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