Archive for June, 2014

ALA Council II – Monday, June 30, 2014

Bill Turner, Chair of the Policy Monitoring Committee, presented the report of the committee and asked Council to approve placing a previously approved policy change into the appropriate section of the ALA Policy Manual. This involved a Council resolution to improve member access to ALA unit governing information. Council approved the committee’s recommendation.

Barbara Stripling, President of ALA, recognized retiring Councilors and Executive Board members.

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

1.     Each chair of an ALA Committee or a Council Committee is responsible for submitting to the ALA Executive Director at least two times each year a substantive report on the committee’s work and accomplishments so that these reports can be made available to all interested ALA members.  Such reports may address, but not be limited to, matters such as accomplishments, planned activities, issues that affect the committee’s work and their implications for the future, interactions with other units within ALA, relationship of the committee’s work to the ALA strategic plan, current level of committee members’ involvement (more substantive than an attendance roll), committee self-check on its value and viability (update charge, discontinue committee, consolidate with another, change structure, other observations).

2.    A Membership Initiative Groups (MIG) is formed when a group of ALA members identifies a common concern or interest about librarianship which falls outside the delegated responsibility of a single division, roundtable, or unit, and wishes to establish a short-term, renewable mechanism to address this concern or interest. To establish a MIG, which must be approved by COO and reported to Council, a group must submit to the Committee on Organization a statement of purpose, at least one hundred signatures of ALA members in good standing, and the names and addresses of designated organizers.  Once established, a MIG may operate for three years at which point it may re-petition for another three- year term, or may request another place within the ALA structure by following the procedures for establishing that type of group, or may request the ALA COO to disband it.  The re-petitioning process can be renewed every three years.  If the re-petition process is not carried out when due, the MIG will be disbanded.

Council approved both recommendations.

Julius Jefferson, President of the Freedom to Read Foundation, highlighted several items from the FTRF report.  He provided updates on Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus and on Arce v Huppenthal.  He also reported on the Krug Fund, which was created and supported by donations made in memory of FTRF’s founding executive director, Judith Krug.  If funds projects and programs that assure that her passion to educate both librarians and the public about the First Amendment and the importance of defending the right to read and speak freely will continue far into the future. FTRF is partnering with the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) to offer an online graduate-level course on intellectual freedom for LIS students around the country.  

Council next considered the following resolution:

Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy to Allow City Services, including Libraries, to Remain Open during a Federal Government Shutdown
Resolved, that the American Library Association urges Congress to grant the District of Columbia budget autonomy in order to prevent the unnecessary closing of city government facilities, including public libraries, in the event of a federal government shutdown.

Council approved the resolution.

Keith Michael Fiels announced the most current registration figures: 12,806 attendees and 5,588 vendors, for a total of 18,394.


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ALA Council I – Sunday, June 29, 2014

Before moving to the business at hand, Council watched a video greeting from Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC.  He briefly discussed efforts to modernize the E-rate program and his feeling that the FCC must do more to help libraries in the digital age.  He has circulated a draft order among his fellow FCC Commissioners.  This includes proposals to expand access to Wi-Fi funding, including a specific approach for allocating Wi-Fi support for libraries and for simplifying the application process.  Wheeler’s video greeting will be added to the ALA YouTube channel.

Courtney Young, Chair of the 2013-2014 Committee on Committees (and ALA President-Elect), presented the nominations for the 2014-2015 Council Committee on Committees election.  Four councilors are to be elected for one-year terms from the following candidates: Jennifer C. Boettcher, Ann Crewdson, Karen E. Downing, Nathan E. Flowers, Kimberly Anne Patton, Jim Kuhn, Susan F. Gregory, and Carey D. Hartman.

Courtney also presented the nominations for the 2014-2015 Planning and Budget Assembly Election.  Three Chapter Councilors and three Councilors-at-Large are to be elected from the following candidates: Chapter – Steve Dimoulas, Stephanie Braunstein, Michael L. Scott, and Regina Greer Cooper; At-Large – Loida A. Garcia-Febo, Sue Kamm, Edward L. Sanchez, Matthew P. Ciszek, Ismail Abdullahi, and Alys Jordan.

John Sandstrom, Chair of the Presidential Task Force on Electronic Communication for the ALA Council, reported on the work of the task force.  The immediate cause for the creation of the task force was the increasing level of confusion regarding the posting and distribution of Council documents. He presented the following action items to Council:

Item 1: Resolution approving guidelines for the Council Electronic List

Resolved that the Council of the American Library Association approve the following guidelines for the Council List

  1. The Council Secretary, or his/her designate, will manage the membership of the Council Electronic List.
  2. Full privileges (read and write) to the Council Electronic List are limited to current members of ALA Council, ALA and Council Committee Chairs, and to authorized ALA staff.  Read-only access by any other ALA Members who have access to the network is available through application to the Council Secretary or his/her designate.
  3. Councilors may only post from their subscribed email address(es).  Each Councilor is responsible for keeping his/her email address up-to-date with the Council Secretary or his/her designate.
  4. The Council Electronic List shall remain un-moderated.
  5. Councilors may communicate informally with each other on the Council list. The list may be used for official communications at times.  The Council list may be used for discussing issues and resolutions pertaining to the business of Council
  6. The Council Secretary, or his/her designate shall be responsible for the following activities related to the Council Electronic List:
    1. Updating e-mail addresses of current participants.
    2. Validating e-mail addresses of new subscribers.
    3. Responding to questions and referring inquiries as appropriate.
    4. Other duties as necessary based on growth and experience of the list.

Item 1 was approved.

Item 2: Resolution approving guidelines for the posting of Council Documents

Resolved that the Council of the American Library Association approves the following guidelines for Council Documents

  1. Council Documents will be posted to the Council area on ALA Connect as public documents.Document Naming Conventions:
    1.  The ALA Connect link will then be distributed to the Council List.
    2. Since Council documents are public documents, anyone who receives the link will be able to access the documents regardless of subscription status on ALA Connect.
  2. Document Naming Conventions
    1. Files will be located in the files section of the Council area on Connect.
    2. Council documents are named with the Council Document Number –The following information will appear in the upper right hand corner of on each Council document respectively, for example: 2013-2014 ALA CD#10-10.1–6/9/14-4:00pm (action)
    3. When a file is being moved to the ALA council page, the term “final” will be appended.
    4. Resolutions will use the same file naming convention.
    5. Each time a document changes, it will be re-posted to ALA Connect.

3.   The Council Secretary, or his/her designate, is responsible for the following activities related to Council Documents:

    1. Posting reports, resolutions and other documents to the Council section of ALA Connect as public documents.
    2. Maintaining an authoritative set of documents for use by Council in case either internet access or ALA Connect becomes unavailable during a Council meeting.
    3. Updating the status of documents to “final” or “approved” or “adopted “as appropriate.
    4. Posting these document files to the ALA Council Website.

Item 2 was approved.

Item 3 Resolution for the future review of these guidelines

Resolved that the Council of the American Library Association charges The Executive Director, as the Secretary of the Council, or his/her designate, to review these guidelines at a minimum of every three years or as needed and report to Council on their continued effectiveness.

Item 3 was approved.

Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director, reviewed Executive Board actions since the 2014 Midwinter Meeting.    Keith drew special attention to EB approval of an extra seat on the Endowment Fund Board; approval of the Lemony Snicket Award; and approval of an additional two years for the work of the Digital Content Working Group.  He also reported on the implementation of the 2014 ALA Midwinter meeting Council actions.  He highlighted the work of the Committee on Electronic Communication.  He also reviewed action on resolutions that Council passed at Midwinter.

Co-Chair Sari Feldman reported on the activities of the Digital Content & Libraries Working Group since the 2014 Midwinter meeting.  She highlighted the following points: Simon & Schuster announced greater availability of titles and the State of Connecticut announced a new statewide e-book platform.  She also reported that Erika Linke and Carolyn Anthony have been appointed as incoming DCWG co-chairs, replacing Sari Feldman and Robert Wolven who are stepping down after three years of service.


Council considered the following resolution:

Resolution in Support of Stable Funding for Air Force Libraries
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:  1. urges the United States Congress to direct the Department of Defense (DoD) and United States Air Force (USAF) to restore funding to Air Force Base and Command Libraries to FY2011 levels for staffing, materials, services and programs.  2. urges the Administration, DoD and USAF to develop responsible information and budget management strategies for Air Force Base and Command Libraries that aligns them with directly with appropriated funds, rather than through base operations, where library funding is vulnerable to additional local cuts.

 The resolution passed.

Keith Michael Fiels announced that total registration currently stands at 18,185.

Detailed documents are available on ALA Connect. 

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ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session – Sat., June 28, 2014

ALA President’s Report – Barbara Stripling

Barbara provided updates on the work being done on her presidential initiatives.  Barbara’s presidential theme was “Libraries Change Lives,” which she promoted by emphasizing the three areas of literacy, innovation, and community engagement.  In the area of literacy, she highlighted the work of the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group.  This group will continue for two more years.  Additionally, a new ALA director of literacy will enable ALA to connect and highlight ALA’s various literacy efforts.  Barbara reviewed her focus on the second area of innovation. She emphasized the two practices that are gaining momentum in libraries – makerspaces and hosting TED and TEDx talks.  Her third area of emphasis, community engagement, featured a project funded by the Gates Foundation and developed in collaboration with the Harwood Institute.  She also provided an overview of the Summit on the Future of Libraries and emphasized that its purpose was not to answer questions but to generate questions.  She announced that Miguel Figueroa has been named the Director of ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries.  She closed by highlighting the disturbing trend of cuts to school libraries and the importance of advocacy for school libraries.

ALA President-Elect’s Report – Courtney Young

Courtney highlighted her Career Development Facilitators program.

Executive Director’s Report – Keith Michael Fiels

Keith announced that ALA’s membership currently stands at 56,637, which is down about 500 from last year.  The decline comes primarily from smaller public libraries.  Individual membership numbers are staying relatively stable.  He also highlighted that the Center for the Future of Libraries will serve as a clearinghouse for thinking about what is around the curve and will monitor trends.  It also will develop training for library staff that will enable them to look ahead more strategically and will work to establish a more vibrant innovation space for ALA.

Endowment Trustees Report – Rod Hersberger, Senior Trustee

Rod reviewed the mission of the Endowment:  “…to protect and grow the investment resources so as to support current and future Association needs, including scholarships, awards and unique programs that build a strong future for the American Library Association and America’s libraries.”  He also cited examples of how the endowment proceeds are spent, including Spectrum Scholarships, Carnegie Medal Awards, Newbery/Caldecott Award Medals, conference speaker fees, and conference travel support for students.  He reported that the responsibility for the Margaret Edwards Trust will be assumed by the ALA Endowment.

Budget Analysis and Review Committee Report – Patricia Wand, Chair

Pat reported that committee members reviewed results of the survey of PBA members and developed recommended adjustments.  Those include:  the President-Elect and Treasurer will issue a joint message welcoming all PBA members to a PBA Connect group, which will act as a venue for ongoing conversation; schedule the traditional timeframe of 1.5 hours to conduct the session; the majority of the session should be devoted to planning-related issues; President-Elect and Treasurer may choose a theme-focused discussion item; i.e. “Future Direction of Publishing,” a current trend, a strategic initiative, etc.; PBA members will be strongly encouraged to attend the ALA Council/Membership/Information Session. This session will serve as an orientation and education function for PBA members; and all session related documents will be provided as early as possible, with the understanding that some documents are still being prepared leading up to the session.  She also reported that BARC considered a resolution referred by Council regarding a request to allow programs at ALA Midwinter Meeting.  BARC plans to continue its review of the resolution after input from the ALA Conference Committee and will report to Council on this topic at Midwinter Meetings 2015.  She shared that ALA’s three largest revenue sources in FY13 were publishing at $17.2 million (34.4%); meetings & conferences at $11.1 million (22.2%); and dues at $8.45 million (16.8%).

Treasurer’s Report – Patricia Wand, presented on behalf of Mario Gonzalez

Pat presented the ALA Programmatic Priorities, which are aligned with the FY15 budget:  advocacy for libraries and the profession; diversity; equitable access to information and library services; education and lifelong learning; literacy; organizational excellence; intellectual freedom; and transforming libraries.  She also presented FY15 Key Initiatives:  invest $250,000 in technology initiatives; implement new e-commerce site; consolidate ALA’s online continuing education offerings with new ALA e-learning commons; implement next generation Engage social networking platform for ALA Chapters; undertake joint ALA/Division initiative to recruit and retain members; establish ALA Center for the Future of Libraries; and continue redesign of Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting.

Detailed reports are available on ALA Connect.

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