Thoughtful deliberation and communication. When I ponder how to share the events of ALA Council to AASL members as the division councilor, I am pleased to report that the 2018 Midwinter Meeting allowed for much needed contemplation. In addition to the usual business of listening to reports, debating resolutions, electing members to the executive board, and considering fiscal documents for the organization, council opened its purview to an essential conversation on organizational effectiveness.
When you peruse the council documents, focus on the discussion on how ALA might organize itself to continue to fulfill its mission in the twenty-first century. All ALA members are invited to participate in this conversation on ALA Connect. Your opinions are vitally important to the future of our organization as we contemplate making changes.
The following topics were discussed:
- How council uses its time (http://connect.ala.org/node/273551).
- The Washington Office’s foresight to prepare for financial advocacy with their Fund Libraries web page.
- The Washington Office’s commitment to advocating for federal funding of libraries, school libraries, IMLS, and Innovative Approaches to Literacy.
- ALA’s investments and budget.
- How ALA’s property at 40 and 50 E. Huron Street in Chicago is being assessed and considered for future needs and potential revenue or remodeling.
- Membership dues structure and why a slight increase would result in additional funds to support ALA’s Strategic Directions Advocacy, Information Policy, Professional and Leadership Development, and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
- The Technology Implementation Plan and the very much needed improvements that must occur to impact ALA’s Strategic Directions.
- ALA divisions and mergers that are occurring and are being contemplated.
- The Library Bill of Rights Interpretation on Visual and Performing Arts was adopted.
- A resolution on addressing roadblocks to diversity in the leadership pipeline was referred to other groups to assess and bring back at Annual 2018.
- A Resolution on Socially Responsible Investments for the ALA Endowment Fund did not pass and a conversation on the referral process for resolutions impacting finances ensued.
ALA Councilors also serve as the ALA-APA Councilors. The ALA Allied Professional Association is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of promoting “the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers.” It is a companion organization to the ALA serving its members and the library community at large.
The ALA-APA provides services to librarians and other library workers in two primary areas:
- Certification of individuals in specializations beyond the initial professional degree.
- Direct support of comparable worth and pay equity initiatives, and other activities designed to improve the salaries and status of librarians and other library workers.
Since 2003, National Library Workers Day (NLWD) has been celebrated on the Tuesday of National Library Week. The advocacy day recognizes the contributions of all library workers, including librarians, support staff and others who make library services possible. I encourage AASL members to explore the ALA Store.
During the ALA Executive Board elections Tamika Barnes, Ed Garcia, and Maria McCauley were elected for three-year terms. I was elected to complete President-Elect Loida Garcia-Febo’s term through June 2018. Having a school librarian on the ALA Executive board is important. AASL members must vote more school librarians to ALA Council so that we will have a larger pool of candidates for election to the Executive Board of ALA. Please vote in the upcoming election.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your divisional representative to ALA Council. I look forward to providing additional information on any of the items mentioned in this report.
Read other ALA Midwinter 2018 reports from AASL’s For the Record:
Author: Diane Chen
AASL Representative to ALA Council