Archive for June, 2015

Thank you!

Thank you for the honor of serving as the Ohio Chapter Councilor.

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ALA Council III – Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Courtney Young, ALA President, presented Memorials and Tributes.  She read the following names for memorials: Gail A. Schlachter, David Cohen, Charles Benton, Cynthia D. Clark, Ruth C. Carter, William Vernon Jackson, Elizabeth H. (Betsy) Park, Floyd C. Dickman, Cynthia G. Hurd, and Zoia Horn. The tribute resolutions were: Jessie Carney Smith; 25th Anniversary of the Signing of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA); 35th Anniversary of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA); Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD; and 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mario Gonzales, ALA Treasurer, presented his report.  He highlighted ALA’s programmatic priorities: 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. He also reviewed ALA’s strategic initiatives; FY16 budget highlights; enabling strategies; and FY16 key initiatives. He also requested approval of the total ALA FY2016 Budgetary Ceiling of $67,087,027.  Council approved the FY2016 budgetary ceiling .

Denise Zielinski, Chair of the Tellers Committee, announced the winners of the election of the Council Committee on Committees: Gladys Smiley Bell, Maria Carpenter, Stephen Matthews, and Rocco Staino.  She also announced the winners of the election of Council Representatives to the Planning and Budget Assembly: at large – John DeSantis and Eric Suess; chapter – Jennifer Alvino, Ben Allen Hunter, and Patty Wong.

Ann Ewbank, incoming Chair of the Committee on Legislation, presented the Committee’s report.  She announced creation of an orientation manual to be used as a tool for incoming members and others interested in the work of the COL. She also reported that COL approved changes and additions to the ALA Core Competencies, which address government information skills and the management of and access to government information.  She next presented a resolution offered as a substitute for the Resolution Against Mass Surveillance of the American People.

Resolution on the Passage of the USA Freedom Act and Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Surveillance Law Reform

RESOLVED,  that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members:

  1. commends the authors and primary supporters of the USA FREEDOM Act for their efforts, courage, and success in securing its passage;
  2. recommits itself to the maximum possible restora­tion of the public’s privacy and civil liberties through statutory and other legal reforms; and 
  3. reaffirms its commitment to fostering maximum transparency in all workings of government.

A motion was made to amend the substitution (the text immediately above) by adding the resolved clauses of the original resolution:

  1. Repealing Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, and all other sections that authorize mass surveillance of the American public;
  2. Repealing all mass surveillance authorized by the USA Freedom Act, by adopting into law the following measures: requiring government agencies to get a national security warrant before collecting personal information from third parties, raising the standard for government collection of call records under FISA from “reasonable grounds” to “probable cause,” limiting the government’s ability to use information gathered under intelligence authorities in unrelated criminal cases, making it easier to challenge the use of illegally obtained surveillance information in criminal proceedings, prohibiting the government from requiring hardware and software companies to deliberately weaken encryption and other security features, and requiring court approval for National Security Letters;
  3. Prohibiting the government from conducting warrantless reviews of Americans’ email and other communications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and
  4. Amending Executive Order 12333 on United States Intelligence Activities by deleting all authority for mass surveillance of the American People.

The motion passed.  Next council voted on a motion to refer the amended resolution back to the Committee on Legislation and the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The motion passed and the resolution was referred back to COL/IFC.

Ma’Lis Wendt, representing Doug Archer, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented the Committee’s report. The 9th edition of Intellectual Freedom Manual has been published. She next presented revised interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights in the following areas of Internet Filtering, Labeling Systems, and Rating Systems. Council approved each of the revised interpretations.  Those documents are available on ALA Connect.

Council next considered a Resolution on Gun Violence.

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

  1. deplores the gun violence that materially affects libraries and the communities we serve; and
  2. will work in every way that it can to support legislation that prohibits the carrying of guns in or near libraries and other educational institutions.

An amendment was offered to the second clause: will work with state chapters and affiliates to support legislation that allows the prohibition of the carrying of guns in or near libraries and educational institutions.  

Council approved the amendment to the resolution. Council also approved striking the last “whereas” clause. The amended resolution was approved.

Resolution to Endorse Statement from the Movement for Black Lives on Charleston Shooting

Resolved, that ALA endorses the Statement from the Movement for Black Lives on the Charleston Shooting, issued on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Council approved the resolution.

Resolution on Improving Access to Spanish, Bilingual and Books in Various Languages for Children in Detention Centers

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

  1. urges ALA members and units to support the REFORMA Children in Crisis project for the continued delivery of books to refugee children and teens;
  2. encourages the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop a partnership with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency to ensure that unaccompanied refugee children have access to books and programming in those children’s native languages, whether they speak Spanish, indigenous languages, or other tongues, and bilingual books;
  3. urges libraries in affected areas to provide services and programs for and with detained minors while under they are in the care of government-designated service providers; and
  4. encourages ALA members and other relevant ALA units and affiliates to develop materials that meet the information and recreation needs of refugee children, teens, and their guardians, and to share that information with librarians in other affected communities.

Council approved the resolution.

Keith Michael Fiels reported that the final grand total attendance was 22,696.

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ALA Council II – Monday, June 29, 2015

Courtney Young, ALA President, asked for a moment of silence to honor the memory of Cynthia Graham Hurd, a public library manager in Charleston, S.C., and the eight others who were murdered at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church.  

Outgoing Executive Board members and councilors were recognized.

Loida Garcia-Febo, Chair of the International Relations Committee, presented her report. Almost 600 librarians from 62 countries registered for the 2015 Annual Conference. The IFLA World Library and Information Conference will be held in Columbus, OH, August 13-19, 2016, and preparations, led by Co-Chairs Carol Diedrichs, The Ohio State University, and Patrick Losinski, Columbus Metropolitan Library, are moving into high gear. ALA is partnering with READ Global (Rural Education and Development) libraries, other NGOs, and government organizations in Nepal to collect to help rebuild and restock the hundreds of libraries destroyed or damaged by the earthquake in April.

Mary E. Rzepczynski, Chair of the Committee on Organization, presented her report and asked Council to approve the following revision.

The Budget Analysis & Review Committee (BARC) consists of nine (9) Members:

  • Two (2) ALA Executive Board Members, with staggered two-year terms
  • Six (6) ALA Members, with staggered four-year terms
  • ALA Treasurer (ex-officio voting)

A Chair is selected from among the non-Executive Board members.

Executive Board Members and ALA Members may not be reappointed once they have served on the Committee for four (4) years. The maximum four (4) years need not be consecutive and need not be served as the same member type. For example, one could serve as an Executive Board Member for two (2) years and an ALA Member for two (2) years.

Three (3)-year Treasurer terms do not count towards the four (4) years of Committee service outlined above. Therefore, one may serve as Treasurer for three (3) years and a combination of Executive Board Member/ALA Member for four (4) years, for a total of seven (7) years.

Council approved the change.

Julius Jefferson, President of the Freedom to Read Foundation, highlighted several items from the FTRF report.  In the area of litigation:

Prison Legal News v. Kane – This spring the FTRF joined with journalists, booksellers, publishers and others to successfully challenge a Pennsylvania law that allows a victim to sue a convicted offender to stop any conduct — including speech — that causes “mental anguish.” Under the law, a district attorney, the Attorney General, or a victim of a personal injury crime can ask a judge to prohibit an offender from engaging in any conduct, including speech, that would cause “a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish” to the victim or otherwise “perpetuate the continuing effect of the crime” on the victim or the victim’s family. The FTRF joined an amicus curiae brief drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press that argued that the statute violates the rights of offenders and deprives the public of information that it is willing to receive by allowing a court to issue an injunction barring the distribution of a broad variety of First Amendment-protected material. On April 28, 2015, a U.S. District Court Chief Judge struck down the Pennsylvania law, finding the law “manifestly unconstitutional.” Conner ruled that the law is an impermissible content-based restriction and that it is vague and overbroad.

Antigone Books v. Horne: In September 2014, the FTRF joined with booksellers, publishers, and photographers 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. After FTRF and its fellow plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction asking the district court to block enforcement of the law, attorneys for the State of Arizona sought to stay enforcement of the law and stay the lawsuit itself to allow the Arizona legislature the opportunity to narrow the law in its next legislative session. The legislature failed to act, however, and on May 18, 2015, the plaintiffs renewed their motion for a preliminary injunction.  Unless FTRF and its fellow plaintiffs reach a settlement with the state, oral argument on the motion will be heard on August 31. While the Freedom to Read Foundation strongly condemns the malicious invasion of privacy resulting from “revenge porn,” and supports using legal tools to stop it, the Arizona law goes far beyond criminalizing this reprehensible practice and potentially makes criminally liable anyone who provides access to any image that includes nudity, including newsworthy images such as the iconic image of the “Napalm Girl.”

Arce v. Huppenthal: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has still not published a decision in 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.   The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of an 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.” The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the parties’ oral arguments on January 12, 2015. Constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the UC-Irvine, argued the case on behalf of the students. Commenting on the case, he had high praise for the brief authored by FTRF’s legal counsel. 

Keith Michael Fiels announced that current conference registration stands at 22,614.

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ALA Council I – Sunday, June 28, 2015

Courtney Young, ALA President, welcomed all present to the first Council session of the 2015 Annual Conference and introduced a variety of division and chapter leaders.

Hearing no corrections, Courtney Young declared the minutes of the 2015 Midwinter Conference Council Minutes adopted.

Sari Feldman, Chair of the 2014-2015 Committee on Committees (and ALA President-Elect), presented the nominations for the 2015-2016 Council Committee on Committees election.  Four councilors are to be elected for one-year terms from the following candidates: Edward L. Sanchez, Gladys Smiley Bell, Min Chou, Maria Carpenter, Stephen L. Matthews, Cristina Dominguez Ramierez, Ellen Hunter Ruffin, and Rocco A. Staino.

Sari presented the nominations for the 2015-2016 Planning and Budget Assembly Election.  Three Chapter Councilors and three Councilors-at-Large are to be elected from the following candidates: Chapter – Ben Allen Hunter, Sherry Machones, Kris Seerengan, and Patricia (Patty) M. Wong, Jason Hatton, Jennifer A. Alvino; At-Large – Mary Biblo, John C. DeSantis, Denice C. Adkins, Eric D. Suess.

Eric D. Suess, Chair of the ALA Awards Committee, reported on the proposed establishment of the Ernest A. DiMattia, Jr. Award for Innovation , and Service to Community and Profession.  The award is intended to recognize an administrator in a public library setting for leadership qualities in anticipating emerging trends in services, products and technologies that will enhance the library’s position in its community.

Barbara K. Stripling, immediate Past President of ALA, moved for approval the Strategic Directions Document.  This document will replace the ALA 2015 plan and represents two years of work. It reflects the synthesis of conversations at all levels of the organization and in all areas of the country.  The mission remains unchanged.  Key action areas are advocacy for libraries and the profession; diversity; education adn lifelong learning; equitable access to information and library services; intellectual freedom; literacy; organizational excellence; and transforming libraries. Goals and strategies to support ALA’s directions are also included in the document. 

James Rettig, Chair of the ALA Constitution and Bylaws Committee, presented one action item, a recommendation that Council approve an amendment to the ALA Constitution as a first step towards placing the amendment on the spring 2016 ballot for a vote by the ALA membership.

Resolved, that the following amendment to the ALA Constitution be approved so that at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting Council can consider placing the amendment on the spring 2016 ballot for the membership’s vote:

Amend Article X of the ALA Constitution to state:

Section 1. National or international organizations having purposes similar to those of the Association or to one of more of the Association’s subdivisions may request to become an affiliate of the Association. Requests for affiliation are subject to Council’s approval.

Section 2. The Association or any subdivision thereof may request to become an affiliate with national or international organizations having purposes similar to those of the Association or to one or more of the Association’s subdivisions.  However no subdivision of the Association may separately affiliate itself with an organization with which the Association is affiliated.

Councilors asked a number of questions, and ultimately a motion was made and approved to refer the recommendation back to the committee.

Keith Michael Fiels, ALA Executive Director, reviewed Executive Board actions since the 2015 Midwinter Meeting.    Keith drew special attention to approval of the United For Libraries group membership; EB review and approval of a list of the companies for the TIAA-CREF portfolio; and the increase of the number of Spectrum scholarships from 50 to 60. He also reviewed action on resolutions that Council passed at Midwinter.

Council considered the following resolution:

Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
  1. recognizes the important and unique role libraries play in wider community conversations about resiliency, climate change, and a sustainable future and begins a new era of thinking sustainably in order to consider the economic, environmental and socially equitable viability of choices made on behalf of the association;
  2. enthusiastically encourages activities by itself, its membership, library schools and state associations to be proactive in their application of sustainable thinking in the areas of their facilities, operations, policy, technology, programming, partnerships and library school curricula; and
  3. directs the ALA Executive Director to pursue sustainable choices when planning conferences and meetings and to actively promote best practices of sustainability through ALA publications, research and educational opportunities to reach our shared goal of vital, visible and viable libraries for the future.

Council passed the resolution.

Council next considered this resolution.

Resolution Denouncing the Systemic Racism that Motivated the South Carolina Shootings

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

  1. denounces racially and politically motivated violence as exempliifed by the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on the evening of Wednesday, June 17, 2015;
  1. recognizes the hidden, endemic, and pervasive nature of systemic racism in American culture;
  1. will strengthen and prioritize its own efforts to support diversity and foster cultural understanding and humility within our profession; and
  1. will work with other professional associations to enable library staff and information organizations to expand our collective understanding of the hidden, systemic nature of racism in American culture and its potential for violence.

Council approved the resolution after some wordsmithing.

Resolution on Libraries and Schools Affected by the Conflict in Gaza and Israel in 2014

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

  1. deplores the destruction and damage of cultural institutions, including schools and libraries, in Gaza and Israel during the recent conflict there;
  1. deplores the use of schools for storing or firing weapons;
  1. calls again for the protection of libraries and cultural resources in the Middle East, 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.

Council did not approve the Resolution.

Council next considered this resolution.

Resolution Against Mass Surveillance of the American People

Resolved, that the American Library Association calls on the U.S. President and Congress to end mass surveillance of the American people by:

  1. Repealing Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, and all other sections that authorize mass surveillance of the American public;
  1. Repealing all mass surveillance authorized by the USA Freedom Act, by adopting into law the following measures: requiring government agencies to get a national security warrant before collecting personal information from third parties, raising the standard for government collection of call records under FISA from “reasonable grounds” to “probable cause,” limiting the government’s ability to use information gathered under intelligence authorities in unrelated criminal cases, making it easier to challenge the use of illegally obtained surveillance information in criminal proceedings, prohibiting the government from requiring hardware and software companies to deliberately weaken encryption and other security features, and requiring court approval for National Security Letters;
  1. Prohibiting the government from conducting warrantless reviews of Americans’ email and other communications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and
  1. Amending Executive Order 12333 on United States Intelligence Activities by deleting all authority for mass surveillance of the American People.

Council voted to refer the resolution to the Committee on Legislation.

Keith Michael Fiels announced that total registration currently stands at 22,363.

Detailed documents are available on ALA Connect. 

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