Virtual Membership Meeting 2015 (VMM15). Everything you need to know.

Everything you need to know to fully participate on June 4, 2015 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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American Library Association Virtual Memebership Meeting

VMM15 takes place on Thursday, June 4, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (CDT). Virtual Membership Meetings are an important way in which personal members may affect what ALA does. VMM is an annual online forum where ALA leaders present information about topics of interest to the general membership.

All ALA personal members may register for and participate in the VMM. Virtual Membership Meetings are part of ALA's ongoing efforts to reach out interactively to members about its strategic direction, budget priorities and topics of interest. Live captioning is provided for all participants.  

Also see the ALA Connect Member Group for information about VMM15 and to participate in pre-meeting discussions and review detailed materials and information.  It is your opportunity to exchange perspectives, ideas, and opinions with both old and new colleagues and friends. 

What is a VMM?

VMMs are an important way in which personal members may affect what ALA does. VMM is an annual online forum where ALA leaders present information about topics of interest to the general membership. All ALA personal members may register for and participate in the VMM. Virtual Membership Meetings are part of ALA's ongoing efforts to reach out interactively to members about its strategic direction, budget priorities and topics of interest.  Live captioning is provided for all participants.  

The meeting will begin with a report and update regarding ALA’s strategic initiatives. These updates will be followed by an opportunity to discuss and vote on any resolutions offered by members. Resolutions must be submitted no later than May 28, 2015, 1:30 p.m. (CDT).  Following that, an open forum on topics chosen by members in a recent online survey will take place via text chat.

Register for VMM15.

Group Viewing: Consider viewing as a group. Many members gather a group of co-workers to view the VMM together. It is a chance for sharing  among immediate colleagues and among colleagues across the country and even the world.  If you have a group viewing please remember, if a poll or vote is taken during the VMM, only the individual member who officially registered may vote.  

Submission of Images/Video Links

To provide a visual way to share what’s happening at your library, VMM15 will incorporate images and video (links) that you submit. We request that the images/video (links) shows either your library’s community involvement/outreach OR the unique and interesting things that make your library a 21st-century library.  To submit your images/video (links) you will need to follow these instructions.

  • Go to the online submission form to submit your image. Submissions will not be accepted via any other source.
  • Not all images/video will be able to be used.  ALA retains the right to determine which images/video will be used in VMM15.
  • Be sure you have the rights/permissions to use the image/video.
  • Videos can be no longer than 30 seconds.  Preference will be given to videos shorter than 30 seconds. Links to YouTube can be submitted.
  • Black & white or color images are acceptable.  
  • Brief captions for your image will be required on the submission form.
  • Photos should be submitted in .png or .jpg format no larger than 600 x 600 pixels. ALA may resize.
  • Image/video submission gives ALA the right to use the images in VMM15 and in the promotion of VMM15 and VMM16.  Images/video not used in VMM15 may be posted by ALA on the VMM15 ALA webpage or the VMM15 ALA Connect group to allow sharing with a wider group of members.
  • If you view VMM15 in a group setting, ALA encourages you to take photos of your group and submit them to ALA.  We'll post some of them on the ALA website, on ALA Connect, and may use them when we promote the 2015 Virtual Membership Meeting (VMM15).
  • Online Image Submission Form.

Technical Requirements to Participate

Test Your System in Advance: The Virtual Membership Meeting utilizes the Cisco WebEx platform. Please review the system requirements to determine whether your computer or mobile device is supported and test the system you plan to use in advance of registration. If you are unable to join the meeting or have problems running the test, please contact WebEx Support at 866-229-3239, option 1 or visit

  Procedures Governing VMM

  1. Members who wish to participate must register for the meeting using their ALA ID number.  Non-members are welcome but will not be recognized to text chat and are ineligible to vote on resolutions.  As per Bylaw Article II, Section 6. Quorum.  “Seventy-five (75) voting members shall constitute a quorum at membership meetings.”
  2. All resolutions shall be prepared in accordance with the Virtual Membership Meeting Guidelines for Resolutions prepared by the ALA Executive Board and the Resolutions Committee, and published on ALA Connect. (See resolution portion of this web page.)
  3. No resolution shall be presented at the Virtual Membership Meeting that has not been received through the resolution process. (See “Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions for ALA Virtual Membership Meetings.”)  Only the “Therefore be it resolved” clause of a resolution shall be read.
  4. Members will be recognized in the following ways to communicate about an issue, ask a question, or offer a comment:  a.  As a submission in advance to  The submission will be read aloud by the VMM moderator, or b. During the Virtual Membership Meeting by text chat, which will be read aloud by the VMM moderator.
  5. The Presiding Officer will recognize speakers in the order given by the Moderator.  Every attempt will be made to balance recognition between the two methods described above.  When submitting a question by text chat or when recognized to speak, please state your name and library or organizational affiliation.
  6. Each “speaker” will be allowed up to two minutes.  No “speaker” shall have the floor twice on the same question until all who wish to speak have spoken.
  7. The Presiding Officer may close debate on an issue or resolution after 10 minutes.  Once the debate is closed by the Presiding Officer, a vote will be taken on the issue/resolution.  The Presiding Officer will announce the result of the vote taken.
  8. Members present are encouraged to vote when invited by the Presiding Officer. All votes will be held open for one minute.  Voting selections made following the close of that minute will not be recorded. Votes will be tabulated based on the number of valid votes received.
  9. Polling may be used during the event at the discretion of the Presiding Officer. Poll results will be considered as advisory and nonbinding.
  10. Although a text-based “open chat” will be offered for the benefit of all participants, questions and comments must be addressed as noted above to be answered by the speaker(s).
  11. After the adoption of the procedures that govern the Virtual Membership Meeting, the Presiding Officer presents the agenda at the opening of the meeting.  This agenda may have been amended by the Presiding Officer from any agenda distributed earlier.  Other changes to the agenda must be by general consent, if there is no objection, or by a two-thirds vote. The agenda is then adopted as presented or as amended.
  12. The meeting will be promptly adjourned at its published time.
  13. Resolutions not addressed at a Virtual Membership Meeting die at the adjournment of that meeting.  They can be resubmitted to the Resolutions Committee for consideration at the next face-to-face or Virtual Membership Meeting.

Resolutions Committee

The council Resolutions Committee shall provide an advisory and channeling function for all resolutions presented for council's consideration, reviewing all resolutions submitted to council pursuant to the criteria established by council. (See Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions for Presentation to Council.) The committee is also directed to provide consistent, in-depth training for all new members.

Register for VMM15.

  Committee on Membership Meetings (COMM)

The Committee on Membership Meetings (COMM), comprised of fellow ALA members, provided the input and leadership in developing this virtual membership meeting.

  Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries

Whereas our communities are faced with economic, environmental and societal changes that are of great concern to our quality of life;

Whereas libraries are uniquely positioned and essential to build the capacity of the communities they serve to become sustainable, resilient and regenerative;

Whereas library leaders, and those who inspire future library leaders, have a mandate to ensure future access to economical library services;

Whereas libraries that demonstrate good stewardship of the resources entrusted to them can build community support that leads to sustainable funding;

Whereas the people who work in our libraries and those who access services in our facilities deserve a healthy environment in which to do so;

Whereas the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has determined that: “Human influence on the climate system is clear… Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems”1;

Whereas the American Library Association has acknowledged in its 2015 Strategic Plan that “Libraries are widely recognized as key players in economic development, in building strong and vibrant communities, and in sustaining a strong democracy" and launched the ALA Center for Civic Life (CCL) in 2010 in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation to promote community engagement and foster public deliberation through libraries; and

Whereas libraries that demonstrate leadership in making sustainable decisions that positively address climate change, respect and use natural resources, and create healthy indoor and outdoor environments will stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, help build more sustainable communities, and thereby increase community support for the library; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its members:

1.    recognizes the important and unique role libraries play in wider community conversations about resiliency, climate change, and a sustainable future and begins a new era of thinking sustainably in order to consider the economic, environmental and socially equitable viability of choices made on behalf of the association;

2.    enthusiastically encourages activities by itself, its membership, library schools and state associations to be proactive in their application of sustainable thinking in the areas of their facilities, operations, policy, technology, programming, partnerships and library school curricula; and

3.    directs the ALA Executive Director to pursue sustainable choices when planning conferences and meetings and to actively promote best practices of sustainability through ALA publications, research and educational opportunities to reach our shared goal of vital, visible and viable libraries for the future.

Mover's Name: Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, ALA Sustainability Round Table Member; Seconder's Name: Ashley Jones, ALA Sustainability Round Table Member

1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 p

Reviewed by Larry Romans, chair, ALA Resolutions Committee, 5/28/15

Submitted on Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 14:07 Submitted by user:

Submitted values are:

Date: 05/14/2015

Resolution author(s): Rebekkah Smith Aldrich & the membership of the ALA Sustainability Roundtable E-mail address:

1. Title of Resolution: Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries

2. ALA Units and/or Committees Consulted (if any): ALA Sustainability Roundtable

3. Endorsements by ALA Units and/or Committees (if any):

4. Fiscal implications: Specify the resources needed to carry out the resolution's directive(s).: With good planning, no additional financial resources should be needed to make better choices on behalf of the membership. Future investment in green solutions, educational opportunities and initiatives would certainly be welcomed.

5. List all parties to whom resolution should be sent:  If adopted, the resolution should be sent to:

  • ALA Council
  • ALA Executive Director & Staff
  • ALA Divisions
  • ALA Sections
  • ALA Roundtables
  • ALA Committees

6. Impact on ALA Policies and Positions: Explain how the resolution supports ALA’s Strategic Plan, its mission, and/or its core values.:

The resolution is designed to strengthen the mission and core values of the Association. "Sustainability" is defined as the "capacity to endure." Within the mission statement of ALA we see the words "development," "promotion," "improvement," and "ensure." All of these words speak to the need to be proactive as we think of the future of library services and our profession.

If we pull the thread all the way through our desire as an association to grow and enhance libraries throughout the country this is not just something we can skim the surface of, we must go deeper to instill the value of sustainability throughout all we do to ensure access to information for all.

We need libraries leaders that understand our role in growing sustainable communities; we need library buildings that are built with an eye towards the energy and operational efficiencies that will keep operating costs down, respect the use of our natural resources and provide healthy indoor atmospheres that are conducive to learning and library worker health. We need to engage civically to support the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the communities we serve in order to be considered essential to the future success of society. We can no longer just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk and this resolution is the call to action for our Association to lead the way in this area.

The resolution can enhance all seven of the Key Action Areas listed in the ALA Strategic Plan that serve as "guiding principles for investment of energies and resources":

• Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession: the focus on sustainability, resiliency and regeneration helps to tell the story of who libraries are and why we are critical to the communities we serve. Our attention to this talking point can result in new allies that recognize the economic, environmental and socially equity impact we have on communities which can lead to new partnerships, funding streams and a new found respect for libraries as members of the larger local and global community.

• Diversity: If we truly want to reflect those we serve and promote and develop library collections and services for all people we must respect where people live, eat, go to school, raise their children and participate in community. Treating all neighborhoods with respect, regardless of the socio-economic background of an area reflects our value of diversity.

• Education and Lifelong Learning: Sustainability does not just happen, it takes committed, educated individuals in our profession who take the time to learn about the world around us to adjust library service responses to our communities' needs. Fostering an environment where more library professionals and trustees can learn about the impact of the natural world on the survivability of our communities and therefore our institutions would seem a vital initiative.

• Equitable Access to Information and Library Service: The economics of library services are always a critical conversation. To fulfill our mission, to ensure equitable access, we need funding. Operational efficiencies in our facilities, those  that reduce energy consumption and absenteeism, can increase cash flow for programmatic areas. Attention to the wider world around us can result in new partnerships and a deeper understanding amongst municipal officials as to how vital libraries are to the health of a community, getting us a seat at the table for larger community conversations about resiliency.

• Intellectual Freedom: In the defense of the right of library users to read, seek information, and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment we must build resilient organizations that can facilitate access in a very disruptive world. A world in which technology can change overnight, civil unrest can shut down a city and severe weather events can decimate a town's infrastructure. Ensuring access in light of a volatility beyond our control is a very real issue facing libraries today.

• Literacy:  Having the ability to seek and effectively utilize information resources is essential. The definitions of literacy have broadened over the years beyond just knowing how to read, but to also comprehend information of all types - information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy and financial literacy. Sustainability is defined by the "three E's": environment, economics and social equity - all three of these aspects fall into the various literacies libraries are charged with assisting with.

• Organizational Excellence: As a membership organization, ALA is charged with being "inclusive, effective and responsive" to its members needs. The members are speaking through this resolution to their Association. We are looking for the Association to reflect our values back to us. If we are concerned with climate change, the resiliency of our communities and libraries and our libraries' ability to bring new, energetic life to our communities then our Association should be too.

• Transforming Libraries: The ALA initiative, Libraries Transforming Communities, speaks directly to the need for libraries to strengthen our role as "core community leaders and change-agents." Core community leaders that are also library leaders must be concerned with the health and well-being of the whole community, not just the library. If we want to transform our libraries we need to connect with the values of our community, if we are to be "more reflective of and connected to" our communities we need to respect the "civility, collaboration, education, health and well-being" of those we serve - a truly "sustainable library" does just that.

NOW is the time for ALA to take a stand and recognize the value and importance of "Sustainable Libraries." If we are all to have a future, this is strategic, intelligent and compassionate way for us all to move forward together.

6a) ALA general policy or viewpoint: If the resolution sets forth a general policy or an ALA viewpoint, describe.: The resolution sets forth a directive for the Association to "think sustainably in order to consider the economic, environmental and socially equitable viability of choices made on behalf the association." This will likely result in future policies that will be adopted by the Association, but for now, we are primarily talking about a shift in "viewpoint."

6b) Change in existing policy: If this resolution necessitates a change in existing policy, state the policy number and the change.: N/A

6c) New policy: If this resolution establishes new policy, describe.: Not at this time.

6d) Policy conflicts: If this resolution conflicts with existing policy, state provisions for resolving the conflict.: N/A 7. Initiating Committee or Unit (if any): ALA Sustainability Roundtable 8. Pertinent Background Information, e.g. bibliography, citations, supportive quotes, URLs, etc.:

• "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."  -John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra , 1911, page 110

• IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.

• Libraries Transforming Communities

• ALA Center for Civic Life

• Libraries Build Sustainable Communities, ALA Social Responsibilities Roundtable

• New York Library Association, Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries

• Ecology, Economy, Equity: The Path to a Carbon-Neutral Library by Mandy Henk, ALA Editions

• The Sustainability Issue, Journal of the Leadership & Management Section of the New York Library Association, 2014

• The Resilient Design Institute

9. Mover's Name: Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

10 Seconder's Name: Ashley Jones

The deadline of 1:30 p.m. CDT for submission of a resolution has passed.  Resolutions can no longer be submitted for VMM15.

Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Resolutions.  If you plan on submitting a resolution, you will need to follow these guidelines. 

The following guidelines are addressed to individuals and units preparing resolutions to come before the ALA Virtual Membership Meeting.  Please note: A resolution must be submitted for review by the Council Committee on Resolutions at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the convening of the virtual membership meeting. The Council Committee on Resolutions  shall provide an advisory and channeling function for all resolutions presented for council's consideration, reviewing all resolutions submitted to council pursuant to the criteria established by council. The committee is also directed to provide consistent, in-depth training for all new members.

Definition:   A resolution is a main motion, phrased formally, with (a) whereas clauses, (stating the background and reasons for a proposed policy, advocacy position, or action), followed by (b) Resolved clauses in numbered order (stating the proposed policy, advocacy position, or action).

Detailed Guidelines:

  1. A resolution must be complete so that, upon passage, it becomes a clear and formal expression of the opinion or will of the assembly.
  2. Resolutions, including memorials, tributes, and testimonials, must show the initiating unit, mover, and seconded and provide specific contact information from submitting parties. A resolution without a sponsor will not be presented.
  3. The resolution should address a specific topic or issue, use concise direct language, conform to proper grammar, and present an affirmative identifiable action.
  4. The terms used in a resolution should be readily understandable or have specific definitions.
  5. The intent, objective or goal of the resolution should be clear and purposeful.
  6. Resolutions should clearly support ALA’s Strategic Plan, its mission, and/or core values.
  7. Any whereas clauses that relate to an ALA policy must include a parenthetical notation of the title of the policy and the section where it can be found in the ALA Policy Manual (
  8. If the resolution calls for specific action or program with a timetable, the timetable shall be clear and achievable.
  9. Resolved clauses at the end of a resolution gain in clarity and brevity and are easier to read by following the resolution methodology of Congress and other deliberative bodies. The new suggested wording states the resolved phrase only once: “Now therefore be it resolved by the [acting body, e.g., ALA, some committee etc.], that...” after which each separate resolved is stated directly in numbered order without repeating “be it resolved by...”.
  10. All “Resolved” clauses within a resolution should use the objective form of the verb (e.g., “Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA): (1) supports...; (2) provides...; and [last resolved] urges....") rather than the subjunctive form of the verb (e.g., “Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA): (1) support...; (2) provide..; and [last resolved]. urge....").
  11. If the resolution is addressed to or refers to a specific group or groups, it shall name in full the group or groups in both the ‘resolved’ and ‘whereas’ clauses followed by the acronym in parenthesis. Thereafter the acronym may be used. 

Process for Submitting a Resolution

  1. All resolutions submitted must be sent to the ALA Resolutions Committee for review and must be accompanied by a completed ALA Resolution e-form prior to the May 28 deadline.
  2. Any ALA personal member may submit resolutions to be considered at a virtual membership meeting.  A resolution must be submitted for review by the Council Committee on Resolutions at least seven (7) calendar days prior (in this case, May 28, 2015 by 1:30 p.m. CDT) to the convening of the virtual membership meeting and must include a second to the resolution.  In the interest of expedience and effectiveness, the mover of a resolution is encouraged to submit a statement in advance to be read aloud during the virtual membership meeting.
  3. All resolutions, including memorials, tributes, and testimonials, must show the initiating unit, mover, and seconder.  Email addresses must be given for movers and seconders.
  4. All resolutions approved by the membership will be presented to the next meeting of Council by the chair of the Resolutions Committee.  The chair will indicate which membership resolutions are clearly policy matters. The presiding officer of Council will call for Council’s guidance on the disposition of each membership item in turn.
  5. If a quorum is not present for a called Membership Meeting, those members who are present may convene themselves into a Membership Forum for the purpose of discussing matters of concern.  The person who would have presided at the virtual membership meeting may appoint a member to preside at the Membership Forum.  Those members attending the Membership Forum shall determine their own agenda of matters to be discussed, except that the names of those being presented for memorials, tributes, and testimonials shall be read at the beginning of the Membership Forum. 



ALA makes every effort to use products that comply with accessibility standards, but it is not possible for us to test every operating system, browser version and/or adaptive device that might be used to access the meeting. WebEx’s parent company claims compliance with both Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Level A. Please test your system (including MACS) in advance of the meeting, as described above in Technical Requirements for ParticipationDirect questions about accessibility issues to or fill out the form to contact Cisco’s Accessibility Team.

Discussions with Cisco's Accessibility Team have alerted us to the fact that the polling widget is accessible, but that it may be difficult to locate the command to close the widget to put it away. To arrange for an alternative voting method for polls and resolutions, please contact so that we can make arrangements in advance of the meeting.

Live captioning is provided for all participants.   

Register for VMM15.