Update on ALA Meeting Rooms Interpretation

Just a note that the ALA Executive Board met on July 20, 2018 and unanimously voted to allow an on-line vote of Council on the Resolution to Rescind Meeting Rooms: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (2017-2018 ALA CD#19.6_62617_act). Councilors will have a closed discussion from July 26-August 9. On August 9 we have until August 16 to vote on whether it should be rescinded. The results of the vote will be announced on August 17.
 
In addition, a working group has been created to look at a revision of the language. This is a separate but related process. My understanding is that even if the vote to rescind the original interpretation is voted down, the IFC is planning revise.
 
In addition, the IFC wants your feedback:
The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee has created a working group to revisit the language in the Meeting Rooms interpretation because of concern from the library community. You can provide feedback to the group.
 
The deadline for comments is August 24. The working group plans to distribute a draft of the revised interpretation to the library community at large shortly after Labor Day for additional feedback, with the goal to present ALA Council a final draft for consideration by October 1.
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Update on Meeting Rooms debate: resolution to rescind; comments needed by 7/19

This is the most recent info on the Councilor list about the Meeting Rooms interpretation. There is currently an effort to rescind the interpretation. They are asking for comments by 7/19/2018. It is still unclear how this fits with the IFC working group and if it will fly under parliamentary procedure. More to come.

Attached please find a draft resolution ( in Google Doc [ https://goo.gl/Mp8vEM]) to rescind the meeting rooms interpretation.

We, the signers, would like to receive feedback on the language of the resolution and additional seconders. Please let us know by 11:59pm PDT, Thursday, 5/19/2018.

Never a dull moment: ALA Council 2018

Well, never is a strong world … Just kidding.

I finished my first year as the NC Chapter Councilor and I have the duty and privilege to report on the activities of Council at conference. In the interest of making this more accessible, I’ve uploaded it to Google Drive and you are free to read and even comment (keep it nice, or not). I’m happy to take feedback or hear your concerns. Just email or comment.

The biggest issue coming out of annual was the controversy over the use of the term “hate group” in the Library Bill of Rights Meeting Rooms interpretation. You can read more about this in the the google doc if you missed the debate. The Office of Intellectual Freedom has issued a statement providing some context. Yes, as NC Councilor I voted for the interpretation. And yes, I read the interpretation before I voted on it. My opinion is available on Twitter if you are interested.

As a result of the debate, the Intellectual Freedom Committee is revisiting the document. They have formed a working group as of Saturday, July 14 and will develop a timeline and plan of action. There is also a movement to rescind or amend the interpretation virtually but that has hit a parliamentary procedural roadblock (RONR is pesky beast). More to come this week we are told. I’ll post updates under this link: https://lyndamkreads.wordpress.com/tag/meeting-rooms/

I’m just happy people are reading ALA documents and engaging with the organization to be honest. (P.S. This is me being light-hearted to some extent. But seriously, considering our voter turnout, I am happy to see people engaging with the big ALA even if it is to criticize. Just wish more would vote. If you don’t like things, come fix them.)

Several other things came out of Council’s meeting including a good discussion of ALA’s future and the creation of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table. We also passed four resolutions that might be of interest. The summary and the full-text link of these is in the google doc.

  • A Resolution Recognizing the 25th Anniversary of the GPO Access Act and Calling for the Enactment of the FDLP Modernization Act
  • A Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents
  • A Resolution to Honor African Americans Who Fought Library Segregation
  • A Resolution on Gender Inclusive Bathrooms at ALA Conferences and Meetings

And finally we celebrated Lois Ann Gregory-Wood who retired as the ALA Secretariat after almost 30 years of work. We will certainly miss her!

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We heart Lois!

ALA Council Day 1 #alamw18 #alacouncil

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.

Get ready to support federal funding for libraries! #fundlibraries

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!

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Net Neutrality and ALA

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!