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NH Chapter Councilor’s Report from ALA Midwinter 2016

NH Chapter Councilor’s Report from ALA Midwinter 2016

I attended the ALA Midwinter meeting earlier this month  from January 8-12. It was great to have the conference so close by in Boston. I usually don’t mind the air travel, but what a delight to walk over South Station and be on a bus home within an hour of the end of the conference!

One of the highlights this conference was hearing about ALA President Sari Feldman’s Libraries Transform initiative. I’m not always wild about these initiatives and they often feel a little forced, but I think the Libraries Transform campaign is a great public relations opportunity for libraries. Feldman’s campaign attempts to shift the discussion from what libraries have for patrons to what libraries do for patrons. Feldman hopes the Libraries Transform campaign will offer libraries of all types and sizes the ability to speak with one voice and one message. Downloadable flyers, posters, and postcards as well as a toolkit including the top ten ways to engage with the Libraries Transform campaign can be found at Take a look.

All three Council sessions were under two hours each. Resolutions passed by Council included:

Resolution Against Islamophobia, ALA CD#32_1716_act 10 . Passed by unanimous hand vote.

Resolution Concerning Accessibility of ALA Conferences and Meetings for People with Disabilities, ALA CD#31_Rev_11116_act

This resolution was brought to Council by ASCLA after multiple complaints from members about accessibility issues at multiple conference. For example, at a past conference, a presenter who used a wheelchair had requested a podium on the floor in advance, but when they arrived in the room, the podium was up a few stairs and not adjustable. Additionally, there have been events held in venues with only stairs, accessibility issues with websites, and doors without automatic openers, to name a few.

While there are bodies in place for these complaints, actions are not being taken in a timely manner (if at all) and we wonder how many issues arrive at conferences that are not reported. A task force is now needed.

Motion passed. Voted yes.

Resolution on Replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading “Illegal Aliens” with “Undocumented Immigrants”, ALA CD#34_ 1016_act.

This request was originally made by John DeSantis at Dartmouth College to the Library of Congress, but it was denied. Councilors hoped that ALA would make a statement supporting this change.

Motion passed. Voted yes.

CD#19- ALA CD 19.2 User Generated Content in Library Online Systems – approval of the interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights in the Intellectual Freedom Manual– passed. Voted yes (hand vote). Click on the link and scroll to the end of the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s report to view the complete text this interpretation.

Also in the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s report was an action item, the

Resolution for Restoring Civil Liberties and Opposing Mass Surveillance. It is also located near the end of the report. This resolution created quite a bit of discussion at Annual where it was referred to a working committee. The resolution passed in its revised form. It passed unanimously.

Council also passed a resolution honoring James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress Emeritus. Resolution passed. Voted yes.

Reports of various committees come to Council throughout the conference. They can be found here. I often find the Report of the Freedom to Read Foundation of particular interest. You can read it in its entirety here (ALA CD#22).

Resolution Supporting the 2015 Advocacy Implementation Plan, ALA CD#35_11116_act

Motion passed. Voted yes.

In addition to Council work, I continue to serve on the Council Orientation Committee. Participation included a meeting on Friday afternoon, orientation for incoming councilors on Saturday morning, and a make-your-own ice cream sundae reception for all councilors on Saturday evening.

As always, I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the conference or ALA. On to Orlando in June!

Respectfully Submitted,

Amy Lappin


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