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Penn State University Libraries


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Within the University Libraries, civility comprises a conscious demonstration of mutual respect – for people, for their roles, for their knowledge and expertise. Civility requires cooperation, tolerance, acceptance, inclusiveness, kindness, courtesy, and patience. It is expressed not only in the words we choose, but in our tone, demeanor, and actions. All members of the University Libraries community are responsible for and expected to exemplify and promote civility.

The University Libraries is committed to creating and maintaining a positive learning and working environment. While it is understood that disagreement will, and should, occur in a collegiate setting, open communication, intellectual integrity, mutual respect for differing viewpoints, freedom from unnecessary disruption, and a climate of civility are important values that we embrace.

Examples of civility include:

  • Respect and courtesy in language, demeanor, and actions
  • Respectful acknowledgement of individual differences
  • Empathy and patience
  • Refraining from insulting, disrespectful, dismissive, or humiliating language and/or actions

All employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at their place of work. They deserve to work in an environment free from incivility, harassment, or bullying. Actions must be evaluated not only in light of what the actor intended, but also by what the recipient felt, i.e., impact as well as intent is important.

The University Libraries management is ultimately responsible for creating a positive work climate, and will deal with civility concerns in a timely manner. If you believe you have been treated inappropriately, see our suggestions of what you can do.