Ontario Colleges Library Service (OCLS) hosts listservs to distribute information and/or foster discussion among staff at Ontario college libraries about collaborative services, projects, and other areas of interest. All participants are expected to familiarize themselves with and observe the rules and guidelines outlined in this Code of Conduct. 


All subscribers are expected to follow the rules in this section, and they will be strongly enforced by OCLS and administrators. 

1. Participants are expected to be professional. 

All participants are expected to conduct themselves professionally and engage in discussion that is civil and respectful. 

2. Participants are expected to preserve a harassment-free space. 

OCLS is dedicated to ensuring listservs remain harassment-free spaces for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, age, race, citizenship, or religion. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated, including discriminatory, defamatory, threatening, insulting, or otherwise disruptive or harmful behaviour. 

See Reporting Harassment for more information. 

3. Participants are expected to avoid posting prohibited content. 

Prohibited content includes commercial content, copyrighted content, and spam. 

4. Participants are expected to observe confidentiality. 

OCLS mailing lists are private and confidentiality must be observed. Do not share conversations held within the mailing lists with non-members, or copy vendor representatives or any non-members on mailing lists emails.  

Best Practices 

This section is designed to provide participants with some tips on how best to participate in discussion-based OCLS listservs. 

1. Search the archives. 

Before submitting a message to a listserv, search the list’s archives to see if your question or topic has been addressed before. This helps prevent redundant discussions. 

2. Stay on topic. 

Messages sent to the entire list, including replies, should primarily consist of content that is likely to be relevant to most participants on that list. Check the list’s main page to see what content is considered on-topic. Off-topic discussions should be avoided. 

3. Provide substantial contributions. 

Participants should try to limit their messages, including replies, to substantial contributions. Brief statements (e.g. “I agree” or “Me too”) should be accompanied by elaboration or novel content, taken off-list, or avoided entirely. 

4. Take conversations off-list. 

Any conversations between a small subset of participants should be taken off-list. 

5. Follow any list-specific rules. 

Each list may have additional rules that are specific to that list. Participants should also familiarize themselves with the rules of the list they are subscribed to. 


Some OCLS listservs allow anyone to subscribe, while others are restricted. OCLS observes Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation regarding subscription. 

You may choose to leave any OCLS listserv at any time. However, please note that some OCLS listservs serve a vital function in the workflow of many OCLS and college library staff, so your participation is strongly encouraged. 

You can unsubscribe from a list in one of two ways: 

  1. Send an e-mail to 
  2. Unsubscribe by following the "Unsubscribe" link in the footer of any message sent via your list


Some OCLS listservs are open to discussion, and any posters on these lists are solely responsible for the content of their messages. OCLS, administrators, and moderators do not verify the accuracy of messages or endorse the opinions expressed by posters. 

Some OCLS listservs that are open to discussion are moderated. OCLS, administrators, or moderators may choose to accept or reject any messages at their discretion. 

Reporting Harassment 

If a participant feels they are being harassed, they can submit a report to the administrator of the list. If you are not sure who the administrator is, check the main page for the list. 

If an administrator receives a report, they will respond to the participant within one week, acknowledging the report and explaining what actions have been taken to address the issue.

Warnings & Suspensions 

If a participant posts a message that violates the Code of Conduct, the administrator will issue the participant a warning that identifies the violating message and describes the guideline(s) violated. If a participant repeatedly violates the Code of Conduct resulting in multiple warnings, the administrator reserves the right to suspend the participant from posting or ban them from the list. 

If a participant is suspected to have joined a list solely for the purpose of posting spam or other prohibited content, the administrator reserves the right to ban the participant without warning. 

If a participant wishes to dispute a warning or suspension, they may contact the administrator for the list. Administrators will take requests into consideration, but ultimately have the discretion to make a final decision. 


OCLS staff: Any staff members at Ontario Colleges Library Service. 

Participants: All individuals involved in a particular list, including administrators, moderators, and subscribers. 

Administrators: The administrator for a particular list is responsible for maintaining the list overall, such as determining the list’s purpose, configuring settings, managing subscribers, appointing moderators, etc. 

Moderators: Some OCLS lists have moderated content, and the administrator may appoint individuals to assist with moderation. Moderators are responsible for approving or rejecting messages that will be sent to the entire list. Moderators may also approve or reject subscription requests for restricted lists. 

Subscribers: Everyone who subscribes to a list other than administrators or moderators. On discussion lists, subscribers have the ability to submit their own messages.