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.188.8.131.52 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