Maureen Sullivan, President of ALA, presented Memorials and Tributes. Memorials for Alice Holly Scott, Leo Dillon, Clara Stanton Jones, Phyllis Brodnax Heroy, Aaron Swartz, Joseph Branin, Harris Clark McClaskey, Barbara Ann Schmitt Webb, Genevieve “Kay” Bishop, and William “Bill” DeJohn were acknowledged, as were Tributes in honor of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal.
Henry Stewart, Chair of the Tellers, reported on the results of the Executive Board election. With 130 ballots cast, Jim Neal and Sara Kelly Johns were elected.
Pat Scales, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented the Committee’s report. She highlighted that the IFC has declined, at this time, to change the Library Bill of Rights to include housing status. The IFC, however, is in the process of reviewing the Library Bill of Rights and its Interpretations in preparation for the 9th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual and will insure that the Interpretations make it clear that a person’s housing status should not be used to deny access to library services.
She also reported that the newsletter on intellectual freedom has already been changed to an all-digital format. It will transition to a broader publication that will be based in research and will contain refereed articles.
Finally, Banned Books Week 2013 will take place September 22-28 and Choose Privacy Week 2013 will take place May 1-7.
Vivian Wynn, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, presented the Committee’s report.
She presented a Resolution Supporting the Application of the First Sale Doctrine of the Copyright Law to All Materials in Library Collections. 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.
She next presented a Resolution Honoring Senator Olympia J. Snowe for her Support of America’s Libraries, January 2013. 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. Council approved the resolution.
Nancy Bolt, Chair of the International Relations Committee Report, presented the Committee’s report. The committee continues its work on the international strategic plan, which mirrors ALA’s strategic plan. ALA had a large delegation to the 2012 IFLA Conference in Helsinki, Finland, with more than 300 ALA members attending. The efforts to provide relief for libraries abroad continue. Money was donated to libraries in Haiti, Japan, and Chile, with more than $60,000 just for libraries in Haiti.
Nancy reported that while at the Midwinter Meeting, ALA members learned of the destruction of libraries and manuscripts in Timbuktu, Mali. Few details are known and the IRC and the US Committee of the Blue Shield are monitoring the situation and will report additional information as soon as it is known.
One hundred twenty-five international librarians attended the 2013 Midwinter Meeting.
She presented a Resolution on Supporting the WIPO Treaty for Improved Access for People Who are Blind, Visually Impaired and with Other Print Disabilities. 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.
She next presented a Resolution on United States Funding and Participation in UNESCO. Resolved that the American Library Association (ALA) 1) urges Congress to approve the national interest waiver so the United States can again pay its dues, and become a fully functioning member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Council approved the resolution.
Maureen Sullivan, President, presented a resolution from the ALA Executive Board that was written after the proposal for the personal member dues adjustment was referred to the Executive Board for revisions. 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.
Council next considered a Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies. Resolved that the American Library Association: 1) goes on record to publicly recognize that human generation of CO2 is resulting in global climate change; 2) directs its endowment trustees to divest all holdings in the fossil fuel industry and invest in renewable energy initiatives; 3) renews relations with the Book Industry environmental Council, the Green Press Initiative, and other partners in the publishing and information technology industries to explore how e can help our communities and nation transition away from a fossil fueled economy; 4) calls on President Obama to hold a White House Conference on Climate Change, which libraries will assist in launching with a series of library-based local, state, regional, national and international community conversations focused on planning and implementing a peaceful transition to a post-fossil fuel, sustainable human relationship with the planet; and 5) amend ALA Policy B.5.5 to state that libraries are urged, in addition to the collection and provision of information regarding the environment, to take steps in assisting communities transition to fossil-ree, renewable, sustainable energy sources. It was determined that the resolution was out of order as it had not been referred to the Budget and Review Committee (BARC) for study of possible financial impact on ALA.
Council next considered a Resolution Reaffirming ALA Support for Whistleblowers Including Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou. Resolved that the American Library Association (ALA): 1) Commends the signing into law of the “Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012,” and the extension of similar whistleblower protections in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act; 2) Commends Bradley Manning, John Kiriakou and other whistleblowers acting at great personal risk to ensure that the government can be held accountable by the public. A motion was made to amend the Resolution by removing the Whereas clauses #12-18 and the second resolved statement. The motion to amend passed. 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.
Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of ALA, announced that conference attendance totaled 10,731.