavior(s) immediately and/or asked to leave by any of the symposium organizers.

A participant asked to stop harassing behavior(s) are expected to comply immediately. Any member of the MDLS planning committee can issue a verbal and/or written (via chat in a virtual session) warning to a participant, briefly explaining how their specific behavior/action violates the conference’s anti-harassment policy. A record of complaints received and warnings issued will be maintained in order to dissuade repeated offenses and implement enforcement as necessary.

Participants may discuss sensitive, discriminatory, offensive, or triggering topics in sessions if these topics are the subject of the session itself (e.g., a session focusing on the silencing of trans* history in institutional archives; a session about workplace micro-aggressions experienced by people of color). The potentially disturbing nature of these topics should be made clear to participants prior to the start of the session.

Reporting Harassment or violations

If at any point during the symposium you feel uncomfortable or harassed, please reach out to anyone who introduces themselves at the start of the day as a symposium organizer or has a co-host designation in their Zoom name.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, any MDLS 2022 organizer notified about the behavior or who observes the behavior will immediately notify co-organizers of the issue and will take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender and/or expulsion from the event.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact any conference co-organizer or the conference hosts—Chao Cai (caic at purdue dot edu), Ben Chiewphasa (bchiewph at nd dot edu), and Julie Vecchio (jvecchio at nd dot edu)—immediately. If you are being harassed by an anti-harassment officer or otherwise don’t feel safe reporting to them, please contact complete the Code of Conduct Report Form, which can be submitted anonymously.

Any co-organizer will be happy to help attendees contact police or crisis services, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.

Recording/Social Media Policy

Photography/Social Media Reporting of Presenter’s Content. MDLS is a place to share information, not only with other participants but also with those who may not be able to attend. Sessions are, by default, considered open and can be described on social media. If you do not want to be photographed or to have either photographs or words be attributed to you, please let other session participants know before beginning your presentation.

Recording. MDLS organizing committee members will record and share the sessions this year. We kindly ask that other participants refrain from creating audio or video recordings of any of the sessions.

Anti-Harassment on Social Media. We encourage all MDLS attendees to join the conversation on Twitter and Slack before, during, and after the conference. We also encourage attendees to discuss their experiences by blogging or writing pieces for their home institution blogs and newsletters if appropriate. Attendees are reminded that the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy extend to online interactions associated with MDLS.

Comments made on social media may be republished with attribution (for example, retweeting or embedding Tweets into blogs). If you wish to attribute an opinion or statement to an individual in a long-form piece, please verify with that individual that you have written an accurate representation of their view, especially if it concerns their research.

Thank you

We value your attendance. We expect participants to follow these rules during in-person sessions, as well as in the Midwest Data Librarian Virtual Symposium Zoom rooms, any related social events, and in online forums.


This policy is based on the NYC Archives Unconference Code of Conduct, which is in turn based on the SAA Code of Conduct and the AdaCamp event policies, as well as UW-Madison Research Bazaar Code of Conduct which is based on the Django Community Code of Conduct.