Creating a supportive space through respect and accountability
The Alternative Library welcomes all and expects respect — for others, for yourself, and for the library itself. We do our best to create a conscientious, respectful community space that is supportive and inspires. We strive to present diverse views of the world, and we push our boundaries by welcoming critical analysis and radical ideologies that might otherwise be shunned or pushed to the margins of awareness.
We work to address any oppressive actions and language. Please feel free to approach a collective member in confidence should anyone here make you feel unsafe. If it is brought to our attention, we may ask people to change or address unsafe behavior or language. As a last resort, we reserve the right to ask people to leave. If you have any questions or need clarification about our Accountability process, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following behaviors will always result in being asked to leave:
- Theft of money or property
- Damaging library property
- Violating our Safer Space Agreements
- Physical, verbal, or mental abuse
- Sexual harassment
The following behaviors may result in being asked to leave, at the discretion of the worker(s) present:
- Inappropriate/unwelcome comments and behavior
- Disruptive or disrespectful behavior
Safer Space Agreements:
We all have the right to feel supported within our community, and we all have the responsibility to create a respectful and supportive environment for others. We recognize that creating safer spaces is an ongoing process and needs our active participation and practice to thrive. The basic tenet is respect – respect for each other (our diverse backgrounds, experiences, ideas and bodies) and respect for the space that we make together.
- We have the responsibility to identify our own privileges – the things that sometimes give us an easier ride than others – and to actively challenge them.
- We recognize that anyone in the community could be a survivor of a particular form of oppression, such as violence, sexual violence, racism, economic oppression, ableism, homophobia or fat-phobia.
- Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen. People who are used to talking may feel the benefit of listening more, and vice versa.
- We recognize the wide range of complex experiences and avoid making generalizations or assumptions about people or groups.
- Any behavior – physical or verbal – that demeans, marginalizes, abuses or dominates others, or that perpetuates hierarchies, is not welcome.
- It is everyone’s responsibility to acknowledge, challenge and respond to prejudice, abuse and oppression. If we ignore it we are complicit in it.
- We are all responsible for upholding our safer spaces agreements. If we are having an issue, we have the right to address this. If we are called out for something we have the responsibility to listen and to respect the concerns of others.
- We recognize that creating safer spaces is an ongoing process and needs our active participation and practice to thrive. Community members have the right to add to and modify the Safer Spaces Agreements as the community grows and changes.