ALA Planning and Budget Assembly
The ALA Planning and Budget Assembly met on June 29, 2014. The Assembly and its role are under discussion and in transition. Members were asked to attend an additional meeting, the ALA Information Session on ALA Budget on Saturday, June 28th from 3:00 to 4:30 pm where Pat Wand filled in for Mario Gonzalez (Treasurer) who was absent due to an injury. The Assembly meeting on Sunday, June 29th from 1:00 to 2:30 pm was a return to the hour and a half format that had been requested at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Conference meeting. As the ALA Information Session included the presentation of the ALA Budget, this was not repeated in the Assembly meeting as it had been in the past. The Assembly meeting focused instead on questions from the members and discussion on several topics. Among the topics were: ALA Strategic Initiative, ALA Strategic Plan on the Future of ALA Publishing, and the Center for the Future of Libraries. Donald E. Chatham addressed questions on the Future of ALA Publishing document. Keith Michael Fiels said that at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Conference meeting, the Assembly would be broken into small groups to discuss the ALA Strategic Initiative.
Reported by Vicki Sipe
ASCLA Accessibility Assembly
The ACLA Accessibility Assembly met on June 29, 2014. Jim Tobias of GPII gave us an update, which is covered on the GPII website (www.gpii.net).
Adina Mulliken talked about the Libraries for Universal Accessibility (LUA) website (http://uniaccessig.org/lua) which serves as a portal for information regarding libraries and accessibility.
Reported by Kevin Furniss
Freedom to Read Foundation
The Freedom to Read Foundation met on June 26, 2014.
REPORT TO COUNCIL 2014 Annual Conference — Las Vegas, Nevada
Arce v. Huppenthal: We continue to monitor the ongoing progress of this lawsuit filed by teachers and students in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) against the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and other state officials that challenges the constitutionality of the Arizona statute prohibiting the use of class materials or books that encourage the overthrow of the government, “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” are “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” The plaintiffs sued after TUSD was forced to cease its Mexican-American Studies program and remove books from its classrooms. After the district court upheld the statute, the students appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Subsequently FTRF, joined by the American Library Association, REFORMA, the Black Caucus of the ALA and Asian/Pacific American Librarians Associat ion, filed an amicus brief in support of the students’ First Amendment claims.
INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM EDUCATION
The Krug Fund also provides funding for various initiatives to provide intellectual freedom curricula and training for library and information science (LIS) students. I am very pleased to report that FTRF has moved forward with one of these initiatives, partnering with the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (Illinois) to offer an online graduate-level course on intellectual freedom for LIS students around the country. The course will be taught by GSLIS professor Emily Knox, who earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University School of Communication and Information. Knox’s scholarship, which encompasses intellectual freedom and censorship, print culture and reading practices, and information ethics and policy, has earned her the acclaim of other LIS academics.
The class, “Intellectual Freedom and Censorship” will be held August 26–October 10, 2014, and is open to any student enrolled in an LIS program. Those at Illinois and other institutions in the WISE consortium (www.wiseeducation.org) can enroll via the WISE system. Students at non- WISE institutions can enroll by calling Tonyia Tidline, GSLIS director of professional development, at (217) 244-2945 or email@example.com.
The Foundation’s Developing Issues Committee led a discussion about several emerging issues that could impact free speech, freedom of the press, and intellectual freedom in libraries and possibly give rise to future litigation. The first discussion addressed several intellectual freedom issues in arising at colleges and universities, including trigger warnings, state legislation in South Carolina and Michigan intended to restrict or chill instruction of disfavored courses and topics, and cancellation of commencement addresses as a result of public protest. The second discussion raised concerns about press freedoms and free speech in relation to state legislation intended to restrict online posting of arrest photos, “revenge porn,” and videos and images depicting animal cruelty occurring on farms and other animal facilities. The third discussion addressed the issue of e-book privacy and the final discussion reviewed the findings in the new report on filtering and the Children’s Internet Protection Act issued by the Office for Information Technology Policy and the Office for Intellectual Freedom entitled “Fencing Out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act Ten Years Later.” That report is available at http://connect.ala.org/files/cipa_report.pdf.
Membership in the Freedom to Read Foundation allows the Foundation to continue to building our organizational capacity in order to support our litigation, education, and awareness campaigns. It is the critical foundation for FTRF’s work defending First Amendment freedoms in the library and in the larger world. As always, I strongly encourage all ALA Councilors to join me in becoming a personal member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and to have your libraries and other institutions become organizational members. Please send a check ($35.00+ for personal members, $100.00+ for organizations, and $10.00+ for students) to:
Freedom to Read Foundation, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Reported by Kay Cassell
The Recruitment Assembly met on June 30, 2014. The Recruitment Assembly held a program, "Check Out a Librarian" in the Placement Center on Saturday, June 28, 2014. The chair of the Recruitment Assembly, April Roy, recruited librarians from different career paths to meet with "new" librarians on possible job opportunities in their fields. Academic, International, School, Public, Vendor, Private school, were among the represented areas of librarianship. It was sort of like a speed dating service. the program was well received and we are going to repeat this activity at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Conference.
The regular meeting on Monday, June 30, was a report on the "check out librarian" program and an update from our sponsored Emerging Leaders project. These hardworking individuals have been busy re-designing the Library Careers.org website. "Discover the Possibilities" is the theme. Next steps were discussed and a good discussion was held.
Reported by Denise Novak