In the interest of transparency, I’m posting my Tennessee Chapter Councilor report to the Tennessee Library Association Board of Directors here as well as via the Tennessee Library Association listserv.
ALA’s Annual Meeting was held June 28‐July 2, 2013 in Chicago, IL. ALA’s Council meets three times at each conference. I have included below a list of links to the various documents and information that are involved in Council. There’s even an audio recording of each Council meeting if anyone is interested in hearing the actual discussions.
A number of resolutions were passed at Council. Some of the highlights include the passage of these resolutions: Resolution Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Basic Literacy (CD #37), the Declaration for the Right to Libraries (CD #40), the Resolution Commending the Freedom to Read Foundation for Defending Videogames (CD #47), the Resolution on Library Service to the Community in a Disaster (CD #41), and the Resolution Supporting Librarians Sued for Doing Their Professional Duty (CD #19.3).
Also approved were the addition of a section titled “Protect Library User Confidentiality in Self‐Service Hold Practices.” to the ALA Procedures manual and a Resolution on Prayer in ALA Meetings (CD #44) that reiterates ALA’s policy of refraining from public prayers during meetings.
The Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies (CD# 42) was defeated.
Additionally, there was much discussion of the resolutions in support of whistleblowers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, a topic of much Council discussion for the last year. The ultimate result of this discussion was the Resolution on the Need for Reforms for the Intelligence Community to Support Privacy, Open Government, Government Transparency, and Accountability (CD# 20.4 & 19.2). This resolution states the following:
That the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
- reaffirms its unwavering support for the fundamental principles that are the foundation of our free and democratic society, including a system of public accountability, government transparency, and oversight that supports people’s right to know about and participate in our government;
- calls upon the U.S. Congress, President Obama, and the Courts, in light of present revelations related to NSA’s surveillance activities conducted pursuant to orders issued by the Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Court (FISC) under Sections 215 and 702 of the USA PATRIOT Act, to reform our nation’s climate of secrecy, overclassification, and secret law regarding national security and surveillance, to align with these democratic principles;
- urges the U.S. Congress and President Obama to provide authentic protections that prevent government intimidation and criminal prosecution of government employees and private contractors who make lawful disclosures of wrong doing in the intelligence community;
- calls upon the public to engage in and our members to lead public dialogues discussing the right to privacy, open government and balancing civil liberties and national security;
- encourages the public to support bills and other proposals that both secure and protect our rights to privacy, free expression and free association and promote a more open, transparent government; and
- expresses its thanks and appreciation to the members of Congress who work to protect our privacy and civil liberties.
This resolution was substituted for the Resolution Reaffirming ALA Support for Whistleblowers (2013 MW CD #38), the Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning (2013 AC CD #38) and the Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Edward Snowden (2013 AC CD #39).
In addition to the other actions taken by Council, memorial resolutions were passed honoring Brooke E. Sheldon; Lillian Miles Lewis; Jack C. Gerts, II; Herb Davis; Carolyn Forsman; Russell Shank; Connie Van Fleet; Jacqueline Mancall; Eva Efron; Ed Johnson; Margaret “Peg” Hallisey; Robert O. Ellett, Jr.; and Fredrick McKissack.
Tributes were passed honoring the 40th Anniversary of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA); bba Alhadi; and 15th Anniversary of the Spectrum Scholarship Program.
I have also passed along information received through the various ALA listservs to the TLA listserv.
If there are questions about the information here, any of the emails that I have sent to the listserv, or about ALA and Council in general, please let me know! I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALA CD#37 (rev. 6/28/13), Resolution Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Basic Literacy, which read: “That the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
- reaffirms and supports the principle that lifelong literacy is a basic right for all individuals in our society and is essential to the welfare of the nation;
- reaffirms the core value of basic literacy in its purest form must be reaffirmed as foundational to lifelong learning and is the building block for developing other literacies;
- urges all ALA units and libraries of all types to actively seek and develop partnerships with other literacy providers; and
- urges all ALA units and libraries of all types to make learning to read a high priority by incorporating literacy initiatives into programs and services for all users.”
ALA CD#40, Declaration for the Right to Libraries Resolution, as amended to read: “That the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
- endorses the Declaration for the Right to Libraries; and
- urges that the American Library Association work to support and engage libraries and communities across the country in signing the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.”
ALA CD#47, Resolution Commending the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) for Defending Videogames, which read: “That the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
- commends the FTRF for recognizing videogames as a non‐print medium in libraries worthy of First Amendment protections;
- continues to support the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) in defense of libraries when presented with challenges to videogames included in gaming collections;
- continues to support the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and supports Game‐RT so that it may be a ‘force for initiating and supporting game programming in libraries’; and
- continues to stand by the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) in alignment with the researchers, politicians and institutions that challenge unscientific studies attributing violent behavior to videogames.”
ALA CD#41, Rev. 7/1/13, Resolution on Library Service to the Community in a Natural Disaster, as amended to revise resolution heading; add a new “Whereas” clause; and revise the “Resolved” clause to read: “Whereas the American Library Association has recognized and encouraged library service to local communities during disasters in the past;
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its members.
- acknowledges that many libraries across the country have provided library and emergency services in disasters including storms, fires, earthquakes and floods and applauds those actions;
- recognizes the significant contributions of libraries and library staff who have provided effective emergency response/recovery services, and responded to the needs of their communities following hurricanes Sandy and Irene in ways that go above and beyond the regular call of duty; and
- sends a letter acknowledging the work and contributions of libraries and library staff to the State Chapters in the affected states to be passed on to the appropriate parties and ensure that such a letter is sent whenever libraries lead community recovery.”
ALA CD#19.3, Resolution Supporting Librarians Sued for Doing Their Professional Duty, which read: “That the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:
- most strongly urges publishers to refrain from actions such as filing libel suits when in disagreement with librarians who have publically shared their professional opinions and instead to rely upon the free exchange of views in the marketplace of ideas to defend their interests as publishers.”
VOTED, That the following text be incorporated into the ALA Policy Manual as Policy B.188.8.131.52:
B.184.108.40.206. Protect Library User Confidentiality in Self‐Service Hold Practices.
ALA urges all libraries that implement self‐service holds to protect patron identity by adopting practices and procedures that conceal the library user’s personally identifiable information in connection with the materials being borrowed; and, urges libraries, librarians, and the responsible bodies of ALA to work with vendors to incorporate applications into integrated library systems that enable libraries to conceal a library user’s identity in a cost‐effective manner. (ALA CD#17.1, Item #1)
ALA CD#44 (REV. 7/1/13), Resolution on Prayer in ALA Meetings, as amended to read:
“The American Library Association, as a secular institution in a country that is increasingly diverse religiously, refrains from having public prayers during its meetings. Moments of silence may be observed during meetings.”
DEFEATED, ALA CD#42, Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies and Libraries’ Role in a Peaceful Transition to a Fossil‐Free Economy, as amended to read: “The American Library Association, on behalf of its members:
- begins divesting in the fossil fuel industry by excluding our three holdings in the “Filthy Fifteen” named in the Endowment Trustees’ Information Report to BARC that have `little or no significant negative impact’ in the short term on ALA.”