Archive for January, 2010

ALA Council III – Jan. 19, 2010

Memorials, Tributes and Testimonials

Council received memorial resolutions for:

John Clifford Mortimer
Mary Alice Hunt
J. Michael Rothacker
Ken Davenport
Sallie Farrell
Eliza Atkins Gleason
Effie Lee Morris
James “Jim” Raymond Przepasniak
Walter Reandeau
Judith Serebnick
John Charles Fox

Council received tribute resolutions for Jeanne Sugg and Sonia Sotomayer.

Report of the Tellers – John Desantis, Chair

John reported that Kevin Reynolds and J. Linda Williams were elected to the ALA Executive Board to serve a term from 2010 to 2013.

Report of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee – Tom Wilding, Chair

The committee was asked to review the documents accompanying an application for affiliate status from the Association of Jewish Libraries, Inc.  Organizations must meet several criteria in order to become affiliates.  The criteria include:

  • Be not for profit
  • Have interests consistent with those of ALA
  • Have sufficiently large membership and lengthof existence to ensure continued support under constitutions and bylaws not in conflict with ALA and its policies
  • Do not discriminate in membership on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, disabilities or national origin

The AJL meets the first three of the criteria but “sexual orientation” is missing from its non-discrimination policy statement.  The Constitution & Bylaws Committee moved that the ALA Council approve affiliate status for the Association of Jewish Libraries, Inc. contingent upon the receipt by the Executive Board of an affirmation by the Association of Jewish Libraries, Inc. that sexual orientation is explicitly incuded in its non-discrimination policy.  Council approved this motion.

Report of the Intellectual Freedom Committee – Martin L. Garner, Chair

The manuscript for th Intellectual Freedom Manual has been sent to ALA Editions.  The book will be released during the 2010 Annual Conference.  The IFC is beginning review of the Prisoners’ Right to Read statement recently posted to ALA Connect.  Banned Books Week 2010 will begin Sept. 25 and continue through Oct. 2. 

Resolution in Honor of the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund’s Fortieth Anniversary

Resolved, that the American Library Association congratulates the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund on its Fortieth anniversary, commends the Merritt Fund for its continued dedication to supporting Librarians who are experiencing discrimination or fighting for the cause of intellectual freedom, and urges its members to financially support the Merritt Fund. 

Council approved this resolution.

Report of the Committee on Legislation – Mario Ascencio, Chair

Library Advocacy Day will be held on June 29, 2010 at the ALA Annual Conference.  Library advocates will meet at Upper Senate Park on the U.S. Capitol Grounds from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  After the rally, participants will meet with their members of Congress and their staffs in their Hill offices.

Two additional “Notices of Funds Available” (NOFA) were published by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Commerce regarding the Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) and the Broadband Telecommunications Opportunity Program (BTOP).  More information is available through the ALA Washington Office, which will hold a webinar on Friday, January 22.

ALA is asking for $650 million in the Senate “Jobs Bill” or the “Jobs for Main Street Act” to help libraries become centers that can help people search job listings, create resumes and apply for jobs.

The LEARN ACT has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and House.  It authorizes $2.35 million for comprehensive literacy programs, providing funds for both existing and new high-quality state and local school-based literacy programs that span birth to grade 12.  ALA is working to ensure that school and public libraries receive some of this money.

Resolution on Transparency and Openess

Resolved that the ALA:

  1. Commends the President of the United States and the Office of Management and Budget for improving the federal government policies and capabilities for making government information available to the American puclic in an open, timely, participatory and transparent manner
  2. Calls upon the Obama Administration to support federal agencies providing services already in place that assist the public in their access and use of government inforamtion, including federal agency libraries, the Goverment Printing Office, the National Technical Information Service, and the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services.

Council approved the resolution.

Resolution to Support Digital Information Initiatives at the U.S. Government Printing Office

Resolved, that the ALA

  1. Works to ensure that the government fulfills its obligations to create, authenticate, collect, disseminate, and preserve government information.
  2. Thanks GPO for the work that has been done in FDSys development and urges that GPO demonstrate its capacity to ingest both access and preservation copies of digitally born and digitized historic collectionsinto FDSys.
  3. Urges GPO to establish partnerships to conduct demonstration projects for systematic gathering and accessing digitally born content.
  4. Urges GPO to establish partnerships to conduct demonstration projects for creating and accessing digitied historic collections.
  5. Urges Congress to reaffirm no-fee public access to, dissemination of, and preservation of authentic government information by providing sufficient and sustained funding to the GPO to support Cataloging and Indexing, and the Federal Depository Library Porgram for systematic gathering of digitally born and digitized historic collections.
  6. Urges Congress to provide sufficiaent and sustained funding to the GPO to support FDSys.

Council approved the resolution.

Resolution on Universal Access to Broadband

Resolved that the ALA

  1. Urges federal, state and local governments to recognize that universal access to broadband is essential to support the basic right of unfettered access to information in order for the public to participate in the digital world and the global information economy; and
  2. Asks that federal, state and local governments, as well as the public supports libraries as essential providers of broadband access for communities across America.

Council approved the resolution.

International Relations Committee – Beverly Lynch, Chair

Beverly reported that 80 international colleagues from 15 countries were able to participate, share ideas and network with their U.S. colleagues at Midwinter.  Currently ALA has more than 1,800 members in 110 countries.  The conference of the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden in August 2010.  The 2011 conference will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Participants in the Midwinter Conference along with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority raised more than $27,000 for humanitarian relief at the conference.

Resolution on Rebuilding Libraries and Archives Damaged or Destroyed by teh Earthquake in Haiti


  1. That ALA express its deepest sympathy to the National Library and Archives and the library community in Haiti.
  2. That ALA work in coordination with other U.S. Associations, IFLA and its members, and UNESCO on the international response to this disaster.
  3. That ALA publicize and provide information to the international library community and the public on the importance of rebuilding damaged libraries and their collections.
  4. That ALA publicize and provide information on how and where the library community and the public can contribute to these rebuilding efforts.
  5. That ALA urge the U.S. Government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to provide funding for the reconstruction and rebuilding of libraries and other cultural institutions in Haiti.
  6. That ALA act as a conduit for the receipt of funds to assist in the rebuilding of libraries in Haiti.
  7. That ALA urge libraries to provide up-to-date information and social and communication services available in the communities for the Haitian diaspora and links to donation and other relief services.

Council approved this resolution.

Report from Committee on Organization – Jan Sanders, Chair

Jan moved adoption of the revised ALA Leadership Development (Intern) Guidelines and a related policy.  This change provides consistency to the appointment process and responsibilities of ALA and Council interns.  A motion followed to refer this issue back to the Training, Orientation and Leadership Development Committee (TOLD) and ask the chair of TOLD to report back to Council at Annual Conference.  The motion to refer passed.

Report from Google Book Settlement Taskforce – Jim Rettig, Chair

Jim reported that there will be a hearing in mid-February and that the taskforce will respond about this with press releases and a list of key issues.  The taskforce will also identify desired outcomes but isn’t able to do this until the Court releases its findings.

Report on Event Planner Plan of Action – Keith Michael Fiels

Keith presented an action plan for addressing the long-term issues surrounding the conference event planner (EP).  Steps in the action plan include:

  1. improving the EP will be an Association priority;
  2. ALA will conduct a survey to obtain feedback and specifics about EP problems;
  3. ALA will issue a report on major issues;
  4. the ALA librarian will work on the standardization of entries;
  5. the Annual Conference database will be reviewed for any needed editing;
  6. other issues surrounding the EP will be addressed as feasible;
  7. ALA will put a process in place for gathering ongoing feedback and for continuous improvement;
  8. ALA will communicate all steps taken and all progress;
  9. work on a new EP will continue; it will be in conjunctionwith ALA Connect;
  10. ALA will plan for a downloadable version compatible with handheld devices;
  11. Keith will report on this issue at the Spring 2010 Executive Board meeting.

Resolution in Support of 2010 Spectrum Presidential Initiative

Resolved , that the Council fully supports the 2010 Spectrum Presidential Initiative to raise $1 million and urges ALA units, affiliates, caucuses, and members to donate or pledge their finanical contributions to the campaign at the highest amount possible.  Council approved the resolution.

Final Announcements – Keith Michael Fiels

Keith reported a final figure of 11,095 people registered for the 2010 Midwinter Conference, which is higher than Midwinter registration in Denver.


Leave a Comment

ALA-APA Council – Jan. 17, 2010

ALA-APA Executive Director’s Report – Keith Michael Fiels

The Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) Program will begin accepting applications from public and academic library support staff on Monday, January 25, 2010.  The program requires that candidates complete six of ten competency sets developed by experts and with extensive feedback from support staff, employers, faculty, and librarians.  Candidates will apply and complete the program using an online system called LiveText.  More details can be found at the LSSC Program website at

ALA-APA Fiscal Report – Rod Hersberger, Treasurer

The ALA-APA ended FY09 with a negative net asset balance ($263,671).  The Finance & Audit Committee discussed this point during their fall meeting.  After consultation with ALA’s legal counsel, it was decided that the amount of the original loan of $250,000 should be increased to $275,000.  This recommendation was forwarded to BARC for review.  BARC met on Jan. 4 to review the recommendation and concurred with the recommendation. 

Report from ALA-APA Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) Program Certification Review Committee

The program has more than 125 candidates and there are now 17 graduates.  Current course providers are the Public Library Association, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of North Texas LE@D Program.  The majority of candidates are from medium-sized libraries, serving communities of 25,000-99,999.  The next deadline for candidate and provider applications is March 12, 2010.  Librarians who apply before January 31 receive a $100 discount off the fee.

Report from ALA-APA Committee on Salaries and Status of Library Workers – Cristina Ramirez and Suzanne Sager

Ramirez presented a recommendation to approve a revision of salaries and status-related policy statements.  Council approved the recommendation.

National Library Workers Day on April 13, 2010 will focus on recognition of library workers and highlighting the jobs and responsibilities of library staff.

Leave a Comment

ALA Council II – Jan. 18, 2010

Report from Policy Monitoring Committee – Janet Swan Hill

Council approved ten items related making changes to ALA policies.  These generally involved simply improving consistency of language and deleting references to outdated issues, such as the Equal Rights Amendment.

Report from the Freedom to Read Foundation – Kenton Oliver, President

Kent introduced the new Executive Director of FTRF, Barbara M. Jones.  She has a rich background in library administration, scholarship and intellectual freedom advocacy and brings twenty-five years of active engagement on intellectual freedom issues to her new position. 

Kent also highlighted the creation of a Judith F. Krug Fund.  Monies from that fund will be used for two projects.  The first will be commissioning the creation of a book and lesson plan for teachers to use in the classroom, focusing on the importance of the freedom to read.  The second project would launch a First Amendment lecture series that would incoprorate webinars and similar interactive online technologies to reach students at library and information schools around the U.S. 

The FTRF is focusing more on library school students and is offering free memberships to recent graduates.

Treasurer’s Report – Rod Hersberger

FY09 Financial Information

  • ALA Total Revenues – $54,219,467
  • ALA Total Expenses – $53,536,365
  • General Fund Revenues – $26,967,757
  • General Fund Expenses – $26,754,461
  • Total ALA Assets – $67,648,504
  • Total ALA Liabilities – $41,121,554

Rod highlighted the Campaign for America’s Libraries.  It’s broad objectives are:

  • Increase awareness, support for libraries by increasing visibility, and communicating why libraries are both unique and valuable
  • Update the image of libraries, librarians and library staff
  • Bring renewed energy to the promotion of libraries and librarians
  • Bring library messages to a more diverse audience

The campaign will:

  • Develop a branded campaign that represents and is useful to all tyhpes of libraries
  • Create tools, resources, materials that could be utilized by all types of libraries
  • Provide an opportunity to share public relations/marketing/advocacy best practices within the library community

Rod presented the programmatic priorities in line with the ALA Ahead to 2015 strategic plan and as a guide in the preparation of the FY2011 budget:

  • Diversity
  • Equitable Access to Information and Library Services
  • Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
  • Literacy
  • Organizational Excellence

Council approved the programmatic priorities.

Resolution in Support of National Health Care – Tiffani Conner

Be it resolved that:

  1. the American Library Association (ALA) strongly urges the United States Congress to include a public option or “Medicare for All” provision in the current legislation; and
  2. the ALA Executive Director charges the ALA Washington Office to vigorously lobby Congress in support of this position.

Council defeated this resolution almost unanimously.  The healthcare legislation is already in conference committee in Washington.

Leave a Comment

ALA Candidates’ Forum

I attended a forum at which the candidates for ALA President-Elect and ALA treasurer presented prepared statements and answered questions from the audience.  Here are some notes from that forum.

Molly Raphael – candidate for ALA President-Elect

Her platform consists of three key points:

  1. advocacy – move perceptions forward that libraries are essential for learning and essential for life; she pledges to cite and support research that demonstrates the transformative power of libraries; she also wants to encourage constituents to tell their stories about the transformative power of libraries
  2. diversity – she has valued diversity throughout her life’s work; we must recruit and retain a more diverse workforce to reflect the demographics of the communities we serve; we must also work effectively to sustain diversity in our staffs
  3. defending core values – she pledges to protect intellectual freedom, privacy and open access, while building coalitions with others to leverage influence

The power of ALA derives from its collective voice, speaking for all types of libraries.  Embracing a shared purpose is what gives ALA its power.  She says she will bring to the role of president a broad and deep knowledge of ALA; a long record of leadership and ability and experience; extensive experience in working with government officials; promovte core values; experience in advancing diversity and inclusiveness; and experience building collaborative iniatives around all types of libraries.  More information is available at

Sara Kelly Johns – candidate for ALA President-Elect

She believes that the challenges facing libraries require innovative change.  She wants to connect ALA’s resources and members to better meet those challenges.  She believes her longtime service as a school librarian, as a public library trustee, and as an adjunct professor position her well. She envisions ALA as an organization with an increasingly involved memberhsip.

Her platform includes : advocacy, diversity, intellectual freedom, transparency, and inclusion.

She would institute a targeted national public awareness campaign.  She supports the initiatives of Pres. Camila Alire and Pres-Elect Roberta Stevens.  People need to hear the stories aabout the public’s use of libraries.  She would also spearhead the creation of a tool kit for diversity recruitment.  She is committed to providing effective, efficient and nimble leadership for ALA.  She wants to ensure that ALA members have the organizational structure, technology  support and inspirational leadership to remain ahead of the curve in transformational times.

More information is available at

Alan Kornblau – candidate for ALA Treasurer

He serves as the Director of the Del Ray Beach Public Library in Florida.  He has been in the library profession for over 20 years and has worked in public libraries in four states.  He currently serves as treasurer of the Florida Library Association.

He stated that ALA is suffering the same difficulties as libraries.  He believes that ALA needs to get aggressive and creative in seeking new sources of revenue.  Among the areas that should be explored are CE, certification programs, and membership drives.  ALA has to be a leader wtih technology and should explore virtual library conferences.  The future of ALA depends on the involvement of young professionals and fresh faces.  The treasurer’s position has many responsibilities and the person in that position must make prudent financial desions to see us through tough times.

More information is available at

Jim Neal – candidate for ALA Treasurer

He stated that he will bring experience and expertise to the treasurer assignment.  He will advance and represent member’s interests and the important role that libraries play.  ALA must employ sound budgetary policies and practices.  His experience in ALA over 35 years will enable him to be an effective treasurer.  He has served the past two years as chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC).  He has also served on the ALA Executive Board, as the president of LLAMA, as the treasurer of the Freedom to Read Foundation Board

Membership, conferences, and publishing (and increasingly, interest revenue) are the three main sources of income.  ALA needs to sustain and grow these as well as look for new sources of revenue.  He will focus on making sure that budgetary resources support where we are going as ALA.  There is an urgency for the association and its financial condition.  We must remain committed to our core values.  The ALA Treasurer sometimes has to deal with complex topics and he has experience dealing with the complexities of finance.  He is committed to both vision and action.

More information is available at

Members of the audience asked the candidates the following questions:

What should be the role/relationship of ALA with state associations?

How will the candidate deal with ALA-APA and what is the commitment to its longevity?

What will you do to support student members as they attempt to progress into the workforce from their graduate programs?

What is your experience with operating on a national stage and your experience dealing with federal office holders?

Video of the entire candidates’ forum will be available on YouTube,, and the ALA website after the Midwinter Conference.

Leave a Comment

ALA Council I – Jan. 17, 2010

2010 ALA Nominating Committee Report – Nancy Allen, Chair

It continues to be more difficult to recruit school librarians to run for Council than it is to recruit from other areas of librarianship.  There is a good geographical balance to the Councilor at Large roster, with representatives from more than half of the states in the country.  The committee also was mindful of recruiting based on new voices/new leaders and on ethnic and racial diversity.  ALA Connect was an effective tool for the work of the committee.  The acceptance rate of approximately 25% is an estimate but is roughly the same rate as in recent years.

2010 ALA Candidates for President-Elect:

Sara Kelly Johns, Library Media Specialist, Lake Placid Middle/High School, Lake Placid, NY
Molly Raphael, Director of Libraries (retired), Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon

2010 ALA Candidates for Treasurer

Alan Kornblau, Library Director, Delray Beach Public Library, Florida
James Neal, VP for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University, New York

There were no other petitions received for the offices of President-Elect and Treasurer.

Electronic balloting will begin on March 17 and will close on April 24.  Results will be announced on April 30.

Committee on Committees – Roberta Stevens, Chair

Candidates for ALA Executive Board

Kevin Reynolds
Annemarie Roscello
J. Linda Williams
Patricia A. Wand

Nomination from the floor:

Ling Hwey Jeng

President’s Report – Camila A. Alire, ALA President

Presidential Initiatives – The steering committee is finalizing toolkits for frontline advocacy for different types of libraries.  The advocacy for family literacy initiative is also well underway with the roll-out of projects designed by the five ALA ethnic affiliates to occur soon after Midwinter. 

Camila has established a special committee to review the Constitution and Bylaws.  Searching for inconsistency and obsolete language will be the committee’s focus and will work closely the existing regular Constitution and Bylaws Committee.

President-Elect’s Report – Roberta A. Stevens, ALA President-Elect

She reviewed factors taken into consideration when appointing people to committees.

Presidential Initiatives – 2 key areas: frontline fundraising and using popular authors as advocates for libraries.  A primary focus will be on developing a toolkit for all libraries to use in supplementing budgets with additional support, with a special focus on planned giving.  Our Authors, Our Libraries will focus on developing 10-12 authors annually and develop them as advocates for libraries, particularly at critical times.  A toolkit will also be developed for use on the local level in order to recruit local notables and develop them as spokespeople.  She also plans to develop a contest for young people to communicate why libraries are important to them and are needed now more than ever.

Executive Director’s Report – Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director


Membership has seen a slight decrease (approx. 2.7%) but this is due in some part to long-term problem with duplicate records in the membership management software.  The good news is there has been a brisk renewal rate in the fall of 2009.

The library staff certification program is about ready to roll out.  Support staff membership is the fastest growing single segment of ALA.

Chapter Capwiz sites have been instrumental in fighting proposed funding cuts in several states.

Review of Executive Board Actions Since 2009 Annual Conference – Keith Michael Fiels

A task force has been established to help ALA become more responsive to the needs of young members.

There also were a number of finance-related actions in order to meet the financial challenges of the last 6 months.

Additional funds were set aside for 2010 projects. 

Also approved was an increase to the APA loan.

Report on Implementation of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference Council Actions – Keith Michael Fiels

Audio proceedings of 2010 Midwinter Council sessions will be available on the web.

The Policy manual (also known as the Reference File) is available on the web and is searchable by key word.

Ethics education initiative is moving ahead.

Report on Spectrum Presidential Initiative: National Initiative for Inclusivity in America’s Libraries – Liz Bishoff and Betty Turock

This 12-month fundraising campaign to raise $1 million for the Spectrum Scholarship Program (to recruit minorities to the profession) would allow ALA to double the number of scholarships offered (50 to 100) and to introduce a new program for 2 doctoral fellowships.  A task force will be working closely with the ALA Development Office.  The task force will be seeking a half million dollars from foundations and corporations.  Betty Turock and her family have pledged the initial major lead gift of $100,000 to kick off the very important library portion of the campaign.  The library community must raise the first half million dollars.  All divisions, affiliates and units of ALA are being asked to contribute, with a goal of 100% participation.  Individuals can contribute by going to, clicking on “Give ALA,” and specifying the Spectrum Scholarship Initiative.  ALA members are encouraged to hold their own fundraising events to benefit the initiative, including dinners at home.  Liz Bishoff is holding a Superbowl party and asking attendees to contribute.

Resolution Declaring and Promoting 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research – Diane Dates Casey

Be it resolved that the American Library Association acknowledges the importance of outstanding research in the area of cataloging and metadata and declares 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research; and the American Library Association promotes 2010 as the Year of Cataloging Research throughout the association, among professors of library and information studies and to other library associations.  Initiating Unit:  Association of Library Collections and Technical Services.

Leave a Comment

ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session – Jan. 17, 2010

Jim Neal, Chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee, presented his report to Council.  BARC is a Council Committee and as such, reviews the proposed budget, as forwarded by the ALA Executive Board, in the context of the ALA strategic plan, annual priorities and budget assumptions.  BARC also reviews the financial performance of the Association and the budget impact of potential actions of ALA Council.  Additionally, BARC makes budget recommendations to the ALA Executive Board and to report to Council regarding budget analysis and process. 

Three Month Highlights (Sept, Oct, Nov 2009):

  • Total ALA Revenue – $11.1 million – more than budget by $665, 477
  • Total ALA Expenses – $11.4 million – less than budget by $1.2 million
  • Excess Expenses Over Revenues – ($387,311) – budge was for a loss of $1.2 million

Overall, money is being managed well at ALA, particularly in light of the economic issues the country is facing.

Dan Bradbury, Senior Trustee of the ALA Endowment, presented his report.  The complete report will be placed on the ALA Treasurer’s web page after the Midwinter Conference.  The Endowment Trustees are confident that the portfolio is well positioned to take advantage of the current financial environment and protect the corpus while adding some value.

Strategic Plan Review Session – Paul D. Meyer of Tecker Consultants facilitated a discussion of the draft strategic plan for 2015.  The draft is available at

 Three Keys to Sustaining Association Success:

  1. a reputation for value – a portfolio of good stuff
  2. an enjoyable culture – based on trust and high communication
  3. a nimble infrastructure – it allows associations to quickly seize opportunities to create value

All divisions, round tables, committees and other groups have also been invited to review and discuss the plan at Midwinter, and to give comments and suggestions by Feb. 15.  Comments will be incorporated into a revised draft, which will be distributed to the entire membership in the Spring, and members will be invited to comment.  Following the member review and additional revisions based on member comments, the plan will then go to the Executive Board in April, and then to Council for a final review and adoption in June 2010.

Leave a Comment

A New Way to Share ALA Info with Ohio

Greetings from the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Boston!

As the Ohio Chapter Councilor, I will be sharing information with the Ohio library community (and anyone else who is interested!) about ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences.

My plan is to blog about ALA Council meetings, important reports and initiatives and other ALA information that could be of interest.  Feedback is welcome, and please also feel free to contact me with questions about ALA.  If I don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find one.

Leave a Comment