ALA Council update since the ALA17 Conference in Chicago

1. Educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director

Council has been preoccupied with discussion and voting on the educational requirements for the next ALA Executive Director. As was outlined in the YALSA blog post, making a decision whether or not this position requires the MLIS or CAEP-equivalent has been an ongoing battle. Currently the petition that asked the decision to be put in the hands in the membership as a whole has received enough signatures to put the measure on the spring ALA ballot.

2. Resolutions & Youth Council Caucus

There have not yet been any resolutions brought forward as of January 15. The Councilor will keep the Board apprised if and as resolutions are submitted. There have been no resolutions discussed among the members of the Youth Council Caucus at this time, aside from a couple memorial resolutions.

3. Moving Meetings out of Texas

A Councilor inquired about the possibility of moving the 2022 MW meeting out of San Antonio due to “bathroom bill” legislation before the Texas assembly. The American Association of Law Libraries had announced that they would no longer hold conferences in Texas for this reason. A robust online discussion followed, which included some providing reasons for maintaining the MW22 site and others decrying it. California’s law prohibiting state-funded travel to eight states, including Texas, was discussed. PLA’s 2020 conference in Nashville, Tennessee, slated to occur in another of those eight states, was also mentioned. Jim Neal and the Executive Board were to discuss this matter, but there has been no announcement about a decision at this time.

4. IFLA in Kuala Lumpur

A related question was raised about the 2018 IFLA Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, due to that country’s poor record on rights for LGBTQI+ individuals. The Association of Research Libraries released a statement urging IFLA to consider civil liberties in site selection going forward.

5. DACA

In September, ALA President Jim Neal issued a statement denouncing the Trump administration’s announcement to end DACA.

6. Sustainability Task Force

ALA President Jim Neal announced the appointment of an ALA Task Force on Sustainability: “Appointment of this Task Force was begun by ALA’s Immediate Past President Julie Todaro. The Task Force is charged to develop a white paper that describes areas of focus and recommendations for the ALA Executive Board to increase the adoption and implementation of sustainable practices by the Association, the profession, libraries, and the communities they serve.”

“The Task Force has been asked by the ALA Executive Board to include the following issues in their discussion:

  • How the Association may provide leadership and serve as a model for sustainability practices more broadly in the profession;
  • How the Association may provide leadership in the adoption of sustainability practices in libraries; and,
  • How libraries may provide leadership and serve as a model for sustainability in the communities they serve.

The Board has asked for a final report by the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.”

7. Disaster Relief Fund

ALA released a statement that encouraged assistance to affected libraries in Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Texas and Florida that were damaged or destroyed by earthquakes or hurricanes. ALA President-Elect Loida Garcia-Febo will tour Puerto Rico January 16-19 with REFORMA President Tess Tobin.

8. ALA Policy Corps

The 12-member cohort who will serve as the ALA Policy Corps was announced.

9. The candidates for ALA President

Wanda Brown and Peter Hepburn are seeking to become ALA President-Elect.

10. The candidates for ALA Executive Board are:

Tamika Barnes

Department Head | Perimeter Library Services | Georgia State University | Dunwoody, GA

Diane R. Chen

School Librarian | Stratford STEM Magnet School | Nashville, TN

Ed Garcia

Director | Cranston (RI) Public Library

Ben Allen Hunter

Associate Dean | University Libraries | University of Idaho | Moscow, ID

Maria McCauley

Director | Cambridge (MA) Public Library

Dale K. McNeill

Assistant Director for Public Services | San Antonio (TX) Public Library

Councilors will vote on Monday, February 12 to determine those who will serve on the ALA Executive Board.

Questions for Consideration:

• Who do we wish to support for the ALA Executive Board election? For the Spring ALA election, how do we wish to push support for ALA Council and Presidential candidates who are YALSA members, and/or youth advocates who ascribe to YALSA’s Organizational Plan?

• Are there any other Council-related issues that need addressing or discussing?

Additional Resources:

• Council meeting agendas: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/council/council_agendas

• Guidelines for Preparation of ALA Resolutions: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/council/resolution_guidelines

• Youth Council Caucus space in ALA Connect: http://connect.ala.org/youthcouncilcaucus

• YALSA Election page: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/workingwithyalsa/election (includes information about which Council candidates are YALSA members)

Respectfully submitted,
Todd Krueger
YALSA Division Councilor

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