Posts Tagged American Library Association

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 III – Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Barbara Stripling, ALA President, presented Memorials and Tributes.  She read the following names for memorials: Eliza Dresang, Marilyn Lea Miller, Emily Stewart Boyce, Margaret Mary (Maggie) Kimmel, Birdie MacLennan, Nancy Garden, Esther Crawford, Crenetha Session Brunson, and Ernie DiMattia.  A tribute/testimonial was acknowledged for the 75th Anniversary of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Pat Wand, BARC Chair, presented the ALA Treasurer’s report on behalf of Mario Gonzalez, which was the report she presented at the earlier Council/Membership Information Session.  She shared ALA’s financial value proposition: to develop and deploy the financial resources that support the strategic plan and delivery of programs that are responsive to member needs and support the improvement of library service.  She also highlighted ALA’s programmatic priorities, its strategic initiatives, and the FY2015 Key Initiatives.  She also requested approval of the ALA FY2015 Budgetary Ceiling of $64,078,221. Council approved the FY2015 Budgetary Ceiling.  Council approved the FY2015 budgetary ceiling.

John Sandstrom, Chair of the Tellers Committee, announced the winners of the election of the Council Committee on Committees: Ann Crewdson, Karen E. Downing, Jim Kuhn, and Susan F. Gregory.  He also announced the winners of the election of Council Representatives to the Planning and Budget Assembly: at large – Loida A. Garcia-Febo, Matthew P. Ciszek, and Ismail Abdullahi; chapter – Stephanie Braunstein and Regina Greer Cooper.

Vivian Wynn, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, presented the Committee’s report.  She announced creation of the Federal Legislative Advocacy Group (FLAG), which will develop a cadre of library advocates in key congressional districts and states across the country who will respond quickly to urgent issues supporting ALA’s federal legislative and policy agenda.

Resolution on Digitization of U.S. Government Documents.
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
1.   supports and encourages a national preservation plan for Federal Depository Library Program materials;
2.   encourages policies that promote digitization with a reasonable number of dispersed preserved copies of print FDLP materials;
3.   supports technologies that guarantee long-term, robust, verifiable, complete, accurate, authentic, preservable, and usable digital formats;
4.   works with the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the FDL community on developing procedures to authenticate and ingest digital and digitized content into FDsys from federal depository libraries and federal agencies; and
5.   supports the creation of a no-fee, searchable, online inventory of digital and digitized government materials with downloadable metadata.

Council approved the resolution.

Resolution Reaffirming Support for National Open Internet Policies and “Network Neutrality.”
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)
1.  reaffirms its support for network neutrality and open Internet policies that enable access in the library, through remote access to library resources, or by other means;
2.  calls on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to codify network neutrality principles following its  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Docket Number 14-28; 
3.  encourages library supporters to become engaged in the FCC’s current Notice of a Proposed Rulemaking on network neutrality; and
4.  urges library supporters to advocate for the development of enforceable policies, whether in legislative proposals or regulatory proceedings, that ensure that the Internet remains an open platform for activities such as information exchange, intellectual discourse, civic engagement, creativity, innovation, and learning.
Council passed the resolution.

Doug Archer, Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, presented the Committee’s report.  He asked Council to adopt revisions to fourteen Interpretations of the Bill of Rights in anticipation of publication of the 9th edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.  Those were Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors; Access to Resources and Services in the School Library; Advocating for Intellectual Freedom; Challenged Resources; Diversity in Collection Development; Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards; Expurgation of Library Resources; Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries; Labeling and Rating Systems; Minors and Internet Activity; Prisoners’ Right to Read; Privacy; Restricted Access to Library Materials; and Universal Right to Free Expression.  A lengthy discussion ensued regarding a motion to refer back to IFC the Labeling and Rating system portion of the Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.  Concerns centered on this statement:  In addition, the inclusion of ratings on bibliographic records in library catalogs is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights.  The motion to refer failed.  Mr. Archer assured Council that the IFC members heard the concerns expressed and will discuss them as the work of the committee continues.  Council approved the revisions of all fourteen interpretations presented. 

Martin Garnar, Chair of the Committee on Professional Ethics, presented the committee’s recommendation to adopt Copyright: An Interpretation of the Code of Ethics.  

Copyright: An Interpretation of the Code of Ethics (30 June 2014)Article IV of the Code of Ethics of the American Library Association states that librarians “respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.”  Copyright is the aspect of intellectual property most pertinent for libraries.  Copyright, as established by the U.S. Constitution and the Copyright Act, is a system of rights granted by the law combined with limitations on those rights.
A shared purpose of copyright and libraries is to benefit the public through the creation and dissemination of information and creative works. In pursuit of this goal, copyright law should balance the public’s need to access and use informative and creative works and the interests of rights holders. Libraries have both the opportunity and the obligation to work towards that balance when they engage in activities such as acquiring information resources for their communities, curating and preserving cultural heritage, establishing services and programs to enhance access to information, and lending books or other resources.
Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to pass law “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Copyright law incentivizes creation of writings, art, music, and other works by granting creators the right to control and profit from some uses of their work, while limiting those rights to ensure balance with others’ rights and interests.
Copyright law provides a copyright holder the rights to make copies of the work, create derivatives, distribute the work to the public, and perform or display the work in public.  Copyright law provides the public the right to make fair use of the copyrighted work, to use noncopyrightable aspects of the work, to sell or transfer a copy of the work (the “first sale doctrine”), and ultimately to have full use of the work when the copyright term expires.  Copyright law also provides numerous specific exceptions for libraries, archives, and nonprofit educational institutions. Depending on the nature of the institution, these exceptions may include the ability to make copies for users, preserve and replace copies of works, and perform or display works in the course of teaching.
 Libraries and their parent institutions have a responsibility to promote and maintain policies and procedures that are consistent with their ethical obligations, their institutional missions, and the law, including copyright law.  Such policies and procedures should respect both the rights of copyright holders and the rights of users of copyrighted works.
 Librarians are sources of copyright information for their user communities. Consequently, librarians should remain informed about copyright developments, particularly those that can limit or restrict the rights of users or libraries. Librarians should develop a solid understanding of the purpose of the law and knowledge of the details of the law relevant to the activities of the library, the ability to critically analyze circumstances relying on fair use or other limits to the rights of copyright holders, and 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.
Librarians have a proud history of advocating for the public interest. Copyright law should not expand the rights of copyright holders without sufficiently considering or benefiting the public interest. 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.

Luis Herrera, Chair of the International Relations Committee, presented the IRC report.  He shared that nearly 600 librarians from 78 countries attended the 2014 Annual Conference.  He reported that the 81st IFLA World Library and Information Congress will take place in Lyon, France in August, where IFLA will release the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development.  He also announced that the 2016 IFLA conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio.  The Lyon Declaration is an advocacy document that will be used to positively influence the content of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda.  It has been drafted by IFLA and a number of strategic partners in the library and development communities.  It states that access to information supports development by empowering people in exercising their rights, making decisions, ensuring accountability, and measuring progress.  IRC voted in favor of ALA becoming a signatore, along with more than fifty other library associations and organizations around the world.  Council approved the following:  Resolved that the Council of the American Library Association directs that ALA become a signatore to the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development.

Keith Michael Fiels reported final grand total attendance was 18,626.

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