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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