Sunday, June 26, 2016

ALA Saturday

Saturday was a very busy day at ALA so I didn't get anything posted so let me review the day yesterday. I had a bunch of committee meetings in my work as a personal member. I serve for myself on the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Section Research Committee and we met and had a great discussion. I also serve on the ACRL Anthropology and Sociology Section Instruction and Information Literacy Committee and this group had a somewhat frustrating but ultimately good discussion. Our work is just beginning on this committee and I look forward to many more virtual meetings.

The membership meeting for ALA was the big event for Councilors. There were three resolutions presented at the membership meeting and they were all passed.

1. There was a resolution presented in response to the shootings at the Pulse Nightclub here in Orlando. This has turned into a theme at this conference (not surprisingly) and we had a lovely memorial ceremony first thing in the morning. Anyway, this resolution is concerned with making libraries a safe place for all people and encourages all libraries to work to diffuse violence as a way of life. Below are the resolved clauses of this resolution:
  • Resolved that libraries, librarians, and library workers will cultivate more inclusive communities by actively engaging their communities to defuse and deescalate a culture of violence based on hatred, discrimination, and bigotry; and
  • Resolved that the American Library Association stands with the LGBTQ*, Latinx, and diverse communities in confronting hate, discrimination, and bias while recognizing that they are impacted by violence at a much higher rate than the rest of society; and
  • Resolved that violence of this kind has no place in a civil society
2. A resolution, also in response to the shootings at the Pulse is against gun violence in relation to libraries and library workers. There was a lot of controversy about this one and I'll have more on it later. Here are the resolved clauses:
  • extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the 49 people who were shot dead at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and to all the families and friends of the thousands of victims of gun violence;
  • deplores the gun violence that materially affects the communities we serve;
  • works with other professional associations to support sensible and effective and national gun safety laws, oppose “gun friendly” state legislation, in particular any legislation that permits the carrying of guns in or near libraries and schools;
  • calls on Congress to lift restrictions that prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other Department of Health and Human Services agencies from conducting gun violence research as a response to library communities in crisis;
  • resolves to advance the idea of libraries mitigating violence in our culture by serving as “safe havens” for the public, as evidenced during the recent uprisings in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, and by offering public education opportunities that advance the notion of libraries as perpetuators of peace.
3. Finally, there was a resolution to support a digital library for the deaf through the Library of Congress. In my opinion, something that is definitely needed and sorely late. One resolved clause in this one:

  • supports and promotes the creation of the Deaf Culture Digital Library under the auspices of the Library of Congress.
There were quite a number of memorials and testimonials as well. It was a good meeting.

The day ended with an informal session that allows councilors to see what is coming up and finesse the resolutions that will be brought to council. We met for 1 3/4 hours - until 10:15 because we had so much to discuss.

Friday, June 24, 2016

ALA Annual in Orlando

I am in Orlando after flying out of Sioux Falls at 5:00 this morning. I'll try to add an update of what is going on in Council each day. I am also going to expand my repertoire and actually tweet on occasion. I have a feed on the right side of the blog.

Council has not yet met but the opening session was wonderful. Michael Eric Dyson was the speaker at this session. Mr. Dyson was recommended by the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity. Dyson is a professor at Georgetown University and a well known author and speaker on many of today's burning issues. Diversity and inclusion were themes of this conference even before the shootings here in Orlando but I have to say that I am finding these themes even more powerful at this time in this location. I know that I'm preaching to the choir, but let's make sure that our South Dakota libraries are safe places for all the people in our communities!

Look for more tomorrow after the Council really starts to work.

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Librarian of Congress - Another Step in the Journey

The Senate Rules Committee has passed the nomination of Carla Hayden to the Senate. It is now up to us. If the Senate approves her nomination, Carla Hayden will become the first female Librarian of Congress, the first African American Librarian of Congress, and only the SECOND librarian Librarian of Congress. I would personally like to encourage you to contact our senators and encourage them to approve this nomination. Can you believe that since 1802, there has only been one Librarian of Congress who actually had a library degree? Let's change that this year!

Contact information for Mike Rounds can be found here:

Contact information for John Thune can be found here:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

More on LC Subject Headings

On Thursday, May12, 2016, the House Appropriations committee met and very narrowly passed legislation to fund the Legislative Branch for 2017. While I would not normally say that is unfortunate, this year that bill includes language requiring the Library of Congress to keep the subject headings "aliens" and "illegal aliens" rather than change them as ALA and many other librarians believe should be done. The vote on the amendment to remove LC headings statement was 24-25 with 2 members either not present or not voting.

All is not lost - the Senate has no such language in their bill (at least not yet). Provided it is not added to the Senate bill, the Senate and House negotiators will have to work to bring the bills into accord. Since the vote in the House Appropriations Committee was so close, they will have little bargaining power to convince the Senate to adopt it. I will continue to update you on this issue.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Update on ALA Resolution Brings Results

A Republican Congresswoman from Tennessee has stated that she intends to bring legislation to the House requiring that the Library of Congress retain the subject headings "alien" and "illegal alien" because changing them to "immigrant" and "undocumented immigrant" is legally and factually untrue. (Don't ask me to explain that statement as I can't.) The report went on at length about using the term illegal since that is what they are. She is against the movement to be politically correct in this situation. The bill was introduced as H.R. 4926 and was referred to the House Committee on House Administration. It may not go any further but we'll keep our eyes on it and see what happens.

Your tax dollars at work!

Virtual Library Legislative Day - You can Advocate for Libraries Too

As part of National Library Legislative Day 2016 (NLLD), we are offering library advocates unable to attend in person the chance to participate through Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD)!   

This year, we’re teaming up with the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) to help expand our efforts and take advantage of the momentum started by the nearly 400 library supporters who plan to attend NLLD. Their Chapters’ members are pledging their time to make calls, send emails, tweet, and otherwise raise awareness about library issues during the week of May 2nd. To date, the HPA has received pledges for nearly 500 actions from their members!

We think we can do our wizarding friends even better.

Over the next few weeks, please ask everyone in your circles -- members, followers, patrons, fellow library staffers, and listservs -- to join us! Once they register for VLLD, we’ll follow up by sending them talking points and other handy resources they can use to advocate easily and effectively.  We’ll be including a link to a webstream of the National Library Legislative day program, live from Washington, on the morning of May 2nd. They’ll get to hear our keynote speaker, former Congressman Rush Holt, and listen in on this year’s issue briefing.

I’ve attached a few graphics that I’ll be using to promote VLLD on social media this year. There’s also a handy resource toolkit for librarians who may want to get younger advocates involved. Please feel free to use them as you like! You can also find out more by visiting the United for Libraries and the Harry Potter Alliance webpages, or by subscribing to the Action Center.

Please feel free to contact Lisa Lindle, Grassroots Communications Specialist for ALA Washington, if you have any questions.

Monday, March 28, 2016

ALA Resolution Brings Results

In January, the ALA Council passed a resolution asking the Library of Congress to change some subject headings. Various libraries had already tried going through the appropriate steps and the request had been turned down. Now, the Library of Congress has announced that it is changing those subject headings as a response to constituent requests. The Policy and Standards Division (PSD) of the Library of Congress, the group that maintains the Library of Congress Subject Headings, now acknowledges that the term "Illegal Aliens" has become perjorative. The term will be cancelled and replaced by two new headings - "Nonciticzens" and "Unauthorized Immigration".  Other terms that use "illegal aliens" as part of a subject heading will also be revised. All revisions will appear on a Tentative List and will be approved no earlier than May 2016. Bibliographic records will be revised shortly after the change is accepted.