Wisconsin Library Association Code of Conduct

Reporting Guide

If you believe someone is violating WLA’s Code of Conduct, we ask that you report it immediately to the WLA Executive Director or the WLA President using the link below. All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases, we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that's the case, the identities of all persons involved will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.

If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure which law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.

If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by WLA’s Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still report it. We would much rather have reports where we decide to take no action, rather than miss a report of a possible violation. We will not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. And knowing about incidents that are not violations, or happen outside our spaces, can also help us to improve the Code of Conduct and the processes surrounding it.

The Code of Conduct report form is here. The report will ask for the following information:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up).
  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred. Please include any publicly available record (e.g. email exchange, social media comments).
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have.

What happens after you file a report?
You will receive an email from the WLA Executive Director or President acknowledging receipt of your report within 24 hours of submitting it.

The WLA Executive Committee review the report and will determine:

  • What happened.
  • Whether this incident constitutes a Code of Conduct violation.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone's physical safety.

If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the Executive Committee’s immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an "official" response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe. Once the Executive Committee has a complete account of the events, they will make a decision as to how to respond. Responses may include:

  • Nothing (if we determine the evidence does not demonstrate a violation).
  • A private reprimand from the WLA Board of Directors of the individual(s) involved.
  • A one-year suspension from attending WLA Conferences.
  • A permanent ban from attending WLA Conferences.

Whenever possible, WLA will respond within one week to the person who filed the report with either a resolution or an explanation of why the situation is not yet resolved.

Once WLA has determined its final action, we'll contact the person who filed the report to let them know what action we'll be taking, if any. We'll take into account feedback from the person who filed the report regarding the appropriateness of the response, but we don't guarantee we'll act on it.

Finally, the Executive Director will update the WLA Board of Directors about the incident. The Board may choose to release a public report of the incident.

What if your report concerns a possible violation by a WLA Director or the WLA Executive Director?
If your report concerns a WLA Director or the WLA Executive Director, or someone closely associated with that person, indicate this fact on the online report. Please be assured that in this situation, the individual Board member or WLA Executive Director will not be present during any discussions or decisions regarding this matter. The Code of Conduct governs the behavior of Directors and staff.

Any of the parties involved in a Code of Conduct report can request reconsideration of the WLA Board’s decision. To make such a request, contact the WLA Executive Director or President with your request and reasoning, and the Board will review the information.