SRRT Newsletter - Issue 173, December 2010



Join SRRT at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting in San Diego

Saturday, January 8, 2011
8:00-10:00 a.m. - All Task Force Meeting, HIL Sapphire H
10:30 a.m.-12 noon - Action Council I, HIL Sapphire L
1:30-5:30 p.m. - Rainbow Project Committee I, HIL Cobalt 504
1:30-6:00 p.m. - FTF Amelia Bloomer Project I, WEST Coronado
4:00-5:30 p.m. - Progressive Librarians Guild, MAR Los Angeles

Sunday, January 9, 2011
8:00 a.m.-12 noon - Action Council II, WEST Plaza A/B
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - FTF Amelia Bloomer Project II, WEST Coronado
10:30 a.m-12 noon - Rainbow Project Committee II, HIL Cobalt 504
1:30-3:30 p.m. - Rainbow Project Committee III, HIL Cobalt 504
1:30-6:00 p.m. - FTF Amelia Bloomer Project III, WEST Coronado
4:00-5:30 p.m. - Rainbow Project Committee IV, HIL Cobalt 504

Monday, January 10, 2011
6:30-7:30 a.m. - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration, SDCC Room 02
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - FTF Amelia Bloomer Project IV, WEST Coronado


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Letter From the Editor

Dear Readers,

The Midwinter Meetings are being held a week earlier in January 2011 than in previous years. Therefore, this December issue finds its way to you in early December with the hope it may help those of you attending the meeting to plan on attending SRRT functions. Also in this issue, some of our task forces are reporting on their activities at Midwinter and looking forward to Annual. For those of you unable to attend the 2011 Midwinter Meeting, it is my hope that this newsletter helps you stay connected to our round table community from your location.

The Midwinter Meeting is the time when Action Council makes appointments to our editorial board. According to the bylaws, we are to maintain an editorial board of 5-7 members. We have one editorial board member up for re-appointment. Her name is Heather Edmonds and she has already made significant contributions to our editorial board. Heather's previous experience as a copy editor and her eye for detail have become valuable resources to us as we put together this publication. We are hopeful she will be able to continue as one of our board members. Action Council may appoint up to three SRRT members to serve on the editorial board. If you are interested in joining Heather for Action Council's consideration of editorial board appointments at the Midwinter Meeting, please send me a brief statement of your editorial and/or publishing experience as well as a summary of your involvement in SRRT and/or why you are a SRRT member.

Some may miss the presence of reviews in this issue. It is regrettable we did not have any reviews submitted by the publication deadline for this issue. If you are interested in contributing to the SRRT Newsletter as a reviewer, please see the call for reviewers posted later in this issue. Also, we have not published an ePUB edition for this issue. If this is something you missed, please let me know.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season,
Myka Kennedy Stephens


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Coordinator's Column

Greetings from blustery and rainy Northern California with patches of sunlight and a still-busted economy. Despite hardships, it is heartening to hear about the important and creative projects and programs being spearheaded by socially responsible librarians around my current adopted state and all over the country, as well as the challenges to a variety of mealy-mouthed politicians who claim library employee salaries are somehow gargantuan and library workers expendable. I'm also glad that alternative publishers keep plugging away with new releases and I encourage SRRT members to consider publications mentioned on the SRRTAC-L and Progressive Librarians Guild listservs throughout the year by socially conscious colleagues.

Midwinter 2011 will feature the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration on Monday morning, and it is always inspirational and well worth the early rising to celebrate Dr. King's still highly relevant teachings, despite what you may have heard about the “post racial” era ushered in by Obama's presidency. Look for more details in this issue of the newsletter and in Midwinter Meeting pre-conference materials.

I really want to encourage any and all SRRT members who will be in San Diego for the 2011 Midwinter conference to attend one or more of the various Task Force and Action Council meetings. Over the past few years, attendance at the SRRT All-Task Force meeting has been low, due to various mitigating economical factors of course, not to mention the drop in ALA and SRRT membership. Our task forces are the genesis for great program planning as well as networking and sharing of information by socially responsible librarians, and some amazing people and programs have come forth over the years. If you have an interest in environmental and green issues, homelessness and the politics of hunger and poverty, Feminist ideals and frameworks, international responsibility, Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, alternative media, the Rainbow Project, or even another socially responsible thread of librarianship that could blossom into a new task force, I strongly urge you to come to the SRRT All Task Force Meetings on Saturday, January 8 from 8-10 a.m. in the Hilton Bayfront, Sapphire Room H. The task forces are the core of SRRT programming and a collective effort to bring vital speakers and topics to fruition at ALA conferences and related local events. Prior immersion in related ALA tangents, such as Literacy, Intellectual Freedom, Special Populations, civil rights struggles, etc., are helpful background for SRRT perspectives but certainly not required. New task force members are always welcome.

This year labor disputes at conference hotels has been and will continue to be an issue studied by SRRT Action Council, and we hope you will consult Unite Here's Union Hotel Guide if you still need to make hotel reservations for San Diego. And speaking of SRRT Action Council, AC meetings are usually quite lively and educational. We debate: Resolutions for the round table and discuss sending them on to ALA Council, explore where the SRRT AC's priorities should be placed, what the direction of a progressive, socially responsible, left-centric (or whatever defining word you like) librarianship needs to encompass in today's fractured and highly corporate society, our ties with other ALA committees, divisions, and round tables, hear reports from task force members and ALA liaisons, and much more. I especially encourage those members who have already expressed an interest in running, or any SRRT member who would like to consider running for Action Council, to attend. SRRT Action Council has 3 openings in the ALA 2011 spring ballot, and the more members willing to stand for election the healthier the process, I believe. See the SRRT Midwinter meetings schedule in this edition for dates, times, and locations and come on down!

If you're interested in running for Action Council please contact me. If you have a resolution or idea for a resolution you can send it my way and it will be discussed at Midwinter even if you cannot attend in person. Similarly, please join the SRRT listserv if you have not done so already (go to and/or feel free to post comments, threads, events, etc. on ALA Connect's SRRT group ( If you're lucky to be employed right now then you are undoubtedly very busy and possibly wearing many hats. Any energy you can impart to our round table will go a long way toward cementing our integral role within ALA. SRRT is needed within the library profession so that we never forget or abandon the role of socially responsible practice and theory as information scientists, librarians, library professionals and scholars.

Peace In,
Mike Marlin


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GreeNotes: News from the Task Force on the Environment

By Fred Stoss, TFOE Chair

EPA Library Network Compliance Monitored by GAO
Five years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Library Network was under attack from within the agency and other federal budget offices. Plans to drastically alter and diminish the entire library network through catastrophic budget cuts, library closings, staff reductions, and collection and service cuts painted a grim future for the world's largest environmental information network and library system.

The nonprofit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) began a years-long campaign reporting on this issue in 2006, while the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reminded the EPA of its obligation to maintain its libraries, their services and collections. In rapid succession, the Special Libraries Association, labor unions representing EPA Employees, and eventually the American Library Association (at the constant prodding of several SRRT and GODORT members), called for a reversal of the process, an examination of the processes and decisions leading up to these large-scale cuts, and restoration of the EPA National Library Network.

On November 1, 2010 the GAO released a report to the public: EPA Needs to Complete a Strategy for Its Library Network to Meet Users' Needs. Filed as GAO-10-947, a summary, highlights, recommendations, and accessible text are available on the GAO website. For information and details about EPA's progress, contact Deborah K. Balsamo (balsamo.deborah[at], National Program Manager of the EPA National Library Network.

TFOE Plans for Rachel Carson Award Thwarted
Several TFOE and SRRT Members have asked for a status report on the proposal made to the ALA Awards Committee at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, where SRRT Action Council approved and the Task Force on the Environment presented its proposal for creating the ALA Rachel Carson Children's Environmental Book Award. The ALA Awards Committee requested several drafts of the TFOE proposal over a two-year period, asking for more details about the criteria for establishing the Award, the process by which entries would be judged, a description of the award (cash prizes, certificate, plaques, etc.), and a plan for establishing a $100,000 endowment, before the Award could be given. While the Awards Committee never provided TFOE with written suggestions, comments or criticisms, they felt that others in TFOE and SRRT were needed to shepherd the proposal to the next level in the approval process. Failing to produce such interests has lead to an abandonment of this revenue-generating award (sale of medallions and stickers for awarded books). All communications between TFOE (Fred Stoss), OLOS, members of the ALA Awards Committee and other relevant drafts, and notices were directed to the OLOS office for their consideration. Any possibility for resurrecting the children's book award now resides within OLOS.

No TFOE Programs in 2011
Citing a lack of interest, poor attendance at the SRRT All-Task Force Meetings for several years, and the financial instability of SRRT, the Task Force on the Environment will not have any meetings, discussions, or programs in 2011. TFOE leadership changes hands in 2011, and perhaps TFOE, SRRT members, and other ALA Members sympathetic to environmental causes will come forward with ideas for planning programs in the next several years of ALA Meetings.

I strongly suggest TFOE, SRRT, and other leaders collaborate with other units within ALA for co-sponsored programs. LLAMA (Library Leadership and Management Association) is a great division with large programs related to issues surrounding “green library buildings” and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) sections have needs for collaborating on issues related to collections and reference services (especially in social networks) in college and university libraries. In the past, SRRT has worked with the Public Library Association on issues related to hunger, homelessness and poverty. TFOE and other SRRT task forces might also find it beneficial to collaborate with these and other groups on programs that address controversial issues such as health effects of Wi-Fi, sustainable communities, labor issues, and other aspects of social responsibilities in our libraries.


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Daniel Ellsberg to Speak at ALA Annual: Report of the International Responsibilities Task Force

By Thomas Twiss, IRTF Chair

It looks like Daniel Ellsberg will be speaking at ALA Annual! Current plans are for him to appear as an Auditorium Speaker for a program entitled "Daniel Ellsberg on War and Secrecy," which will be held at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, June 26. At 6 p.m. on the evening before, we plan to show the documentary film “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers'' (2009), which has been nominated for an Academy Award. So far, organizations and individuals sponsoring and contributing to the program include ALA President Roberta Stevens, ALA Headquarters, the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Office for Literary and Outreach Services, the Video Round Table, and SRRT.

Ellsberg is known for releasing the Pentagon Papers, a secret government study about the origins of the Vietnam War, to The New York Times and other newspapers. The Pentagon Papers, which were published in 1971, demonstrated that successive administrations lied repeatedly to Congress and the public about U.S. intentions and actions in Vietnam. The revelations of the Pentagon Papers contributed greatly to the growing antiwar sentiment in the United States. For his actions, Ellsberg was targeted by the Nixon administration, which wiretapped his conversations and organized a break-in to steal files from his psychiatrist's office. In 1973, a court dismissed charges of espionage and conspiracy against Ellsberg and his codefendant Anthony Russo for the release of the Pentagon Papers. This story has been recounted in “The Most Dangerous Man in America.'' Since the early 1970s, Ellsberg has continued to speak out forcefully against U.S. wars and government secrecy. Recently, he has praised the revelations of Wikileaks regarding the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At Al Kagan's initiative, the International Responsibilities Task Force proposed the program this past summer in Washington, and we've been working hard on it ever since. In particular, Al Kagan and former ALA president Mitch Freedman deserve the greatest credit for putting this together. The program has been enthusiastically endorsed by former ALA presidents John W. Berry, Carol Brey-Casiano, Leslie Burger, Mitch Freedman, Michael Gorman, Nancy Kranich, Loriene Roy, Pat Schuman, Peggy Sullivan, and Betty Turock, as well as by current president Roberta Stevens.


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ALA to honor Dr. King's legacy at Midwinter

Press Release from the ALA Office of Literacy and Outreach Services

CHICAGO - Dr. Michael K. Honey, Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Labor and Ethnic Studies and American History at the University of Washington, Tacoma, will be the keynote speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration during the American Library Association's (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. The Celebration will be held Monday, January 10, from 6:30-7:30 a.m. in Room 2 of the San Diego Convention Center

Dr. Honey is the author of numerous books, including his latest, All Labor Has Dignity, (Beacon, 2011) a collection of Dr. King's speeches on labor rights and economic justice from the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, culminating in the momentous “Mountaintop” speech delivered before his death in 1968. Other titles include the acclaimed Going Down Jericho Road: The Memphis Strike, Martin Luther King's Last Campaign (W.W. Norton & Company, 2007), Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle (University of California Press, 1999), and Southern Labor and Black Civil Rights: Organizing Memphis Workers (University of Illinois Press, 1993). In addition to his writing and teaching, Dr. Honey regularly speaks on various historical issues at campuses and community organizations across the country. Dr. Honey's participation is made possible through the generous support of Beacon Press and Random House, Inc.

This year's sunrise celebration will be themed “Everybody Can Be Great…” and will bring together leaders from the association, including ALA President Roberta Stevens and ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. Featured readings will include selections from the works of Dr. King.

The program is sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and is supported by the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

Light refreshments will be served thanks to the generous sponsorship of World Book, Inc.


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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Needs Panelists for Annual

By Virginia Moore, MLKTF Chair

Does your library observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday? Are you willing to share your programming experiences with other librarians and library professionals? If so, then you would be an excellent candidate to be a panelist for the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Multicultural Idea Exchange at the ALA Annual Conference.

Please download the panelist application and submit to Virginia B. Moore by Friday, February 11, 2011 to be considered for this event.


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2011 Rainbow Project List Released at Midwinter

By Lynn Evarts, RPTF Acting Chair

The fourth Rainbow Project book list will be released in San Diego at the end of the Midwinter conference! The list is jointly sponsored by SRRT and GLBT-RT. Nine of us will meet during Midwinter to create a list of recommended GLBT-Q titles that serve the needs of young people, ages birth to 18.

We'd love to have you join us for our deliberations. We will be discussing 62 titles including some very interesting self-published and small press works such as God Loves Hair by Vivek Shrya, and Kicked Out edited by Sassafrass Lowery. We will be looking at picture books about dogs that DO do ballet and a young adult book that deals very frankly with a teen's crush on her transgendered neighbor. There's bound to be something of interest for everyone during our discussions. If you've read a title we're discussing, we'd welcome your comments as well.

This is a project of profound importance, especially in light of the recent reports of bullying and suicides, and the resulting discussion in the media. We are striving to get this list out to as many people as possible, whether they are librarians, educators, parents, or young people themselves. This list and the books on it can serve as a jumping off point to begin difficult discussions with people or just to help you increase awareness in your own library.

Check out the nominated titles and previous lists now at You will also find our final list at this website in mid-January, as well as in your Cognotes at the end of the conference. Feel free to contact Lynn Evarts (levarts[at], Acting Chair of The Rainbow Project, if you have any questions.


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Volunteer Opening: SRRT Newsletter Editor

Are you looking for a way to get more involved with and be of service to the Social Responsibilities Round Table? Are you all about information, organization, and communication? Do you have excellent writing and editing skills? Are you familiar with basic desktop and web publishing or have the ability to pick this up quickly? Are you good at meeting deadlines and encouraging others to meet them as well?

If you answered "yes" to the questions above -- You might be our next SRRT Newsletter editor!

Myka Kennedy Stephens will be stepping down as newsletter editor after the completion of her three-year term and the SRRT Editorial Board is now seeking her replacement. The new editor will be appointed at ALA Mid-winter and will serve as co-editor for two newsletters under the tutelage of the current editor. The SRRT Newsletter is produced electronically on a quarterly basis. An estimated 12 to 15 hours of work goes into each issue, focusing on collecting written submissions and images, editing and formatting submissions, and making final edits before submitting the finished document for publication. The SRRT Newsletter Editor works in close partnership with the SRRT Action Council, the SRRT Editorial Board, and the SRRT Web Manager.

If you are interested in becoming the next SRRT Newsletter editor, please send a copy of your resume/CV, a brief statement outlining your qualifications and interest in the position, and a writing sample and/or examples of previous work to Alison Lewis, SRRT Editorial Board Member, at alewis[at] The deadline for submission of materials is Friday, December 17th.


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Call for Media Reviewers

The SRRT Newsletter is currently seeking writers to review socially responsible books, DVDs, blogs, and other media. Experience is appreciated but not necessary. The SRRT Newsletter also takes suggestions for materials to review.

Please e-mail inquiries and submissions to SRRT Reviews Editor Jennifer Caldwell (jennifer.caldwell[at], indicating "SRRT Media Review" in the subject line. Please send your submissions as a MS Word or RTF file, or as plain text pasted into the body of an e-mail. We ask that submissions be kept to approximately 500 to 750 words.

Although e-mail is preferred, for submissions that can only be made by post, please mail to Jennifer Caldwell, Wheeler Taft Abbett, Sr. Library, 7800 N. Schisler, Tucson, AZ, 85712. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.


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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 February 11, 2011.

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] 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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