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.

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