Friday, 10 March 2017

A Code of Conduct for Genealogy Conferences?

A newsgroup I follow is having a spirited discussion on a code of conduct for conferences. One participant wrote they won't attend a conference that lacks a code of conduct.

I was unaware of such codes, or the need, assuming that the normal law of the land sufficed. Although I've always felt safe at conferences I acknowledge that may not be the case for everyone.

The following is an extract from the Ontario Library Association Superconference code based on the Code4Lib Creative Commons Conference Code.

We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Harassment is understood as any behaviour that
threatens another person or group, or produces an unsafe environment. It includes offensive verbal
comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual
orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious beliefs, sexual or
discriminatory images in public spaces (including online), deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Each OLA event will have a designated Code of Conduct Committee consisting of no less than two
OLA member volunteers involved in the event and an OLA staff person. The committee members will be identified in advance and at the event should a delegate need to contact them.

If at any time, a presenter, guest, delegate or visitor feels that they have been harassed or that this
code of conduct has been breached, it is important that this person report it to a member of the Code
of Conduct Committee.

Do any genealogy conferences have such a code? Are they needed?


Mike More said...

Are any of the folks willing to volunteer to prepare the code and serve on the committees? Or is this one more thing that somebody else should do? How about a code for attendees: Take you seat in the lecture on time, don't get up and leave in the middle of a lecture, don't abuse the volunteers, read the instructions and webpage, pay for the lectures and workshops that you attend, etc.

Mark Stickle said...

Wow. I have gone to many genealogy conferences in many places over quite a few years. Hard to imagine any group of people who are more uniformly civil and welcoming. I wonder if this is a "solution" in search of a problem? Or maybe I've just been extraordinarily fortunate in my conference choices, missing some really nasty goings on?