ALA Annual Conference 2011
Diane Dates Casey, ALCTS Councilor
During the ALA Council Information Session, Mario Gonzalez, chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), reported that for FY11 the ALA total revenues were $27,300,659, while expenses were $29,729,574. The shortfall was made up by cuts in the areas of personnel related, building and technology related, governance committees, publishing and conferences, BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield) refund, and BCBS reserves. For FY12 ALA expects another fiscally challenging year and will be closely monitoring revenues and expenditures. Happily, the endowment funds were at $33.4 million, a 5.7 percent increase year-to-date, as of the end of May 2011. Executive Director, Keith Michael Fiels, encouraged councilors to visit the new Transforming Libraries web portal on the ALA web site.
At Council I, ALA Council accepted the report and recommendations of the Chapter Relations Task Force. The report of the Future Perfect Presidential Task Force was accepted; the Executive Board will report back to Council on the recommendations in the report. The “Resolution on Out of School Time Library Programs” as revised was passed.
At Council II, John Moorman, on behalf of the Policy Monitoring Committee, brought forward action items to insert into the Policy Manual the ALA Strategic Plan 2011-2015 and the presence or absence in job descriptions of benefits for domestic partners. Council passed Committee on Organization’s recommendation to conduct a two-year pilot study to examine the effectiveness and costs for electronic participation on committees of Council and ALA. Additionally, Council accepted the Report of the Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Access, referred the report to BARC, Executive Board and Executive Director to develop an implementation plan, and requested the President and Board establish an on-going group to address current and future issues of Equitable Access to Digital Content on a coordinated, association-wide basis. Council passed the “Resolution on Revised Guidelines for the ALA Intern Program. This resolution refers only to ALA and Council committees, not divisions.
At Council III, a memorial resolution for Edward Swanson was acknowledged. ALA Treasurer, Jim Neal, noted a possible $891,000 shortfall with a potential use of reserves of between $154,000 and $375,000. In the fall ALA plans to launch a major planned giving campaign. Council approved a change in the Endowment Funds payout formula of between 3% and 5%. This modification will make more dollars available for use in scholarships, awards, program initiatives and general operations. Additionally, the Council approved a total ALA FY 2012 Budgetary Ceiling of $62,912,676. The Intellectual Freedom Committee brought forward the Resolution to Protect Library User Confidentiality in Self-Service Hold Practices and the Resolution to Continue Opposition to the Use of Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act and the Use of National Security Letters to Violate Reader Privacy. Council passed these resolutions. The Committee on Legislation submitted resolutions on funding the Government Printing Office, on reinstating funding for statistical agencies, on increasing funding for improving literacy through school libraries programs, on increasing funding for Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) and on including libraries in the Workforce Investment Act. These resolutions were all passed by Council. Additionally, the International Relations Committee gave its report to Council. Jim Rettig facilitated a discussion on the Report of the Presidential Task Force for Improving the Effectiveness of ALA’s Council. The action item on requiring an explanation of how a resolution relates to ALA strategic plan, mission or core values when submitting a resolution passed. The actions to combine the membership meeting and information session and a self-assessment by Council were also discussed. Finally, the Council considered the Resolution to Endorse the United Nations 16 May 2011 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Resolution Recommending ALA Connect as the Official Online Document Distribution Channel and Archive.