ALA Council II – Monday, July 1, 2013

Jim Rettig, Chair of the Committee on Organization, presented the report of the committee and asked Council to approve two action items.

Council approved changing the size and composition of the Scholarships and Study Grants Committee to seven members, including the committee’s chair, all to be appointed by the ALA president-elect.  Council also approved retiring the current Committee Information update form, to be replaced by a semi-annual report by each ALA committee and each Council committee that addresses, among other topics, accomplishments and planned activities.

Erlene Bishop Killeen, Chair of the Policy Monitoring Committee, presented the report of the committee and asked Council to approve placing previously approved policy changes into the appropriate sections of the ALA Policy Manual.  Council approved each of the committee’s recommendations.

Carlen Ruschoff, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, presented the report of the committee and asked Council to approve the application for affiliate status from the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA).  She also presented two editorial changes to the Bylaws.  Council approved each of the committee’s recommendations.

Nancy Bolt, Chair of the International Relations Committee, presented the report of the committee.  She announced that nearly 600 international librarians/visitors from 80 countries are attending the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.  She also reported on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaty for Improved Access for People Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, and with Other Print Disabilities. She quoted Carrie Russell, ALA’s representative to WIPO.  “By passing what is an exception to copyright, WIPO demonstrated that there is international support for balance in copyright law.  We applaud the world delegates for approving a treaty that makes it possible for every visually impaired person around the world to have fair access to reading materials.”

She also reported that ALA member Donna Scheeder from the Library Congress was elected President-elect of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).  Scheeder will be the first IFLA president since 1997 and only the third U.S. president in IFLA’s 85-year history.

Candace Morgan, President of the Freedom to Read Foundation, presented the Foundation’s report.  She asked Councilors to assist in the promotion of the Foundation.

Council next considered the following resolution:

Resolution on Prayer in ALA Meetings
Resolved, that the American Library Association adopt as policy the following statement:
The American Library Association, as a secular institution in a country that is increasingly diverse religiously, refrains from having public prayers during its meetings.  Moments of silence may be observed during meetings.

Council approved the resolution.

Council next considered the Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning.  A motion was made to refer the resolution to the Committee on Legislation and the Intellectual Freedom Committee.  The motion to refer was approved.

Council next considered the Resolution on Library Service in a Community in a Disaster.

Resolved that the American Library Association on behalf of its members:
1. Acknowledges that many libraries across the country have provided library and emergency services in disasters including storms, fires, earthquakes and floods and applauds those actions;
2. Recognizes the significant contributions of libraries and library staff who have provided effective emergency response/recovery services, and responded to the needs of their communities following hurricanes Sandy and Irene in ways that go above and beyond the regular call of duty;
3. Sends a letter  acknowledging the work and contributions of libraries and library staff to the State Chapters in the affected states to be passed on to the appropriate parties and ensure that such a letter is sent whenever libraries lead community recovery.

The resolution passed.

Council next considered the Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies.

Resolved that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members, begin divesting in the fossil fuel industry by excluding our three holdings in the “Filthy Fifteen” named in the Endowment Trustees’ Information Report to BARC that have “little or no significant negative impact” in the short term on ALA.

After lengthy comments, the resolution was defeated.

Council next considered a motion to move Council Document #39 to be reconsidered and referred to the Intellectual Freedom Committee and Committee on Legislation.  This document was the Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Edward Snowden.  The motion was approved.

Keith Michael Fiels announced the most current registration figures: 14,466 attendees and 5,864 vendors, for a total of 20,330.

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