- Letter from the Editor
- Coordinator's Column
- Councilor's Report
- Notes from Action Council
- FeministTask Force News
- Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force News
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force News
- Government Document Round Table News
- Intellectual Freedom Report from Midwinter
- Social Work and the Business of Librarianship
- In Memoriam: Carolyn Forsman
- Book Review: Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism
- Media Review: Art is… The Permanent Revolution
- Call for Submissions
- Publication Information
by Amy Honisett
Spring may finally be on its way and while my tulips are optimistically (but, perhaps, foolishly) pushing their way through the soil that was so recently covered in snow, I am also feeling a sense of hope and renewal. This is the time of year I like to take stock of how things are going, take inventory of what needs to be done and create a strategy for putting my plans into action. Not only in my home and my garden, but also at work, this is the time I start thinking about new ways to get things done, better methods to achieve goals and fresh approaches to old problems.
What changes are you thinking of making in your library or in the way you do your work? Is this the time of year you assess your work life or have you already begun the charge ahead into the new year?
This issue of the SRRT Newsletter brings reports of what happened at Midwinter, an interesting perspective on a new trend in library schools, reports from SRRT Task Forces and from our friends in the Office of Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, two reviews and a memorial to SRRT founding member Carolyn Forsman.
I hope you find inspiration in this issue to get your spring started with energy and enthusiasm and I hope you share what you’ve been doing with SRRT Newsletter readers by writing an article for the next issue.
by Laura Koltutsky, SRRT Coordinator
Coming from ALA Midwinter in Seattle, I felt a bit overwhelmed. From the dues increase non-discussion to the rancorous resolution wrangling, there was a sense of frustration in many meeting rooms. Trying to represent the views of thousands of members is challenging, perhaps impossible, but we need to try to do so as a membership organization. Members will get to vote on the dues increase shortly and I hope that individual members take the time to voice their opinion. I also hope members will take the opportunity to vote in the ALA election and elect councilors and other representatives who reflect their values.
As librarians, we depend on the critical analysis of resources. We look to our colleagues for advice about products and services. In a budget landscape where every dollar has to be spent carefully, such input is critical for us to do our work. A disturbing development in the complicated relationship between publishers and librarians has become noteworthy. In my opinion, there are two strategic lawsuits against public participation (or SLAPPs) filed by Edwin Mellen Press. These libel lawsuits were filed against Dale Askey, associate university librarian, and McMaster University, his current employer. Edwin Mellen Press claims that a blog post written by Dale Askey when he was employed at Kansas State University in 2010 was “defamatory in its tone and context.” Dale Askey’s post referred to Edwin Mellen Press as a “dubious publisher.” Mr. Askey is also being held responsible for comments that had followed his original post, The Curious Case of Edwin Mellen Press. These libel lawsuits have been condemned by library associations, including the Canadian Library Association and the American Library Association, the American Association of University Professors, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and the Canadian Association of University Presses. All of these groups have asked Edwin Mellen Press to withdraw their lawsuits, but its founder, Herbert Richardson responded with this statement, "I do not believe that the attack by this small group of librarians is going to mean that serious scholars and serious librarians are not going to buy the type of scholarship we publish.” (http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2013/02/22/hamilton-askey-support.html).
Please help show Mr. Richardson that if there is one thing that librarians will unite to defend for ourselves and each other, it is freedom of speech. We are not a small group and we do have powerful voices so please use yours to help defend Dale Askey’s right to voice his informed opinion in a public forum. There is a petition started by Martha Reineke, University of Northern Iowa professor of religious studies on Change.org. Please sign it and ask your associations or groups to send a message of support to both Dale Askey and McMaster University.
* Editor’s note: Since this column was written, one of the lawsuits mentioned here was dropped. Find out more at http://www.infodocket.com/2013/03/04/edwin-mellen-press-drops-lawsuit-against-mcmaster-librarian-dale-askey/
by Al Kagan – SRRT Councilor, African Studies Bibliographer, Professor of Library Administration – University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Resolution Reaffirming ALA Support for Whistleblowers including Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou (2012-2013 CD#36)
As is often the case, the Midwinter Council sessions were frustrating for SRRT and progressive councilors. Our two resolutions were received very badly. We had reworked our previous resolution in support of Bradley Manning to include all whistleblowers, including Manning and the latest whistleblower, John Kiriakou. At the Council Forums, we heard several councilors accuse Manning of treason; a number of other councilors refused to recognize him as a whistleblower. We later heard one councilor say that anyone who would dump 250,000 documents could not be a whistleblower. Of course, he did not dump the documents but rather gave them to WikiLeaks, which then gave the documents to various newspapers around the world for vetting. All the documents did become available when a reporter printed the very long access code in his book. Although the Council has passed several good resolutions in support of whistleblowers, these actions have no real effect because they refuse to support the named individuals who put their lives on the line. Larry Romans moved to delete all the “whereas” and “resolved” clauses dealing with Manning and Kiriakou and all the clauses that were critical of the Obama Administration’s policies. Jim Kuhn prevented our outright defeat by referring the resolution to the Intellectual Freedom and Legislation Committees, hopefully for a report back at the Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies (2012-2013 CD#35)
Our Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies from the ALA Endowment and related matters was similarly trashed. Even though Elaine Harger personally brought it to the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) table in the ALA Office, we were told that it was not taken to BARC and was therefore out of order and could not even be considered by the Council. Further, since former Councilor Elaine Harger had drafted the resolution, we requested permission for her to address the Council. Such permission has been granted numerous times for non-councilors to address the body, but in this case, a vocal group tried to shout her down. Luckily, the Parliamentarian and ALA President intervened and gave her two minutes to speak. In the past, there have been numerous resolutions with fiscal implications debated by the Council and then referred to BARC. As far as I can remember, no resolution has ever been ruled out of order in the way that this one was. It was unsettling to see a large group of councilors act like an angry mob, acting so rudely towards Elaine and cutting off debate. Perhaps this is just a reflection of the times in which we live.
ALA Automatic Dues Increase Proposal (2012-2013 CD#14.1, EBD #10.6.1 2012-2013)
The third important issue we worked on was the ALA proposal to automatically increase dues by the rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). At least three state chapters were on record as opposed to this method. SRRT has historically been on record and has lobbied for a progressive dues structure based on salary, as is the case for many ALA state chapters. We were opposed to the proposal because it did not change the dues structure and because the membership would be precluded from voting on the annual raises. Many councilors were also opposed for various reasons, but a compromise was reached. There would be a trial period of five years and the ALA Executive Board would review each annual increase. This proposal will be on the spring ballot. If it passes, the membership will not be able to vote on dues increases for the next five years unless the ALA Executive Board asks for an increase greater than the CPI. I made the argument that voting annually on small dues increases would incur very little incremental cost, since we already get an electronic ballot each year, but my argument had no impact.
There was one follow up from the 2012 Annual Meeting. We proposed to add housing status to the Library Bill of Rights. This was referred to the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC). In the IFC Report (2012-2013 CD#19), we found that the Committee had rejected this idea and that instead they would make sure that housing status was clearly included in the interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights. This will be published in the forthcoming ninth edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual. The Chair of the Committee thanked SRRT for bringing this to their attention.
Sustainability Round Table
Due to the recent low level of activity of the SRRT Task Force on the Environment, some new activists petitioned for the creation of a Sustainability Round Table. This request was approved by the ALA Council (2012-2013 CD#27).
Memorial resolutions honored Aaron Swartz for his work on open access to information, Clara Stanton Jones for her pioneering work with the Black Caucus of ALA, and William (Bill) DeJohn, who was a founding member of SRRT. I asked that the omission of Bill DeJohn’s work with SRRT be remedied, and was assured that this would be done.
Other Resolutions of Note
Resolution Supporting the Application of the First Sale Doctrine to the Copyright Law to all Materials in Library Collections (2012-2013 CD#20.1) Including foreign works.
Resolution on Supporting the WIPO Treaty for Improved Access for People Who are Blind, Visually Impaired and with Other Print Disabilities (2012-2013 CD#18.1) WIPO is the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Resolution on United States Funding and Participation in UNESCO (2012-2013 CD#18.2) The resolution asked Congress for a national interest waiver so that the US could pay its dues even though Palestine was admitted as a full member of UNESCO in 2011. US law prohibits participation in UN organizations where Palestine is a full member.
As always, I will try to answer any questions.
Thanks to Nicole Winslow
* Editor’s Note: No secretary was present at these meetings, so we do not have official minutes. Thanks to Nicole Winslow for taking notes.
SRRT Action Council I
January 26, 2013 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Aaron Swartz: As a matter of course, memorial resolutions are passed and adopted. LaJuan Pringle heard library staff who are not involved with ALA talking about Aaron Swartz. Deidre Conkling proposed endorsing this resolution and all voted in favor.
Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies, “document in transition": Elaine Harger wants to take our feedback and edit it to set it up for success. She wants to bring the resolution for approval tomorrow. She doesn't know if it will pass, but wants the discussion about this topic to start. Fred Stoss thinks some in Council will oppose the resolution because of their states’ libraries being dependent on fossil fuel funding. Julie Winkelstein added some grammatical suggestions. LaJuan Pringle suggested changing the order of the "whereas" statements.
No Impact Man, book suggestion: Do a group book reading at conference; Laura Koltutsky mentioned a "Sustainability 101" program where members read a book and have a discussion on the topic
Whistleblower Bradley Manning: Al Kagan discussed the resolution last night with other Councilors who have suggestions for a revised draft. A question was raised as to why it isn't passing in Council and Mike Marlin responded that there was an issue with the fact that he is in the military and broke military law. Instead of asking charges to be dropped, perhaps change the language to commend Bradley Manning instead. Erik Estep is bringing this resolution to another group he is meeting with and will see if they will endorse this resolution, as well. Mark Hudson says this issue is more about over-classification and that we should include this in it, as well. All of the issues raised to be included will be, according to Mike.
IRC (International Relations Council): Mike Marlin co-wrote a resolution about the print-disabled that is being presented this year. He has gotten a lot of support through IRC and anticipates easy passage. "Sight impairment knows no political boundaries.” Mike will bring it tomorrow for our endorsement.
Dues Increase: One of our concerns last year was that the potential dues increase is not tied to an increase in salary so that staff can afford dues. In the past, SRRT has been supportive of a progressive dues structure, similar to many state associations. Al Kagan suggests we recommend this again to ALA, as there are a few states already formally opposing this dues increase. Mark Hudson agrees with this progressive structure. By allowing those who make less to pay less, we could increase membership. All of our Councilors need to speak against the increase structure; we voted to oppose it. The argument of ALA is that a graduated structure is more work for the ALA office. There is also a concern about members not being honest about how much they make in salary. Al mentioned that at this point we need to come into the discussion with a clear position. If there is a hybrid structure later that we support, we can always change our position. For the foreseeable future, this will only mean an increase each year.
Fred Stoss made a motion for our SRRT ALA Councilors to oppose this dues increase as it is currently structured. Nicole Winslow brought up the issue of staff not being able to afford the membership fees as they currently stand. Staff don't see the benefits of joining and spending all that money. We need to get the word out about what good comes from membership. Mark agreed with opposing the dues increase but said that we should also have a clear defined alternative to present to the Executive Board and/or ALA Council. Julie mentioned that it would be nice for ALA to make a graduated dues structure that also incorporates a lower fee for Conference for those that make less in order to make it feel more inviting for members.
Newsletter Editorial Policy: We need to vote for approval for this policy. Finally voted on and approved it at this meeting.
Programs: Expect programming proposals to ALA before Midwinter rather than allowing Roundtables to plan their programs at Midwinter. There is also talk of only allowing the Roundtables one program at the main convention site; other programs will be off site. Some programs will be archived at the main convention site, although there were lots of questions about how that will evolve.
International Responsibilities Roundtable (IRRT) approached us to see if we would co-sponsor a program at ALA, Games for Change, including helping to fund it.
We are also putting together a panel for ALA that will have speaker fees and should focus on funding our programs.
Deidre Conkling suggested an ongoing program for the next three years with the same kind of theme, possibly military theme after our recent resolutions – maybe females in military, racism in military, etcetera.
We only have one program planned right now for ALA this year; we have missed the deadline for the big rooms, but John Amundsen at the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) would try to get us a space if we need it.
Visit from John Amundsen from OLOS: John brought copies of the Toolkit on Homelessness, on which Julie Winkelstein worked at great length. We can order up to 20 copies for a library through OLOS.
Diversity and Outreach Fair on Saturday at ALA: John Amundsen will reserve us or our task forces a table. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Task Force on the Environment (TFOE): A Sustainability Round Table is trying to form as a separate RT instead of being a Task Force within SRRT. Fred Stoss is concerned that this new group is going to abandon SRRT. Al Kagan wonders why these new leaders and members have not attended the TFOE meetings. He would like them to speak to us at an Action Council meeting so we can hear their plans.
The focus at last night's TFOE meeting was on creating a new Roundtable, not in continuing this task force. The question to us at this point is whether or not this task force will continue on. Laura Koltutsky said we do not "own the environment" as a topic, so if they want to start an additional group, it's up to them. Deidre Conkling believes it is foolish; you have less power as a new Roundtable than as part of a larger, more established Roundtable.
SRRT Action Council II
January 27, 2013 3:00-5:30 p.m.
Sustainability Roundtable: Laura Koltutsky met with Ashley Jones and invited her to come talk at our meeting today.
ACRL-LPSS (law and political science section): Voted and passed their support for the Manning resolution.
Fossil Fuels Resolution: Fred Stoss spoke to the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) and FAFLER about the Fossil Fuels resolution and he feel it needs a lot more work.
Linda Williams (Executive Board)
More people came to Seattle than to Dallas and there are already more set to attend in Chicago than there were in Anaheim. Maureen Sullivan tasked a group to create awareness of the issue of school libraries.
Julie Winkelstein is opposed to the Dues Increase and would like to see a progressive scale, as well as a vote on any dues increase by the electorate. She feels many voices aren't heard with everyone paying the increased amount. Fred Stoss commented on his support for having a very reduced rate for the unemployed or lower income. Jonathan Betz-Zall mentioned a lower cost virtual membership, which would reduce our carbon footprint. Mark Hudson mentioned that ALA is very unrepresented group; only administrative level have been attending conferences. He wants to reject the dues increase and come up with a new plan with a steeply graduated scale to increase membership. Jane Glasby feels that the graduated scale would be a great selling point to get more new members. Al Kagan mentioned Julie's idea of a graduated scale for conference registration fee, as well. Mara Egherman mentioned that in academia higher paid staff are given stipends toward professional development fees.
Barbara Immroth (Candidate for President-Elect)
Has been a tenured professor at U of Texas-Austin for over 30 years. She supports making professional membership affordable and has been a member of SRRT for several years. She served on Council for 13 years with Ginny Moore.
Dues Increase: She likes the idea of reduced rate for lower income. Sometimes organizations need to be creative when budgets are tight and make things work when need be. She believes we are a membership organization and need to advocate for libraries in our communities.
One Voice Policy: Barbara is not aware of this issue and is surprised it passed.
John Chrastka (Every Library)
Needed to leave, but will plan to attend and speak at our meeting at ALA. He will send us information.
Courtney Young (Candidate for President-Elect)
Started in the New Member Roundtable (NMRT) as a Councilor and in the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC). Her platform is the value of membership – diversity, career development and engagement and outreach.
Diversity: Spectrum Initiative plus expanding the diversity definition; need to be more representative of our members.
Career Development: We should be a leader in providing continuing education opportunities.
One Voice Policy: She understands the reasoning based on her conversation with Keith Michael Fiels.
Hotels for Conference that are Not Union: She's glad there is a list and would take this into consideration when booking headquarter hotels.
Dues Increase: Looking forward to the discussion. She had concerns the last time they raised dues. She agreed with the point made at the Planning and Budget Assembly (PBA) about splitting the question because it may not go through because of members not being able to vote each time. Mark Hudson brought up the uniform dues issue reducing diversity of membership.
Ashley Jones (TFOE/Sustainability RT)
The Task Force on the Environment (TFOE) was trying to revitalize last year; this is the reason she joined ALA. They held webinars to try to figure out how to get people involved again. Starting a new Roundtable seemed the best option because it can broaden the topic to economy and social sustainability as well as the environment. They feel that this effort makes it more permanent in the eyes of the association. They really want one place for members to go give ideas of what they are doing in regards to sustainability. Al Kagan asked about their involvement with the Divestment on Fossil Fuels. She said they were not very involved, but are aware of it. They would like to see ALA become more sustainable as an organization in how it plans and holds conferences. Julie Winkelstein mentioned how sad she is that we are losing them as part of our group; they are so energetic and vibrant from within our round table. Elaine Harger mentioned SRRT has given birth to many Roundtables and we are just parents that don't want to let our bird fly out of the nest. We will be sad to see them go but do give their Roundtable our blessing.
Resolution on Divestment of Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies: Discussion was held on suggestions for edits to the document. Once completed, it was suggested we move to endorse this resolution. Jonathan Betz-Zall moved; Al Kagan seconded; all voted in support.
Resolution Reaffirming ALA Support for Whistleblowers Including Bradley Manning and John Kiriakou: Al Kagan, Jane Glasby, Mike Marlin and John Kuhn worked on the draft this afternoon to get it ready for presentation to Council tonight. They want Jim to introduce it with Mike seconding it. Al wants to emphasize that there is an increase in these prosecutions. Laura Koltutsky suggested we move to endorse this. Julie Winkelstein moved to endorse; Mark Hudson seconded; all voted in support. Mike moved that it be presented to the Council
Julie Winkelstein brought up offering a panel discussion on how to plan and implement a Human Library. Mike Marlin wondered if this would be through a Task Force or just a general SRRT program. Would she need a budget? Julie doesn’t think she'd need much; could expect maybe 50 in attendance. Julie doesn't think she'll need help; she and the contact can take care of it. Laura Koltutsky needs the proposal pretty quickly.
Laura asked if we are going to try to have a large program. Al Kagan moved that we continue with what we have done in the past and allot $1000 per Task Force for programming. All seemed to agree.
The group would like to see more of a presence with our Treasurer, as Laura received an email from Susan Dillinger two days before Conference that the budget wasn't accurate. Mike is going to work with Laura on the budget. Mike wants a gaming film program. Motion to approve a total of $1500 for the program. Julie moved, Al seconded; all voted to approve.
MLK, Jr. Holiday Task Force coordinator LaJuan Pringle described the video project entitled Librarians and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: His Words and Our Lives. This project offers librarians attending ALA annual in Chicago the opportunity to record a short video on the impact of Dr. King’s work on their daily lives as librarians.
Al Kagan moves to endorse Julie's program at ALA, since she is going to sit on the panel. Mike asked if we could co-sponsor IRRT's Games for Change program; Julie moved we cosponsor it and give a minimal donation up to $50 for the program; Al seconded; all in favor.
Fred Stoss mentioned the International Responsibilities Roundtable (IRRT) program, Dutch-West Indies coming to attend; they are looking for those attendees to sit on a panel from these library groups. They will feature the work being done in the Netherlands and Caribbean and sustainability. No funds are needed.
Mike moved for five more minutes at 5:35- all voted in favor of.
Agenda Items for Chicago
Discussion on make-up of Task Forces.
Jane Glasby volunteered to plan the Membership Social/Meeting; move to approve up to $1000 for this event. Mike Marlin moved; Nicole Winslow seconds; all voted in favor.
We need nominees for Action Council, so spread the word.
Women of Library History – Call for Submissions
Is there a woman in librarianship who was near and dear to you and your library’s heart? Who has made history at your library? Perhaps a group of women who helped shape your or your community’s interaction with libraries? Maybe even someone whose portrait you pass every day?
In celebration of Women’s History Month this March 2013, the Feminist Task Force would like to invite submissions to highlight valued women in libraries. This is the perfect time of year to remember the contributions of these important women in librarianship - perhaps the founder or other woman (or group of women) who was significantly involved with your local library.
For more information and to learn how to submit your entry, please visit our site: http://womenoflibraryhistory.tumblr.com/post/44162057236/call-for-submissions.
Also, be sure to check out the tumblr site at: http://womenoflibraryhistory.tumblr.com/.
by Lisa Gieskes, HHPTF Coordinator and Julie Winkelstein, PhD – University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The HHPTF would like to invite you to two events, one at the upcoming ALA annual conference in Chicago and the second a free webinar. They are both co-sponsored by SRRT/HHPTF and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS).
Libraries Transforming Communities: Extending Our Reach
Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Embark on library-led community engagement and see how you can help kick-start a new trajectory in your community. This session is part of the release of the new OLOS toolkit, Extending Our Reach, and coincides with the new Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities initiative.
Join our panel of library experts engaged in building community and serving vulnerable populations. Our panelists, who are from libraries offering model programs for poor and homeless populations, will share best practices and address questions and concerns. The dialogue includes experts from San Francisco Public Library, San Jose Public Library and Richland Library. This hands-on session will provide libraries with tools and resources to begin taking steps for working within their own community.
Extending Our Reach Webinar – Free!
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST
What makes a great library? Staff engaged with their community.
How do libraries:
•Rethink their work to meet the needs of the community?
•Engage others in their work, creating partnerships that add value for everyone?
•Serve the most vulnerable populations?
This dynamic free webinar features Lisa Gieskes, Coordinator of the Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force and Julie Winkelstein, PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who will share the recently launched OLOS toolkit, Extending Our Reach. This toolkit is designed to help librarians create meaningful library services for people who are experiencing homelessness.
The HHPTF is also pleased to announce that we have joined the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force in co-sponsoring a panel discussion at the upcoming ALA annual conference in Chicago. This program, called How to Plan and Run a Successful Human Library: Promoting Understanding, One Conversation at a Time, offers attendees an opportunity to learn more about Human Libraries, how to run one and why there are so popular. Join us and learn why a Human Library may be just what your library or community needs!
If you have any questions or comments about either of these events or about the HHPTF, please contact coordinator Lisa Gieskes at LGieskes@Richlandlibrary.com or Julie Winkelstein at email@example.com.
We hope to see you there!
by LaJuan Pringle - Library Manager, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration took place on Monday January 28, 2013, at the Washington State Convention Center. This annual celebration, sponsored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), SRRT and World Book, offers a moving and inspirational opportunity to participate in an event that brings together the passion and the concerns represented by Dr. King’s legacy. This year’s theme was Stride Toward Freedom, based on Dr. King’s book of the same title that highlights the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, used this year’s keynote to focus on the life Mrs. Rosa Parks, a key figure in the boycott. Dr. Theoharis’ The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (published on Mrs. Parks’ birth anniversary, February 4) offers a stirring account of Rosa Parks’ life that challenges the notion of her as a passive seamstress whose one defiant act birthed the modern civil rights movement. Instead, Dr. Theoharis notes Mrs. Parks’ long trail of activism as a member of the Montgomery NAACP and her participation in the trainings at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. Dr. Theoharis also discusses Mrs. Parks’ life after the boycott, which included the threats against her life and well-being that made it impossible for her to remain in the south, her subsequent move to Detroit – where she also battled racial injustice – and a legacy that seems destined to remain not fully recognized by the American public.
The keynote was followed by a Call to Action by Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell, who discussed what she deemed as “one of the most critical civil rights issues of the 21st century,” the failure by our education system (including libraries) to address the low literacy rates of African-American male youth that has resulted in lesser opportunities for success in their lives. She encouraged librarians to take a stand and make raising the literacy rates of African-American male youth a priority.
In one of the more celebratory moments of the event, Ginny Moore, our beloved MLK, Jr. Holiday Task Force coordinator, was greeted with a rousing standing ovation. It was a fantastic recognition of her longtime work as leader of this task force and her overall dedication to ALA. We continue to salute Ginny Moore as our leader!
The MLK, Jr. Holiday Task Force will now gear up for the Annual Conference in Chicago. We are co-sponsoring a program with the Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force entitled How to Plan and Run a Successful Human Library: Librarians Tell Their Stories. Anne Hedrich, a librarian at Utah State University, will discuss her experiences running a human library at her university. Our own Julie Winkelstein will also talk about her experiences regarding the human library she planned on behalf of SRRT at the 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans. We’re also excited about the MLK, Jr. video project entitled Librarians and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: His Words and Our Lives. We’re inviting conference attendees to record a brief reflection on the ways in which Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to equality, peace, nonviolence, justice, hope, freedom, service, civil rights and human rights plays a part in their work in librarianship. It’s our hope that a number of SRRT members will offer their own reflections. We’re looking forward to an action packed Chicago conference!
by Kris Kasianovitz, 2012-2013 Chair – GODORT Membership Committee
Government Information Isn’t Just for Grownups!
GODORT had quite a productive 2013 Midwinter meeting in Seattle! Our latest development is the formation of the Gov Doc Kids Group, a GODORT Standing Committee to promote the use of government information by children (K-12). Tom Adamich, Mitinet Library Services, is chairing the committee.
Call to Action
Gov Doc Kids needs librarians and library students to join in its activities. This dynamic, creative group has published articles, made presentations and holds an annual Constitution Day Poster Contest, which drew 31,000 entries last year.
Please see our current resources at:
•Gov Doc Kids Group wiki at http://govdocs4children.pbworks.com/
•ALA GODORT wiki at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Gov_Doc_Kids
•FDLP Community site at http://community.fdlp.gov/groups/viewgroup/14-Gov+Doc+Kids+Group.html
•Marketing and promotion for the Annual Constitution Day Poster Design Contest - http://www.constitutionfacts.com/constitution-poster-design-contest/
The Gov Docs Kids Group will be meeting at ALA Annual in Chicago on Saturday, June 29, 2013 – we’d love to have you join and share ideas, projects, and possibilities for collaboration! (Please see the official program for meeting location information).
For more information or to get involved, please contact:
ALA GODORT Gov Doc Kids Group Chair
Tel: 800-824-6272 x5209 / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What Happens When a Federal Agency’s Web Content Gets Taken Down?
The Federal Documents Task Force (FDTF) has appointed a Web Decommissioning Committee to discuss and investigate the loss of data when federal websites are taken down. The Committee is expected to present an appropriate resolution based on its findings at the upcoming ALA Annual conference. The Committee is chaired by FDTF Coordinator-Elect Jill Vassilakos-Long, and the members are Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Fred Stoss, Caron Rollins, and Jessie Silva.
Visit the FDTF website to find out more!
Read Or Write All About It
Have you wanted to make a professional paper contribution or thought of a publication idea, but you’re not sure where it belongs? GODORT has several professional publishing outlets, most notably our official publication, Documents to the People (DttP). We also have a fantastic Occasional Paper Series, which began in 2009.
The most recent Occasional Paper, written by Utah State University Regional Depository Librarian John Spencer Walters, takes a fascinating look inside the documentation of government information in scholarly literature:
Occasional Paper #8: The Distribution of Cited U.S. Congressional Committee Documents in the Academic Journal Literature: An Historical Survey. February, 2013. John Spencer Walters, Utah State University.
Consider writing a GODORT Occasional Paper! Submission details and deadlines are available on the website.
Get a GODORT Buddy for ALA Annual in Chicago
The GODORT Buddy program was created to provide a personal introduction to the Government Documents Round Table. New and prospective GODORT members, as well as members becoming active for the first time or after a long absence, are encouraged to request a GODORT Buddy. Each Buddy pairing lasts for one conference, although you’ll be creating networking relationships to last your professional lifetime! You’ll have an active GODORT member to answer all your questions and introduce you to other members at the GODORT Happy Hour & other events. You'll also receive a packet of information and GODORT goodies at the Happy Hour!
Interested in having your own GODORT Buddy for the next conference? Please fill out our interest form.
Representatives from GODORT would also be happy to attend any of your meetings to discuss opportunities and collaborations. Please contact Barbara Miller, Chair of GODORT, at email@example.com.
by Jonathan Kelley, Program Coordinator and Angela Maycock, Assistant Director - ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
The 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle was a momentous one for the various arms of ALA’s intellectual freedom community (which, ideally, includes all ALA members!)
Things started on a somber note: just before Midwinter, Carolyn Forsman – longtime hero of both the intellectual freedom and social responsibilities world – passed away. On top of the $150,000-plus she raised over the years for the Freedom to Read Foundation and Office for Intellectual Freedom via her jewelry sales (including the legendary Banned Books bracelets), Carolyn was a true crusader for the issues of intellectual freedom and social responsibility, helping found what would become SRRT and playing a leadership role in the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and on ALA Council. FTRF has set up a memorial page for her at http://www.ftrf.org/?ROHForsman.
The Freedom to Read Foundation board meeting focused on a number of items, including a case in Utah in which a school district banned the children’s book, In Our Mothers’ House, from school libraries because of its focus on LGBT issues. Since the meeting, the case has been settled with full reinstatement of the book. FTRF was a key partner with ACLU in developing the case. There were also long discussions of ebooks, regarding access and privacy issues, as well as ongoing discussions over filtering of the Internet in schools.
The full FTRF Report to ALA Council can be found at www.ftrf.org/?Council.
Sweater Vest Sunday
To bring attention to the importance of reporting challenges to library materials, the Office for Intellectual Freedom designated Sunday, January 27 as “Sweater Vest Sunday.” Hundreds of Midwinter Meeting attendees – as well as librarians at home around the country – donned sweater vests (or variations thereof) to help spread the word about OIF’s ongoing Challenge Reporting Campaign (visit www.ala.org/challengereporting for the full story). Recent research and surveys have confirmed that OIF only learns of a small percentage of total challenges, perhaps under 20%, taking place in libraries and schools around the country. Sweater Vest Sunday proved to be a fun, viral and highly visual way of raising awareness.
Perhaps in part due to Sweater Vest Sunday and the larger Challenge Reporting Campaign, the Office for Intellectual Freedom has seen a larger than usual number of challenges reported over the past month. Challenges reported to OIF by individuals are kept confidential and we check each report against existing database entries to avoid duplicates. OIF seeks to record any challenges that make it to the level of a formal complaint, even those resolved quietly and/or positively. Every report helps us better understand the current state of access to information in libraries and, more importantly, to help librarians and library patrons defend that access – so please help us spread the word!
IFRT – 40th Anniversary: Come to the party in Chicago!
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table turns 40 this year and to celebrate there will be a big reception during Annual Conference at the Chicago Cultural Center on Michigan Avenue – the former location of the Chicago Public Library’s Main Branch. The event will be Friday, June 28, 2013 from 7:30-10:00 p.m., right after the Opening General Session. Tickets are $30 ($40 for non-IFRT members), with a discount for student attendees. Ticket prices include food and drinks. Visit www.ala.org/ifrt or select the event during your conference registration.
At Midwinter, ALA’s Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE) extended its work on revising and updating an existing Q&A document on workplace speech and on developing a new explanatory statement on ethical obligations around social media. The committee will be presenting a program at Annual Conference on navigating conflicts of interest (Sunday, June 30 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.), which will invite the audience to generate questions to be addressed in a new explanatory statement on the Code of Ethics on this topic, with a target publication date of Annual Conference 2014.
Do you have thoughts or experiences regarding ethical responses to conflicts of interest in the library? Please attend this program to share your input with COPE and your colleagues!
In addition to the conference program, COPE will present a half-day preconference at Annual Conference. ALA has contracted with the Institute for Global Ethics to offer their Ethical Fitness' seminar, which provides practical tools and thought processes to assist in the resolution of daily ethical issues. The preconference, Ethics Matters: Ethical Decision-Making for Librarians and Information Professionals, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28 for a cost of $80. Breakfast will be included. To learn more and to register, visit the Annual Conference registration site at http://ala13.ala.org.
Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom
This fall, OIF and ALA Publications successfully finished transitioning the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom to an all digital format. The newsletter is now hosted on MetaPress and is available as a digital edition that provides a print-on-demand option for those who wish to have a physical copy.
ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) is now moving to the second phase of revitalizing and renewing the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom. A small of group of IFC members will work over the next six months to initiate a redesign of the Newsletter and to consider how to enrich its content to provide greater value to librarians and researchers who rely on it for information and news about intellectual freedom. Visit www.ala.org/offices/oif/oifprograms/ifpubs/nif/newsletterintellectual to learn more about the Newsletter and stay tuned for exciting updates!
Choose Privacy Week
Choose Privacy Week will take place May 1-7, 2013 and features the theme Who's Tracking You?, which is reflected in the bold graphics used for the posters and buttons available for the 2013 event. Also available for premiums and giveaways this year is a unique item – an RFID blocker sleeve for bank cards and ID cards that prevents unauthorized access to the card's chip. Current activities planned for Choose Privacy Week include a youth video contest and a programming webinar for librarians. For more information and resources, visit www.privacyrevolution.org.
Over the coming months, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom will be offering a series of free webinars on a variety of intellectual freedom topics:
Self-Service Holds and Reader Privacy
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 • 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Central
In this popular webinar, participants learn the legal and ethical standards that support the move to privacy-protective self-service (or open-shelf) hold systems. Join us to discuss how your library can both protect user privacy and save money!
Choose Privacy Week Programming @ Your Library
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 • 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Central
Choose Privacy Week 2013 will take place May 1–7. This webinar will feature ideas and tools for privacy-related programming and outreach, with an emphasis on sample programs that have proved successful in a variety of library environments.
Defend the Freedom to Read: Reporting Challenges
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 • 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Central
What’s causing controversy right now? How does ALA document challenges to library materials and support libraries facing censorship efforts? What can you do to help? In this webinar, you will learn about the latest developments in OIF’s challenge reporting and support program and gain tools to help you advocate for the freedom to read in your community and across the country.
All events will be recorded and available archived. For more information on these and other online learning opportunities, and to register, visit www.ala.org/offices/oif/oifprograms/webinars or contact Angela Maycock at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 280-4221.
FTRF: Meet & Greet at ACRL in Indianapolis
ACRL National Conference attendees and FTRF members and friends in and around Indianapolis are invited to this free event at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library! It will be a great opportunity to relax after a hard day's conferencing, to check out this unique library and to learn more about the Freedom to Read Foundation – what we're up to, why FTRF matters to academic libraries, and why you should become a member! There's no charge to attend, refreshments are provided. (Note: You do not need to RSVP – you can just show up!)
When: Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library – The Emilie Building, 340 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Vonnegut Library is an active participant in Banned Books Week; last fall, local writer Corey Michael Dalton spent the entire week "locked up" in the Vonnegut Library, during which time he wrote a short story and brought considerable attention to Banned Books Week.
As always, many thanks to SRRT members for your ongoing support for intellectual freedom and access to information! Please be in touch with any questions or if OIF staff can be of any assistance.
by Sara Zettervall, Associate to the University Librarian – University of Minnesota *
This winter, I learned from a Facebook friend about a new library science degree program: an online Master of Management in Library and Information Management Science at the University of Southern California. What makes this program different from most library science degrees is that it’s housed in the School of Business. The program isn’t yet ALA-accredited, but it may represent an emerging trend in library degree programs. As business models and business language migrate into libraries and higher education and libraries restructure in order to move credentialed librarians off the front lines and into management positions, the next step may be that our education structures reflect and reinforce that model. Librarianship’s core value of providing information for the purpose of sustaining an enlightened public citizenry can be threatened by this development, as patrons receive service at the level of a retail sale rather than a more meaningful, guided exploration of knowledge. This is a development that worries me and it brought me back to thinking about my own recent experience of the overlap of business and librarianship.
USC wasn’t the first university to put its library science program in a business school. To the best of my knowledge, my recent alma mater, St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN, was the first in the United States when it did so last summer. Without fanfare or consultation with the faculty, our Master of Library and Information Science program was moved into the School of Business and Leadership (since renamed the School of Business and Professional Studies). This positioned us away from social work, with which we had shared our previous, disbanded school, and moved us into a school that is working hard to establish an MBA program. The change was announced by email, first to faculty and staff and later to current students. At the time, I was still a student and I found out about the change through an email from our program director.
I and several other students were concerned about what being placed under the header of "business" would mean for the long-term focus of our program. We started talking through Facebook and started up a blog, which is still public at http://stkatesmlisbusiness.wordpress.com. Our main concern was the long-term impact that a business partnership and oversight by a business-oriented dean would have on the MLIS curriculum. We brought our questions first to the department and then to a meeting with higher-level administrators, who were generous with their time in talking to us but seemed confused as to why we would take issue with the change. Unfortunately, the timing of the announcement was bad for us and ideal for quashing our attempts to organize students in response; it came in August, when students aren't in class and professors are officially on leave. In spite of an initial surge of interest in our situation from the Progressive Librarians Guild and the Library Juice blog, as well as reporting we initiated on our own blog and promoted to students, interest in questioning the change quickly fizzled out.
At the time, I had just started on the SRRT Newsletter’s Editorial Board and I thought about reporting on our actions here. But I was disappointed enough by our inability to make any positive impact that I decided against it. What I couldn’t see at the time, though, was that something constructive was indeed growing from this experience. Concurrent with learning about my program’s move to the School of Business and Leadership, I was wrapping up a practicum that included a strong collaboration with a friend of mine who is a social worker and who helped me lead a book club for teen Somali girls. One of the concerns that I and other students raised during talk about the move to the business school was the possible weakened connection to our colleagues in social work. Response to that concern started to come together with the positive results of my practicum and interest from one of our faculty members in bringing social work into the library science curriculum. That faculty member has since met with me, the social worker who collaborated on my practicum (who is also a faculty member at another institution), and Paul Lai, a current MLIS student who was a primary mover questioning our program’s position in relation to business programs. We’re starting down what may be a long path to a stronger library science/social work educational partnership.
We recognize we’re not the first librarians to think along these lines; for example, Dominican University (IL) recently began a joint MSW/MLIS degree program and some productive discussion was kicked off when San Francisco Public Library made news by hiring a social worker a few years ago. We also recognize that a stronger social work/library science partnership isn’t a direct answer to concerns about the influence of business models in our field. However, it does provide a constructive alternative model for how we see ourselves and our role in society. Paul Lai and I are working on starting a blog (bare bones at http://mlismsw.wordpress.com) to explore issues at the intersection of library science and social work with the hope of creating a space for brainstorming, networking, collaboration, and action. We’re working on including social workers as well as librarians to create a dialogue about what we can offer each other as partners. So, I’m closing by asking for your thoughts. Are you interested in being part of this discussion, or do you have suggestions for resources we should include? Please contact me. I look forward to your feedback and assistance.
* Views expressed in this piece do not reflect those of the University Librarian or the University of Minnesota.
by Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Professional Staff Member, retired - U. S. Congress; Joint Committee on Printing; first chair of Missouri SRRT
Carolyn Forsman was one of the founders of the Social Responsibilities Round Table. She was a defender of the right to read without fear of censorship. As a student at the University of California at Berkeley Library School and as a librarian at a San Francisco public library, she encountered censorship first hand. She joined with others, including her husband John Forsman, in democratizing the American Library Association by changing its rules to open up meetings of committees and other units to all members of ALA, not just those formally invited to attend. Her work and that of the other founders of SRRT led to the establishment of the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Carolyn was able to bring about change in ALA because she read and understood the ALA Constitution and bylaws. When SRRT members gathered in the SRRT suite after a day of meetings, she was able to get us to focus on what we had accomplished that day and what we needed to accomplish the next day by using the rules to support our goals.
Carolyn’s talent for understanding the fine print and her trademark purple hair and dress helped her sell the jewelry she designed. She never forgot her love of libraries and of the right to read and she shared some of her profits from selling her jewelry at ALA conferences with the Freedom to Read Foundation. She designed the I Read Banned Books bracelet, depicting the covers of banned books, such as Alice in Wonderland, which was sold in more than 200 museum stores and independent bookstores. FTRF named Carolyn to its Honor Roll in 2001.
I urge members of SRRT to honor Carolyn by making a donation to the Freedom to Read Foundation in her name.
Hoberman, J. Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520274013
Reviewed by Kim Read, Reference and Instruction Librarian – Clark College
It is no surprise that racism can be found in the history of medicine; the evidence exists in plague-like quantities. It would be an egregious error to assume that civil rights legislation wiped America clean of racist and prejudiced behavior amongst any group of people, including physicians. John Hoberman’s Black and Blue argues that racially biased diagnoses, treatments and negligence persist to this day due to the absorption of racial folklore into medical training and practice and physicians’ unwillingness to inspect their racial beliefs. To mitigate, Hoberman calls for examination of physicians’ beliefs on race and ethnicity and an education of both medical students and physicians on the history of medical racism.
Hoberman’s evidence of medical racism focuses on well-documented cases including the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, treatment of early-stage lung cancer, under-diagnosing of psychiatric disorders and mandatory sickle cell testing. Racial bias has also influenced which medical studies have gained notoriety and which have been ignored. Further, Hoberman describes how years of medical mistreatment have resulted in African Americans’ estrangement from the medical system.
Black and Blue explains how a body of racial folklore has damaged physicians’ ability to treat black patients fairly and adequately. Racial folklore created overtly during the first half of the twentieth century is perpetuated today in subtle, unconscious, informal and unsupervised ways. This folklore positions blacks as both inferior and superior to other races. For example, racial folklore has cast blacks as possessing a “hardiness” that evades mental health problems and simultaneously, a less complex composition that makes them immune to the stressors of modern living.
Hoberman outlines an overhaul of the profession that includes research and education. First, he calls for an examination of physicians’ beliefs on race and ethnicity. Hoberman notes a lack of research in this area resulting from physicians’ protected status as a group exempt from inspection or scrutiny. Studying physician beliefs would additionally benefit medical marginalization due to gender, social class, and sexual orientation.
Second, he seeks to educate physicians and medical students on the history of medical racism. He advocates for a standard ethics curriculum that focuses not on patient behaviors, like many “culture competency” programs do, but rather on physician behaviors. The implementation of this revised curriculum would be challenging, a difficulty that is not lost on the author.
Black and Blue should be required reading for medical students and physicians. It is a passionate read for anyone interested in power inequalities in medicine. Frequently, research dates are not included in the text and readers should be prepared to consult the “Notes” section for context.
Our societal climate discourages discourse on racism. Avoiding this difficult discussion stifles progress and creates a false sense that racism is extinct. Hoberman poses a valid challenge to those who think medical racism is a thing of the past: prove it.
Kirchheimer, M. Art is… The Permanent Revolution. New York: First Run Features, 2012. http://firstrunfeatures.com/permanentrevolution/
Reviewed by Dan McClure, Director of Library Services, Pacific Northwest College of Art
The synopsis on the back of the DVD case offers an enticing proposition:
In ART IS… THE PERMANENT REVOLUTION three contemporary artists and a master printer explore how social reality and protest are conveyed in art. While the stirring works of the masters sweep by - among them graphics by Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier, Kollwitz, Dix, Grosz and Picasso - the making of an etching, a woodcut and a lithograph unfolds before our eyes as the contemporary artists join their illustrious predecessors in creating art of social engagement.
This captures the spirit of the film, or at least the intent of the film, quite well. Manfred Kirchheimer threads interviews and studio footage of three printmakers, Sigmund Abeles, Ann Chernow, Paul Marcus and master printer James Reed, with a rapid-fire, stream of consciousness flow of examples of notable protest art (mostly prints) created by the famous artists mentioned in the synopsis and many other familiar luminaries of the Western canon. Together these form a loose treatise on the history of printmaking as a vehicle for social and political protest and an explanation of various printmaking techniques, especially lithography, etching and woodcut.
In theory, this sounds like a wonderful marriage of topics but in execution, the combination of these admirable intentions and intriguing personalities proves to be somewhat problematic, especially given the limited production values exhibited in the documentary. Ultimately, the story is inhibited by noticeably odd editorial choices and unflattering cinematography and ends up leaving the viewer with only a vague view of the processes described, the artists interviewed, the work displayed or the history of printmaking as a protest form in any meaningful detail.
Context and specificity are largely absent throughout, but most viewers will find the cinematic choices to be more jarring than these deficiencies. Intrusive and inconsistent editorial choices abound, especially in the display of historic works; they swipe across the screen, occupy the entire screen and dissolve or sometimes just cut quickly from one to next. Sometimes titles or names of artists appear, often they do not. Compounding this problem, interview and process footage showcases a variety of uneven production characteristics, including poor lighting and odd camera angles. Close-ups of Paul Marcus are especially distracting and uncomfortable to watch because they are very close and his head is diagonal to the horizon line.
Despite these flaws, the film can still be a compelling work, especially for those interested in Sigmund Abeles, Ann Chernow, Paul Marcus, James Reed or protest art. The major success of Manfred Kirchheimer’s story is in shining a light on the tradition of printmaking in its various forms as a vehicle for social and political commentary, a rich vein indeed. Viewers unfamiliar with this notion will likely be compelled to learn more about printmaking and the use of art as a social and political tool, and by this measure at least, the film is a success.
The SRRT newsletter is always looking for good articles, essays, and letters to the editor. The next submission deadline is May 24, 2013.
Submissions to the SRRT Newsletter may be made by any current SRRT Member or SRRT affiliate. Please send your submissions electronically in one of the following formats: MS Word, RTF, PDF, or plain text pasted into the body of an e-mail. Submissions should be 500 to 1,000 words. Graphics are encouraged. If using images that are already on the Internet, the URL of the image and a caption or description may be added to the text of the submission.
Please send submissions and inquiries to SRRT Newsletter Editor Amy Honisett at email@example.com, indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your e-mail. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.
Submissions for book reviews should be submitted to the Reviews Editor, Candise Branum, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should be sent electronically in MS-Word format or a Word compatible format. Reviewers should keep their reviews to 300-500 words; any length much shorter or longer should be discussed with the reviews editor prior to submission. Reviewers should avoid conflicts of interest. Full disclosure should be made to the book reviews editor when appropriate.
SRRT Newsletter is published quarterly by the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. ISSN: 0749-1670. Copyright : 2011 by the Social Responsibilities Round Table. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission.
Editor: Amy Honisett, email@example.com.
Reviews Editor: Candise Branum
Editorial Board Members: Gerardo Colmenar, Heather Edmonds, Erik Sean Estep, Rebecca Martin, Julie Winkelstein, and Sara Zettervall.
Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of ALA/SRRT.
The editors reserve the right to edit submitted material as necessary or as whimsy strikes.