My first day on Council was awesome! The proceedings went by quickly, which is unusual apparently. We had a few items of interest, however, and much more will be discussed today at Council II.
- We approved a new ALA award for mid-career professionals called the Lois Ann Gregory-Wood Fellows Program. The award is named after Lois Ann, the ALA Council Secretariat and honors her 50 years of service at ALA. The awards will provide funding for mid-career professionals who want to be involved in ALA governance, but who do not have institutional funding. More information is forthcoming on applying and donating! I will post information as I have it.
- The Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden was approved to be given honorary ALA membership. We were all happy about that one!
- The ALA Membership Committee brought forward a resolution to adjust dues with the CPI. The resolution passed and will go before the membership on the spring 2018 ballot. Another good reason to VOTE this spring!
- The ALA Executive Director Mary W. Ghikas gave figures for the Midwinter conference attendance. As of February 10, registration was 7,894, a decrease from 8,892 last year. This is certainly an ongoing issue for Midwinter, and an issue that we will discuss at Council II today!
If you have questions or concerns for ALA, please feel free to contact me! I hope to represent NC’s interests as fully as possible, but I’d love to do that with feedback from NC librarians.
Coming soon to a Congress near you …
We are mired in the current year budget process still, but soon the President will release the budget proposal for FY 2019. As such, the ALA Washington Office is preparing its campaign in case we see an attempt to cut federal library funding. While the campaign is still in the early stages and the FY 2019 proposal has not been received, the ALA Washington Office held a conference call today for state chapter councilors and leaders on the general timeline and provided a few resources. The shutdown has pushed back the cycle, but the budget should be coming in the next couple of weeks. In March, ALA will send out its Dear Appropriator letters to representatives and Senators and the long process of outreach will begin. You can do the following in the meantime:
- Sign up for ala.org/takeaction.
- Check out the #fundlibraries website.
- Start the process of inviting your representatives/senators to visit your library and show off your resources and services.
- Start collecting stories that demonstrate impact of library services based on concrete examples in your state. The #fundlibraries website will have a form for submitting stories, but go ahead and beginning gathering them now.
- Once the budget proposal is released and the campaign begins, you can contact you reps. The #fundlibraries website. will have real time information on whether they have signed the Dear Appropriator letters (example below). Please hold off on this step until the budget has been released and the campaign has begun.
The ALA Washington Office will give regular updates, especially once the budget proposal is available, but we can/should start the legwork to get ready!
The ALA Washington Office has released a resource for librarians concerned about recent actions on net neutrality. You can still take action to protest the move to roll back net neutrality, but there are some deadlines coming up in December. If you are concerned about this issue, take action soon.
If you are new to the idea of net neutrality, the most accessible overview is John Oliver’s slightly NSFW video from Last Week Tonight. It is also decidedly NSFI (not safe for instruction). I’ll find additional resources and post here. Please let me know if you have other resources that are particularly good.
Finally, I am the incoming ALA Councilor for North Carolina. Our orientation isn’t until February, but they have put us on the lists for Council. So, I will post information here and on social media if it seems critical. Let me know if you have questions or concerns so that I can better represent NC at Council!