ABA Announces Code of Conduct for Events

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On Wednesday, March 28, the American Booksellers Association announced the establishment of a new code of conduct for all association meetings and events.

Beginning with the upcoming ABC Children’s Institute in June, the code of conduct will be disseminated in advance to all event attendees and prominently posted onsite along with the appropriate contact information detailed in the code’s final paragraph.

While the code of conduct was designed for ABA meetings, all ABA member stores are invited to adapt the code to use for their own events. ABA also encourages booksellers to provide feedback about the new code, which may result in additions and or changes to the document. Booksellers with questions or comments about the code can contact ABA CEO Oren Teicher.

The American Booksellers Association’s new code of conduct is detailed in full below.

ABA Code of Conduct

The American Booksellers Association values the dignity, diversity, and inclusion of everyone with whom we interact. Our safety and anti-harassment policies are critical to ensuring that this core value guides what we do and say. All participants at ABA events are required to adhere to ABA's code of conduct, as described below. This includes booksellers, ABA staff, exhibitors, speakers/presenters, guests, sponsors, volunteers, and all affiliated attendees.

ABA is committed to a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of race, sex, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, and religion. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or other unwelcome or unlawful behavior on the basis of any of these characteristics.

Behaviors that violate this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Offensive verbal comments related to any protected category above
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Sexual propositions
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Off-color or obscene jokes, remarks, or gestures
  • Any other words or conduct of a sexual nature that makes the recipient or observer uncomfortable
  • Intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Unwelcome photography or recording

ABA expects all event participants to follow established rules throughout both official event offerings and related social gatherings, including this policy.

ABA takes any violation of this policy very seriously. Accordingly, participants who violate this policy may, in the judgment and discretion of ABA, be asked to stop; may be expelled from an ABA event, without refund if applicable; may be prevented from attending future ABA events; and may have ABA membership and future participation privileges revoked. 

If you are being harassed, observe someone else being harassed, or have concerns about potential violations of this policy, please notify ABA event organizers immediately. In the case of an emergency, call 911 or hotel security. In all other cases, if an appropriate ABA representative is not readily available, you can email [email protected], or text that email address, and ABA will respond to you as soon as possible. ABA will take all appropriate action in response to protect anyone affected by violations of this policy.