ALA Midwinter 2012 – Monday, Jan. 24 – Council Session III

Molly Raphael, President of ALA, presented Memorials and Tributes.  Memorials for Dorothy Broderick, D. Whitney Coe, John Minto Dawson, and Robert W. Houk were acknowledged, as were Tributes in honor of Jill Nishi, Lois Ann Gregory-Wood, Maryellen Trautman, William J. Boarman, and the Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award.

Henry Stewart, Chair of the Tellers, reported on the results of the Executive Board election.  With 150 ballots cast, Rob Banks, Alexia Hudson, and John Moorman were elected.

Pat Scales, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented the Committee’s report.  She highlighted that the Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and the Committee have been very busy since Annual Conference.  The “challenge” database that has been maintained since 1990 has become very limited in the face of current software capabilities.  The OIF will be establishing a new, more sophisticated database that will be operational by fall 2012.  Additionally, the OIF will launch an awareness campaign to encourage the reporting of challenges to library materials. “Defend the Freedom to Read: It’s Everybody’s Job” is inspired by the artwork and public safety notices of World War II.  Supporting materials are available at www.ala.org/challengereporting. The OIF will again celebrate Choose Privacy Week, this year from May 1-7.  As part of the efforts, librarians and library workers are invited to participate in a survey that will measure librarians’ attitudes about privacy rights and protecting library users’ privacy.  It is available online at http://tinyurl.com/ALAprivacysurvey, is confidential, and will take about 15 minutes.

Sh presented a Resolution Opposing Restriction of Access to Materials and Open Inquiry in Ethnic and Cultural Studies Programs in Arizona – Resolved that the American Library Association: 1) Condemns the suppression of open inquiry and free expression caused by closure of ethnic and cultural studies programs on the basis of partisan or doctrinal disapproval; 2) Condemns the restriction of access to educational materials associated with ethnic and cultural studies program; 3)Urges the Arizona legislature to pass HB 2654, “An Act Repealing Sections 15-111 and 15-112, Arizona Revised Statutes” Relating to School Curriculum.  Council approved the resolution.

Eva Poole, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, presented the Committee’s report.  She shared that the 2012 Library Advocacy Day will be held May

She presented a Resolution Opposing the Research Works Act. Resolved, that the American Library Association 1) Urges the U.S. Congress to reject the Research Works Act, H.R. 3699, because it not only threatens future public access to federally funded research, but also nullifies the public access already provided to peer-reviewed journal manuscripts resulting from NIH funding; and 2) Reaffirms its support for the expansion of the NIH public-access policy to other federal agencies and departments.  Council approved the resolution.

She next presented a Resolution Opposing the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Resolved, that the American Library Association 1) Urges Congress to reject both the S. 968, PIPA bill in the U.S. Senate and H.R. 3261 SOPA bill in the U.S. House of Representatives because they compromise such fundamental rights as free speech, intellectual freedom, and privacy in an attempt to target foreign websites and combat online infringement overseas; 2) Opposes any legislation that compromises ALA’s core principles and stifles the dynamic, innovative potential of the global Internet.  Council approved the resolution.

Finally, she presented a Resolution on the Loss of Crucial Government Information.  Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) urges U.S. Congress to restore funding to ensure permanent no-fee public access to aggregated sources of government information; 2) Urges the establishment of a mandated process with adequate notification to include the opportunity for public notice and comment with consultation by librarians, researchers, small businesses and other appropriate stakeholders before decisions are made to discontinue access to current or historical information resources when the federal government initiates, significantly modifies, or terminates information products; 3) Urges Congress to require that agencies discontinuing access to current or historical information resources transfer the content and related functionality to the U.S. Government Printing Office or other public institutions that can ensure continued no-fee digital access to this information; 4) Urges Congress to improve the federal government’s policies and capabilities for making government information available to the public in an open, timely, participatory, and transparent manner.  Council approved the resolution.

Sha Li Zhang, Chair of the International Relations Committee Report, presented the Committee’s report.  Ninety-five international librarians in the 2012 Midwinter Conference.  The Committee has been busy developing activities to match the ALA 2015 plan.  The 2012 IFLA Conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland in August.   

Cynthia Czesak, New Jersey Chapter Councilor, introduced a Resolution on Publishers and Practices Which Discriminate Against Library Users – Resolved that the American Library Association opposes any discriminatory policies of publishers and distributors which adversely impact access to content by library users; and directs the Working Group on Digital Content in Libraries to review the situation and recommend appropriate action and/or appropriate parties who should be informed of this resolution.

Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of ALA, announced that conference attendance totaled 9,929.

President Molly Raphael adjourned the session.

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