PALCI Code of Conduct

Approved by the PALCI Board May 14, 2020.

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The Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Incorporated (PALCI) values civility and therefore seeks to provide a mutually respectful, dignified, and harassment-free environment in which diverse participants may discuss, learn, network, and enjoy the company of colleagues. In order to maintain and strengthen such an environment, the PALCI Board of Directors has created and implemented this policy with a purpose of defining behaviors deemed unacceptable in all PALCI communications and gatherings, including, but not limited to, in-person, online, and asynchronous communications. The policy further seeks to explain the process behind resolving allegations of unacceptable behaviors by the participants. There exists a shared responsibility among all PALCI members to do their part through continued self-education as the basis of mutual respect for one another’s rights and dignity.

Each and every participant in the PALCI community and at all PALCI events must be aware that their actions affect others, and that good and positive behavioral choices lead to more productive and successful events and collaboration. Therefore, this policy applies to all staff, members, participants, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, etc. and any guest in attendance.

Unacceptable Behaviors

  • Harassment of any type is unacceptable, which may include but is not limited to the following types of unacceptable behaviors:
  • Threats, intimidation or insults directed against another person
  • Discrimination of any kind
  • Verbal, graphic or written comments related to age, body size or type, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, nationality or national origin, physical appearance, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, education level, or socio-economic status
  • Making or displaying inappropriate comments or gestures of any form or type, related to age, body size or type, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, nationality or national origin, physical appearance, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, education level, or socio-economic status
  • Stalking
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other presentations
  • Non-consensual sexual contact or unwanted sexual attention
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information, either in a public or private forum, without explicit consent from those involved
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

What do I do if?
If you believe you are a victim of a violation of this Code of Conduct, you are strongly encouraged to consult on the PALCI website which will guide you in reporting the violation. The document includes sections on reporting, responsibility of supervisors and managers, confidentiality, and potential investigation and action that may arise.

Reporting Procedure
PALCI has adopted a reporting procedure that assures a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of all reports, followed by swift and appropriate remedy and sanction where warranted. We strongly encourage all employees and participants to report violations of the PALCI Code of Conduct by utilizing the procedures set out below prior to a scenario becoming severe.

Any employee or participant who believes that they have been a victim of some form of discrimination, sexual or other harassment or other inappropriate conduct or behavior should report the incident immediately to the Executive Director of PALCI or the President of the Board of Directors of PALCI. If the alleged violation relates to the Executive Director or President of the Board of Directors, the report should be made to the Chair of the Conduct Committee of PALCI. Accurate names and email addresses of these individuals may be found at the end of this document. Reporting individuals will be treated with respect, and will not face retaliation from any PALCI officers when reporting a perceived violation of this Code of Conduct.

Responsibility of Leadership
All members of leadership are held accountable for maintaining a workplace that is consistent with our philosophies and for effectively administering this Code of Conduct. For the purpose of this policy, leadership is defined as any member of the PALCI Staff, any member of the Board of Directors, and all chairs of committees and working groups. If a member of leadership is advised of any alleged violation of this Code of Conduct, or if they independently observe conduct that is inconsistent with this policy during any PALCI event or related to any PALCI activities, including but not limited to PALCI meetings and email communication, they must immediately report the matter to the Executive Director or President of the Board of Directors so that an appropriate investigation can be initiated. If the alleged violation relates to the Executive Director or President of the Board of Directors, the report should be made to the Chair of the Conduct Committee.

The report and information collected during such an investigation will be kept strictly confidential to the extent possible and will not be disclosed unnecessarily or to persons not involved directly in conducting the investigation and determining what action, if any, to take in response to the report. Complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed because an effective investigation usually requires revealing certain information to the persons whose conduct was reported and to potential witnesses.

Investigative Process and Outcomes
Following the receipt of a report, an individual or team composed of the Executive Director, President of the Board of Directors, and members of the Conduct Committee will be assigned to begin a prompt investigation. Any members of this team involved will automatically be excluded from the investigation team. Typically, this investigation will involve an initial interview with the person reporting the conduct and interviews with any other individuals who are involved, including the accused. Under no circumstances will the individual or team conducting the investigation or who has any direct or indirect control over the investigation be supervised by the person whose conduct is being reported. The investigation will be conducted in a fair, impartial, thorough, and timely manner.

If, following a report, an investigation reveals a violation of this policy has occurred, prompt and appropriate corrective action will be taken. The Executive Director will review the results of the investigation and take prompt and effective corrective and preventive action when necessary.

The individual who made the report will be advised about the status of their report, the results of the investigation and any sanctions and/or remedies enacted. To balance the privacy of everyone involved, full details may not always be made available, but we will strive to provide sufficient information to show the reporting individual that appropriate action was taken. Similarly, the accused will be advised of the outcome.

If no determination can be made because the information gathered is inconclusive, the parties will be informed of this result and of any remedies that will be undertaken, which may include counseling, training, and/or monitoring.

The person who engaged in inappropriate conduct or behavior in violation of the Code of Conduct will be subject to sanctions or penalties, up to and including immediate dismissal from an event or loss of membership benefits. If that individual is an employee of PALCI, termination is a possible result. If that individual is not closely associated with PALCI, we will take reasonable measures to the extent we can exercise any control over the problem.

We value a respectful workplace and need everyone’s help to keep our positive, welcoming culture. If you have questions about this policy, please contact the Executive Director, President of the Board of Directors, or the Chair of the Conduct Committee.

Conduct Committee Members (2021):

  • Kornelia Tancheva, PALCI Board President –
  • Anne Krakow, PALCI Board Vice President –
  • Amanda Clossen, Chair, Conduct Committee, Duquesne University –
  • Kathleen Hale, State Library of Pennsylvania –
  • DaVonne Rooney, Thomas Jefferson University –
  • Jill Morris, PALCI Executive Director –

THANK YOU to the Code of Conduct Task Force Members for their time and interest in making PALCI a safe, inclusive and welcoming space for all Members.

The Code of Conduct Task Force Members:

  • Katie Anderson, Rutgers University
  • Berry Chamness, Bryn Mawr College
  • Sarah Clark, La Salle University
  • Scott DiMarco, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
  • Joy Dlugosz, Eastern University
  • Paige Flanagan, Lycoming College, Code of Conduct Task Force Chair
  • Anne Houston, Lafayette College
  • Alecia Kerr, LaRoche University
  • Anne Krakow, St. Joseph’s University (PALCI Board Member)
  • Scott Muir, Rowan University (PALCI Board Member)
  • Kornelia Tancheva, University of Pittsburgh (PALCI Board Member)

Ex Officio Members

  • Sara Baron, Duquesne University, PALCI Board President
  • Tim Schlak, Robert Morris University, PALCI Board Past President
  • Jill Morris (PALCI Staff)