This was my first ALA Annual meeting in the role of NH Chapter Councilor, and I am starting to understand more about the dynamics of Council and the governance structure of ALA as a whole. For those unfamiliar with ALA Council, it is the membership governing body for the organization, consisting of 184 councilors. Representation comes from state chapters, ALA divisions, and ALA Roundtables. NHLA is a state chapter of the American Library Association.
My report below includes an Executive Summary with highlights, and a link to the detail document listing the major agenda items for each Council meeting, with links to reports and resolutions. Unless noted otherwise, I voted yes when the vote occurred. I was there for all discussions, but what is clear to me (having been present) may not be clear to the reader of this report. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about anything related to this report, ALA Council, or ALA in general: 603-271-2393; email@example.com.
For NH librarians, two major action item sets that occurred during Council included (1) passing 11 (yes, eleven) new or revised Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights [Council II & III], and (2) passing a resolution regarding Digital Content Pricing in Libraries [Council III]. Details about all Council actions are referenced in my detailed report.
The Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights are created by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee to assist in the application of the Library Bill of Rights to specific situations, detailing the historical and philosophical background. The recent Council-approved/revised Interpretations drafts include (with links to those docs):
Final versions of the new Interpretations should be available on the ALA web site Interpretations page this summer; a new printed Library Bill of Rights (including the Interpretations) is in the works for publication later this year. Please read these interpretations over and share them with your Boards of Trustees
For the Digital Content Pricing in Libraries resolution, I want to be clear that while I was in favor the general tenor of the resolution, there were unresolved wording issues and the ALA Committee on Legislation had not vetted the resolution due to the resolution being submitted just before Council III for vote. Given that ALA spends a lot of time, money and resources cultivating relationships on Capitol Hill for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is support for continued LSTA and IAL money), I feel it is imperative that we involve the Committee on Legislation to review resolutions that specifically refer to creating legislation or refer to specific legislative initiatives. Unfortunately, the majority of Council members passed the Resolution. I did vote to refer the resolution to the COL, and when that was not supported, I voted against the resolution.
Last, if you are interested in the work of the Steering Committee for Organizational Effectiveness and their proposed major changes to ALA governance and structure, please consider taking part in a webinar for feedback on the proposed changes. The webinar will take place on Monday 7/8 at 2 pm EST.
Here is my NH ALA Councilor Report detail, including links to reports and resolutions. Please reach out with questions.
Submitted by Lori Fisher, NH ALA Councilor (2019-2021)