Annual Conference Reports

Council Report for the ALA Annual Conference 2008

Diane Dates Casey, ALCTS Councilor

During the Information Session, the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) reported that the ALA budget was running only 1 percent below preliminary projections. Endowment earnings have dropped but less than the overall market. Michael Gorman, Library Education Task Force, reviewed the proposed Core Competencies for the master in library education; the Core Competencies encompass the knowledge that all LIS graduates should possess.

At Council I an extended discussion of the revised guidelines for preparing resolutions for Council took place and was approved. The efficacy of these changes was verified at Council III, when all business was completed two hours early. The ALA Treasurer reported that ALA needs $600,000 to $750,000 of new revenue each year just to stay even, so new sources of revenue must be constantly developed. The current economic slowdown will affect ALA financially. As the use of technology continues to expand, costs will be substantial.

ALA-APA revenues are below projections in part because the salary survey is not ready. The loan repayment may have to be deferred. A Resolution on Endorsement of a Living Wage for All Library Employees and a Minimum Salary for Professional Librarians was passed.

At Council II the Electronic Member Participation Task Force suggested experimenting with e-participation related to non-governance activities and in governance activities where no policy impediment exists. Their final report is due at the 2009Midwinter Meeting. A budgetary ceiling of $67,984,278 was passed for ALA. A resolution suggesting a major restructuring of the GPO Federal Depository Library Program was referred to GODORT for further work and input from all ALA stakeholders. The ALCTS Resolution on Support for Funding for Cataloging and Bibliographic Control at the Library of Congress passed unanimously. The ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section (CCS) developed the talking points on which the resolution was grounded. Moreover, resolutions supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and concerning ALA Policy Opposing Sweatshop and Supporting Union Businesses were passed.

ALCTS member, Ellen Ruth McCrady was memorialized at Council III. Several amendments to the ALA Constitution concerning unanticipated officer position vacancies, Executive Board terms, and dues amounts within the By-Laws were approved and will go to the Association for ratification. At the request of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, Council passed several interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights: Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sexual Orientation; Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program; Diversity in Collection Development; Evaluating Library Collections; Expurgation of Library Materials; and Free Access to Libraries for Minors. The International Relations Committee brought forward a new resolution on the Confiscation of Iraqi Documents because of factual inaccuracies in the resolution passed at Midwinter 2008. Council passed this new resolution. From the Committee on Organization, a resolution revising the composition of the Committee on Accreditation to reflect current practice was approved.

The Committee on Legislation resolutions in support of the National Agricultural Library, on the E-Government Reauthorization Act of 2007, and in support of Preservation and Access to the Audio Heritage of the United States were passed. ALCTS presented a resolution adopting the Definitions of Digital Preservation and the Revised Preservation Policy for the American Library Association which passed. The ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS) was instrumental in developing the definitions and revising the ALA Preservation Policy. Finally, a resolution asking for a study of possible ways to broadcast ALA Council meetings was passed.

The final attendance figure for the Anaheim conference was 22,047.