Archive for June, 2013

ALA Council I – Sunday, June 30, 2013

Before the business of Council began, President Obama delivered a brief pre-recorded message to ALA thanking library workers for their efforts and asking them to assist members of their communities with participation in the Affordable Care Act exchanges.  He also announced a website with information – – that will provide needed information.

Barbara Stripling, Chair of the 2012-2013 Committee on Committees (and ALA President-Elect), presented the nominations for the 2013-2014 Council Committee on Committees election.  Four councilors are to be elected for one-year terms from the following candidates: Julius C. Jefferson, Vicki M. Emery, John C. DeSantis, Eboni M. Henry, Roberto Carlos Delgadillo, Wendy Steadman Stephens, Barbara L. Flynn, and Carey D. Hartman.

Barbara also presented the nominations for the 2013-2014 Planning and Budget Assembly Election.  Three Chapter Councilors and three Councilors-at-Large are to be elected from the following candidates: Chapter – Walter Betts, Majed Khader, Elena Rosenfeld, Hadi Dudley, Vickie Mix, and Pam Hickson-Stevenson; At-Large – Carolyn Starkey, Karen Schneider, Nancy Baumann, Alexandra Rivera, Nicolas Buron, and Sue Polanka.

Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director, reviewed Executive Board actions since the 2013 Midwinter Meeting.  He also reported on the implementation of the 2013 ALA Midwinter meeting Council actions.  Keith drew special attention to the growth in organizational membership, which he attributed to a special promotion that ALA initiated.

Co-Chairs Sari Feldman and Robert Wolven reported on the activities of the Digital Content & Libraries Working Group.  They highlighted the following points: each of the “big 6” publishers now are engaged with libraries and while it is not ideal, it is progress; American Libraries publishes an e-content supplement that helps to communicate the work of ALA on e-content issues; authors have been and are being recruited to speak out on behalf of e-content in libraries.  They also reported that reports will be coming from several subgroups – accessibility, school libraries, privacy, and preservation.


Council considered the following resolutions:

Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Edward Snowden
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):  recognizes Edward Snowden as a whistleblower who, in releasing information that documents government attacks on privacy, free speech, and freedom of association,  has performed a valuable service in launching a national dialogue about transparency, domestic surveillance, and overclassification.

The resolution passed.

Resolution  Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Basic Literacy
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:reaffirms and supports the principle that lifelong literacy is a basic right for all individuals in our society and is essential to the welfare of the nation;reaffirms the core value of basic literacy as foundational for people of all ages and is the building block for developing other literacies;

encourages appropriate ALA units and Divisions to actively participate in the Association’s Literacy Assembly; and

urges appropriate ALA units and libraries of all types to make basic literacy a high priority by incorporating literacy initiatives into programs and services for all users.

The resolution passed.

Declaration for the Right to Libraries Resolution
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
1. endorses the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.
2. Urges that the American Library Association work to support and engage libraries and communities across the country in signing the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

The resolution passed.  The text of the Declaration is available at

The following Resolutions were postponed until Council II:

Resolution on Library Service to the Community in a Natural Disaster

Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies and Libraries’ Role in a Peaceful Transition to a Fossil-Free Economy

Resolution on Prayer in ALA Meetings

The Resolution on Digitization of U.S. Government Documents was referred to the Committee on Legislation.

Keith Michael Fiels announced that registration currently stands at 20,156.


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ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session – Sat., June 29, 2013

ALA President’s Report – Maureen Sullivan

Maureen provided brief updates on the work being done on her presidential initiatives.  About 100 individuals from the U.S. and other countries participated in a program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to explore how to lead effectively through the challenges of the digital age.  Additionally, 40 people have been chosen to participate in a leadership development program for ALA during August 2013.

ALA President-Elect’s Report – Barbara Stripling

Barbara provided brief updates on her presidential initiative: Libraries Change Lives.  Barbara has led the development of a Declaration for the Right to Libraries .  It is a statement of the value of libraries for individuals, communities, and the country.  Libraries of all types will be able to use a soon-to-be- released toolkit to plan signing ceremonies and to build community public support and gain media attention.  Other areas of focus for Barbara’s initiative will be on literacy, innovation (including developing library TEDx events), and community engagement.  She is also committed to continuing past initiatives on e-books and advocacy for school libraries.  Barbara plans to develop a School Library Week to draw attention to the plight of school libraries around the country.

Executive Director’s Report – Keith Michael Fiels

Keith highlighted a school library campaign that is being planned and also the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction awards, now in their second year.

Endowment Trustees Report – Kate Nevins, Trustee

Kate listed recent issues affecting the market; among them were the “spring swoon,” a possible end to bond purchases, and cutbacks in Federal spending.  Among the portfolio concerns going forward are potential overreaction to the possible end to Federal Reserve bond purchases; slowing economic growth in China; and a tepid rate of expansion for the general economy.  The market value of the ALA Endowment as of May 31, 2013 was $34,951,042.

Additionally, Kate reported that the Endowment Trustees analyzed the ramifications of a proposed resolution that directs the Endowment Trustees to “divest all holdings in the fossil fuel industry and invest in renewable energy initiatives.”  At this time, the Trustees do not support the proposal.  “Given the current marketplace, serious data suggest that such a divestment would ultimately harm the fund’s ability to fulfill its time-honored mandate.”

Budget Analysis and Review Committee Report – Clara Bohrer, Chair

Clara provided updates on the following: FY 2013 budget; end of year projections and actions needed to cover the projected $1.9 million deficit; fossil fuel divestment financial impact; an organizational membership special promotion; and FY 2014 budget development.

Treasurer’s Report – Jim Neal

Jim presented information on key strategic issues affecting ALA and its financial future, trends in ALA’s income and expense areas, opportunities for new business development, and an overview of the budget plan for FY14.

Strategic issues for the ALA FY14 are: continuing economic challenges; nonsupportive political environments; virtual professional participation; globalization of information issues; massive changes in the publishing industry; and limited growth in the MLS workforce.  Financial issues for the ALA FY14 budget are: declining or flat primary revenue sources; the need to diversity and enhance revenue sources; the need to invest in technology and systems; the need for continued focus on efficiencies and productivity; placing the highest priority on member value and engagement; and keeping resources focused on strategic priorities.

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