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.

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