Tennessee Chapter Councilor Report

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.

June 2013

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 & CD# 19.2). This resolution states the following:

That the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. 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
  6. 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 tla.alacouncilor@gmail.com.

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