SRRT Newsletter - Issue 172, September 2010

Also available in EPUB format.



Support Union Hotels at Midwinter 2011

by Myka Kennedy Stephens

link to the UNITE HERE Union Hotel Guide

In light of recent labor disputes at hotels, SRRT encourages its members to support unions and research hotels prior to making your reservations. UNITE HERE is an organization that represents workers in many industries, including hospitality/hotels. A Union Hotel Guide is available on their website. Whether you are arranging travel for business or pleasure, consider supporting union workers by consulting this guide prior to making your arrangements.

Thinking ahead to the 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, the Union Hotel Guide may also be consulted before making your arrangements to attend the meeting. At this time, one conference hotel is listed as “please patronize”: Hilton San Diego Bayfront. One conference hotel is also listed as under boycott: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. The other conference hotels on the ALA 2011 Midwinter Meeting Hotel Rate Sheet and Hotel Map do not appear in the Union Hotel Guide. Please note that a boycott status may change at any time, as labor disputes are always under negotiation.


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Letter from the Editor

Myka Kennedy Stephens, SRRT Newsletter Editor

Dear Readers,

The 2010 Annual Conference was full of excitement and much to do for those who were able to attend. For those who were unable to travel to D.C. this summer, I hope this newsletter will satisfy your curiosity and keep you well informed of the SRRT activities that you missed.

My editorship of the SRRT Newsletter is scheduled to end at the 2011 Annual Conference, and therefore the newsletter's editorial board will soon begin its search for our next editor. We are hoping to select someone in time to present to Action Council at the Midwinter Meeting so that there may be a two-issue transition period. Please watch ALA Connect or the SRRTAC-L listserv for the upcoming announcement. We will also be looking to fill one to three openings on the editorial board at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting. Feel free to express your interest to me by email, or wait until the official announcements are posted in October or November.

Thanks for reading,
Myka Kennedy Stephens


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Coordinator's Column

by Mike Marlin

Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator

While I find myself scrambling to learn the logistics of being a coordinator of a group of astute, critical thinkers in a huge association and bureaucracy - albeit one with a friendly countenance - I find myself faced with a dilemma. The conundrum was made readily apparent at the 2010 Annual Conference with a multi-faceted debate about a labor resolution with the continuation of ALA's insistence on avoiding an unpleasant reality, that it has no mechanism for backing out of advance contracts with hotels that end up on the oppressive side of unfair labor disputes. My predecessor LaJuan alluded to this in his March 2010 column just after the Boston Midwinter conference in which SRRT was warned not to endorse a boycott of the Hyatt Regency and its shameful treatment of its workers. We were advised that we were not to discuss any round table support or participation in a picket line on our listserv because by talking about such issues we could jeopardize ALA's legal standing for its hotel contracts. This scenario was repeated at the Annual Conference as we debated whether to make a supportive statement of Unite Here's boycott of the Westin Hotel in D.C, which we finally did. I hope this will be the first of many actions that counteract the ambiguous One Voice “interpretation” (EBD# 1.6.1, CD# 54 1999-2000) that is not official policy, but merely an Executive Board decree without a vote from Council.

While I understand ALA's jurisprudent apprehension, even if I think it is unfounded, I think back to how SRRT began and the fact that it took nonviolent confrontation to raise awareness about the Vietnam War and Civil Rights and instill open and transparent democratic participation within ALA. I understand that taking risks or “rocking the boat” for fear of perceived legal recrimination and/or potential loss of hotel contracts is scary. If ALA does nothing to modify its contracts, however, the irony is that members will continue to rest comfortably, and possibly even hold forums about labor rights, in the very venues from which hard-working loyal employees have been replaced and expunged.

To be fair, ALA does fight for most of librarianship's core tenets, such as intellectual freedom, equal access and privacy, yet all of us are living in an era (which many argue began in 1980) of fear and implied threats currently propped up by a devastating economic recession. It's not surprising that SRRT meets resistance whenever wars, labor rights, even structured dues and other uncomfortable topics are broached. These issues are too often relegated to the sidelines as “non-library” issues, I believe, out of fear.

The transition into the 21st century has not been an easy one for the library profession, let alone those of us who still question authority. SRRT has lost membership in this uncertain economic and political climate and era of conformity and complacency, an era in which struggles for equality are overshadowed by divisive politics and diminishing or perhaps hijacked resources. I hope we can continue to educate and link with other ALA groups to show that SRRT is a catalyst for an egalitarian society and that we are a positive force to be embraced and not feared. Some of us are even considered authorities on certain topics, and others are firm believers in 'Authority Control!'

I'll step off my organic, Peppermint Castile soapbox now and say a hearty thanks and hello to all the great and highly diverse thinkers who comprise our round table. I am just a humble coordinator, not a president or chair, and thus one voice in the SRRT spectrum of progressive librarians. I hope I will serve SRRT well this year, and I hope many more ALA members will join us.


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GreeNotes: Climatic Musings from the Task Force on the Environment

by Fred Stoss, TFOE Chair

Another Climate Change Presenter Honored with Peace Award
I was trained by Al Gore and The Climate Project in January 2007 to present Mr. Gore's slideshow that was the basis of Mr. Gore's award-winning book and documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The opportunities this has provided me are extraordinary; from the places I have visited to the people I have met. Chuck Tooley is one of those persons who gave me an incredible first impression and an even more enduring and ongoing one. Chuck is the former Mayor of Billings, Montana, a position he has held longer than any other Billings mayor. He is a Vietnam veteran with a deep passion and commitment for protecting the environment. He was among the first 50 people trained by Al Gore and was the “mentor” for my training group in Nashville in 2007.

Former Billings Mayor Chuck Tooley

From the Billings Gazette: Chuck Tooley in 2005.

I feature Chuck here to recognize his influence on people who have heard the scores of presentations he has done on global warming and climate change, and about his intentions for creating change at community levels. Later this year, Chuck will receive the Institute for Peace Studies' 2010 Jeannette Rankin Peace Award. The award will be presented on November 19 at the Alberta Bair Theater during the Institute's benefit concert.

The award is given to a Montanan whose life has been dedicated to peacemaking. Among past recipients are the late U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen, and Greg Mortenson of Bozeman, author of Three Cups of Tea. Founded in May of 1990, the Institute for Peace Studies at Rocky Mountain College seeks “through education to explore and promote alternatives to violence in the behavior of individuals, groups, communities and nations.”

TFOE Chair Trained for Updated and Revised Climate Slide Show
I spent an exhilarating June weekend not in Washington, D.C. for the ALA Annual Conference, but in Nashville, Tennessee for a three-day International Training Workshop led by former Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Project and the Alliance for Climate Protection. I had several meetings with Chuck Tooley and discussed the potential for a presentation for Montana librarians, hopefully during a good hatch of flies on Montana's famed trout rivers.

More than 670 volunteers from 26 countries gathered in Nashville for this training. Those trained were current presenters and new trainees with The Climate Project. Presenters deliver an updated version of the slideshow featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” The sessions focused on the science of climate change as well as solutions to mitigate its most harmful effects, incorporating new slides and material from Mr. Gore's latest book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.

A first at the Climate Project's International Presenter Training was providing a unique opportunity for young people to become involved. The Alliance's Inconvenient Youth, a new teen initiative launched on Earth Day, and Youth Surge programs held a special session on how to deliver climate science presentations to high school and college-aged youth and engage them in the movement for solutions. I noted to the group that this would be an outstanding opportunity for these high school students to work closely with their school and public librarians, seeking new information resources and avenues for communicating within their communities about smart energy practices and other energy conservation strategies for reducing the use of fossil fuels.

I am available to give 30- to 90-minute presentations, workshops, and other climate-related resource sharing opportunities. I have done more than 60 climate change presentations in places such as Yosemite National Park in California, Washington, D.C., the Caribbean (Aruba and Guadeloupe), Canada (Ontario), and all over New York State and western Pennsylvania. For more information or to plan a presentation, please contact me by email.


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Women in Libraries is Back

by Sherre Harrington

Women in Libraries Logo

Women in Libraries, the newsletter of the Feminist Task Force, is now back in online-only format. The first issue (June 2010) is available with articles on the ALA 2010 Conference, a guide to D.C. side-trips, and feminist librarian blogs.

If you can't join us at an ALA conference, become active in FTF by writing or reviewing for Women in Libraries! Visit for more information.


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News from the International Responsibilities Task Force

by Jane Glasby

The International Responsibilities Task Force held a program on Afghanistan at Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. The title was “Afghanistan in Context: The Background to the War that Every Librarian Should Know.” My emphasis in fact was on women in Afghanistan, since they were used as an excuse for invasion, and because their day-to-day experiences and struggles can serve as both a barometer and an example. Organization of this event was greatly facilitated by the invaluable help of Action Council and IRTF member Lavonda Broadnax.

Between 150 and 200 people attended, showing how important this issue is to the ALA membership at large. Our four speakers expressed a variety of points of view. The program was described in the last issue of the SRRT Newsletter, but I will just mention that the speakers were as follows: Anne Brodsky, author of With All Our Strength about the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), a now-underground organization fighting oppression of women since 1977; Nasrine Gross of Kabultec and the Roqia Center for Women's Rights, involved in literacy programs; Fahima Vorgetts of the Afghan Women's Fund, a program of Women for Afghan Women which provides schools, employment and water programs to rural communities; and Hirad Dinavari from the Library of Congress, who spoke about how to access the exciting and varied resources available through the Library website, and at the library. Many of these resources provide digital images of artworks, for example.

Tom Twiss has agreed to take on coordination of the Task Force for the current year, with the help of other members. Those of us at the meeting agreed to help out. We will be meeting at the All Task Force meeting at the Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. This is the most immediate venue to discuss future programs and actions within ALA such as motions to the ALA Council. I hope to see you there!


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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Multi-Cultural Idea Exchange Features “A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Performing Arts Students

by Virginia B. Moore, MLKTF Chair

In its tradition since the 2001 ALA Annual in San Francisco, the Task Force presented this program to acknowledge the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program once again provided a forum to share the important role of libraries in celebrating the national holiday, along with model program activities. The program was held on Saturday, June 26 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Washington Convention Center.

LaJuan Pringle, immediate past SRRT Coordinator and Interim Location Manager, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC presided over the Panel Discussion. He introduced the panelists, and began with Joanne C. Burns, Librarian/Storyteller, Aston Public Library, Delaware County, PA, who brought highlights of activities from her King Holiday themed programs with early literacy through K-12 school activities in the library and community. She talked about the J. Lewis Crozer Library with its close connection to Dr. King while he attended Crozer Theological Seminary, 1948-51. This library cooperatively participates in the King Day ceremonies held in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park located across their street. Students from all over Pennsylvania attend the event and participate in a “Day of Service” to clean up the park and make it more attractive. Moreover, there is a “Library Day of Service” for community volunteers to help with painting, cleaning, shelving, and other general work that has been joined by a church group for three years. In addition, a school district has children share library materials to interact with retirement home residents while high school students help to improve the appearance of the library. Equally important, many libraries use the events to honor Dr. King both during the holiday and Black History Month with speakers from Villanova University, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Temple University.

The second panelist was Joseph Krainer, Library Media Specialist, Northview Elementary School, Bowie, MD. He related his experiences of attending a diverse high school and feeling unaffected by issues of race, inequality, and standards of living. Then a junior college assignment to read Christopher Paul Curtis' award-winning The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 brought the events of the Civil Rights Era into a new realization. This enlightenment prompted his continued enthusiasm and an earnest desire to assist with King Holiday school programs. Consequently, his library media center program and activities imparted information on the history of the NAACP and its website for the 2010 King Holiday observance. Krainer gave highlights of the website listings at

The Audience Exchange moderator was Roy L. Joynes, Branch Manager, Laurel Library, Prince George's County Memorial Library System (MD) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Vice-Chair. He evoked a lively discussion from those attending who hailed locally from the Washington Metro area as well as New York, Morehead, KY, and Cuyahoga County (OH). Because everyone had the opportunity to share highlights of their library's King holiday activities, this part of the program received high praise. Guests from Makubetsu, Japan, and the US Embassy Vienna represented the international regard for Dr. King.

This year's featured presentation was “A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.” by students of the Colours in Arts Education Program of Prince George's County. In a rousing rendition titled, “The Soul of America,” a dozen performers shared their vocal and dramatic talent with soul-awakening instrumental music while interacting with the audience. The show was uplifting, educational, entertaining, and generously applauded.

The closing Materials Exchange provided a list with brief activity details of the Pennsylvania's Delaware County libraries, a list of resources from the NAACP website, and a bibliography, The Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Moving the Nation Forward by Joanne C. Burns and edited by Alysia Peich, 2008. In addition, with immeasurable appreciation we recognize the authors and publishers who provided copies of the following books: My Uncle Martin's Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins (niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and illustrated by Eric Velasquez (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010) and Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign by Michael K. Honey (W.W. Norton, 2007) that was distributed along with fliers for his forthcoming book, All Labor Has Dignity by Martin Luther King, Jr., edited and introduced by Michael K. Honey (Beacon Press, January 2011). In addition, fresh fruit and other refreshments were provided with all materials made available again at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Diversity Fair exhibit from 3:00-5:00 p.m. on the same day.

Special appreciation is extended to David Belanger, Director, Aston Public Library; Shari Blohm, Supervisor, Library Media Services, Prince George's County Public Schools; Jason M. Wells, P&M Director, Abrams Books for Young Readers; Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator, and the SRRT Action Council; Mary Biblo, MLK Task Force; Jason Cook, Founder/Director and Bianca Williams, Assistant Director, Colours Arts in Education Program; Miguel A. Figueroa, Acting Director of the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) and the OLOS staff, along with all the program contributors, participants, facilitators, and attendees.

Regardless of if you were able to come this year or not, we invite everyone to attend this annual program in 2011 that is dedicated to “Keep the Dream Alive” and to share ways that libraries serve and participate as their communities recognize Dr. King's legacy and his philosophy of nonviolence, peace, equality, and justice as an American value throughout the world.


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Coleman Lecture Recognizes Special Commitments to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

by Nancy Garmer

People recognized for special commitment to the UDHR at the 2010 Coleman Lecture

Those who participated in the Coleman Lecture and were recognized for their special commitments to Human Rights - back row: Satia Orange, Dr. Cora P. Dunkley, Barbara J. Ford, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Bill McCook, Ann Sparanese, Alicia Long, Diane Austin; front row: Dr. Barbara Immroth, Dr. Henrietta M. Smith, Dr. Alma Dawson.

Kathleen de la Pena McCook, distinguished university professor at the University of South Florida, was the keynote speaker at the 11th annual Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture sponsored by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) Advisory Committee at ALA Annual.

A longtime SRRT member, McCook spoke on "Librarians and Human Rights." She discussed the philosophical basis of librarians’ commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals and encouraged promotion of human rights in our roles as librarians.

SRRT members Ann Sparanese (Head of Adult and Young Adult Services, Englewood Public Library, NJ) and Katharine Phenix (Adult Services Librarian, Rangeview Library, Adams County, CO) joined McCook during the lecture, which is held in recognition of Dr. Jean E. Coleman. Coleman was the first director of OLOS and the lecture series is a tribute to her dedication to ensuring equitable access to quality library services for all. The lecture teaches library professionals ways to continue to expand their role in providing equity of access.


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ALA Councilor's Report

by Tiffani Conner

Tiffani Conner, SRRT's representative to ALA Council

My basic takeaway this time was that Council sessions were exceptionally truncated and there was a lack of enthusiastic debate on the Council floor, however there was a lot of debate and discussion during the Council Forums.

Some General Statements

  • The total attendees at ALA Annual in Washington, D.C., as of Tuesday were 26,200.
  • The FY2011 Total ALA Budgetary Ceiling will be $57,162,413 (ALA CD#13.3, ALA Treasurer's Report)
  • For a complete coverage of the Actions taken at Council Sessions, please refer to Council Actions 2010-1997

Let me start at the end...Council III ended 90 minutes early! At that meeting two non-committee resolutions were presented: Resolution on Non-Discrimination in Conference Contracts (CD# 45), and Resolution on Institutional Review Boards and Intellectual Freedom (CD# 46 Revised).

The Non-Discrimination resolution (CD# 45) was endorsed in principle at SRRT AC1. I mentioned SRRT's endorsement in principle and asked a question about the weakening of language from the original text to the proposed new text at Council Session I. My question was not addressed, so I approached Larry Romans with a potential motion. He told me that the current wording was unachievable because we would be limited to a single location for conferences and that the writers of the resolution had considered keeping the original text, which is stronger than the proposed/accepted new language. After considering this information, I chose not to make a motion.

The IRB resolution (CD# 46 Revised) was raked over the coals at both Council forum sessions and almost done so on the Council floor, but it was eventually referred. Quite a number of Councilors stood to participate in a floor debate prior to the approved referral. The IRB resolution was a touchy issue, calling on ALA to stand with the AHA and the AAUP to “exclude oral history and other speech-based academic activities involving the use of survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior from Institutional Review Board oversight...” I was opposed to this resolution mainly because it does not follow a logical argument, and calls for exemption from IRB oversight based on methods, rather than content. I feel like the protection of human subjects is far more important than providing conveniences to researchers. I also do not see this as a free speech issue the way it is written, but I will say that the second draft is far superior to the first draft. If there is a tighter draw between IRB positions and First Amendment Rights, then I would be supportive.

In Council II we passed A Resolution to Ensure Equitable Access to All Formats of Electronic Content Through Libraries (CD# 44 Revised) and Resolution on Ensuring Summer Reading Programs for All Children and Teens (CD# 47). The first experienced a humorous back-and-forth concerning the word “ensure or insure” during Council I. It also received several comments on the format and writing of the resolved clauses. At Council I these comments were taken into consideration and it was referred back for a rewrite and then brought forward at Council II. It was apparent that the idea of the resolution was acceptable/appreciated, the problems was in the writing of the resolution. The Summer Reading Programs resolution saw much agreement except when regarding a specific program “Summer Reading”—the position was that a more broad-based term, like literacy programs for children, would be preferred. However, it passed without modification.

In Council I there were 3 resolutions brought forward, A Resolution Reaffirming Equal Employment Opportunity for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Librarians and Library Workers (CD# 43), A Resolution to Insure Equitable Access to All Formats of Electronic Content Through Libraries (CD# 44 Revised), and A Resolution on Non-Discrimination in Conference Contracts (CD# 45). The first was passed, second postponed to Council II, and the third was referred to BARC and came back at Council III.

Key Resolutions for SRRT
Below are some other resolutions of particular importance to SRRT members, adopted at Council sessions during the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.:

  • Resolution Concerning the Proposed Closing of the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University (CD# 42)
  • A Resolution to Include School Librarians in the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (CD# 20.7)
  • Resolution on Faster FOIA Act (CD# 20.8)
  • Resolution on Proposed Joint LC and GPO Digital Pilot Project (CD# 20.9)
  • Resolution on Equal Access to 21st Century Communications (CD# 20.10)
  • A Resolution to Ensure Equitable Access to Library Services for All People Regardless of Immigration Status (CD# 20.11)

All in all, it seems that the Council Forums are exciting places to really talk about resolutions, to get some great feedback, and to articulate an argument prior to the Council sessions. Despite the fact that a resolution may get attacked in the forum, at least one gains some perspective on potential counter arguments. I participated in all the Council Forum sessions this conference, and from that experience, I definitely intend to make certain I can attend them in the future.


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Resolution in Support of Labor Clauses in All Hotel Meeting Room Contracting by the American Library Association

Adopted by SRRT Action Council, June 26, 2010

Whereas, “The American Library Association shall have no affiliation with, memberships in, or formal relationships with organizations which violate ALA principles and commitments to human rights and social justice as set forth in ALA's policies, procedures, and position statements and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (ALA Policy 9.5);

Whereas, labor disputes at American Library Association (ALA)-contracted hotels have occurred in recent years and are becoming more numerous, prompting repeated calls for cancellation of meeting room contracts and for hotel boycotts in the event of labor disputes;

Whereas, ALA has an established policy, 54.11 Library Personnel Practices, Collective Bargaining, which affirms the right of eligible library employees to organize and bargain collectively;

Whereas, numerous professional and trade associations have respected various hotel boycotts in recent years, including the California Trial Lawyers Association, which joined the 2008 Manchester Hyatt boycott;

Whereas, Section 6 of the Clayton Act (15 USC 17, one of the two main federal antitrust statutes) declares that “the labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce” and as a result, case law has uniformly rejected antitrust claims against business decisions to support working people, and therefore while a trade association cannot itself organize a boycott for its own commercial purposes, a trade association's support of a union's request for a boycott in service of social justice goals is activity protected by the First Amendment and exempted from antitrust liability (Richards v. Nielsen Freight Lines, 602 F.Supp. 1224, 1245 (C.D.Cal. 1985), aff'd, 810 F.2d 898 (CA 9 1987));

Whereas, in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, 458 U.S. 886, 889-91, 102 S.Ct. 3409, 73 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1982), the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that boycotting a business over its employment practices is not actionable under state or federal law due to the First Amendment; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):

  1. Will inform conference attendees prior to events as to the existence of labor disputes at hotels with ALA-reserved meeting rooms; and
  2. Will research and negotiate labor clauses in all future hotel contracts based on existing models of protective contract language, to require hotels to disclose to the Association any labor disputes, and to enable the Association to cancel meeting room contracts without penalty in the event of such a labor dispute.

Moved by Al Kagan. Seconded by Tiffani Conner.


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Revisions to SRRT Bylaws

Amended at SRRT Membership Meeting, June 2010

Editor's Note: Only sections IV.2 and IV.4 were amended and are printed below. For the full document, please see

IV.2. The 10 elected members of Action Council shall be elected by ballot procedures outlined below and shall take office immediately following the Annual Conference. At the final Action Council meeting of the Annual Conference, Action Council will select a Coordinator-elect, treasurer, recording secretary, exhibits coordinator and a membership/recruitment chair for a one-year term. These officers will preferably be elected from the at-large members of Action Council, but may be selected from the Task Force representatives or the affiliate representatives. Except in extraordinary circumstances, no single person shall serve Action Council in more than one of the six designated offices. At this same meeting, Annual Action Council second meeting, the existing Coordinator-Elect will be recognized as the new Coordinator and take office upon adjournment of the ALA Annual Meeting.

IV.4. All members of the SRRT Newsletter editorial staff shall be selected from current SRRT members. The editor of the SRRT Newsletter shall serve by appointment of Action Council through an application process. The newsletter editor shall serve a term of 3 years and may be reappointed for one additional term. The editor shall be considered an ex-officio member of Action Council. An editorial board of 5 to 7 members shall serve by appointment of Action Council. Recommendations of the newsletter editor and editorial board will be considered. Both Action Council members and SRRT members at-large shall be represented on the editorial board. Whenever possible, the majority of the editorial board will consist of current and/or past Action Council members. The term of office for members of the editorial board shall be 3 years, with the option to be reappointed for an additional term. An editorial board member may not serve more than two terms consecutively, but may be reappointed to the board after 3 years off. Editorial board appointments will be staggered on a 3-year rotation, such that approximately 1/3 of appointees shall turn over annually. The editorial board shall have collective responsibility for the SRRT newsletter.


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Minutes from Action Council Meeting I

Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C.

Meeting Called to Order at 10:30 a.m.

Introductions - The following SRRT members were present:
LaJuan Pringle, SRRT Coordinator
Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator-Elect
Tiffani Connor, SRRT Representative to ALA Council
Myntha Cuffy, SRRT Action Council Member
Nancy Garmer, SRRT Secretary
Jaime Hammond, SRRT Action Council Member
Alison Lewis, SRRT Action Council Member; SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board
Tom Twiss, SRRT Action Council Member
Diedre Conkling, Feminist Task Force Representative
Jane Glasby, International Responsibilities Task Force Representative; Incoming SRRT Action Council Member
Al Kagan, Librarians for Social Responsibility Forum of the Illinois Library Association as a Member of the Action Council; Incoming Action Council Member
Ginny Moore, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Representative
Myka Kennedy Stephens, SRRT Newsletter Editor
Julie Winkelstein, SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board; Incoming SRRT Action Council Member
John Andrews, Chair of Rainbow Project Task Force
Mary Biblo
David Danby
Evelyn Day
Ashley Gallagher
Jim Kuhn
Ann Sparanese

Al Kagan began the meeting with a motion to add several proposed items to the meeting agenda. Tiffani Conner seconded. The motion passed.

Announcements / Programs This Conference - SRRT members announced the SRRT programs being held at the D.C. conference. Diedre Conkling said that the Feminist Task Force was hosting an Introduction to Women's Issues program on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in conjunction with the Women's Studies Section (WSS) and the Committee on the Status of Women in Libraries (COSWL). Diedre also announced that the Women in Libraries newsletter is back online and back issues have been archived.

Al Kagan announced that the International Responsibilities Task Force was hosting the program Afghanistan in Context - the Background to the War that Every Librarian Should Know on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

Ginny Moore announced the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Holiday Multi-Cultural Idea and Material Exchange on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Exchange included a performance from a local high school in tribute to Dr. King.

SRRT was asked to endorse several resolutions in principle.

Resolution to Insure Equitable Access to All Formats of Electronic Content Through Libraries - A Resolution to Insure Equitable Access to All Formats of Electronic Content Through Libraries was distributed and LaJuan Pringle read the resolved clauses aloud. It was agreed that access to all is a SRRT issue. One comment that was made was that resolved clauses should be more action oriented. Al moved to endorse the resolution in principle. Jane Glasby seconded. The motion passed.

Subsequently, this resolution passed at ALA Council.

A Resolution Reaffirming Equal Employment Opportunity for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Librarians and Library Workers - A Resolution Reaffirming Equal Employment Opportunity for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Librarians and Library Workers was distributed. It was noted that the resolution contained a clerical error by referring to two different policies in the text. The resolution was tabled until further clarification could be obtained.

Subsequently, a revision of this resolution passed at ALA Council.

A Resolution on Non-Discrimination in Conference Contracts - A Resolution on Non-Discrimination in Conference Contracts was distributed. Discussion ensued regarding rewording the resolution to make it stronger and also taking into consideration the words “by law” as few states have specific protections for transgendered. Nancy Garmer moved to endorse the resolution in principle with recommendations. Mike Marlin seconded. The motion passed.

Subsequently, this resolution passed at ALA Council.

Westin Washington City Center (Jim Kuhn) - In response to the current labor dispute at the Westin Washington City Center and to past labor disputes at ALA conference hotels, SRRT member Jim Kuhn presented a resolution to be brought forth as a SRRT resolution.

“A Resolution in Support of Labor Clauses in All Hotel Meeting Room Contracting by the American Library Association” was read aloud by Jim. Jim brought this resolution before both the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) who endorsed it in principle, and the Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) who voted unanimously to endorse it in principle.

(Subsequently, Jim reported that immediately following Action Council I, the ALA/AFL-CIO Joint Committee on Library Services to Labor Groups also voted unanimously to co-sponsor or to endorse as written).

LaJuan stated for the record that he invited ALA Legal Services to attend this meeting, but a representative was unable to attend.

Discussion ensued regarding language changes Jim made to the resolution based on feedback from IFC and IFRT. The resolved clause to notify conference attendees was added and the wording that called for ALA to negotiate labor clauses in future hotel contracts. Hotels allow conferences to use their meeting room space in exchange for reserving blocks of hotel rooms. Al said the 2001 SRRT Resolution on the Marriott Boycott was broader and it failed in Council.

Action Council decided to give the resolution to the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) preemptively. Al stated that he thinks it's important to go to BARC first, so it can't be postponed at Council III because that's an easy way to get it off the floor. Since IFRT endorsed the resolution, the IFRT Councilor was a possible seconder.

Al moved to support the resolution as a SRRT resolution in support of labor clauses in all hotel meeting room contracting by ALA. Tiffani seconded. The motion passed.

Mike moved to pass the SRRT resolution on to ALA Council to be passed as an ALA Resolution. LaJuan seconded. The motion passed.

Comments continued regarding the fact that ALA hasn't done anything about the labor issue since November. Members noted that ALA is becoming more and more risk-adverse and are telling people not to do things instead of taking action to protect us. Discussion ensued regarding what SRRT should do about the current labor issue at the Westin Washington City Center.

Al moved that in the interest of social justice, SRRT Action Council calls on ALA members to honor the Unite Here boycott of the Westin Washington City Center. Jane and Tom Twiss seconded. The motion passed. The endorsement was immediately tweeted to #ala10.

Subsequently, the SRRT endorsement with the above language was printed and distributed at both ALA membership meetings.

Julie Winkelstein suggested that SRRT should do its own research on hotels and find out which ones pass social justice muster. This would be something tangible to offer to members in preparation for the Midwinter conference and publish in the SRRT Newsletter.

ALA Executive Board Liaison Report (Romans) - Per the agenda, Larry Romans did not attend the meeting to deliver his ALA Executive Board Liaison Report.

Meeting Adjourned at 12:01 p.m.


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Minutes from Action Council Meeting II

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

Meeting Called to Order at 4:08 p.m.

Introductions - The following SRRT members were present:
LaJuan Pringle, SRRT Coordinator
Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator-Elect
Tiffani Conner, SRRT Representative to ALA Council
Nancy Garmer, SRRT Secretary
Jaime Hammond, SRRT Action Council Member
Alison Lewis, SRRT Action Council Member; SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board
Tom Twiss, SRRT Action Council Member
Diedre Conkling, Feminist Task Force Representative
Jane Glasby, International Responsibilities Task Force Representative; Incoming SRRT Action Council Member
Al Kagan, Librarians for Social Responsibility Forum of the Illinois Library Association as a Member of the Action Council; Incoming Action Council Member
Ginny Moore, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Representative
Myka Kennedy Stephens, SRRT Newsletter Editor
Julie Winkelstein, SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board; Incoming SRRT Action Council Member
Mary Biblo
Ann Sparanese

Newsletter Report (Kennedy Stephens) - Myka Kennedy Stephens updated Action Council on newsletter issues. After several months of intense rewrites on the Editorial Policy, the Editorial Board decided to table it for the time being and concentrate on the Editorial Board bylaw changes.

The bylaws were updated to stagger appointments to the editorial board at the Midwinter Conference on a revolving basis. The Editorial Board members appointed at Midwinter will serve the following terms:
2010-2011 Heather Stone (She can be reelected in 2011 for a full 3-year term.)
2010-2012 Gary Colmenar and Alison Lewis
2010-2013 Julie Winkelstein and Erik Estep

The Editorial Board also decided to create more official relationships between editorial board members and task force representatives to get content ideas and information into the newsletter. Each editorial board member will communicate directly with the specified task force as follows:
Gary Colmenar - Alternative Media Task Force
Erik Estep - Task Force on the Environment / Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force
Alison Lewis - Feminist Task Force / Rainbow Project
Heather Stone Edmonds - International Responsibilities Round Table
Julie Winkelstein - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Round Table

Resolution Update (Tiffani Conner, SRRT Councilor) - Tiffani Conner discussed what transpired at Council I regarding the resolutions SRRT discussed at Action Council I. (See SRRT Councilor Report).

Tiffani stated that the SRRT resolution on labor contracting was not well received at Council Forum, so she did not take it to Council. The Councilors had many questions regarding the statements in the resolution, such as: Has there been an increase in labor disputes at ALA hotels? Is the case law authoritative? What is significant enough to be considered a dispute? How long does the “dispute” have to be ongoing? Tiffani said that the Council was overall supportive of issue; however, they did not like the resolution as written. The point was also made that if ALA uses the meeting rooms, it does not mean ALA endorses the hotel.

Tiffani suggested that if SRRT wants to pursue the resolution, table it for now and work on a rewrite to present at Midwinter. It was agreed that the rewrite would include the statement that ALA will inform its members of labor disputes, so people can make their own decision. If people pull their reservations, then that is action. In addition, it was discussed that communicating with other groups could garner good ideas and insight. AFL-CIO and ALA-APA hosted several programs on labor this conference.

Tiffani moved to table the resolution until Midwinter. LaJuan seconded with the stipulation that the resolution is worked on in the meantime to prepare a more eloquent resolution for Midwinter. The motion passed.

War Funding Resolution - “A Resolution Urging Congress To Cut The Funding Of (Unaffordable Wars) And To Redirect Our Tax Dollars To Public Libraries, Public Schools And Public Institutions Of Higher Learning” Tiffani read the revised War Funding Resolution and related that she has received some feedback already about the title of the resolution being too wordy and lacking specificity.

Al suggested making the title short and sweet. He also suggested removing Pakistan from the resolution since Pakistan is not occupied and; therefore, not in the same class as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Discussion ensued regarding tightening and simplifying the resolution. No sources were cited in the resolution. Myka commented that the resolved clauses do not resolve to do what it calls for in the title. Tom Twiss suggested that SRRT resubmit the resolution that SRRT submitted last year. Al stated that it failed hard last year. Politically, it was not the right moment last year, but in his opinion, it probably wouldn't pass now either.

Tiffani suggested that we do not resubmit the resolution just to make a point. She stated that, in her opinion, SRRT resolutions are sometimes met with eye rolls at Council. Jaime Hammond said that her peer group is less impressed with paper resolutions brought to ALA than with real things they feel that they can be a part of. For example, if SRRT sent out information about a boycott going on or which hotels are labor-friendly, those are things that people feel they can be a part of.

No motion was made on the resolution urging Congress to cut the funding of unaffordable wars.

Proposed Amendment to SRRT Bylaws: Newsletter Editor and Editorial Board - Al stated that he does not think that the newsletter editorial board is the place for new members. He said that task forces are the place for new members to get involved. Al stated that he thinks the editorial board should be a majority of Action Council members or previous Action Council members. There is institutional history and an ethos that must be preserved.

Discussion ensued once again about SRRT, the conversation Rory started via email and how to get members more active.

Myka moved to propose the following change to membership at the membership meeting: Whenever possible, the majority of the editorial board will consist of current and/or past Action Council members. Mike seconded. The motion passed to advise membership of this change.

Al stated that he thinks the bylaws should read that the editorial board should share collective decision-making with the editor of the newsletter.

Mike moved to bring the following proposed change to the membership meeting: The editorial board shall have collective responsibility for the SRRT newsletter. LaJuan seconded. The motion passed.

Proposed Amendment to SRRT Bylaws: AC Officers - Al moved to accept the proposed amendment to SRRT bylaws as written and bring it to the membership meeting. Jaime seconded. The motion passed.

Officers Election
Jane Glasby was elected Coordinator-Elect.
Nancy Garmer will stay on as Secretary.
Sue Dillinger will stay on as Treasurer.
LaJuan Pringle will be Membership Chair.

LaJuan moved to bring these officer elections to the membership meeting. Nancy seconded. The motion passed.

Meeting Adjourned at 5:56 p.m.


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Minutes from SRRT Membership Meeting

Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

Meeting Called to Order at 6:10 p.m.

The following SRRT members were present:
LaJuan Pringle, SRRT Coordinator
Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator-Elect
Nancy Garmer, SRRT Secretary
Jaime Hammond, SRRT Action Council Member
Tom Twiss, SRRT Action Council Member
Diedre Conkling, Feminist Task Force Representative
Jane Glasby, International Responsibilities Task Force Representative; Incoming SRRT Action Council Member
Al Kagan, Librarians for Social Responsibility Forum of the Illinois Library Association as a Member of the Action Council; Incoming Action Council Member
Ginny Moore, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Representative
Myka Kennedy Stephens, SRRT Newsletter Editor
Mary Biblo
Katherine Phenix
Ann Sparanese

Proposed Amendment to SRRT Bylaws: Newsletter Editor and Editorial Board - Action Council discussed the proposed bylaw changes at length.

(Lines 7-8 of the proposed amendment)
Ann Sparanese moved to strike “on recommendation of the newsletter editor and already appointed members of the editorial board “ and replace with “Recommendations of the newsletter editor and editorial board will be considered.” Jane seconded. The motion passed.

(Lines 2-4 of the proposed amendment)
Ann moved to strike “on recommendation of the SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board or other body responsible for reviewing applicants” and replace with “through an application process.” Myka seconded. The motion passed.

Members discussed that these types of things should be procedures - not bylaws. Diedre stated that upon further review of bylaws, we should determine what constitutes procedures and what doesn't.

Myka reviewed the changes made to the bylaws in AC II for vote by membership. Nancy moved to accept the proposed amendment to SRRT bylaws with the changes made in SRRT AC II and the Membership Meeting. LaJuan seconded. The motion passed.

Guest Spot - Danette Pachtner asked for a moment to discuss a program she is working on for the next year's Annual Conference in New Orleans. Danette is a Film Librarian and would like SRRT support in recognizing an Artist Activist who captured the sentiment of post-Katrina New Orleans. She said she would be back in touch and to have a look at the website

Proposed Amendment to SRRT Bylaws: AC Officers - The proposed amendment to SRRT bylaws regarding AC Officers was discussed and modified slightly to add a specific term length. The language was changed to “At the final Action Council meeting of the Annual Conference, Action Council will select a Coordinator-elect, treasurer, recording secretary, exhibits coordinator and a membership/recruitment chair for a one-year term.”

Nancy moved to accept the proposed amendment to SRRT bylaws with changes. LaJuan seconded. The motion passed.

Task Force Reports - Diedre gave the Feminist Task Force Report. She reported a very successful Introduction to Women's Studies yesterday. Many students and recent graduates attended. There was a good discussion, and in conjunction with WSS and COSWL, new members can find the place they fit in.

Ginny gave the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Multicultural Idea Exchange report. She said she heard it was very successful from the people who attended. Students from Prince George's County participated in the “Soul of America” and it was a very touching performance.

Ginny also reported that an officer of the Black Caucus had suggested an author as a speaker for the multicultural idea exchange. However, when this could not happen, the author made copies of his earlier book available for the program along with consideration to speak on his forthcoming book, All Labor Has Dignity, at the 2011 Sunrise Celebration in San Diego. Ginny said the SRRT collaborative committee (MLK Task Force and SRRT Officers) that was set up last year is working nicely together and its members had agreed to offer the author, Michael K. Honey, as the Celebration speaker for SRRT endorsement and for Black Caucus and SRRT MLK joint planning. Ginny suggested that we go a little further and talk to ALA-APA because this is bigger than just SRRT and Black Caucus since ALA-APA has a real role regarding labor issues. It was also suggested that with BCALA approval, Miguel Figueroa (OLOS) would be asked to contact Dr. Honey with the invitation to be our speaker through his publisher, Beacon Press, the authorized publisher for Dr. King's estate.

Ann moved to endorse the invitation of the author Michael K. Honey, Ph.D. to speak at the Sunrise Celebration in San Diego. Mike seconded. The motion passed.

Ginny and Mike agreed to contact Miguel Figueroa (OLOS) about funding as well as contacting ALA-APA to see if they are interested in co-sponsoring.

Jane said that the International Responsibilities Task Force's Afghanistan program had approximately 150 attendees, which shows how interested membership is in the topic. Jane commented that putting the program on as a one-man band was a bit daunting and she would have liked to have had a little more mentoring or skills sharing. She suggested a central place where we could have tips on doing programs. As a hint for others, Jane discovered that by asking for a big room, it made the program big because it was scheduled in the conference center and so there was drop in traffic as well.

Tom Twiss, 2010-2011 IRRT Representative, and Jane discussed Daniel Ellsburg for next year to speak on war and secrecy. They would like this to be a large program. They plan on talking to various people in ALA about having a large program with large sponsors since it may cost a lot of money.

Ann stated that she thought it was good that the Afghanistan program had a panelist with a differing point of view. It showed that SRRT does support differing views. Ann also stated that this was a perfect opportunity for recruitment. We should have talked up SRRT and or passed around a signup sheet or asked for emails/business cards.

Website Report - Myka reported on the status of the website and read over the report she sent to Action Council. She outlined the progress made last year and the tasks set forth for the coming year including a complete archive of SRRT Resolutions on the website; Google search function for the site; RSS feeds from ALA Connect and a Facebook widget. She also suggested a T-shirt link.

Myka said she thinks the website is the face of SRRT and she needs people to help be responsible for content. LaJuan, Mike and Nancy volunteered to assist. Nancy also stated that the website should link to the SRRT Wiki and we should populate the wiki with useful information such as labor-friendly organizations and good practices. The website should link to the FTF wiki and Women in Libraries as well as program videos and bibliographies.

Discussion on Librarians and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE) - It was reported that the TCE resolution is being totally reworked. They are apparently changing the definition. Tom Twiss said the resolution had come under some attack. SRRT can reaffirm its support once the document is reworked.

Membership - Jaime said she is moving forward with SRRT 101 for the 2011 Annual conference. Nine groups currently have one, two of which are round tables. She said there is no reason to incur cost. SRRT can do its own marketing and be present at other organization's events. Jaime said she will contact the New Members Round Table and Spectrum to see if they are having events again in New Orleans as another way of introducing people to our organization.

LaJuan said he forwarded Al's email to Elliot regarding his concerns about the drop in SRRT membership. Mike requested a breakdown of membership numbers and will follow up with Elliot about this.

Budget - LaJuan reported that the figure he received for our budget was a negative balance of $41,450. Members reported that there is a history of ALA screwing up our budget. Nancy looked at the Midwinter minutes and reported that according to the budget figures the treasurer reported at the Midwinter 2010 meeting, SRRT had a balance of $2,479.97 as of the first quarter budget report.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

Round Table Coordinators Assembly Report - Mike Marlin said he would submit this report online for Action Council and Membership.

Points of Order
ALA uses Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, not Robert's Rules.
Miguel Figueroa is the acting director of the Office of Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS).
Elliot Mandel is the program coordinator for OLOS.


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Klein, Adam G. A Space for Hate: The White Power Movement's Adaptation Into Cyberspace. Litwin Books, 2010.

Reviewed by Ann Sparanese, Englewood Public Library, Englewood, NJ

Cover art for 'A Space for Hate'

When I brought this intriguing book to my monthly reference staff meeting (six public librarians), I supposed that everyone knew more than I did about the presence of white supremacy hate groups on the Internet. But I found out that only one-third of us did-and the ones who had no idea were the decidedly older members of our staff. This small sample coincides with the most disturbing element of the research presented in Klein's book: not only are white supremacist Web sites and social networks ubiquitous and wildly popular, they are primarily targeting-and attracting-the younger generation.

Although hate speech and hate groups include far more than racist and anti-Semitic white supremacists, Klein's book focuses on these particular groups and their outreach to the “net generation.” The granddaddy of them all,, has been in cyberspace since the web took off in 1995. While much of the book uses and quotes a wealth of research already done on these groups, thereby bringing a lot together in one volume, A Space for Hate claims its own contribution to the field by postulating a theory of “information laundering” to describe how hate sites use the unique “formats and constructs” of cyberspace to transform hate-based information into “acceptable web-based knowledge.” Maybe it seems obvious once we really think about it, but the normal Web paths such as search engines and links “can unwittingly lead an online information seeker to white power content that has already been designed for them as being educational, political, scientific, and even spiritual in nature.” The Institute for Historical Review (holocaust denial) and the Charles Darwin Research Institute (white race supremacy) don't engage at all in “hate speech” but present themselves as legitimate and respectable research operations. Classy Web design and function may lead those raised online to accept the legitimacy of the content based on appearance. One example might be the “metapedia” that, using the same format as Wikipedia and sophisticated language and choice of topics, seeks to bring white nationalist thinking into the mainstream rather than keep it out at the fringes. Typical hate speech and swastikas will not be found on these sites.

The book is organized thus: an examination of the legal debate surrounding hate speech in the context of the first amendment (the U.S. is a center of Internet sites devoted to this kind of speech, as it banned on servers elsewhere); the murky coexistence of information and propaganda online and how they are cunningly manipulated; the special attraction of hate-based sites to young people based on the various kind of social and cultural media that are proliferating in cyberspace (YouTube, music sites, etc.); an analysis and review of 26 white nationalist/supremacist Web sites and how they frame their issues for the target audience; and an examination of counterattack by monitoring and other sites devoted to exposing and counteracting them. Does it scare you to know that many of these sites get far more traffic than the Human Rights Campaign site, or that of the NAACP?

The author received his Ph.D. in Communication and Media Studies from Howard University and focuses his studies on modern-day hate speech and its messengers. While this is a scholarly book aimed generally at students, it has plenty to recommend it to the general reference librarian. The fact that hate sites turn up as high level results in Google searches and through links from “legitimate” information sources can help inform our interaction with students. And by the way, as a member of my staff informed me, the Prussian Blue singing group is really cute, and if you notice “14-88” tattooed on a library user's ankle…well, look it up.


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Cox, Richard J. The Demise of the Library School: Personal Reflections on Professional Education in the Modern Corporate University. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press, 2010.

Reviewed by Karen A. Weaver, Electronic Resources Statistician, Duquesne University; Adjunct Faculty, The iSchool at Drexel University

Cover art for 'The Demise of the Library School'

Dr. Richard Cox's latest compilation of personal observations, meditations about the “death” or “demise” of the library school is sure to shake the apple tree a little, but may not give readers exactly what they might expect to read. The book, however, does “try to place library and information science professional schools and their role and future in the debate about the modern corporate university.” (p. x) Major library professional education issues such as ALA accreditation are mentioned only briefly, such as when Cox says, “It is not my intention to offer any in-depth assessment of this debate, especially since it is still ongoing and uncertain just what its meaning may be for professional education. As I finish this manuscript on the eve of the 2010 meeting of the Association for Library and Information Science Education and the ALA Mid-Winter meeting, it is hard not to see or feel the wounds of this debate.” (p. 276)

Like many of you readers, I felt the onset of angina just reading the title of the book, and think that the author is at times enjoying rattling our cages. The author seems to know he is going to ruffle some feathers with this publication, saying, “Indeed, to be engaged in asking questions, let alone answering them, that challenge cherished beliefs, traditions, and practices is a sure-fire means to be labeled a troublemaker. I have been called abrasive, elitist, condescending, arrogant, and worse.” (p. 201)

In this book, Cox opens up in several highly personal chapters (notably 3 and 6) about important matters on his mind, such as distance learning, vocational training, his view of the limits of practice, adjuncts, his career and getting older, his angst about losing his audience, his views on tenure, competing priorities, faculty hang-ups with email, bad architecture, his nice office, teaching issues, enrollments and revenue, and ethics. I commend him highly for his honesty-something that many others would not do, could not do, or even be interested in doing openly. Although I don't personally always agree with his perspectives and views, I do appreciate his personal reflections describing the changing university environment, his many insights on the professions, and his recommendations for further reading from a variety of fields.

The book is divided into a prologue, eight chapters, an epilogue, works cited, and an index. The chapters include: Setting the Scene; Reading, Writing, and the Old Library School; A Personal Interlude: Loving Books, Without Apology; The Spectacle of the Corporate University; Rethinking the Traditional School (and Values); Archival Studies: A Case Study; Looking for Our Way (Reading and Writing) in Professional Schools; Teaching in the Professional School in the Changing University. Throughout the text, there is his trademark heavy use of footnotes, which is sometimes too much in this reflective publication. While the footnote can indeed be useful and helpful to the reader, they nevertheless weigh down the flow of just reading and thinking, so emphasized in this book.

I enjoyed the prologue and found the more personal chapters interesting for their insights and perspectives on faculty, teaching, and reading and writing, not only in terms of changes in corporate higher education today, but also in terms of differences in perspectives faculty have in today's professional schools and what they identify with. I also enjoyed reading about his personal library and how he uses it as his “toolbox.” This toolbox, however, needs to expand and his perspectives on library education need some “refreshening;” I occasionally got the sense that it was not worth the time even discussing or reading anything else but what was in his personal library.

There were a number of notable passages, such as those on distance education, what he thought about the growing number of adjuncts in library education in particular, new groups of adult learners, how universities are focused on generating revenues and see academic credentials as products to sell, and faculty as hired laborers. At times, however, they were overly digressive in terms of how they were organized or not organized.

Professional library discussions and literature were seemingly reduced to the periphery in the opening paragraph of the book, calling it a certain genre style of writing, of complaints, identity crises, etc, while the archives professional literature is later described as “expanding and diverse.” His repetitive choice of old terminology was noticeable, i.e., “old library school” or “traditional” library school; also, “vocational training” rather than “library education.” However, the sections about archives showed more vitality and even youthfulness in their terminology. Chapter 6 especially, which focused on and showcased archives, really has a contrast in writing style, I thought, to the other chapters. Overall, it seemed to me that librarianship was being thrown under the bus. I was especially concerned when the author stated that this book was directed toward the higher education administration at his university. How is that going to come across exactly in terms of advocating for library education?

At one point (p. 180), Cox even hints at a new association of archival studies with a new kind of professional school, which he has written with “one of the pioneers of the iSchool movement” (i.e., his Dean, Ron Larsen, also iSchool at University of Pittsburgh) Cox further states that “the iSchools also are committed, more so than their predecessors, to creating “an intellectual space where true interdisciplinarity plays out,” seeking to “create an environment where issues of information are addressed systematically, regardless of disciplinary heritage or presumed “ownership.” This requires the schools to be in a “constant state of adaption within their core competencies, while building necessary bridges among disciplines.” He naturally concludes, “Archival studies are clearly a vital participant in this interdisciplinary dialogue. And assuming that the iSchool movement does not lead to the jettisoning of critically important traditional knowledge of the old library school, we should have some promising days ahead.”

Finally, I also must mention the bibliographic style used in the Works Cited, which was seemingly not proofread carefully. First, there are errors in the sequencing of authors (see pp. 287; 308-9); also, although they seem to have intended to use the MLA Works Cited style, the footnotes seem to be formatted as book entries. There was also a typo in the misspelling of McAnulty (p. 241), reading: “I worry about the general state of higher education and the possible lowering of expectations we have for students. Samuel Hazo, the MaAnulty Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Duquesne University…” These are minor errors, but they indicate a publication that was put together very quickly. The author has already acknowledged some issues with the preparation of this text.

Overall, this is an affordable and worthwhile contribution to library and information sciences education and higher education assessment, though it is not recommended for reading in one sitting-digest it a bit at a time. This affordable paperback ($35) is a highly recommended volume for those interested in the present and future of professional education for librarianship, accreditation issues, and the debate on the modern corporate university.


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Samek, Toni, K.R. Roberto, and M. Lang, editors. She Was A Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press, 2010.

Reviewed by Ann Marie Maloney, Librarian, Galen School of Nursing, St. Petersburg, FL

Cover art for 'She Was a Booklegger'

Celeste West was a true original, a mover and shaker in the library field from the 1960s through the first decade of the twenty-first century. She wrote, researched, and shared a wide variety of information reflecting the many facets of her work and personality. West was an activist, librarian, writer, bibliographer, lesbian, feminist, and publisher. Through her many activities and writings, West led a revolution within the world of librarianship and advanced the causes of eco-activism, human rights, and intellectual freedom.

This book is a tribute to Celeste West and is divided into three sections: words from the Celeste West project crew, including commentary and a history of West; photos; and selected writings by West. The first section gives readers an inside look at Celeste, the woman, written by co-workers, friends, and lovers. From Elizabeth Katz:

It's hard for us now to remember how staid the library world used to be, and not that long ago. Many people worked to bring about that change, and all deserve their due. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Celeste West's contribution was enormous. (p. 45)

This section also gives an excellent recounting of the social movements and West's role in those movements. West was a prolific writer and did not hesitate to fully express herself, whether in writing or in protests. She is probably best known in the library world as one of the publishers and authors of Revolting Librarian (1972). She also published (with Elizabeth Katz) a zine, Synergy, and a magazine called Booklegger. Eventually Booklegger Press became the first woman-owned library book publisher. Booklegger staff initially joined with ALA's SRRT. Some of her most important work was the publication of bibliographies of alternative press publications. These were invaluable aids for seekers of information on sustainable lifestyles, alternative lifestyles, and other information not generally covered by mainstream press.

The photo section shows us an upbeat, smiling Celeste West from childhood through her adult life. The book has additional photos and illustrations in other sections, but most are so faded and such poor quality that they detract from the work itself.

West's writings, the third section of the book, are a mixed bag of essays, book reviews, ads, and annotated bibliographies on topics as varied as wine-making, gay periodicals, and eco-tactics. Her work is a mix of humorous and serious, a bit outdated and up-to-the-second current. It is sad that 40 years after the sexual revolution, gays are still harassed and the mainstream press still ignores major ecological issues. It reminds us that West's work must be carried forward.

Librarians, social activists, free thinkers, and historians will all find information they can use and thought-provoking ideas within this memorial to Celeste West. Portions of this book should be required reading for LIS students, many of whom are unaware of the struggles librarians have faced to be heard and to serve their clientele.


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Call for Submissions

The SRRT Newsletter is always looking for good articles, essays, and letters to the editor. The next submission deadline is November 19, 2010.

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. We ask that submissions be kept to a length of 500 to 1,000 words. Graphics are encouraged. Please submit images as separate files along with a list of file names with corresponding captions. 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 Myka Kennedy Stephens, indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your e-mail. For submissions that can only be made by post, please mail to Myka Kennedy Stephens, 5928 Crain Street, Morton Grove, IL 60053. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner. Notification of our decision to accept or reject your submission for publication will be sent after the submission deadline.


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Publication Information

SRRT Newsletter is published quarterly by the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. ISSN: 0749-1670. Copyright : 2010 by the Social Responsibilities Round Table. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission. Editor: Myka Kennedy Stephens, mykaks(at) Book Reviews Editor: Jennifer Caldwell, Jennifer.Caldwell(at) Editorial Board Members: Gerardo Colmenar, Heather Edmonds, Erik Estep, Alison Lewis, and Julie Winkelstein. 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 the whimsy strikes.

Join our e-mail discussion list (SRRTAC-L) and announcement distribution list (SRRTMEM). Login to ALA's Mailing List Service to subscribe and manage your subscription. You will be asked for an e-mail address and password. First time users will receive a password by e-mail to the address you provide.

Do you Facebook? Join our group: SRRT (Social Responsibilities Roundtable)


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