Here is a link to my NHLA ALA Councilor’s report from ALA Annual in San Francisco last month. Within the report are links to Council resolutions and Reports to Council. Please let me know if you have any questions about resolutions debated, the work of Council, or ALA in general. Council sessions never fail to be interesting, but with so many people passionate about libraries and library work in one room. one would expect nothing less!
Posts by: Amy Lappin
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.
ALA Chapter Councilor, 2013-15
Lebanon Public Libraries
Overall, Council was extremely efficient over the four days in Vegas. Controversies were limited and work was completed in a timely and respectful manner. I was even able to get to a few more programs than in the past when Council’s work was completed. This was a nice bonus. The 117 degree weather– not such a nice bonus, but you know, it’s a dry heat.
Here are the highlights from Council. As always, I welcome questions, comments, and concerns regarding ALA and Council business. I try to synthesize quite a bit of information and doing so, may leave out items of interest. All Council documents, reports and resolutions (along with a variety of other ALA discussions) are available at http://connect.ala.org.
Council I, Sunday, June 29, 8:30 a.m.
The meeting started with videotaped message from FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler asking ALA to work with the FCC to expand wifi funding for libraries across the country. He spoke of streamlining the application process for libraries. $1 billion next year and $1 billion in 2016. Trying to get all libraries to 100 MB. Tom Wheeler’s announcement and greeting will be available to all on ALA’s YouTube channel. As of July 10, it was not posted.
Presidential Task Force on Electronic Communications Report by John C. Sandstrom
3 action items:
1. Approval of guidelines for electronic communication.
2. Approval of guidelines for council documents.
3. Review of guidelines with time limits.
Discussion on time limits — periodically or three years?
Ultimately, motion “review these guidelines at a minimum of three years or as necessary.”
motion as amended, passed with a hand vote.
Report by Sari Feldman from the Digital Content Working Group.
Available here cd_30_1_dcwg_62814_inf. The working group is transitioning leadership and focus. The group is looking ahead at issues regarding digital preservation and media beyond e-books as new priorities of this group while continuing to examine pricing structures.
Resolution in support of stable funding for Air Force libraries.
1. urges the United States Congress to direct the Department of Defense (DoD) and United States Air Force (USAF) to restore funding to Air Force Base and Command Libraries to FY2011 levels for staffing, materials, services and programs.
2. urges the Administration, DoD and USAF to develop responsible information and budget management strategies for Air Force Base and Command Libraries that aligns them with directly with appropriated funds, rather than through base operations, where library funding is vulnerable to additional local cuts.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
Council II , Monday, June 30, 8:30 a.m.
A.18.104.22.168 Minutes of Meetings of Governing Units
The governing bodies of ALA Divisions and Round Tables shall make available drafts of their meeting minutes or other reports of actions taken, via the unit’s ALA-hosted web page within 30 days of the meeting. The final versions of meeting minutes or other reports of actions taken shall be made available via the unit’s ALA-hosted web page within 30 days of their approval. There shall be an easily available historical record of these meetings and action reports. Sub-units of the Divisions and sub-units of Round Tables shall be exempt from this policy.
This was mostly a piece of housekeeping from the Policy Monitoring Committee regarding where and when the minutes of governing units should be placed. Non-controversial. Passed easily. Voted yes.
Item from Committee on Organization.
Resolution brought forward to get committee chairs to communicate public reports with regularity. Not meant to be punitive, but to encourage better communication.
ACTION item #1:Resolved, that Council approves as policy the following provision:
Each chair of an ALA Committee or a Council Committee is responsible for submitting to the ALA Executive Director at least two times each year a substantive report on the committee’s work and accomplishments so that these reports can be made available to all interested ALA members. Such reports may address, but not be limited to, matters such as accomplishments, planned activities, issues that affect the committee’s work and their implications for the future, interactions with other units within ALA, relationship of the committee’s work to the ALA strategic plan, current level of committee members’ involvement (more substantive than an attendance roll), committee self-check on its value and viability (update charge, discontinue committee, consolidate with another, change structure, other observations).
Questions arose as to whether or not this was actually procedure not policy and perhaps didn’t belong in the Policy Manual. In the end the resolution passed. Voted yes.
ACTION item #2:Resolved, that Council approves the following revision to ALA policy A.4.3.12:
A Membership Initiative Groups (MIG) is formed when a group of ALA members identifies a common concern or interest about librarianship which falls outside the delegated responsibility of a single division, roundtable, or unit, and wishes to establish a short-term, renewable mechanism to address this concern or interest. To establish a MIG, which must be approved by COO and reported to Council, a group must submit to the Committee on Organization a statement of purpose, at least one hundred signatures of ALA members in good standing, and the names and addresses of designated organizers. Once established, a MIG may operate for three years at which point it may re-petition for another three- year term may request another place within the ALA structure by following the procedures for establishing that type of group, or may request the ALA COO to disband it. The re-petitioning process can be renewed every three years. If the re-petition process is not carried out when due, the MIG will be disbanded.
Purpose of this resolution is to define a time structure for MIGs to repetition ALA. This is not currently defined.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
Report of the Freedom to Read Foundation from Julius Jefferson. Available here: cd_22_1_FTRF-Report_62914-doc
Resolution brought forward by Chris Corrigan DCLA Chapter Councilor.
Resolved, that the American Library Association urges Congress to grant the District of Columbia budget autonomy in order to prevent the unnecessary closing of city government facilities, including public libraries, in the event of a federal government shutdown.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
Council III, Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 7:45 a.m.
ALA Treasurer’s Report and Approval of the Annual Estimates of Income FY2015 and Budgetary Ceiling for FY2015
Net Assets + Revenue = Budgetary Ceiling Total $64,078,221
Full written report available here: cd_13_1_treasrpt_62714_inf-pdf
Vote passed unanimously with no discussion.
Update on Resolution on Digitization of U.S. Government Documents with Action Items:
During Annual 2013, Council Document 49, Resolution on Digitization of U.S. Government Documents was referred to the Committee on Legislation (COL). During the Midwinter 2014 conference, COL discussed the issue surrounding the resolution and moved that they would defer action on CD 49 until the Federal Depository Library Program Task Force completed its work as CD 49 directly related to the work of the task force. As mentioned above, the Task Force has submitted their final report and COL has included a revised resolution, CD 20.6.
COL requested that the following resolution be adopted in lieu of CD 49 that was referred to COL in 2013.
Resolution on Digitization of U.S. Government Documents
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
1. supports and encourages a national preservation plan for Federal Depository Library Program materials;
2. encourages policies that promote digitization with a reasonable number of dispersed preserved copies of print FDLP materials;
3. supports technologies that guarantee long-term, robust, verifiable, complete, accurate, authentic, preservable, and usable digital formats;
4. works with the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the FDL community on developing procedures to authenticate and ingest digital and digitized content into FDsys from federal depository libraries and federal agencies; and
5. supports the creation of a no-fee, searchable, online inventory of digital and digitized government materials with downloadable metadata.
Resolution passed. Voted yes.
The second resolution brought to Council by COL was CD#20.7:
Resolution Reaffirming Support for National Open Internet Policies and “Network Neutrality”
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)
1. reaffirms its support for network neutrality and open Internet policies that enable access in the library, through remote access to library resources, or by other means;
2. calls on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to codify network neutrality principles following its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Docket Number 14-28;
3. encourages library supporters to become engaged in the FCC’s current Notice of a Proposed Rulemaking on network neutrality; and
4. urges library supporters to advocate for the development of enforceable policies, whether in legislative proposals or regulatory proceedings, that ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for activities such as information exchange, intellectual discourse, civic engagement, creativity, innovation, and learning.
Resolution passed. Voted yes.
Perhaps some of the most interesting conversations and debates to come up at Annual revolved around the Report of the Intellectual Freedom Committee presented by Doug Archer, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The entire report with action items is available here and is worth reading. cd_19_3-19_7_ifc_report_63014-act-
Council was asked to adopt revisions to fourteen Interpretations of the Bill of Rights in anticipation of publication of the 9th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. Those were Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors; Access to Resources and Services in the School Library; Advocating for Intellectual Freedom; Challenged Resources; Diversity in Collection Development; Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards; Expurgation of Library Resources; Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries; Labeling and Rating Systems; Minors and Internet Activity; Prisoners’ Right to Read; Privacy; Restricted Access to Library Materials; and Universal Right to Free Expression.
A motion was made to refer back to IFC the Labeling and Rating system portion of the Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. Concerns centered on this statement: In addition, the inclusion of ratings on bibliographic records in library catalogs is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. The motion to refer failed.
The concerns of those who spoke revolved primarily around the question of whether or not this is fair to patrons accessing catalogs remotely. Should a patron who examines an item through our catalog at home not see all of the information that a patron physically holding an item can see? If I am in the library holding a copy of the television show, True Detective, I can see that it has been rated TV-MA, but according to the interpretation, that information should not appear in the library’s catalog. Many libraries do include such information in their catalogs in conflict with the Library Bill of Rights.
In an email sent to Council members, Daniel Cornwell, Alaska Chapter Councilor, summed up the concerns this way,
“I think that IFC really needs to revisit paragraph six, the one that prohibits libraries from covering up ratings on packaging, yet forbids them from recording the industry assigned rating in the bibliographic record…. This sets up a situation that treats remote users of the library as second class patrons. They are denied information that is accessible to patrons actually in the library. This is not trivial as several states, including Alaska, are implementing statewide or close to statewide Integrated Library Systems. From Juneau, a patron can request a movie or game from Anchorage or Valdez, towns that are hundreds of miles away. We should give the Juneau patrons the same information about the item that patrons in the libraries in Anchorage and Valdez have.
“I am calling for equity and self-consistency. If the IFC ultimately decides that it is ok to cover up ratings because rating systems are bad — and often they are! – I’m ok with that. I would prefer no censorship of vendor provided information, but at least that would be self-consistent.”
In the end, all fourteen revisions to the Intellectual Freedom Manual were adopted and will be in the printed version of the 10th edition. However, Doug Archer assured Council that the IFC members heard the concerns expressed and will discuss them as the work of the committee continues. While printed editions are infrequently updated, revisions can be made to the electronic version at any time.
Committee on Professional Ethics Report
Action item updating 75 year old language.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
Report of the International Relations Committee
Resolved that the Council of the American Library Association directs that ALA become a signatore to the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development.
2013-2014 ALA CD#18.2_63014_act
2014 ALA Annual Conference
Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development
The Lyon Declaration of August 2014 was written in English. The wording of the English version shall prevail.
The United Nations is negotiating a new development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals. The agenda will guide all countries on approaches to improving people’s lives, and outline a new set of goals to be reached during the period 2016-2030.
We, the undersigned, believe that increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives.
We therefore call upon the Member States of the United Nations to make an international commitment to use the post-2015 development agenda to ensure that everyone has access to, and is able to understand, use and share the information that is necessary to promote sustainable development and democratic societies.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
Conference registration: 18626. Not quite 2013 in Chicago, but better than 2012 in Anaheim.
Further asides and highlights:
Thanks to NELA President, Deb Hoadley who organized a breakfast on Sunday morning for the New England Chapter Councilors to meet. It was a nice opportunity to put names with faces. We were joined by Charlotte Gerstein from VT, Barbara McDade & Jen Leo from Maine, Ruth Urell from Massachusetts, Carl Antonucci from CT. Great to put faces to names and see fellow New Englanders.
Amy LappinNH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015
Deputy Director, Lebanon Public Libraries
Hello NHLA Membership,
The following is my report from ALA Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia, January 24-28. Please contact me with any questions or comments you have.
Highlights of Council I (Sunday, January 26)
Digital Content Working Group Report: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/council_documents/2014_mw_council_documents/cd_30_digitalcontentwkggroup.pdf
Highlights: Big 5 publishers all now selling to libraries. Future of the group, charge extends only through annual 2014. Continued concern over pricing from publishers, consideration of preservation, attn to streaming video, and ongoing concerns about privacy.
New Business with Action Taken:
ALA Council Document #34 Resolution on Electronic Communications for ALA Council,
examining guidelines for council email and electronic communications. The genesis of this resolution came from discussions about where Council is accessing documents online. HQ staff is having a hard time working under current guidelines which date back to 1994. Resolution asks for creation of a task force to rework these guidelines. Questions came up about whether this topic needs a yearlong task force. But no options were given. Voted yes.
CD# 35 Resolution to Improve Member Access to ALA Unit Governing Information.
This resolution requires all governing bodies of ALA divisions and roundtables to link their meeting minutes from the unit’s hosted webpage within 30 days of approval of the minutes.
The resolution was not addressing Council or Executive Board minutes which already have posting requirements. The resolution was brought in the spirit of addressing the openness and transparency of the organization hoping to make it easier for ALA members to locate minutes online.
Postponed to Council II to address concerns of council members regarding wording. Voted yes to postpone.
ALA-APA (ALA Allied Professional Association) Meeting was held directly following Council I
Highlights from Council II (Monday, January 27 )
Freedom to Read Foundation Report by Julius Jefferson http://www.ftrf.org/?page=Council
New Business with Action Taken:
Revised ALA CD #35 resolution to improve access to ALA unit governing information (originally presented at Council I).
Essentially, designed to get divisions and subunits to put their minutes on the ALA website in a timely manner in a place where they can be easily found by the membership. People approved in theory, but some boards and roundtables were concerned about putting up unapproved draft minutes and some concern about getting minutes up within 30 days.
Voted yes. The motion passed.
CD#37 Resolved that the ALA recognizes Edward Snowden, as a whistleblower who, in releasing information that documents the mass surveillance programs of the NSA, has performed a valuable service launching a dialogue about transparency, government surveillance, and over classification.
This was much discussed at this Midwinter meeting and Annual in Chicago last summer.
Lengthy discussion went on the floor covering little new territory. Once it was brought to a vote, the resolution failed. I voted no.
In my opinion, a stronger and more ALA relevant resolution (CD#20.4 &19.2: Resolution on the Need for Reforms for the Intelligence Community to Support Privacy, Open Government, Government Transparency, and Accountability) was passed at Annual 2013, you can read it here http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/council/council_documents/2013_annual_council_docs/cd_20_3_COL%20report%20FINAL.pdf
A resolution was presented to allow programs at midwinter meetings. Currently discussions and meetings take place, but programs are not allowed. Discussions and meetings often resemble what we would think of as a conference program. Passage of this resolution would allow programs.
Council voted to refer this resolution to BARC (Budget Analysis & Review Committee) to look at the financial implications of passage. We should be seeing it again in June in Las Vegas with recommendations from BARC.
Discussion of nomination of Patricia Glass Schuman, past ALA president
for honorary membership to ALA . Motion passed. Voted yes.
On Sunday afternoon, a Chapter Councilors Forum was held in the afternoon. This is a chance for the chapter (state) councilors to meet and discuss issues relevant to state chapters.
Highlights of Council III (Monday, January 28)
New Business with Action Taken:
CD# 19,2 Resolution from the Intellectual Freedom Committee Expanding Federal Whistleblower Protection. The focus of this resolution is to urge the U.S. government to extend legal protections for whistleblowers to employees of all national security and intelligence agencies and to non-federal employees working for civilian contractors and more.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
CD#20.1 The Committee on Legislation presented a Resolution on Curbing Government Surveillance and Restoring Civil Liberties.
This resolution calls upon Congress to pass legislation supporting the reforms embodied in HR 3361/S.1599 as introduced, and upon the President to sign such legislation; and
Also, commends Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressmen James Sensenbrenner for sponsoring the USA Freedom Act, the 143 legislators in the Senate and the House who have co-sponsored it, and the 85 organizations who have endorsed it, as of January 27, 2014.
This resolution was split in two for the vote (1. urging congress to act and 2. commending sponsorship of USA Freedom Act). I voted yes to both. Council passed both.
Resolution CD#20.3 was also brought to Council by the Committee on Legislation titled Resolution on Maintaining Government Websites During a Government Shutdown. The concern of COL is that government information is not available during a shutdown. The resolution asks agencies to have a plan/guideline for what is available before a shutdown takes place.
An amendment to this resolution was brought by Daniel Cornwell, Alaska state councilor, asking council to strike first paragraph entirely, and the first sentence of the second paragraph. He was concerned the Council was recommending that federal employees be asked to work without pay. The amendment failed. I voted no on the amendment.
Another amendment to add the word paid to the first resolved clause.
Motion passed. Voted yes. The resolution then passed as amended. I voted yes.
Final action item: CD#36 establishment of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. Cash prize of $3000, plus up to $1000 towards travel costs. There is an additional $1000 provided to ALA for administrative costs. Adversity is left intentionally undefined. An annual award funded by Daniel Handler.
Motion passed. Voted yes.
Memorial resolutions were read for:
Bohdan Stephan Wynar
Tributes: honoring Giovanni’s Room Bookstore and Owner Ed Hermance and a tribute honoring Senator Jay Rockefeller.
Results of the Executive Board Election held on Sunday.
Peter D. Hepburn
Mike L. Marlin
Gina A. Persichini
Gail A. Schlachter
Other interesting items from Midwinter:
Spencer Ackerman, National Security editor for the Guardian newspaper gave an informative presentation, The Washington Update—Under a Microscope: The Story Behind the Revelations About the NSA Surveillance Programs, on the Snowden documents and the release of information from these documents. The program offered an overview of issues of transparency and government surveillance raised by the release of these documents.
At the Council Relations Committee meeting on Saturday afternoon, ALA executive director, Keith Michael Fiels introduced the new, Why ALA? brochures being offered to drum up new members. I will have these available at the NHLA Spring Conference in April. Keith also talked about beginning the process of creating a new 5-year strategic plan for ALA in 2015.
For those of you particularly interested in advocacy, ALA Mobile Commons has a new advocacy tool. You can now receive action alerts on your cell phone. Text “library” to 877877, you will then receive auto calls with talking points regarding a pertinent topic. After listening to the talking points, you will be automatically connected with your legislator’s office. This service is available now.
I thought we might hear more discussion regarding net neutrality and the recent federal court decision to strike down current FCC rules, but there was surprisingly little discussion at Council or elsewhere. Many ALA committees and leaders are waiting to see what happens next before drafting ALA resolutions on the matter. I do expect to hear more at Annual Conference in Las Vegas this summer.
Candidates for ALA President, Maggie Farrell and Sari Feldman both offered speeches to ALA Council on Saturday evening. Some of you may recognize Sari’s name as she is a past president of PLA and member of the Digital Libraries Content Working Group. You can watch the closing statements of each candidate here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYpBpHo-w90. Voting will take place between March 19- April 25, 2014.
Reminder from COL that 2014 is the 40th anniversary of Legislative Day May 5 & 6 in Washington D.C.
Attendance figures for Midwinter meeting: 8407 registrants plus 3,800 Total 12,207.
NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015
Lebanon Public Libraries
The ALA Annual Conference in Chicago proved to be another fantastic and interesting time. When I began serving as ALA Councilor in January, former ALA Councilor Steve Butzel told me about the learning curve to participating in the complex workings of the council. He was right. I have included a photo in this report of the council room to give you an idea of the size of council meetings.
I have included what I view as the highlights of the council meetings over the four days of the conference. Each resolution that was voted on by council and a few other interesting bits are listed below. Please let me know if you have questions or would like details regarding anything described here or any issue involving ALA.
At Saturday’s ALA Council and Executive Board Member Information Session, incoming ALA President, Barbara Stripling highlighted her initiative, “a Declaration for the Right to Libraries.” She will be kicking off this national signing campaign in Nashville in early August. The idea behind the campaign is to have legislators, community leaders, and the general public reaffirm their belief that libraries are the center of communities. Virtual and physical signatures will be counted. There is more information here http://www.ala.org/advocacy/declaration-right-libraries.
Council was asked to sign a large copy of the declaration. This could be easily done on the local level at library events with your patrons, trustees, and local politicians. A toolkit will be available to libraries at a later date.
At our first council meeting, we watched a pre-recorded video message to librarians from President Obama regarding the Affordable Care Act and the importance of getting librarians trained to help people get information . On October 1, 2013, people without insurance may be looking to public libraries for assistance. The hope is that libraries will partner with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to get information out to the public. Jackie Garner from the Dept. of Health and Human Services shared that Healthcare.gov is a good place for librarians to start. President Obama reminding us that 85% of Americans will not have to do anything under the Affordable Care Act.
ALA has more information for librarians here: http://www.ala.org/tools/affordable-care-act
Report of the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group
Highlights: All of the big six publishers are engaged with libraries across the country. Not all in an ideal way, but all actively. Questions still remain including whether libraries will be able to get real ownership of e-books and whether publishers will get to a more reasonable price point. The group is starting to focus on preservation issues, but will continue to work on improving the relationship between libraries and publishers.
The working group recommends that librarians read the June 2013, e-content supplement of American Libraries along with looking at the Authors for Library E-Books campaign. http://www.ala.org/transforminglibraries/a4le
Resolutions that came before Council during the Council Sessions at the Annual Meeting
Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Edward Snowden
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA): recognizes Edward Snowden as a whistleblower who, in releasing information that documents government attacks on privacy, free speech, and freedom of association, has performed a valuable service in launching a national dialogue about transparency, domestic surveillance, and overclassification.
The resolution passed. I voted against the resolution.
I was concerned about the naming of Edward Snowden individually as I am not yet confident in his motivations and felt uncomfortable voting to a resolution offering the association’s full support of Snowden. I am in support of discussion on the issues of privacy and free speech, but haven’t yet decided that Snowden is the one to be commended. However, this resolution would not make it to the end of the conference. Others were also concerned about the language commending Snowden. This resolution was ultimately replaced by another resolution. More details are provided below.
Resolution Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Basic Literacy
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:reaffirms and supports the principle that lifelong literacy is a basic right for all individuals in our society and is essential to the welfare of the nation;reaffirms the core value of basic literacy as foundational for people of all ages and is the building block for developing other literacies; encourages appropriate ALA units and Divisions to actively participate in the Association’s Literacy Assembly; and urges appropriate ALA units and libraries of all types to make basic literacy a high priority by incorporating literacy initiatives into programs and services for all users.
The resolution passed. I voted for the resolution.
Lots of conversation on something that seemed fairly obvious and perhaps not particularly necessary, but benign.
Declaration for the Right to Libraries Resolution
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
1. Endorses the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.
2. Urges that the American Library Association work to support and engage libraries and communities across the country in signing the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.
The text of the Declaration is available at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/Declaration.pdf
Many councilors spoke in support of this resolution — another bit of a no brainier.
Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution on Digitization of US Government Documents referred to committee.
Resolution on Prayer in ALA Meetings
Resolved, that the American Library Association adopt as policy the following statement:
The American Library Association, as a secular institution in a country that is increasingly diverse religiously, refrains from having public prayers during its meetings. Moments of silence may be observed during meetings.
Council approved the resolution. I voted in favor of the resolution.
Council next considered the Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning. A motion was made to refer the resolution to the Committee on Legislation and the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The motion to refer was approved.
Resolution on Library Service in a Community in a Disaster.
Resolved that the American Library Association on behalf of its members:
1. Acknowledges that many libraries across the country have provided library and emergency services in disasters including storms, fires, earthquakes and floods and applauds those actions;
2. Recognizes the significant contributions of libraries and library staff who have provided effective emergency response/recovery services, and responded to the needs of their communities following hurricanes Sandy and Irene in ways that go above and beyond the regular call of duty;
3. Sends a letter acknowledging the work and contributions of libraries and library staff to the State Chapters in the affected states to be passed on to the appropriate parties and ensure that such a letter is sent whenever libraries lead community recovery.
The resolution passed. I voted for the resolution.
Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies.
Resolved that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members, begin divesting in the fossil fuel industry by excluding our three holdings in the “Filthy Fifteen” named in the Endowment Trustees’ Information Report to BARC that have “little or no significant negative impact” in the short term on ALA.
The resolution was defeated. I voted for the resolution. The resolution failed 56-82.
Council next considered a motion to move Council Document #39 to be reconsidered and referred to the Intellectual Freedom Committee and Committee on Legislation. This document was the Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Edward Snowden that had been passed at the council session on Saturday. The motion was approved. At Council III on Tuesday morning, the Committee on Legislation and the Intellectual Freedom Committee presented the folllowing replacement resolution,
Resolution on the Need for Reforms for the Intelligence Community to Support Privacy, Open Government, Government Transparency, and Accountability.
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. Reaffirms its unwavering support for the fundamental principles that are the foundation of our free and democratic society, including a system of public accountability, government transparency, and oversight that supports peoples right to know about and participate in our government;
2. In light of present revelations related to NSA’s surveillance activities conducted pursuant to orders issued by the Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Court (FISC) under Sections 215 and 702 of the USA PATRIOT Act the American Library Association calls upon the U.S. Congress, President Obama, and the Courts to reform our nation’s climate of secrecy, overclassification, and secret law regarding national security and surveillance, to align with these democratic principles;
3. Urges the U.S. Congress and President Obama to provide authentic protections that prevent government intimidation and criminal prosecution of government employees and private contractors who make lawful disclosures of wrong doing in the intelligence community;
4. Calls upon the public to engage in and our members to lead public dialogues discussing the right to privacy, open government and balancing civil liberties and national security;
5. Encourages the public to support bills and other proposals that both secure and protect our rights to privacy, free expression and free association and promote a more open, transparent government and be further resolved, that
6. Expresses its thanks and appreciation to the members of Congress who work to protect our privacy and civil liberties
A motion to amend the resolution by striking the word “lawful” from #3 passed. Council passed the resolution as amended. I voted yes. I believe this was a much stronger resolution than the original.
Resolution Urging Congress to Designate the Government Printing Office as the Lead Agency to Manage the Lifecycle of Digital United States Government Information
Resolved that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. urges Congress to designate the Government Printing Office the lead agency to develop a United States federal government-wide strategy for managing the lifecycle of digital government publications, documents, information, and web sites;
2. urges Congress to authorize the Government Printing Office to develop and administer standards and procedures for the United States federal government which include rules for dismantling sites and archiving web content, including the preservation of all pertinent data protocols, documentation, and software programs for evaluating and manipulating the content for permanent public access;
3. urges Congress require that the Government Printing Office consult with the United States federal publishing agencies, the National Libraries, and professional library and archiving groups in the development of these standards and procedures;
4. urges Congress provide the Government Printing Office sufficient funding to handle the archiving of web content, to perform its duties on an ongoing basis and additional funding as necessary to fully assist agencies when they are forced to decommission a web site.
Council passed resolution.
Resolution Supporting Librarians Sued for Doing Their Professional Duty
Resolved, that the American Library Association
Most strongly urges publishers to refrain from actions such as filing libel suits when in disagreement with librarians who have publicly shared their professional opinions and instead to rely upon the free exchange of views in the marketplace of ideas to defend their interests as publishers.
Council passed the resolution. I voted in favor of the resolution.
Council next considered the Resolution to Decrease Printing for Council Meetings.
Resolved, that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members:
Requests that the ALA Executive Director develop and implement an opt-in program for Councilors to elect to receive electronic-only Council documents and reduce the number of regularly printed copies of documents.
After some discussion concerning the availability of reliable wi-fi at council sessions, the resolution passed. I voted yes.
I have not included the reports presented by various committees to council. For those who are interested, I can email copies of any committees reports to you. They are all eventually available at ala.org as well. However, outgoing ALA treasurer, Jim Neal had some recommendations for the organization in his report which are worth offering here as presented. As of May 2013, ALA has a projected deficit of $1.9 million. There have been budget adjustments including a delay to the budgeted 1% adjustment to base salary for staff and a continuation of not filling vacant positions (33 since 2008). He requested approval of the ALA FY2014 Budgetary Ceiling of $63,944,617. Council approved the FY2014 Budgetary Ceiling.
Jim’s recommendations for the organization are:
1. Implement budget reductions more strategically and less opportunistically
2. Align resources with its vision, mission and strategic plan
3. Refresh thinking about the relationships between ALA and its divisions
4. Stop relying on revenue generated by its traditional business
5. Improve organizational productivity
6. Move to more program and project based budgeting processes
7. Understand that a robust investment strategy is essential
8. Move to more e-participation
9. Generate and launch new initiatives in manageable fashion
10. Focus on membership retention and recruitment
11. Develop business plans grounded in research, analysis, and assessment
12. Identify trends
13. Maintain a commitment to rigorous financial controls
14. Advance a program of ALA staff compensation increases
15. Always present the fiscal truth to members
16. Focus on member value and member engagement
Not bad ideas to consider.
And finally, total conference attendance was an impressive 26362 (including exhibitors.)
Please do let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding the work of ALA and the ALA Council.
NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015
Lebanon Public Libraries
As promised after my first report from Seattle earlier this week, here is a summary of all the work done and resolutions completed by the ALA Council on the second and third days of the Midwinter Meeting. I realized that I promised to keep it brief. I tried…
The ALA Council approved the following programmatic priorities in line with the ALA Ahead to 2015 Strategic Plan as a guide in the preparation of the FY 2015 budget.
2. Equal Access to Information and Library Services
3.Education and Lifelong Learning
4. Intellectual Freedom
5. Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
7. Organizational Excellence
8. Transforming Libraries.
Note: Taking a vote on the programmatic priorities is required by the Council’s by-laws which I believe is why these priorities are so very broad. They are designed so most any program will fit under this umbrella.
There was a vote to formally change the ALA Policy Manual to reflect the change in language from School Library Media Specialist to School Librarian. The recommendation for the language for a master’s degree with a school specialty is now “a master’s degree with a specialty in school librarianship.” The discussion on this item took place at a previous ALA Meeting and voted on here.
There was quite a bit of discussion regarding a resolution to change the structure of membership dues increases. The main crux of the change read, “dues for personal members will be reviewed annually by the Executive Board, which may approve a dues adjustment not to exceed the percentage change in the national average Consumer Price Index for the previous calendar year, rounded to the nearest dollar. Any increase beyond the above provision shall be proposed by the Executive Board with approval by a vote of the Council and subject to a mail vote of the personal members.”
The intent was to provide more frequent incremental increases in dues in an equitable manner rather than hitting membership with a larger one time increase every five or ten years. After much discussion and compromises both in and outside of Council meetings, the dues adjustment proposal was sent back to the Executive Board to amend the language for Council III on Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday morning, the amended proposal came before the Council. Many people found that the new language lent more to transparency to the proposal. The resolution read,
Resolved, Beginning in September 2013 and continuing annually through September 2017, personal member dues will be reviewed by the ALA Executive Board, which may approve a dues adjustment not to exceed the percentage change in the national average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous calendar year, rounded to the nearest dollar. Any increase beyond the above provision proposed by the Executive Board will require approval by a vote of Council and a mail vote of ALA personal members. This provision shall be formally evaluated by the Executive Board and Council in 2016 with input from ALA personal members. Any subsequent dues adjustment will require approval by a vote of the ALA Executive Board, Council and a mail vote of ALA personal members. Council approved the resolution.
Note: ALA includes email in their definition of mail. Any mail vote including an email vote costs about $130,000.
This will now go to the membership for a vote on the ballot this spring. I will send more information to NHLA about this votes as it approaches. As difficult as a dues increase can be and as expensive as ALA is, I do believe in this measure and will be advocating for your support.
A resolution was presented supporting the application of the First Sale Doctrine of the copyright law to all materials in library collection and urging the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to remedy any judicial decision that limits libraries ability to lend copies of foreign made works under the First Sale doctrine.
Resolved, that the American Library Association: 1) Reaffirm the essential role of the First Sale Doctrine in ensuring that the education, research, and library communities continue to support the constitutional purpose of copyright law by promoting the advancement and sharing of knowledge, innovation, and creativity, wherever made; and 2) Urge the United States Congress to pass legislation to remedy any judicial decision that limits libraries ability to lend copies of foreign-made works under the First Sale Doctrine. Council approved the resolution.
A resolution honoring senator Olympia J. Snowe for her support of America’s libraries passed.
Resolved, that the American Library Association 1) Extends its deepest appreciation to Senator Olympia J. Snowe for her extraordinary service and record of achievement; 2) Thanks her for years of dedicated commitment to libraries and the American public that depends upon them.
A resolution supporting the WIPO Treaty for Improved Access for People Who are Blind, Visually Impaired and with Other Print Disabilities was presented.
Resolved that the American Library Association (ALA) 1) endorses the Obama Administration’s statement that access to information is a universal right; 2) commends the United States delegation to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for their recognition of libraries as critical providers of accessible content; 3) supports the call for a diplomatic conference to enact the WIPO International Instrument/Treaty on Limitations and Exceptions for Visually Impaired Persons/Persons with Print Disabilities. Council approved the resolution.
A resolution urging congress to approve a national interest waiver so the US can again pay its dues, and become a fully functioning member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also passed.
A resolution brought to Council by the Sustainable Living Roundtable asking ALA to divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies was found not to be in order no vote taken.
The final resolution of the Midwinter Council Meeting asked ALA to reaffirm its support for whistleblowers including Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou. The motion was amended to take out individual names. The consensus was generally that the newly amended doc spoke to something we already support as an organization. The motion failed. Next a motion was made to refer the revised Resolution to the Intellectual Freedom Committee with a request for a report at the 2013 Annual Conference. The motion to refer passed.
When they are completed, the full minutes will be available at http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/council/minutes.
Other newsy bits that you might find interesting:
Total conference attendance (including vendors): 10,731
Banned Books Week 2013 will take place September 22-28 and Choose Privacy Week 2013 will take place May 1-7.
NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015
Hello NHLA Members,
I am happy to be reporting to you from my first ALA Council Session.
My work here began on Friday at a thorough New Council Member Orientation. For those of you who don’t know much about the work of the ALA Council, in brief, it is the policy-making body of ALA. There are 187 members, one from each state plus at large members. I think many of us from NH would feel right at home in Council meetings as they operate very much like our annual town meetings. Anyone can speak and we all have an equal vote. The Executive Board is made up of Council members and the board is elected by the Council.
Believe it or not the most entertaining part of the orientation was a speech by the official parliamentarian, Eli Mina, a delightful man who clearly loves the rules of order and made me want to love them too. Anyone who has sat through past CHILIS meetings presided over by me, knows the rules of order and I have only a passing acquaintance. That is about to change!
Sunday morning began with Council I. The majority of the meeting was a breakout into small groups re-imagining the future of the ALA organization. What do we all want to see for the future of the organization? It was a productive collective brainstorming session. Emerging themes included engaging new members, making the organization less complex, focusing on literacy, making sure all types of libraries are heard, and defending the freedom to read.
Two things stood out for me in the discussion. One was a suggestion to get members to focus not on what they “get out” of ALA, but also on what they can give to ALA. I also appreciated the sentiments of one group who asked us to not lose sight of the fact that the information profession is not just fundamentally linked to education, but to democracy. Very little actual policy decisions from this morning’s meeting, but very interesting to be a part of this discussion. I wonder, as members of ALA (or even as nonmembers), what do YOU want to see as the future of the organization. I am quite sure this morning was the beginning of an ongoing conversation among not just Council, but the entire membership.
I also attended a forum for the ALA candidates for president and treasurer on Friday evening. It was great to put faces to the names we often see in ALA communications.
It is interesting to learn about how ALA operates which is something we don’t all get to know. I’m truly thrilled to be serving as the ALA Councilor from NH. I appreciate this opportunity. I will be sending updates after Council II on Monday and Council III on Tuesday. I’ll try to keep them briefer than this first report, but I did want to give you an introduction to what goes on here at ALA Midwinter.
NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015
The 2011 Spring Conference was held in March at SNHU in Manchester. We have found this to be a great place for showcasing the performers for the Kids, Books and the Arts grant. This past year, we weren’t able to work around the college’s spring break, but found we were able to successfully work around classes in session. 155 people attended the conference.
At the Spring Conference, Gail Zachariah from the Keene Public Library was named the 2011 CHILIS Librarian of the Year. In her nominating letter, Gail’s director, Nancy Vincent, wrote, “Gail is at the heart of the library….She works tirelessly fueled only by her ever present cup of coffee. She is deeply, deeply committed to the idea of intellectual freedom and especially committed to the youth of our community. She is their advocate and support. She is intuitive to their needs and concerns, she knows hundreds of our teens and children intimately and they are moved by her compassion and care for them.”
The 2012 Summer Reading Program theme is a night theme following the slogan, “Dream Big—READ!” CSLP Manuals and Upstart supply catalogs were handed out at the Fall CHILIS Conference. Ann Hoey and Amy Lappin represented NH at the CSLP business meeting in Scottsdale, AZ in April. Many items were discussed and voted on at the meeting including the slogan for the 2013 Underground children’s theme, “Dig into Reading.”
The Great Stone Face Committee has once again created a great list of 25 nominees for school year 2011-2012. The GSF Award spans grades 4-6, and maintains a standard of excellence in writing and kid appeal. The 2010-2011 GSF Award was presented to Avi for his book Murder at Midnight. A letter of appreciation from Avi can be found at http://chilis.nhlibrarians.org/.
Maze Runner by James Dashner was the recipient of the 2010-2011 Isinglass Award. The Isinglass Award Committee is chaired by Amy Inglis, Barrington Public Library. The purpose of the award is to encourage middle school level students to read for enjoyment and promote a life-long love of reading.
The 2011 Fall Conference was hosted by the Keene Public Library at the Keene Marriott on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Programs included presentations by NH author Lita Judge and the musical group, Hunt and Allison who sang and encouraged us all to use music in our library programs and story times. The day ended with a charming presentation by GSF winner, Avi, who flew in from Denver, attending our conference waiving his speaking fees. The 74-year old author has written 72 books and continues to write every day.
During the morning’s business meeting the 2011-2012 slate of officers was voted in. The current President is Kathy Tracy from the Tracy Memorial Library in New London. Our new Vice President is Gail Zachariah, Keene Public Library. Nancy Lang, Dunbarton Public Library, continues to serve as the CHILIS Treasurer. Yvette Couser, Merrimack Public Library, is our secretary. Amy Lappin, Lebanon Public Libraries is the Past President. 105 people attended the meeting.
This past year, CHILIS awarded $500 scholarships to members, Lisa Houde and Patty Falconer. Both were for reimbursement of tuition and materials towards MLS degrees.
The 2012 Spring Conference and KBA Performers Showcase will be held on March 8, 2012 at SHNU. The Summer Reading Committee has chosen 10 performers for the roster.
CHILIS Membership stands at a healthy 187 with 44 new members this year.
Amy Lappin, CHILIS President 2010-2011, Lebanon Public Libraries