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ALA NH Councilor Report – Midwinter 2015 Chicago

I have summarized the Council proceedings below. If you are interested in reading more, the title of the report or the bolded resolution is a link to the full document,

Additionally, I had hoped to participate in a meeting with a representative of the IRS while in Chicago. A meeting had been scheduled for public librarians to voice concerns regarding the limited availability of tax forms and the impact that is having to libraries and their patrons. The 5th largest storm in Chicago’s history prevented the IRS representatives from flying in. While this was disappointing, Emily Sheketoff from the ALA Washington office is planning a conference call and I am hoping to participate in this later this month. Unfortunately, this may be too late to adequately assist our patrons this year.

ALA contends that they don’t have programming at Midwinter,  but they find some great speakers. I was able to hear Scott Bonner, Director of the Ferguson Public Library speak in a session titled “Leading in Times of Crisis.”  Bonner led the audience through the timeline from the day Michael Brown was shot through the days after the grand jury findings were released stopping to give us time to think about what we would do. Did you know that he had been on the job just one month when Michael Brown was shot? He is a compelling speaker with a story to tell.

During my time in Chicago, three Council sessions were held. Additionally, I attended nightly Council Forums and a Chapter Councilor’s Forum and I am now serving on the ALA Council Orientation Committee. We met once and held an evening reception for councilors (cheesecake on a stick, anyone?).

Work Completed During Council Sessions:

Ninety minutes of Council I were devoted to a discussion session on ALA Strategic Directions in groups of 5 or 6. While I sometimes dread these general exercises, this proved fruitful interesting. Three areas were addressed: Advocacy, Information Policy, and Professional & Leadership Development. The conversations were around what would success look like in each of these areas and how might we get there.

An example for advocacy might be, “Success would be a school librarian in every school.” How do we get there? “Have librarians contact their senators and representatives. Not just school librarians advocating for themselves, but having academic librarians speak to the preparedness of students from schools with and without a school library when they reach college.” There were many ideas generated and turned into ALA President Courtney Young who will be synthesizing the information and releasing it soon.

Action Items voted on by Council during Midwinter:

A Resolution Denouncing Recent Assaults on the Freedom of Expression as Exemplified in the Attack on Charlie Hebdo. The was brought to Council by J. Douglas Archer, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. It is on page 5 of the Report of the IFC Report (linked above). Council approved this resolution. I voted yes.

A Resolution Urging Library Directors to Encourage and Support United for Libraries Memberships for Each of Their Trustees.  Brought to Council by Susan Schmidt, United for Libraries Councilor. Council approved the resolution. I voted yes.

Resolution on Preserving Public Access to Scientific and Technical Reports Available Through the National Technical Information Service. Brought to Council by Vivian Winn, Chair of the Committee on Legislation. It can be found on page 3 of the Committee on Legislation Report (linked above). Council approved the resolution. I voted yes.

Resolution Recognizing and Supporting United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Its 70th Anniversary.  Presented to Council by Loida A. Garcia-Febo. The full resolution can be found on page 4 of the IRC Report (linked above).

Resolution on the Destruction of Libraries and Schools in Gaza in 2014 presented by Jane Glasby, Councilor-at-Large. Resolution was defeated. I voted against the resolution.

Updated Accreditation Standards presented by Mary Stansbury, Chair of the Committee on Accreditation during her report to Council.

Updates to ALA Policy presented by Henry Stewart, Chair of the Policy Monitoring Committee. All three updates passed by Council. I voted yes.

Recommendation to place an amendment to the ALA Bylaws on the ALA membership spring 2015 ballot: Amend Article XII of the ALA Bylaws to state: Robert’s Rules of Order in the latest edition, shall govern the Association in all cases to which it can be applied and in which it will not be inconsistent with the Constitution, the Bylaws, or special rules of order of the Association. Council approved placement of this amendment on the ballot. I voted yes.

Reports presented to Council:

ALA President’s Report by Courtney Young, ALA President

ALA President-Elect’s Report by Sari Feldman, ALA President-Elect

Executive Director’s Report by Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director

Treasurer’s Report by Mario Gonzalez, ALA Treasurer

Budget Analysis and Review Committee Report by Pat Wand, Chair of BARC

Endowment Trustees Report by Rod Hersberger, Senior Trustee

Nominating Committee Report, Teri Switzer, Chair

Report of the Intellectual Freedom Committee by J. Douglas Archer, Chair of the IFC.

Report of the Committee on Legislation by Vivian Winn, Chair

Report of the Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion by Trevor Dawes, Chair.

Report of the International Relations Committee presented by Loida A. Garcia-Febo, Chair of the IRC.

Report of the Policy Monitoring Committee , Henry R. Stewart, Jr., Chair

Report of the Committee on Organization by Mary Rzepczynski, Chair

Report of the Freedom to Read Foundation by Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., Chair


As always, I am happy to answer any questions about the work of Council or questions about ALA. If I can’t answer your questions, I will find someone who can.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Lappin

ALA Chapter Councilor, 2013-15

Deputy Director

Lebanon Public Libraries

Lebanon, NH


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