Posts tagged: ALA

NH Councilor Report from ALA Annual Meeting Chicago 2013

council room early morningDear NHLA Members,

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.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Lappin

 

NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015

 

Deputy Director

Lebanon Public Libraries

Lebanon, NH

 

 

 

Part II of ALA Councilors Midwinter 2013 report

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.
1.Diversity
2. Equal Access to Information and Library Services
3.Education and Lifelong Learning
4. Intellectual Freedom
5. Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
6. Literacy
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.

Thanks,
Amy
Amy Lappin
NH ALA Councilor, 2013-2015

NHLA supports joint statement regarding e-content pricing

The NHLA Executive Board has voted to support a joint statement with other state library chapters and ALA regarding the pricing of e-content. Additionally, ALA has just launched an E-book Media and Communications toolkit that may help libraries become better advocates for fair pricing that can be found at this link.

An article that discusses the joint statement in American Libraries’  “Inside Scoop” can be found here.

The text of the joint statement approved by the NHLA Board is as follows:

The New Hampshire Library Association has approved the following joint statement:

The American people long ago realized the importance of creating and maintaining a literate and informed citizenry. Publishers, authors, distributors and literary agencies have long recognized the important role played in our society by our libraries. In the past, they have supported libraries by providing purchasing discounts of printed materials, promoting authors and working with librarians to increase accessibility and enjoyment of the written word.

In this technological age, libraries must stay responsive to the public and deliver the written word in both electronic and print formats. The Indiana Library Federation, the New Jersey Library Association and the Montana Library Association are increasingly concerned about the publishers and distributors whose policies withhold e-content from library users.

Libraries, like other consumers, should be free to buy any published e-content at competitive prices, to keep these items in their collection and to loan them to their patrons. Anything less violates basic democratic principles of a free market, freedom of speech and equitable access. If financial barriers are removed in libraries, all citizens would have equal access to this material.

The Indiana Library Federation is in agreement with the Montana Library Association which asks publishers of e-content to place libraries on a level playing field with other consumers of e-content. The cooperative relationship among publishers, authors, distributors and agents must be restored.

We are aware that the American Library Association is our national voice to advocate for access to content for all members of our society and that the ALA has a Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries examining many of the issues identified above.

The Indiana Library Federation, the New Jersey Library Association and the Montana Library Association strongly oppose the actions by publishers and distributors who set unfair conditions for the sale of e-content to libraries. These conditions include unfair pricing, controlled distribution, restricted ownership and reduced access of e-content.

We join with the American Library Association and the other state chapters to speak out and vigorously oppose these discriminatory policies. We applaud the work of the Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries and urge them to identify strategies for libraries to address the significant barriers to equitable access to content created by these discriminatory policies.

Diane Lynch, New Hampshire Library Association, President

More eBooks for Libraries Campaign

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has started a terrific campaign to encourage more publishers to sell e-content to libraries. The website, which includes a petition, is at www.ebooksforlibraries.com. The site includes a terrific video explaining why libraries and library customers want access to more e-content, and encourages visitors to sign the online petition. Topeka purposely does not mention itself in the video, and barely mentions itself in the rest of the website. As a result, we can all link to it from our own website and sort of claim it as our own. So I encourage everyone to get their staff and patrons to visit the site and sign the petition!

Of course, these issues will also be covered in depth at NHLA’s Digital Summit on June 1st, including a presentation from Alan Inouye, Director of ALA’s Office for Information  Technology Policy, who has sat in on many of the meetings ALA’s leadership has had with publishers and author groups. I hope to see  you all at the Summit!

- Steve Butzel, ALA Councilor

Libraries For Sustainability Webinar Series 2012 from ALA

Please join us for the kick-off webinar of the Libraries for Sustainability Webinar Series 2012 : Feb 28, 2012  2:00-3:00 (EST) – Call to Action and Collaboration!

ALA’s Task Force On the Environment (TFOE) has been engaged in environmental issues for over 20 years and done some tremendous work but has suffered from a lack of participation and lost momentum in recent years. Join us, and Maria A. Jankowska (UCLA Research Librarian and Editor of Electronic Green Journal), most recent TFOE chair, to understand what TFOE has accomplished, including pitfalls and successes – plus recommendations for next steps. Should this group be revitalized and/or is a change in direction indicated? What are some options for remaining engaged at the local and national levels? Where are opportunities for collaboration and action around broader sustainability issues?

Hopeful outcomes: Informal meeting at ALA 2012 in June to work on forming a new group; planning for sustainability-related presentations at ALA 2013! – Sign up now!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dGxWaVlSYS10amQ3aF9qVmxEbzdjM1E6MQ#gid=0

Time permitting, please review Maria’s recent article, Going beyond Environmental Programs and Green Practices at the American Library Association (http://escholarship.org/uc/uclalib_egj), which provides a helpful timeline of TFOE’s history and associated activities.

Webinar series facilitators: Madeleine Charney (UMass Amherst Libraries), Beth Filar Williams (UNC Greenboro), and Bonnie Smith (University of Florida Libraries).

Stay tuned for more webinars:

April 24, 2012, 2:00-3:00 (EST) – Exploring Sustainability Practices in Libraries June 12, 2012, 2:00-3:00 (EST) – Preparing for ALA Annual Informal Meeting August 28, 2012 2:00-3:00 (EST) – Action Plan Follow Up & Discussion

Questions? Contact Madeleine Charney at mcharney@library.umass.edu or Beth FilarWilliams at greeningyourlibrary@gmail.com

ALA Councilor Report from ALA Midwinter Dallas

Greetings from your ALA Councilor,

My trip to Dallas for ALA Midwinter was a busy one as usual. Here are some of the issues which I feel you should know about. If you’d like more information about these issues or other ALA topics, please do not hesitate to contact me. The more I get to know ALA, the more I am impressed, so I would enjoy speaking with you about your concerns.


Resolutions Passed

There were two significant resolutions passed by the ALA Council. The first was a Resolution on Publishers and Practices Which Discriminate Against Library Users. It stated that ALA opposes any discriminatory policies of publishers and distributors that adversely impact access to content by library users; and that the Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries be directed to review the situation and recommend appropriate action and/or appropriate parties who should be informed of this resolution.

While this resolution might sound like a no-brainer, there was some debate both in Council forum and on the floor. Some were concerned that the resolution, if too strongly worded, might offend the publishers with whom ALA is scheduled to meet next week. In the end, the Council stuck with the original, forceful language and the resolution passed.

The second was a resolution condemning the restriction of access to materials in Arizona schools following state legislation that led to the elimination of a Mexican American studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. While it took some time to sift through the numerous layers of the controversy and identify the real culprits, the resolution passed. For more info, contact me or visit any number of websites including http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=3157, http://saveethnicstudies.org, http://nyti.ms/yd6mfp, http://huff.to/xm4AHq.

 

ALA Fighting For Libraries, Librarians and Library Patrons

Elsewhere in the Association, a great deal is happening. As I referred to above, leaders of ALA will be meeting with top executives from Macmillan, Simon & Schuster (S&S), and Penguin publishing houses, (which all do not allow libraries to circulate their ebooks,) on January 30th,January 31st and February 2nd to voice the concerns of the Association. For more info, read this article from LJ, http://bit.ly/zr9qS8. In addition, the Working Group on Digital Content and Libraries (http://connect.ala.org/node/159669) will be meeting frequently throughout the year to study the issues and develop advocacy strategies.

The entire organization is also working hard to raise awareness of the White House Petition on School Libraries, http://wh.gov/Wgd, which asks that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provide dedicated funding to help support effective school library programs. 25,000 signatures are needed by February 4, 2012, in order for this petition to reach the desk of the President. We are more than halfway there, but time is running out!

A few other advocacy initiatives/resources to be aware of are:

  1. The updated “The Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library,” http://www.ala.org/offices/olos/toolkits/rural,
  2. “Keeping Public Libraries Public: A Checklist for Communities Considering Privatization of Public Libraries.” http://www.ala.org/tools/outsourcing.
  3. Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/advocacyuniversity/toolkit.

A whole host of additional advocacy tools can be found on ALA’s Advocacy University website, http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/advocacyuniversity/.

 

I could go on, but I’ll stop for now. Please let me know if you’d like me to come speak with your library co-op about ALA. I’d be happy to try and do so.

Respectfully,

Steve Butzel, NH Chapter Councilor on the ALA Council
skbutzel@cityofportsmouth.com

New ALA President and President-Elect

On June 29th, Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore. and the District of Columbia Public Library in Washington, D.C., began her term as 2011-2012 president of the American Library Association (ALA). You can learn more about her background here, http://ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pr.cfm?id=7642.

Some of Molly’s presidential initiatives/priorities include:

  1. Advocacy
  2. Diversity and Inclusiveness
  3. Defending libraries’ core values

Read more details here, http://mollyraphael.org/?page_id=20.

The new President-Elect is Maureen Sullivan who some, or many of you may know. She faciliated the New England Library Leadership Symposium a few years ago and did an incredible job. Currently, she is a library consultant and a professor of practice in the Ph.D. program, Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions, at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She also was the 2010 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year as selected by the Association of College and Research Libraries. You can learn more about Maureen here, http://maureensullivan.org.

ALA Conference Report

Greetings from your ALA Councilor, Steve Butzel. Here is my report form the 2011 ALA Annual Conference which was held in New Orleans, LA this past week.

Given the numerous Council and Chapter meetings I am required to attend, I didn’t get to many programs at Annual, but I did enjoy attending the General Opening Session which was keynoted by Dan Savage. Also at the opening session, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced they had donated $300,000 to the ALA Spectrum Presidential Initiative which raises money for ALA’s national diversity and recruitment efforts. More info available here, http://spectrum.ala.org/. Of the $300,000, $100,000 will be used as matching funds.

There were four resolutions that came forward to Council in advance of Annual.  All four were eventually passed. The four resolutions were:

1. Resolution to Recognize ALA Conference Services and Gale Cengage Learning for Providing Shuttle Bus Service Accommodating Attendees with Disabilities

  • I voted in favor of the resolution.

2. Resolution on Out of School Time Library Programs

  • This resolution called for support from national and local government bodies (as well as funding) for library programs designed to continue the learning opportunities available to youngsters beyond the school day. I voted in favor of the resolution.

3. Resolution to Protect Library User Confidentiality in Self Serve Hold Practices

  • This resolution generated the most discussion both in Council Forum and on the Council floor. Debate centered around the tension between theory and practice. The Intellectual Freedom Committee (which brought the resolution forward) listened to feedback and accepted a lot of input from the Public Library Association. As a result, a revised version of their original resolution passed with only a few dissenters.  I voted in favor of the resolution.

4. Resolution on Revised Guidelines for the ALA Intern Program

  • I voted in favor of the resolution.

There were a few resolutions that came from the ALA Membership Meeting to Council.  Two resolutions dealt with WikiLeaks, and a third was a related resolution on Bradley Manning.  The first resolution was rejected by a close vote, and the other two did not come to an official vote because quorum had been lost.

An important report was given to the Council by the ALA Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content. The report included a series of action items including allocating $200,000 to sustain staff efforts to address issues surrounding promoting equitable access to electronic content. The need for urgent action on this issue prevailed in discussion and in the vote, and the report was referred to ALA’s Executive Council.

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels reported to the Council that on June 1, 2011, ALA held its first Virtual Town Hall Meeting which drew as many as 530 attendees from across the country and from around the world.  Questions submitted by attendees and a polling feature helped make this an interesting and successful virtual meeting.  Fiels indicated that Virtual Town Hall Meetings will become a regular feature of ALA.  He also warned that ALA will be dealing with the trend towards privatization of public libraries and developing initiatives to discourage this move away from public governance of libraries.

Finally, although attendance was lower than that of many other conferences in more heavily populated sites such as Chicago and Washington, it was markedly higher than the New Orleans Conference of 2006 and gave witness to the restored confidence in the City five years after the devastation of Katrina.

Please contact me if you would like more details about any of this, skbutzel@cityofportsmouth.com

Thanks,
Steve

Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content (EQUACC)

With all that is happening in our profession and related industries concerning e-content, I wanted to let you know about an important new task force that was recently started by ALA. It is the Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content (EQUACC), and it was created to study challenges and recommend potential solutions in libraries for improved electronic content access, distribution and preservation systems.

The charge calls on the Task Force to work collaboratively with the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) Advisory Committee’s E-book Task Force, another member group working exclusively on e-books. The OITP E-book Task Force’s focus is studying the public policy implications of the growing e-book marketplace and will provide informational and educational materials to the membership. In addition, both the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) also are working on these issues, and the plan is to work collaboratively with them as well.

I am hoping I will be able to attend a meeting held by the EQUACC Task Force at ALA in a few weeks, http://connect.ala.org/node/138504, but my responsibilities as councilor may prevent me from going. Either way, I’ll keep you abreast of developments.

I know it’s difficult to keep up with all the committees, divisions & acronyms within ALA, but I thought this one, EQUACC, was important for you to know about. Let me know if you have questions. You can also visit the task force’s website, http://www.equacc.ala.org.

Collective Bargaining and Library Workers

With all that’s going on in Wisconsin regarding the rights of public union workers to collectively bargain for contracts, I thought I’d notify you about the following statement made by ALA President Roberta Stevens back on Feb. 24th.

American Library Association President Roberta Stevens on proposed collective bargaining legislation

CHICAGO -  As thousands protest proposed collective bargaining legislation in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, American Library Association (ALA) President Roberta Stevens released the following statement in support of those standing up for workers’ rights.

“While governments are facing financial challenges, addressing deficits should not serve as an opportunity to strip away the hard-won right of workers to collectively bargain,” said Stevens.

“As library visits continue to soar, with job seekers and families turning to our libraries to gain new skills and free access to education resources, the value of library service and staff should be recognized and protected.

“The ALA supports library employees in seeking equitable compensation and recognizes the principle of collective bargaining as an important element of successful labor-management relations. We affirm the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, without fear of reprisal. These are basic workers’ rights that we defend for thousands of academic, public and school library professionals.”

The American Library Association is the voice of America’s libraries and the millions of people who depend on them. With more than 63,000 members, the ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and represents all types of libraries and librarians.