ALA Midwinter 2011 – Council Session III

Roberta Stevens, President of ALA, presented Memorials and Tributes.  Memorials for George P. D’Elia, Locke Morrisey, Edward G. Holley, and Carolyn Wicker Field were acknowledged, as were Tributes in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Arkansas Library Association and of John Ison on his retirement from DEMCO, Inc.; and in gratitude to the founding members of the Retired Members Round Table for establishing the Round Table.

Em Claire Knowles, Chair of the Tellers, reported on the results of the Executive Board election.  With 128 ballots cast, Dora T. Ho, Sylvia K. Norton, and Michael Porter were elected.

Tom Wilding, Chair of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee, presented the Committee report.  The Committee recommended several non-substantive changes to the ALA Constitution and Bylaws.  The number of Endowment Trustees was increased.  The ALA Executive Director was identified as a non-voting officer of the Association.  Wording related to the following was clarified:  Committee on Election,  and to the beginning of terms of service for councilors who are filling vacancies. 

The following item will be submitted to the membership for a vote:  All elected at large, divisional , and roundtable councilors, except those elected to fill vacancies, shall serve terms of three years, commencing at the adjournment of the final ALA Council meeting of the annual conference following their election.

Julius Jefferson, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented the Committee’s report.  He highlighted that the Office of Intellectual Freedom has been awarded a two-year grant in the amount of $105,650 from the Open Society Institute (the Soros Foundation) for privacy programming.  OIF had previously received a three-year $350,000 grant from the Institute that enabled the development of the first-ever Choose Privacy Week.  With the new grant, OIF will be shifting focus to topics of government surveillance; privacy and young people; and privacy as it relates to use of libraries by immigrant and refugee communities.   Banned Books Week 2011 will run from September 27 through October 4. 

Julius introduced Charles Kratz, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, to present a resolution for Council’s consideration. 

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1.  Commends President Barack Obama for establishing the National Declassification Agency and issuing Executive Order 13526 on Classified National Security Information and supports and encourages expanded initiatives to reform the U.S. classification system;
2.  Urges Congress to pass legislation that expands protections for whistleblowers in the Federal government, such as the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2010;
3.  Urges the U.S. President, Congress, the federal courts, and executive and legislative agencies to defend the inalienable right of the press and citizens to disseminate information to the public about national security issues and to refrain from initiatives that impair these rights;
4.  Affirms the principle that government information made public within the boundaries of U.S. law should be available through libraries and the press without restriction.

Council approved the resolution. 

Charles Kratz, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, presented the Committee’s report.  He shared that the 2011 Library Advocacy Day will be held May 9-10 in Washington, D.C.   and highlighted the tremendous victory in the recent reauthorization of the Library and Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as part of the Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA).

He presented a Resolution Commending the U.S. Congress and the President on the Reauthorization of the Museum and Library Services Act. Resolved, the American Library Association commends the leadership of Senator Jack Reed, co-sponsors Senators Thad Cochran, Richard Burr, Tom Harkin, Susan Collins, Michael Enzi, and Jon Tester and the members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and President Barack Obama for their efforts to sustain the federal role supporting library services, as the cornerstone of our nation’s information infrastructure.  Council approved the resolution.

He next presented a Resolution Commending President Obama and the U.S. Senate in Nominating and Confirming Susan Hildreth to be IMLS Director.  Resolved, that the American Library Association commends President Obama for nominating Ms. Hildreth to serve as director of IMLS and the United States Senate for confirming her.  Council approved the resolution.

Next he presented a Resolution Thanking “Bob” Tapella for His Service as the 25th Public Printer of the United States.  Council approved the resolution.

Finally, he presented a Resolution to Commend Senator Jack Reed for His Efforts to Recognize Libraries as Essential Community Organizations During Disasters.  Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) commends Senator Jack Reed for his tireless efforts working to convince the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to amend its policies to recognize libraries as essential community organizations, thus entitled to reimbursement for temporary relocation facilities.  Council approved the resolution. 

Sha Li Zhang, Chair of the International Relations Committee Report, presented the Committee’s report.  Seventy-five international librarians from eighteen countries participated in the 2011 Midwinter Conference.  She shared that ALA’s relief efforts to date have raised and distributed more than $25,000 for three libraries in Haiti.  Additionally, ALA’s Chile Library Relief Fund has raised approximately $1,500 to help relief efforts there.  The 2011 IFLA conference will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 13-18.

Council resumed deliberation of the Resolution on Notifying Conference and Meeting Attendees of Hotels Named on “Do Not Patronize” Lists.  The name of the Resolution has been proposed to be changed to Resolution on Hotel Labor Disputes.  The amendment was: Executive Director will provide registrants with information on how to determine whether there are labor disputes at hotels with contracted housing blocks, so that registrants can decide whether to utilize the information when making hotel choices. 

 The amendment failed.  Council returned to considering the original Resolution: Resolved that the American Library Association directs the Executive Director: To the extent known at the initial announcement of conference registration and prior to the conference taking place, will inform attendees of conferences and exhibitions if a hotel is on the “Do Not Patronize” list of the local labor body during an ALA event, or is the object of a boycott because of the unfair labor practices of the hotel.  The resolution failed.

Loida Garcia-Febo, Councilor-at-Large, introduced a Resolution in Support of Requesting Congress to Reintroduce and Vote on the DREAM Act. 

Resolved, that the American Library Association:
1. Urges members of the Congress of the United States to re-introduce and vote for the DREAM Act.
2. Urges members of the Congress to include community service and vocational education – in addition to attending college and joining the military – as a pathway to citizenship.
3.  Asserts that having higher education, military service, or community service will provide these immigrant children greater success in life through higher lifetime earnings, higher income tax contributions, greater contributions to the economy, and less reliance on government assistance.

 Peter Hepburn, GLBTRT Councilor, presented a Resolution on the Removal and Censorship of Artwork from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

Resolved, That the American Library Association (ALA)
1.  Commends the National Portrait Gallery for its inclusion of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to religious viewpoint, specifically as presented in the Hide/Seek Exhibition;
2.  Commends the National Portrait Gallery for its inclusion of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, specifically as presented in the Hide/Seek Exhibition; (ALA Resolution on Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation);
3.  Condemns the censorship of the Hide/Seek Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery;
4.  Urges the National Portrait Gallery to immediately reinstate the video artwork by David Wojnarowicz to the Hide/Seek Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery;
5.  Urges the National Portrait Gallery to refuse to censor by removal or alteration other works of art from any exhibition or collection; and
6.  Urges the Smithsonian Institution to fight censorship of works of art or collections dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious viewpoint in its national galleries, museums, archives and libraries.

Council approved the resolution.

Tiffani Connor, Social Responsibilities Round Table Councilor, presented a Resolution of WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies.

Resolved, That the American Library Association (ALA)
1. Calls for the amendment of Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information (Dec. 29, 2009) to exclude publicly available information.
2. Calls for the amendment of any other executive orders, public laws, or federal regulations that forbid access to publicly available information.
3.  Calls for all US government agencies to follow the example of the Library of Congress in unblocking and providing access to documents available on WikiLeaks.

Council voted to table the motion.

Tiffani Connor, Social Responsibilities Round Table Councilor, presented a Resolution in Support of WikiLeaks

Resolved that the American Library Association
1.  Supports the rights of WikiLeaks to publish leaked government documents
2.  Commends the efforts of WikiLeaks to expunge from documents names and other material deemed potentially harmful to innocent people
3.  Commends WikiLeaks for performing a public service by making available important documents related to foreign and military policy.
4. Urges libraries to link their websites to the WikiLeaks websites.
5.  Condemns the harassment of WikiLeaks volunteers.

Council voted to table the resolution.

Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of ALA, announced that conference attendance totaled 10,110.

President Roberta Stevens adjourned the session.

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