Archive for February, 2015

ALA Midwinter 2015 – Tuesday, Feb. 3 – Council Session III

Courtney Young, President of ALA, presented Memorials and Tributes.  Memorials for Diane P. Monnier, Jean E. Lowrie, Roger C. Greer, Chris Olson, Ruth V. Bell, Ferol Ann Accola Foos, Miriam Drake, Lois Mai Chan, Judith Hopkins, Mary Woodley, Julia Claire Blixrud, Vivian Blanche Cazayoux, Ernest A. DiMattia, Jr., John H. Hunter, Donald J. Sager, Leslie Feinberg, and Paul Kay Sybrowsky were acknowledged, as were Tributes in honor of Nathan Scott, the Ferguson Municipal Public Library, Linda H. Lord, Charles Wilt, and Tom Wheeler.

Susan Schmidt, United for Libraries Councilor, presented a Resolution Urging library Directors to Encourage and Support United for Libraries Memberships for Each of Their Trustees.  Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members, urges all library directors to encourage and support United for Libraries memberships for each of their Trustees.  Council approved the resolution.

Kent Slade, Chair of the Tellers, reported on the results of the Executive Board election.  With 147 ballots cast, Loida A. Garcia-Febo, Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., and Mike L. Marlin were elected.

Loida A. Garcia-Febo, Chair of the International Relations Committee, presented her report.  IFLA unveiled the Lyon Declaration On Access to Information and Development at its Congress last August.  The Declaration positions libraries and information as foundations to success across the United Nations Post 2015 Development Goals.  ALA Council approved ALA becoming a signatore to the Declaration at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas.  There are now over 500 signatores to the Declaration.  

The 2016 IFLA Congress Will be held in Columbus.  ALA is a member of the IFLA 2016 National Committee.  Promotion for Columbus kicked off here at Midwinter with a Columbus Booth.  The National Committee met to continue its planning efforts. The National Committee co-chairs are Carol Diedrichs, Ohio State University, and Patrick Losinski, Columbus Metropolitan Library System.  Jim Neal will serve as co-chair of the fundraising effort for fellowship to attend the Congress.  

The IRC discussed the Resolution on the Destruction of Libraries and Schools in Gaza in 2014 but did not take action to endorse.

UNESCO was founded in 1945. For 70 years it has helped to foster collaboration among the nations through education, science, and culture to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion.  IRC ask Council to recognize UNESCO on its 70th Anniversary by recognizing UNESCO’s 70 years of achievement and urging Congress to approve the national interest waiver so the United States can again pay its dues, and become a fully functioning member of UNESCO. With this resolution, we urge the continued efforts Council approved in 2013 to get the United States to again pay its dues to UNESCO to help strengthen the ability of UNESCO to be able to fulfill its mission.

She presented a Resolution Recognizing and Supporting United Nations, Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Its 70th Anniversary.  

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

  1. recognizes UNESCO’s 70 years of achievement, as well as encourages its members to join in support of anniversary activities; and
  2. continues to urge Congress to approve the national interest waiver so the United States can again pay its dues, and become a fully functioning member of UNESCO.

Council approved the resolution.

J. Douglas Archer, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented the Committee’s report.  He highlighted several items from his written report.  

During the 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, the IFC proposed revisions to 14 Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights for inclusion in the 9th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. All of the proposed revisions to the Interpretations were adopted by Council. During the discussion of the resolutions, the IFC was tasked to review the Labeling and Ratings System Interpretation after Annual and report back to Council on its findings. After review, the IFC has decided to split Labeling and Rating Systems into three separate Interpretations and will send the drafts to ALA Council in April for review and comment prior to submitting the revised Interpretations for approval at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.  He announced that the ninth edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual will be available in April.  Additionally, he shared that the Office of Intellectual Freedom is receiving an average of two new concerns a day. He also announced that Banned Books Week 2015 will take place September 27 – October 3, and Choose Privacy Week will take place May 1-7, 2015.

He presented a Resolution Denouncing Recent Assaults on the Freedom of Expression as Exemplified in the Attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Resolved, that the American Library Association 

  1. denounces these bloody assaults on fundamental human rights;
  2. expresses its deepest condolences to all those associated with the publication Charlie Hebdo and to the French people;
  3. affirms its solidarity with L’Association des Bibliothécaires Francais,
  4. reaffirms in the strongest possible terms its unwavering commitment to the advocacy and defense of intellectual freedom including freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of expression; and
  5. directs Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of the American Library Association to communicate its support and resolve to Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic for the people of France and to our colleagues of L’Association des Bibliothécaires Francais.

Council approved the resolution.

Vivian Wynn, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, presented the Committee’s report.  An important new subcommittee has been added to COL. FLAG is charged with the task of creating a cadre of influential library advocates from every state in the United States. FLAG will be devising and implementing a proactive approach, enhancing our advocacy efforts to Congress.  Advocates recruited by FLAG must have connections to one or more Members of Congress and agree to contact those Members of Congress when urgent legislative and policy issues arise. FLAG, with the help of the Office of Government Relations (OGR) staff, will provide talking points and background information to the cadre, which they can use to rally support among their elected officials. In the short three weeks that FLAG has been recruiting cadre members, we have been extremely successful, with a list of over fifty cadre members to date. We are asking councilors to help identify potential cadre members and to pass that information on to the FLAG chairs: Vivian Wynn ( or Joan Reeves (

COL has discussed the following federal legislation that is expected to be forthcoming in the 114th Congress: network neutrality; the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA); reintroduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR); an update to the Freedom of Information Act; changes to provisions of the USA Patriot, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments and Electronic Communications Privacy Acts; and reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

She presented a Resolution on Preserving Public Access to Scientific and Technical Reports Available Through the National Technical Information Service. 

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA): 

  1. urges the United States Congress to fund the provision of digital reports held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) to federal agencies and the public at no charge through NTIS, as well as the preservation of NTIS’ print and microform collections so they will remain available for sale to the public on a cost-recovery basis; and 
  1. urges the United States Congress to ensure that a national repository is selected, statutorily charged, and funded to preserve and provide public access to these important scientific and technical reports if NTIS-enabling legislation is eliminated.

Council approved the resolution.

Trevor Dawes, Chair of the Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, presented his report.  The impetus for creating the Task Force was the grave concern expressed by some members about the Association hosting its 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL in light of Florida’s application of the “Stand Your Ground” laws as it relates to the Trayvon Martin case.  Following the release of the statement from the BCALA, ALA president Barbara Stripling engaged by e-mail and phone with leaders from ALA and the Ethnic Caucuses who subsequently issued a joint statement.  The ALA’s Executive Committee and BCALA’s Executive Board decided that the best way to respond to the Florida situation is by turning it into an opportunity to educate, build awareness, and advocate for equitable treatment, inclusion, and respect for diversity. Among the agreed-upon items was the creation of a special task force.  The ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion was created in the spring 2014 by then ALA President, Barbara Stripling. The charge of the Task Force reads as follows:  The Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will develop a plan and strategic actions to build more equity, diversity, and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship, and our communities. The most important Task Force outcome is the public and honest conversation that will be generated by its plan and recommended actions. The final Task Force report will include recommendations for ensuring that a continuing focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion is embedded throughout the ALA organization.  Because the work of the TF got underway in the fall 2014, it is still in the information-gathering phase. To aid with information gathering, there will be a series of short ALA member surveys to understand the culture of the association, the profession, and communities with respect to equity, diversity and inclusion.  The first survey will be conducted in January/February 2015.  Subsequent surveys will launch at or around the time of future ALA conferences.

Jane Glasby, Councilor-at-Large, presented a Resolution on the Destruction of Libraries and Schools in Gaza in 2014.

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

  1. deplores the destruction and damage of cultural institutions, including schools and libraries, in Gaza during the recent conflict there;
  1. again calls for the protection of libraries and cultural resources in Gaza, and urges the US Government to support the United States Committee of the Blue Shield in upholding the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict”; and
  1. calls upon the government of the United States, as well as other governments, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations to provide material assistance for the reconstruction and restoration of these libraries and schools.

 An amendment to add an additional statement (a new #2) was presented:  Deplores the placement of weapons and other acts that make libraries, schools and other cultural resources viable military targets.  The amendment was defeated.  Ultimately, the resolution was also defeated.

Keith Michael Fiels, Executive Director of ALA, announced that Midwinter attendance totaled 10,637.

Erica Findley, Councilor-at-Large, announced that a court decision in Kentucky is expected soon that could devastate funding levels for 99 of the 104 state’s public libraries.  She urged ALA to be prepared to provide any needed assistance.  Keith Michael Fiels responded that ALA has already been assisting the Kentucky Library Association.


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ALA Midwinter 2015 – Monday, Feb. 2 – Council Session II

Mary Stansbury, Chair of the Committee on Accreditation, presented her committee’s report. The committee recommended to Council adoption of updated accreditation standards.  This update to the 2008 Standards resulted from a six-year public review process via weblog, direct surveying of practitioners and LIS faculty, and online and open meetings at conference venues.  It supersedes the 2008 Standards for Accreditation and is based upon a synthesis of the views solicited during the review and revision process of 2008-2014.  Information about the Standards, including the recommended revision, is available at  Council adopted the updated standards.

Henry Stewart, Chair of the Policy Monitoring Committee, presented his report.  Based on a review of Council actions at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, the Committee found three items that required Council action. 

At the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, the ALA Council adopted a Resolution on Communication by ALA and Council Committees (2014-2015 ALA CD#27.1) to read:  “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).”  The PMC moved that the above text be incorporated into the ALA Policy Manual as Policy A.5.5.4 Committee Reporting.  Council approved.

At the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, the ALA Council adopted this revision to ALA Policy A.4.3.2:  “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.”  PMC moves that the revised text be incorporated into the ALA Policy Manual as Policy A.4.3.12 to read:  “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.”

At the 2014 ALA Annual Conference, the ALA Council adopted a new interpretation to the Code of Ethics regarding “The Copyright” as recommended in ALA CD#40.1.  The new interpretation to Code of Ethics will be represented in the ALA Policy Manual by means of an abstract, supplied by the originating committee, followed by a reference to the Policy Reference File, where the full text of the Interpretation will reside.  PMC moves insertion of the following:  B.1.4 Copyright  Librarians are sources of copyright information for their user communities. Librarians should acquire a solid understanding of the purpose of copyright law and knowledge of its details relevant to library activities. They should do so in order to develop the ability to critically analyze issues of fair use or other limits to the rights of copyright holders, as well as to gain the confidence to implement the law using good judgment. Librarians and library staff should be educated to recognize and observe copyright and its limits, to understand and act on their rights and those of their users, and to be ready to inform or properly refer users with questions pertaining to copyright. When the balance between rights holders and information users’ needs to be restored, librarians should engage with rights holders and legislators and advocate on behalf of their users and user rights.  Adopted, 2014.  (See “Policy Reference File”: Committee on Professional Ethics Report:  2013-2014 ALA CD#40.1_63014_act)

 Council approved all three recommendations.

Mary Rzepczynski, Chair of the Committee on Organization (COO), presented her report, which focused on information related to a clarification of the reappointment policy to the Budget Analysis & Review Committee (BARC).  Currently, the composition description does not articulate rules for the ALA Treasurer, who serves in an ex-officio capacity. COO recommends that Council clarify the current committee composition description of BARC.  Resolved, that Council approves the following revision of the composition description (changes in bold italics):The Budget Analysis & Review Committee (BARC) consists of nine members serving no more than four (4) years on the committee in a lifetime.  Treasurer terms do not count towards the four years of service. Because of a number of questions, this was referred back to COO.

Jim Rettig, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, presented the following recommendation to Council.  

Resolved, that following amendment to the ALA Bylaws be presented to the ALA membership on the spring 2015 ballot:  Amend Article XII of the ALA Bylaws to state:  Robert’s Rules of Order in the latest edition, shall govern the Association in all cases to which it can be applied and in which it is not inconsistent with the Constitution, the Bylaws, or special rules of order of the Association.  Council approved placement of this amendment on the spring 2015 ballot.

Julius Jefferson, Jr., Chair of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), presented his report.  He highlighted litigation activities.  The first report was about Antigone Books v. Horne. In September 2014, the FTRF joined with the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, Voice Media Group, Inc., the National Press Photographers Association and Arizona booksellers Antigone Books, Bookmans, Changing Hands Bookstore, Copper News Book Store, and Mostly Books to challenge an Arizona statute that makes it a crime to publish, sell, loan, or disclose images that include nudity without the depicted person’s consent for each distribution. Although intended to target “revenge porn,” the law, as written, potentially makes criminal the dissemination of a large number of historic, artistic, educational, and other newsworthy images.  FTRF joined the lawsuit on behalf of its member libraries because the law potentially could be used to impose criminal liability on libraries and librarians for material that currently is available in libraries both in and outside of Arizona.  The case is pending.

The second report was about Arce v. Huppenthal, also situated in Arizona.  FTRF continues to monitor the ongoing progress of this lawsuit filed by teachers and students in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) against the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and other state officials that challenges the constitutionality of the Arizona statute prohibiting the use of class materials or books that encourage the overthrow of the government, “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”  FTRF is hopeful that an opinion will be issued sometime in March or April of 2015.

Follow developments on these litigation activities and others at

On November 17, the Freedom to Read Foundation launched a year-long observance of its 45th anniversary with a Google Hangout featuring author Chris Crutcher; it was the first in a series of events FTRF is calling “FTRF45.”  In other news, in October, the FTRF awarded a $5,000 grant to HP Kids Read, a parents group in Highland Park, Texas fighting book censorship in their local school district. HP Kids Read is working to counter efforts by another group, Speak Up for Standards, that wants the school district to remove a large number of books from the reading list developed by the district’s high school English department. Speak Up for Standards, a well-funded interest group, also has lobbied for the district to change its challenge and opt-out policies to make them considerably more restrictive and to limit what books may be taught in the district.

Mario Gonzalez, ALA Treasurer, reviewed the three strategic directions that guided the programmatic priorities.  Those directions are Advocacy, Information Policy, and Professional Education and Development.  He next presented the FY2016 programmatic priorities that are in line with the 2015 ALA strategic plan.  They are also a guide in the preparation of the FY2016 budget.  Council endorsed the following programmatic priorities:

• 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

The Resolution on ALA Divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola Solutions was withdrawn.

Council next considered the Resolution Encouraging Public Library Directors to Provide Funds for Trustees to Join ALA and United for Libraries.

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members,  urges all public library directors to include membership for each of their trustees in United for Libraries in their budgets.

This motion was referred to the Committee on Resolutions for Council III.

Keith Michael Fiels announced a current total registration of 10,568 at the 2015 Midwinter Conference.

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ALA Midwinter 2015 — Sunday, Feb. 1 — ALA-APA Council Meeting

Keith Michael Fiels, ALA-APA Executive Director, introduced Lorelle Swader, ALA-APA Director, who made a brief report on recent ALA-APA office activities.  The Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) program currently has 257 enrollees and 76 graduates. The Library Support Staff Certification  (LSSC) program currently has 468 enrollees and 106 graduates.  Tuesday, April 14 will be National Library Workers Day.   

Mario Gonzalez, ALA-APA Treasurer, presented his report.  At the end of 2014, revenues were down just over $17,416 from 2013, which was an improvement over the loss between 2012 and 2013.  Expenses were down $5,077 over 2013.   Additionally, the status of the loan repayment by ALA-APA to ALA is an ending loan balance of $170,000 in FY14 as compared to a beginning loan balance of $275,000 in FY09.


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ALA Midwinter 2015 ALA Council I – Sunday, Feb. 1

Courtney Young, ALA President, introduced guests, presented the rules for Council meetings and the agenda for the session.

Sari Feldman, Chair of the 2014-2015 Committee on Committees (and ALA President-Elect), presented the 2015 nominations for election to the ALA Executive Board.  Three councilors are to be elected for three-year terms from the following candidates:  Gladys Smiley Bell, Hampton University; John C. DeSantis, Dartmouth College; Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., Library of Congress; Loida Garcia-Febo, Information New Wave; Aaron W. Dobbs, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; and Mike L. Marlin, California State Library.  Bernard Margolis, State Library of New York, and  John C. Sandstrom, New Mexico State University, were nominated from the floor.

Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director, reviewed Executive Board actions since the 2013 Annual Meeting.  Many were related to budgetary matters.  Major actions dealt with promotional membership opportunities, an end-of-year incentive for ALA staff who had not received a salary increase at the beginning of the year.  Additionally the Board acted upon BARC’s recommendation to continue the practice of no programs at Midwinter and approved programmatic priorities.  Keith also reported on the implementation of ALA Council actions taken at the 2014 Annual Conference.  He highlighted the resolution regarding the DC Library and stated ALA has been working closely with DCLA.

Council next engaged in discussion on ALA Strategic Directions regarding advocacy, information policy, and professional and leadership development.  Council members discussed these issues in small groups and reported back to the entire group.  The groups discussed what success would look like in those areas.

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ALA 2015 Midwinter Conference – ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session – Saturday, January 31

ALA President’s Report – Courtney Young

Courtney updated the audience on the status of the Career Development  Facilitators (CDF) program.  Twenty-two state chapters have been selected to participate in the inaugural program.  This specific training will place special emphasis on the role of the librarian in helping patrons and job seekers.    

ALA President-Elect’s Report – Sari Feldman

Sari presented brief updates on her activities.  She and her advisory committee members are refining her proposed presidential platform and key areas of focus for the 2015-16 presidential term.

Executive Director’s Report – Keith Michael Fiels reviewed the association’s strategic planning initiative and explained the process of discussions being held by ALA’s committees and boards.  He also reported on a new campaign that is being launched during Midwinter about the importance of school librarians and libraries.  He encouraged visiting the School Libraries Make a Difference web resource on for specific ideas.  Midwinter is also featuring facilitated dialogue at “A Conversation on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” in order to engage in these issues that are vitally important to ALA, its members, and the future of the library profession.

Treasurer’s Report – Mario Gonzalez

Mario reviewed the FY2014 audited financial results.  He reported that total revenue in 2014 increased over 2013 by 2%.  Dues revenue decreased by only 0.8%; he described this as good news.  Total expenses decreased by 5.1%.  Total net assets increased by nearly $8 million over 2013.

Budget Analysis and Review Committee Report – Patricia Wand, Chair

Pat reported on FY2015 first quarter results.    She explained that BARC tracks five major accounts: general fund, divisions, roundtables, grants and awards, and long-term investments.  Three month highlights included: total ALA revenue is less than budget by $618,959; total ALA expenses are less than budget by $1.1 million; cash and investments were more than last year by $1.4 million; and the endowment fund was more than last year by $3.8 million.  She also reported that BARC concluded it was unable to support the original Resolution to Allow Programs at Midwinter Meetings and recommended to the Executive Board that the Midwinter Meeting maintain its current footprint.  She also encouraged attendees to visit the ALA website for additional financial information and for online learning opportunities related to finances and budgeting.

Endowment Trustees Report – Rod Hersberger, Senior Trustee

Rod reported that the value of the endowment for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2014 was $40,735,091, which is an improvement over the 2013 year-end value of $37,288,932.  He also identified market factors that could/will impact 2015:  the Federal Reserve’s maintenance of historically low interest rates; falling oil prices; lower bond prices; and international markets that have suffered.

Nominating Committee Report – Teri Switzer, Chair

Teri reported that the committee began making initial contacts with potential President and Council candidates after the 2014 Midwinter Meeting.  The committee developed a master spreadsheet, sought recommendations from ALA members, and worked with ALA staff to distribute the call for nominations.  The committee also used a document developed in 2012 that outlines the traits and attributes of ALA President-Elect candidates.  After an unfruitful President-Elect nominee lists, the committee extended the application deadline twice.  Ultimately, the committee presented a slate of two nominees for President-Elect and sixty-seven candidates for Councilor-at-Large.  She also introduced the candidates for ALA President-elect: James LaRue, CEO, Larue & Associates, and Julie B. Todaro, Dean, Library Services, Austin Community College.  There will also be two petition candidates:  J.P. Porcaro, Librarian for Acquisitions and Technological Discovery, New Jersey City University ; and Joseph Janes, Chair, University of Washington Information School.

Video of the Presidential Candidates’ Forum will be available on, ALFocus, and YouTube.


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