ALISE Code of Conduct Policy


As stated in the Association for Library and Information Science Education (“ALISE” or “Association”) Diversity Statement adopted January 24, 2013, ALISE has an ethical compass that points to equity, inclusion and social responsibility. ALISE is committed to the active recruitment and equitable and full participation of individuals of all backgrounds, the promotion of diversity and its benefits in library and information science education, research and service by its personal and institutional members, and their full participation in the profession.

All ALISE members and other participants are obligated to conduct themselves professionally, appropriately, and ethically. Each individual must treat others with dignity and respect in the conduct of all ALISE-related activities wherever and however that may occur.  Unacceptable conduct and behaviors as identified in this Code of Conduct Policy will not be tolerated.

To this end, the ALISE Code of Conduct Policy sets forth ALISE’s expectations as to how each member or other participant will conduct themselves when participating in ALISE. This policy also includes any non-member who participates in an ALISE program or activity. ALISE programs and activities include, but are not limited to, ALISE conferences and events (no matter the modality), publications, awards and honors, and all appointed, elected, and volunteer positions. Finally, the policy outlines a process for addressing alleged violations of the Code of Conduct Policy.

Unacceptable Behaviors:

  • Discriminatory acts, practice, language, and imagery.
  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form. 
  • Verbal abuse of any participant.
    • Examples of verbal abuse include, but are not limited to, verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin.
  • Inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces, presentations, or in online environments (e.g., text, email, social media, etc.).
  • Threatening, deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following any participant in person or in online environments.
  • Harassing photography or recording that might be posted or distributed.
  • Sustained disruption of presentations or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against a body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments.
  • Engaging in violence or making threats of violence against any participant during or related to the conduct of Association business, wherever it may occur.
  • Bullying or intimidating behavior against any participant during or related to the conduct of Association business, wherever it may occur.
  • Improper use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Criminal offenses.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.


Consequences of Code of Conduct Violations:

Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

ALISE reserves the right to discipline any member or other participant for violations of this policy. Possible disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, termination of membership, suspension of membership, removal from volunteer positions (appointed and elected), censure, immediate removal from an event without warning or refund, and bans from attending future events.

The ALISE Board of Directors may impose discipline, at its sole discretion, upon any individual found to have violated the Code of Conduct Policy. 

Reporting a Code of Conduct Violation:

If you experience or witness behavior that constitutes an assault or the threat of assault, the immediate or serious threat of bodily harm or threat to any person or to public safety at an in-person event, contact 911.

If at any time an ALISE member or participant feels that they have been subject to unacceptable behavior according to the Code of Conduct Policy or have witnessed any such behavior, ALISE encourages the individual to report the violation. If unacceptable behavior occurs during an ALISE event, this may be reported to any ALISE employee or Board member in attendance. The ALISE employee or Board member receiving the report shall immediately notify the most senior staff member on-site at the event, who, themselves or through a delegate, will attempt to gather all details of the incident, using the Code of Conduct complaint form as a template. As soon as reasonably possible, the ALISE member or participant who verbally reported the incident shall complete and submit the Code of Conduct complaint form. For all other situations, reports of violations may be submitted online using the Code of Conduct complaint form (received by the ALISE staff).

A complaint must be reasonable and objective and must be substantiated with specific facts, complainant, witness, or respondent testimony, and/or available documentation that show possible violation of one or more specific features of the Code of Conduct Policy. 

The person submitting the complaint is the “Complainant” and the person(s) against whom the complaint is alleged is the “Respondent(s).”

Review Process for Code of Conduct Violations:

If unacceptable behavior at an ALISE event is reported during the event, ALISE has the right to take preliminary action, including, but not limited to directing an attendee to leave the event, before a full investigation commences and resolution of the complaint. 

The following process is approved, though not required, for determining violations of the Code of Conduct Policy and appropriate discipline:

  1. The complaint shall be forward to the ALISE Executive Committee to determine whether the complaint has merit on its face. In evaluating a complaint, the committee may use the resources of its staff.
  2. If a complaint is against a member of the Executive Committee, the individual shall be asked to recuse themselves from the review process. The Secretary/Treasurer shall serve in their place. If the committee determines that the complaint does not contain sufficient information for the committee to resolve whether the complaint has merit on its face, then the committee may request that the Complainant provide additional information and/or the committee may supplement the complaint with information that it develops through its own investigation. 
    1. The Executive Committee may retain counsel or an outside investigator to assist in its own investigation, provided ALISE’s Secretary/Treasurer grants approval in advance of the expenditure (or the President in the event of a complaint involving the Secretary/Treasurer).
  3. If a complaint is deemed by the committee to be inadequate in any respect, including but not limited to inadequate information or a trivial or inconsequential alleged violation of the Code of Conduct Policy, then the committee may dismiss the complaint with written notice to the Complainant.  
  4. If no complaint is made by someone who has experienced or witnessed unacceptable behavior, but the Executive Committee nevertheless learns of an incident that may violate this Code of Conduct, the Executive Committee may proceed without a formal complaint. 
  5. Additionally, ALISE does not permit retaliation of any kind against individuals for good faith complaints of potential violations of the Code. Any member or participant who retaliates against another member or participant for reporting known or suspected violations of the Code may be considered to be in violation of the Code by virtue of the retaliation.
  6. Prior to beginning a review, the Respondent shall be provided with notice of the complaint and an opportunity to respond, in writing within 30 days of receipt of the notice.
  7. The committee may also, in its discretion, invite the Respondent to address the committee on the complaint, including via telephone or web conference call. 
    1. Any such call will be brief and non-legal, with no lawyers addressing the committee on behalf of the Respondent, no legal briefs, and no witnesses.  
  8. If a Respondent fails to respond to the notice in the time allotted or refuses to accept delivery of notices from ALISE despite the Association’s reasonable efforts, the allegations against the Respondent in the complaint may be deemed to be fact.  Copies of all submissions from the Complainant or Respondent shall be provided to all parties.
  9. There must be clear and convincing evidence that an individual has violated the Code of Conduct Policy in order for the Executive Committee to find that a violation occurred. While the Executive Committee may seek additional information, it is not the duty of the Executive Committee or any other representative of ALISE to find evidence outside the case presented by the Complainant.
  10. The Executive Committee will meet in executive session to decide on the complaint. The Executive Committee shall decide, based solely on the evidence presented, whether the Respondent has committed a violation of the Code of Conduct Policy. The Executive Committee shall prepare a concise written decision stating its conclusions and the basis for its determinations. If a violation is found, the decision will also impose sanctions. 
    1. In determining the appropriate sanctions or discipline, the Executive Committee is encouraged to consider the severity of the violation; the impact of the violation on the Association, its reputation, its members, its participants, and its community; whether the Respondent has committed prior violations; the remorsefulness of the Respondent; whether the Respondent has taken or agreed to take corrective measures; the potential effectiveness of corrective measures; and the best interests of ALISE and its members.
  11. Due to the sensitive nature of complaints, ALISE will try, if possible and appropriate, to keep the identities of the Complainant and the Respondent confidential during the review process.
  12. If the Executive Committee recommends the Respondent be expelled from ALISE membership, the Executive Committee must present the complaint, the evidence, and the Executive Committee’s reasoning for expulsion to the Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors shall make the determination. All other actions are at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
  13. In no event shall a Respondent be entitled to any refund for dues or fees paid to ALISE.
  14. The final decision of the Executive Committee (or in the case of membership expulsion, the Board of Directors), including any specified sanctions, shall be communicated to the Respondent and the Complainant within 10 days of its issuing.
  15. The Respondent or Complainant may appeal a decision of the Executive Committee (or in the case of membership expulsion, the Board of Directors). Any notice of appeal must be submitted to the ALISE President within 30 days of receipt of the notice of the decision. 
  16. Thereafter, the Board of Directors shall review the appeal and decide whether to affirm or reverse the decision of the Executive Committee. The Board of Directors may hold a vote to affirm or reverse the decision of the Executive Committee or may refer the matter back to the Executive Committee for further investigation.


This Code of Conduct is designed to provide guidance to members and participants and to provide a structure for addressing alleged unacceptable behavior. By adopting this Code of Conduct Policy, ALISE is not assuming a legal duty to follow or enforce this Policy in any particular manner or situation, or to ensure the safety or well-being of any member or participant generally. The interpretation and application of this Code of Conduct Policy is solely within the discretion of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.


Adopted by the ALISE Board of Directors

Ethical Guidelines for Library and Information Science Education
FINAL  --  4 May 2010


As the intellectual home of university faculty and students in graduate library and information science programs in North America, the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) promotes excellence in research, teaching, and service. The field of library and information science is multi-disciplinary, global, and dynamic; its faculty and graduate students represent diverse fields of study, nationalities, and cultures. As instructors and mentors of LIS students, ALISE members prepare future professionals and scholars for careers in a wide variety of information-related positions in diverse institutional settings, some of which are governed by their own policies and codes of ethics.  As scholars, ALISE members conduct research and publish their findings to extend the knowledge in their field and expand its applicability to practice. As leaders in professional organizations, campus administrators, and community partners, LIS educators serve their profession, their institutions, and society.  

Core Values

We, as LIS educators, share a commitment to core ethical values. We believe that education is a fundamental human right and a common good that benefits all. We strive to act with integrity, honesty, openness, and fairness, respecting others and recognizing their human value and dignity. We oppose discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, social background, country of origin, or family status. In all our work, we respect the right to privacy and confidentiality of our students and colleagues. We acknowledge and disclose possible conflicts of interest in our teaching, research, and service. We aspire to ethical conduct in each dimension of our multi-faceted and interconnected professional activities.


As LIS educators, we respect and uphold academic freedom and protect the freedom to learn and to teach.  We resist censorship and actively promote access to diverse points of view.  

In our courses we provide full information about expectations, assignments, and grading standards, give fair notice of any changes, encourage and respect the expression of controversial ideas, and avoid the use of the classroom to promote ideas or products for personal gain.

As teachers, we provide the highest level of service to students through appropriate preparation, presentation, and assessment.  

We develop and maintain expertise in our areas of specialization, ensure that course content is informed by related research, understand a variety of teaching methods, are aware of pedagogical advances, and strive to improve our teaching effectiveness.

We treat all students fairly, recognize the diversity of their backgrounds and abilities, avoid favoritism, and strive to promote the advancement of each.  We afford all students due process when evaluating their work.

As academic advisers, we provide adequate time and attention to the needs of our advisees for counsel on course selections and career directions, advise students on the basis of their interests and not on personal perceptions or administrative imperatives, and provide fair and objective employment references.


As scholars, we pursue research and creative activities guided by openness, honesty, and fairness and are conscientious in gathering, analyzing, and presenting evidence, especially in our treatment of human subjects.  

We avoid unfair borrowing of ideas from others, give appropriate credit for joint authorship, and acknowledge the contributions of others to our work.

We promote the scholarly process by respecting timelines for reviews and deadlines for publication.

We recognize our obligation to serve on paper juries, editorial boards, award committees, and grant review panels.

As faculty members, we are fair and open-minded participants in the promotion and tenure process, respecting research in areas and using methods not our own.

We promote library and information science by sharing our research findings with both scholarly and community audiences.


We recognize that service is an integral responsibility of all faculty members that, at its best, enhances both teaching and research

We work collegially in the governance of school and campus, promote the interests of LIS education within our universities, and collaborate with other academic programs that share common interests.

We participate willingly in the peer review process and offer fair and informed opinions in evaluations of teaching and references for positions.
In ranking journals and other LIS programs, we give opinions based on our expertise and experience and not for institutional or personal gain.

When called upon, we share our best advice for improved practice and professional development, including mentoring of students and junior faculty members, and avoid any appearance of conflicts of interest.

In all our activities, we represent the field of library and information science with pride and professionalism.


During a plenary session at the 2007 ALISE Conference, Toni Carbo, a speaker in the session and a past-president of ALISE, suggested that ALISE should have its own Code of Ethics.  She accepted the invitation of ALISE President, Connie Van Fleet, to chair a Task Force to develop a draft code for consideration by the ALISE membership for the 2009 ALISE Conference.  The charge to the Task Force is: to develop a code of ethics for library and information science educators.  The Minimum Expectations for 2007 – 2009 were to review existing codes of ethics, develop a code of ethics for library and information science educators, and to bring the code of ethics to the ALISE membership no later than the January 2009 business meeting.  The Task Force requested and was granted a one-year additional time period.  The original members of the Task Force were:  Johannes Britz (Dean and Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee); Toni Carbo (Teaching Professor, Drexel University Center for Graduate Studies; formerly, Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh)  -- chair; Ann Curry (Professor and Director, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta, Canada ); Mary Niles Maack (Professor, Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles); Jean Preer (Professor, Indiana University School of Library and Information Science-Indianapolis); and Wally Koehler (Professor and Director, MLIS Program, Valdosta State University).  The Task Force members reviewed a diverse and broad number of codes of ethics and developed a series of drafts, presenting one at a session during ALISE 2009.  Comments from that session were incorporated into the latest draft.  These members served on the Task Force during its first two years (2007-09). Johannes Britz, Toni Carbo (Chair), Ann Curry, and Jean Preer continued on the Task Force for the third year (2009-2010).