Month: July 2014

ALA Annual Day 5

I want to apologize for the delay in my final post for ALA Annual. I will explain the delay at the end of this post.

The final day of the conference I attended Council III. At this session, the primary discussion revolved around the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights, in particular the interpretation regarding Labeling and Rating Systems. At issue was this section:

Libraries sometimes acquire resources that include ratings as part of their packaging. Librarians should not endorse the inclusion of such rating systems; however, removing or destroying the ratings—if placed there by, or with permission of, the copyright holder—could constitute expurgation (see “Expurgation of Library Materials: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights”). In addition, the inclusion of ratings on bibliographic records in library catalogs is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights.

Some Councilors were bothered by the language of the final sentence of this paragraph. Some argued that by not including rating information, such as MPAA ratings, which is including on the packaging of some materials, we relegate remote users to second-class citizenship; these users cannot see the packaging and do not have access to the ratings information. Additionally, one Councilor indicated that the ALA-approved Resource Description and Access guidelines include specific instructions for how to include ratings in bibliographic records.

Council voted on removing the Labeling and Rating Systems interpretation from the package presented by IFC; the motion was defeated 70-65. Despite its defeat, the IFC is going to review this interpretation in conjunction with the cataloging groups in ALA after the current interpretations are published in book format later this year. At the very least, there was lively debate on the matter.

Regarding the delay in my post, I want to announce that this was both my first and last year as Kentucky Chapter Councilor. I have started a new job in Tennessee and am resigning my position as your Councilor. I want to thank the Kentucky Library Association for the opportunity to serve as your Councilor. I plan to attend the KLA/KASL fall conference and give my final reports then.


ALA Annual Day 4

Like day three, day four of the conference began with a council session. At this session, Council heard reports from the Policy Monitoring Committee, the Committee on Organization, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Additionally, ALA President Barbara Stripling recognized those Councilors whose term ends at today’s meeting.

Council took action on a resolution from the District of Columbia Library Association. The resolution urges Congress to

grant the District of Columbia budget autonomy in order to prevent the unnecessary closing of city government facilities, including public libraries, in the event of a federal government shutdown.

This resolution is not asking for D.C. statehood or for voting representation in Congress. It simply asks that Congress release D.C.’s budget–of locally paid city taxes, not federal monies–from the requirement that it be approved by Congress before expenditures may be made.

In the afternoon, I attended the Chapter Councilors Forum. This forum is less formal than the regular Council and we discuss issues relevant to state chapters in the context of Council proceedings. One interesting topic from yesterday was how to attract young librarians and retired librarians to state associations. While the specific needs and interests of these two groups vary, one thing they have in common is the need to feel valued within the organization. State associations should not be afraid to ask people of these age groups to take leadership roles, and creating groups for these individuals as well as including programming and social events are great ways to get these potential members involved.