ALA Midwinter 2013 – Monday, Jan. 28 – Council Session II

Jim Neal, ALA Treasurer, added to the report that he presented at the Saturday Information Session.  ALA ended FY 2012 in a positive situation but with a net loss of approximately $1.3 million.  The board chose to draw down the net loss from the net asset balance.  The 2013 budget has been constructed to begin restoring that net asset balance.  The 2013 budget has also been planned for 0.5% less expenditures.  Savings have been realized in health insurance costs.  Additionally, the implementation of salary increases has been delayed until later in 2013.  The raises will be “very, very modest.”  Jim also reviewed conference expenses and revenues and highlighted that generally, ALA conferences return enough revenue that the conferences help support areas of ALA that do not generate revenue directly themselves.

He also presented the FY2014 programmatic priorities that are in line with the 2015 ALA strategic plan, which Council endorsed:

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

Erlene Bishop Killeen, Chair of the Policy Monitoring Committee, presented her report and also asked John Moorman to give background information from work of the Policy Manual Revision Task Force, which he chaired.  Erlene presented motions on the following:  reinsertion of the following policies (A.1 through A.1.3) into the ALA Policy Manual Section A; renumbering policies A.1 through A.1.3; existing policy language in current A.4.5 units (old number 6.5) to be reorganized under heading A.4.3, Units, Committees, Etc. (old number 6); remove Appendix A “policies of the American Library Association in Relations to its Membership Divisions” form ALA Policy Manual, Section A: Organization and Operational Policies Manual; Deletion of heading from ALA Policy Manual Section B.  Council approved the recommended changes.  Erlene also presented a motion to change policy language to reflect the change that Council approved at its Sunday meeting in language used related to school library media specialists found in Policy B.9.2.2. Council approved the recommended change to policy language.

Kay Cassell, Chair of the ALA Membership Committee, presented background information on how the committee arrived at the membership dues proposal that has been shared with Council.  The Committee wanted to provide an approach that would provide steady revenue for ALA while at the same time keeping dues adjustments at small manageable increments for members.  Of particular interest were approaches that have been instituted by ACRL and PLA.  The Membership Committee developed the following recommendation:

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 (CPI) 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. Dues for Chapter Members, Organization Members, and Corporate Members shall be set by Council upon recommendation of the Executive Board. 
(Note:  See ALA Policy 12.) Members falling into two or more categories of membership shall pay the highest applicable dues and shall receive corresponding privileges. The membership year for any member of the Association and its divisions and round tables shall be twelve consecutive months effective the first day of the month following receipt of dues payment.

Council engaged in a lengthy and thorough discussion of the proposal and of another option to place a review timeframe on the Membership Committee’s proposal.

Council considered a motion to approve the committee’s recommendation as presented and then considered an amendment to the motion.  Next a motion was introduced to postpone discussion to Council III but the motion to postpone failed. The amendment motion also failed.  Council then voted to close debate on the original proposal but there were not enough votes to close debate.  Finally Council voted to refer the matter to Executive Board, so that the two options could be merged and the review period could be incorporated into the original proposal from the Membership Committee.  That motion passed.

Pam Hickson-Stevenson, Chair of the ALA Council Orientation Committee, presented her report on the work that the committee has done to strengthen the council orientation process.

Jim Rettig, Chair of the Committee on Organization, presented his report.  COO received a petition to create the Sustainability Round Table. Council approved creation of the new round table.  Jim also reported that the Boing Boing Membership Initiative Group has changed its name to Library Lab Membership Initiative Group.

Candace Morgan, Chair of the Freedom to Read Foundation, presented her report.  The FTRF board was very saddened to learn that Carolyn Forsman, an intellectual freedom champion, recently died of cancer.

She also reported on the situation in Davis County, Utah, where the school board voted to remove all copies of In Our Mothers’ House.  The Utah Attorney General’s office has informed the Utah ACLU that the book would be returned to the open shelves.

She concluded with a plea for all those present to join the FTRF.  The FTRF cannot join lawsuits if there are no members in the service area where a lawsuit has been filed.  Joining online is possible at the new FTRF website: www.ftrf.org.   She also highlighted that materials are available from FTRF for library science educators and that FTRF makes materials available for Banned Books Week.

Keith Michael Fiels announced a current total registration of 10,558 at Midwinter Conference.

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