ABA Code of Conduct for all Association Meetings and Events

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ABA Code of Conduct (adopted May 2018; updated June 2020)

ABA values the engagement of everyone involved in ABA-hosted and organized in-person and virtual events. We are committed to ensuring a safe environment and an enjoyable experience.  ABA is also committed to creating an inclusive environment and we value the dignity and diversity of everyone involved.

To that end, ABA is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience at all ABA in-person and virtual events for everyone, regardless of race; sex; national origin; religion (or lack thereof); age; ethnicity; color; gender; gender identity and/or expression; neurodiversity; sexual orientation; marital, civil union, or domestic partnership status; past or present military service; physical, mental, or sensory disability; national, social, or ethnic origin; pregnancy; family or parental status and/or genetic information (including family medical history); physical appearance; or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or other unwelcome or unlawful behavior on the basis of any of these characteristics. Harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Offensive verbal comments related to, or that reinforce social structures of dominations related to, any protected category above
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Sexual propositions or images
  • 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
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Unwelcome photography or recording
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

ABA also takes every precaution to make our virtual events safe and harassment-free for participants by requiring registration, using passwords, monitoring chats, and/or using best safety practices for the platforms we utilize.

All ABA virtual and in-person event attendees and organizers, including booksellers, ABA staff, exhibitors, vendors, speakers/presenters, guests, sponsors, volunteers, and all affiliated attendees, are expected to refrain from all forms of harassment, as outlined above, and to show respect and courtesy to everyone involved in ABA events.

ABA takes any violation of this policy very seriously. Accordingly, participants who violate this policy will, in the judgment and discretion of ABA, be blocked or expelled from an ABA event, without refund if applicable; will be prevented from attending future ABA events; and will have ABA membership 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 in-person emergency, call 911 or hotel/venue security. In all other cases, whether virtual or in-person, if an appropriate ABA representative is not readily available, email report@bookweb.org, or text that email address, and ABA will respond to you as soon as possible. ABA will take all appropriate action to protect anyone affected by violations of this policy. All reports are confidential. If ABA staff takes a personal report from you, they may need to involve other event staff to ensure that your report is properly managed and that the appropriate action is taken to protect you or others, but all efforts will be made to keep your report confidential. We will only involve law enforcement or security at a victim’s request.

The ABA team will enforce this code of conduct throughout all ABA in-person and virtual events. We appreciate your assistance in making all ABA events welcoming to all.

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


PRESS CONTACT: Dan Cullen (dan@bookweb.org)


INDIECOMMERCE: staff@bookweb.org




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