OCLC Engagement Code of Conduct


Providing spaces for community engagement is an important part of OCLC’s mission. We are committed to providing inclusive, safe, and welcoming spaces. The OCLC Engagement Code of Conduct (“Code of Conduct”) provides clarity on where we stand in supporting all members of our community to foster this engagement. It also defines behavior that will not be tolerated.

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We encourage discourse that honors and respects the dignity of individuals. Accordingly, we have created this Code of Conduct that applies to discourse and engagement activities in OCLC online spaces. These spaces include but are not limited to:

  • OCLC hosted LISTSERV-based discussion lists, like OCLC-CAT, ILL-L, PUBLIB, and EZPROXY-L *
  • OCLC Community discussion forums, enhancement suggestions, and private group boards in platforms like the OCLC Community Center
  • All OCLC-hosted online events, webinars, and meetings of any type.

* For a complete list of public lists, please visit oc.lc/listservs. This Code of Conduct also applies to private discussion lists hosted by OCLC.

Guidelines for participation

Professionalism is expected of all participants in any OCLC engagement forum. These are general guidelines that align with the behaviors commonly expected in these kinds of spaces.

  • Be courteous and respectful. OCLC discussion lists, forums and online spaces are global with members from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. Be respectful of all and seek to understand their perspectives and questions. Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of position or experience.
  • Keep conversations on topic. Topics may be broad or specific, depending on the discussion list, forum, or event. Look to specific guidelines or session moderators for details. If in doubt, ask.
  • Direct comments to the topic being discussed not the person(s) engaged in the discussion. Refrain from feedback directed at or about other participants.
  • Always post as yourself. Let everyone know who you are and any institutional affiliation as appropriate.
  • Secure permission before sharing any private communication.

Prohibited behaviors

Harassment of any kind is unacceptable.  Derogatory comments based on any of the following characteristics may be considered harassment:

  • Race, ethnicity, or native language
  • Sex, gender, or gender identity or expression
  • Language
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Physical appearance
  • Age
  • Religious or political beliefs
  • Marital or family status
  • Nationality, national origin, citizenship status, or geographic location
  • Employment or military status
  • Socioeconomic status

Conduct that intimidates another individual is not permitted. This includes stalking, unwelcome attention of any kind, or inappropriate physical or virtual contact.

Plagiarism of any kind of content, including presentations, slides, and content shared in discussion list posts, is prohibited. Give credit where it is due by attributing all content appropriately using copyright notices, seeking attribution if it is not known, and editing posts to include credits if identified after content has been posted.


We are committed to providing respectful and professional online spaces for all members of our community. The following options are available if behavior in any OCLC online space is perceived to violate this Code of Conduct. Please contact us in one of the following ways:

  • Submit an incident report form
  • Site/event-specific reporting mechanisms, when applicable

Please include as much detail as possible about the incident, including links or screenshots. We will confirm receipt of all reports within two business days unless reported anonymously.


We will act to resolve incidents for which we receive reports.

  • OCLC staff will review the reported incident and may contact individuals involved to collect more information.
  • After review of the shared information and any related posts or content, we will take steps to address the report.


If there are questions about whether this Code of Conduct applies, please contact us. Engagement activities facilitated by OCLC may have additional codes of conduct or agreements in place. Any additional codes or agreements supplement these guidelines.

Updates to this Code of Conduct

OCLC reserves the right to update the Code of Conduct at its sole discretion to ensure it continues to meet the community’s needs. If we do this, we will post the updates on this page and will indicate at the top of this page the date the Code of Conduct was last revised. We will also notify you of any material changes, either through a user interface, a pop-up notice, email, or other reasonable means. Your continued participation in any online OCLC space after the date the updated Code of Conduct becomes effective constitutes your agreement to the updated Code of Conduct. Suggestions for improvements to the policy may be submitted using this form. Not all suggestions will be implemented.   

Last Updated: 2023-28-08