ALA Midwinter Day 4

At last night’s Council Forum, I had the opportunity to find out more information about the resolutions that would appear before Council at today’s meeting. On the agenda were a resolution regarding improving member access to ALA Unit governing information, a resolution on whistleblower Edward Snowden, and a resolution to allow programs at ALA Midwinter Meeting. Here is a basic rundown of the three resolutions and the Council’s actions at today’s meeting. These are just my observations and should not be considered official minutes of the Council.

ALA Unit Governing Information

The basic idea behind this resolution is to make access to the minutes and actions taken by ALA Units more readily available. This would include ALA Divisions such as ACRL, ALCTS, YALSA, as well as ALA Round Tables. This would not include round tables and sub-units of the larger divisions and round tables. In some cases, divisions and round tables are already providing minutes and/or actions taken in a timely manner. The resolution really puts in to writing that this information should be available to the ALA membership in a timely and consistent manner. This resolution passed in this morning’s meeting. You can read the resolution here.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden

This topic was the most heavily debated at both the Council Forum yesterday evening and today at Council II. I am sure my fellow librarians in Kentucky are aware of the controversy over Mr. Snowden’s actions. The ALA Council did pass a resolution regarding whistleblowers at ALA Annual Conference last July. The text of the resolution is on page two of the linked document. Today’s resolution did not pass; some Councilors expressed the concern that events are still unfolding and a resolution recognizing Mr. Snowden may be premature.

Allowing Programs at Midwinter Meeting

For those who do not know, the ALA Midwinter Meeting does not include “programs” such as presentations or poster sessions. Historically, Midwinter has been used for Council, division, and round table meetings, as well as interest group discussions. While some would like to see more presentations, others in Council have argued that the better solution is to do away with Midwinter Meeting in favor of online meeting options. The current resolution had been given to the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) and will not be voted on at this Midwinter.

As your Councilor, I would like to know how my fellow Kentucky librarians feel about these resolutions, in particular what your thoughts are regarding the expansion or dissolution of Midwinter. I will likely have more information on the Council’s actions concerning whistleblowers in tomorrow’s post, as there are related resolutions on the agenda.


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