Code of Conduct


Hack Library School (HLS) is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, or economic status. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all HLS editors at all times, and to all conduct by all participants in any HLS sponsored spaces, including our website, mailing lists, and social media spaces, along with any other spaces that HLS hosts, both online and off. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the HLS editors.


Harassment includes:

  • Comments that reinforce oppressive power dynamics related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, or economic status
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
  • Failure to use a person’s chosen name and pronouns (see
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images in public spaces
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop
  • Threats of violence
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
  • Sustained disruption of discussion
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Pattern of inappropriate contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication without consent

HLS prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. HLS will not act on complaints regarding:

  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions (including reverse’ -isms such as “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia”
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you”
  • Communicating in a “tone” you don’t find congenial


If you are being harassed by a member of the HLS community, if you notice that someone else is being harassed, or if you have any other concerns, please contact the HLS editors at If the person who is harassing you is one of the editors, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can. We will follow the best practices as laid out in Geek Feminism’s Conference anti-harassment/Responding to reports.

This code of conduct applies to HLS sponsored spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of the HLS community outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take seriously all good-faith reports of harassment by HLS members, including the editors. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The HLS editors reserve the right to exclude people from HLS spaces based on their past behavior, including behavior outside HLS spaces and behavior towards people who are not involved with HLS.

In order to protect HLS writers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of HLS members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the HLS editors may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all HLS spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other HLS members or the general public.

Comment Policy

We appreciate and invite your comments and discussion about articles on HLS. Constructive criticism is one of our primary goals, and we applaud it in our readers. Comments that violate our Code of Conduct, disregard the article’s topic, or fail to add to the discussion will be deleted. We do not edit comments except by request of the poster.

All content posted on HLS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license including comments added to the articles. As such, all comments may be archived along with the articles they accompany for the purposes of the author’s record of publication.

Further Reading

If you need more information on any of the social justice topics referenced in this document we suggest you start with some of the following resources:

License and attribution

This policy is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. It is public domain; no credit and no open licensing of your version is required.

This policy is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Geek Feminism community, and on the adaptation and subsequent policy of In the Library With a Lead Pipe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s