As promised… links to our council documents and actions

Hi all:

This will most probably be my last post as NMRT Councilor… as promised, Lois Ann Gregory-Wood has sent an email linking to ALA Council Actions and Resolutions at the latest ALA Annual meeting in Las Vegas:  Happy Reading!


“Hi, Everyone,

 All of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference Council actions and documents are now posted on the Council page at:

 Council Actions:

 Council Documents:


Lois Ann Gregory-Wood

ALA Council Secretariat

American Library Association

50 E. Huron Street

Chicago, IL 60611

1/800/545-2433, Ext. 3204



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Mea Culpa….

Ok… so I admit it…. the glitz and the glamor (a.k.a. the smokiness, the expense, the heat and the inconvenience) of Las Vegas had me stymied.  I did not live blog as I promised however, I was at every council session representing NMRT.  I want to say first that it has been my pleasure to serve as your Councilor these past 3 years.  Alas, you will have a new councilor representing you but due to my election as Councilor at Large, I will be serving another 3 year term.  I look forward to seeing many of my NMRT folks in council and at conferences and wish NMRT well as I “sunset” from being a “new member!” 😉

Rather than live blogging, let me give some reflections on the conference.  Feel free to contact me should you have any questions, comments or concerns. 

For me… Las Vegas is not a town for ALA.  I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination but quoting one of our NMRT folks, “Las Vegas does not promote our values as an association.”  I think everyone should go to Vegas once… and I’ve been and will likely not go again.  The heat alone made it miserable for conference goers.  Although everywhere seemed air conditioned, the venues were so far apart that you had to travel in the heat a ways to get to your destination.  For those of our numbers that have mobility and other challenging issues, it was a nightmare.  I know that some really liked the Vegas experience but it seemed there were far more than did not.  Despite all of this, the ALA conference itself seemed to be a success.  Our final total attendance was 18,626 (attendees and exhibitors).  This was higher than the Anaheim attendance but lower than Chicago.

For those that are unfamiliar with ALA, there are a little less than 200 councilors that represent the members of ALA.  There are councilors that represent Divisions, Roundtables, Sections, State Chapters, and a good portion that are elected “at large.”   For NMRT, I ran on the NMRT ballot voted on only by NMRT members.  Prior to that, I had run one other time as an “at large” (voted on the entire membership) and lost by a mere 26 votes!  So, my advice would be to keep plugging!  Just to let you know… as NMRT councilor and now “at Large”… I do not recieve a stipend or funding to attend the conferences.  Some councilors do get funding…

We have 3 Council meetings are Midwinter and Annual with discussions in between via ALA Connect and a listserv.  You can imagine with almost 200 councilors that not everyone will agree on the positions that we are asked to take.  Debate can be very lively but hopefully not too caustic.  The REAL work of the Council (a.k.a where we can discuss openly outside of the business portion of the Council meetings and come up with better wording and compromises) is held at Council Forum.  We have 2 of those at night from 8 – 10:30 pm.  I must admit I wasn’t able to attend these due to the outrageous cost of a taxi from the strip to the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH).  I’m not cheap but $20.00+ per night seemed out of my reach.  Enough kvetching!

Here’s the link for more information about Council, governance, etc.  Actions taken at the Annual Meeting should be posted soon.

Other than reports and some general housekeeping, the business of the council was pretty staid.  The most controversial piece that we discussed was over the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s revamping of the Intellectual Freedom Manual due for publication.  In it, “The Committee revised the following Interpretations: “Prisoners’ Right to Read”; “Restricted Access to Library Materials”; “The Universal Right to Free Expression”; “Challenged Materials”; “Expurgation of Library Materials”; “Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program”; “Free Access to Libraries for Minors”; “Minors and Internet Interactivity”; “Diversity in Collection Development”; “Labeling and Rating Systems”; “Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards”; “Importance of Education to Intellectual Freedom”; “Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries;” and “Privacy.”” [taken from the action item of Council Document 19.3-19.]  Some councilors felt there was not enough time for discussion, especially over the “Labeling and Rating Systems.”  The discussion continues on the Council listserv.  I won’t bore you with everything but as soon as the documents are up, I’ll alert you if interested in all of the business brought before Council.

All in all, it was a good conference!  As I become more involved in ALA governance, I am struck by how wonderful and dedicated my fellow librarians are to the profession that I love.  I am honored to serve with them and to know them!  I want to thank NMRT for being my “niche” in the big sea of ALA.  I cannot encourage you all enough to get involved with NMRT … thanks for letting me “cut my teeth” in ALA by representing you! I could thank everyone by name but I know I would forget someone!  Thanks to the Executive Board, both past and present and to Kim Redd for all of the support!  You all should also be proud because one of our own, Courtney Young, is this year’s ALA President.  Way to go, Courtney!  I wish NMRT all the best!  Signing off now…

Most Sincerely,

Susan L. Jennings
NMRT Councilor 2011-2014







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ALA Midwinter Council Actions

Hi all:

  No, I didn’t disappear at Council 3… just forgot to post!  Sorry about that!  But here are links to Council actions that took place at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting:

The Council actions taken at Midwinter

The Midwinter Council documents

On a personal note… it has been an honor to represent you all these almost last 3 years on Council. My term as your councilor ends at Las Vegas.  However, I am running for Councilor at Large this year and would love for you to consider voting for me!  I plan to still continue to live blog the Council Meetings if elected but will rename the Blog to reflect my new status!

Take care and “see” you in Vegas, baby! 😉

Susan J

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Council II

Housekeeping issues began the morning. Due to the announcement of the Media Awards, the ALA.Org website was down so accessing documents was a little iffy.

New Business: A resolution to make sure reporting bodies report out within 30 days in order for transparency.

Edward Snowden Whistleblower Resolution: This has, in the past, been a very, very volatile issue. Whereas, most ALA folks want to protect whistleblowers, the Edward Snowden issue has been polarizing. Discussion continues. Some feel we must name Snowden in this resolution. Some feel that we have made a statement. Snowden, himself, has urged to look at the issue and not lionize the person. I agree (if we are to move forward on this issue). Not naming Snowden in the resolution seems to be the most palatable to the ALA Councilors. We have already passed a whistleblowing resolution in Chicago at the last Annual meeting. Just to let you know… I don’t stand up and speak a lot at Council Sessions. I have but… I choose to listen. I don’t speak a lot… Not because I’m shy but because unless I can add something unique to the conversation, I won’t just restate what others have said or continue to bring up. Just a personal aside. Here’s the resolved clause:

“Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) recognizes Edward Snowden, as a whistleblower who, in releasing information that documents the mass surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, has performed a valuable service in launching a dialogue about transparency, government surveillance, and overclassification.”

The resolution fails: It still is a divisive issue…. wow!

Other housekeeping issues…. and now we are done…

Announcements: FYI: 8398 registrants 3796 exhibitors for 12189 Total attendees.

Now on to Executive Board Candidates forum,…. More later!

Susan J

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ALA APA Meeting

Here is a description of ALA APA Councilors for ALA are also councilors for ALA APA. Here’s the agenda: My understanding why we have the separate entity is to provide another structure for us to advocate… ALA (as a 5013c non profit cannot do that).

This meeting began early because of Council 1 ending earlier. After an outline of policies, procedures, etc… the reports begin. ALA APA owes money to the parent organization ALA. Looks like APA will be moving toward more inclusion in the parent ALA. Not there yet…

That’s it!

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Council 1

Sorry for the delay but… the wifi was not working this morning. 😉 Ahhhh technology! We actually voted for councilors to allow to opt out of paper copies and then the wifi goes down! HA! Some folks are still not connected. This must get worked out if we are trying to go more paperless. It has always bothered me to see realms and realms of paper printed… only to be mostly recycled or thrown away.

This morning’s meeting began with stating rules and procedures, recognition of esteemed guests (including the presidents elect), announcing nominees for the Executive Board of ALA… and the normal housekeeping duties to begin our session …

Reports were also given from Keith Michael Fiels, the Executive Director of ALA, re: actions from the Executive Board in the interim between conferences and an update regarding the implementation of the 2013 Council Actions.

Once again, these will just be my reflections… all Council Documents in their entirety can we found here: Please see the agenda for Council 1 and coordinating documents at the link above.

ALA Council voted on establishing a communications task force to establish the best way (and venue) to post council documents.

The next resolution… to make sure all units report in a timely manner and be put in a place where members can access the information. Voted to Postponed until Council II

5583 advanced registrants
501 onsite registrants
8091 total
3761 exhibitors
11854 Total attendees

That’s all until the next meeting… in just a few minutes


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Membership Meeting

Hi all:

All members of ALA are welcome to come to this meeting… but mostly it is a collection of ALA Councilors and ALA staff. Wish more members would come to hear at least a little about the assoiciation. We need to figure out some way that we can engage members more in this meeting. WARNING: These meetings are FILLED with report after report therefore my report on this meeting will be short. The reason for this is many of them are indepth budget reporting (which, I mean, let’s face it, can be a real snooze fest!)… So… for any council documents I report, you may read the full report at: Council Documents can be found here: I’m not going to have but a sentence or two to sum it up.

Kicking off the ALA Council “season” at the ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Meeting. Starting off with the President of ALA’s report … the biggest news is the Gates Foundation Grant… and also upcoming plans for the reimagining of ALA… more information coming soon.

President Elect’s Report (Courtney Young): Courtney’s report is to build in sustainability through Stripling to Young’s presidency. Courtney announces that she will be working on guiding the association through some of the major presidential initiatives that have been started in the past (i.e. Declaration of the Right to Libraries and Advocacy, etc).

ALA Executive Director’s Report: Keith Michael Fiels:

Appropriation Increase — 7 million dollar increase. Great news for the association!
Senate has sent out a committee version requiring an appropriate library resources for support.
Gates Foundation monies — in conjunction with Kitchen Table Conversations —
Why ALA brouchures
Working on a digital repository for ALA documents
RDA is ahead of projections
Renewal rate exceeded 100% — Laughter ensued

BARC (Budget Review and Analysis Committee): We are a healthy organization. Due to the expert staff and others to align resources strategically. See budget document on the ALA Midwinter link above (report #33)

Treasurer’s Report: Revenues increased…. grants, gifts, publishing — decreased numbers of ALA members… See Council Document on the ALA Midwinter link above — Assets rose… liabilities decreased.

Trustees Report: See Report — Discussion of endowments and planning. And Future? Hmmmm… speculative at best! 😉

There were 5583 Advanced registrants, 102 on site and x exhibit only = 7597 total
Exhibiters = 3664 for a total of 11261 total at ALA as of today.


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