Dear YALSA members,
Here is a report of ALA Council happenings from the Midwinter conference in Atlanta. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Thanks to Martin Garnar, IFRT Councilor, for much of the reporting contained below.)
Youth Council Caucus:
- The YALSA, ALSC and AASL Councilors met with a small group of interested members to discuss any pertinent youth issues that could be brought before the ALA Council as a whole. The most important item to come out of the meeting was a decision to try a different meeting time for the Youth Council Caucus. We will pilot this at ALA Annual in Chicago this summer, using the Council Suite for a drop-in opportunity for interested members in the late afternoon – more details forthcoming.
- We received a report on the implementation of Council actions since the 2016 Annual Conference (http://connect.ala.org/node/262222) and a report of Executive Board actions during the same timeframe (http://connect.ala.org/node/262543).
- We heard from the chair of the search committee for the new ALA Executive Director and reviewed the candidates for the two elected spots from Council on the committee. The rest of the committee’s membership was announced (http://connect.ala.org/node/262655). After Council I, voting opened to elect the two remaining committee members.
- We approved Honorary Membership for Ann Symons, former ALA president and current GLBTRT Councilor.
- The Council time was abridged so that there could be a Town Hall meeting on the recent concerns about ALA’s press releases shortly after the November election. The Town Hall was live streamed on Facebook and archived for future viewing (https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/58387/).
- We approved a proposal to add a 4thstrategic direction for the Association. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) now joins Advocacy, Information Policy, and Professional and Leadership Development. This will boost the profile of EDI activities within the Association and serve as a rationale for increasing funding and resources for related projects (http://connect.ala.org/node/262626; http://connect.ala.org/node/262628).
- We approved the request for Latino Literacy Now to become an ALA Affiliate (http://connect.ala.org/node/262155).
- The results of the election for the Executive Director search committee were announced. Mario Gonzalez (at large) was elected from the 10 nominees representing divisions, round tables, and at-large Councilors and Amy Lappin (New Hampshire) was elected from the 4 nominees representing chapters.
- The Freedom to Read Foundation president gave his report (http://connect.ala.org/node/262699).
- After a strenuous debate, the Council narrowly voted (78-75) to retain the requirement for the ALA Executive Director to have an MLS. One Councilor later resigned in protest over this issue. The YALSA board had voted to support changing the requirement, and I shared that information as part of the debate.
- A Resolution Establishing Family/Caregiver Status as a Protected Class in ALA Volunteer Work was adopted after some discussion.
- The Annual Conference Remodel was briefly discussed, but the conversation was cut short due to time constraints. This was a major topic of discussion during the conference, particularly at Council Forum. The Conference Committee is still accepting feedback, so please read the proposal, FAQ, and other comments on their Connect page, then add your voice to the conversation (http://connect.ala.org/node/261211).
- Executive Board candidates gave presentations after Council II, then voting opened for this election.
- The results of the Executive Board election were announced. Patty Wong, Trevor Dawes, and Lessa Pelayo-Lozada were elected.
- The Committee on Legislation/Intellectual Freedom Committee joint working group presented a revised Resolution on Gun Violence Affecting Libraries, Library Workers, and Library Patrons(http://connect.ala.org/node/262738). It was adopted after some discussion.
- The Committee on Legislation and the Intellectual Freedom Committee presented their reports (COL – no action items http://connect.ala.org/node/262739; IFC – one action itemhttp://connect.ala.org/node/262740). The IFC report included a number of updated documents and a Resolution on Access to Accurate Information. After some wordsmithing on the Council floor, the resolution was adopted.
YALSA Division Councilor