SRRT Newsletter - Issue 176, September 2011

SRRT Newsletter - Issue 176, September 2011

Also available in EPUB format.


Thanks to Nancy Garmer for all the photos from ALA

Letter from the Editor

by Amy Honisett

Amy Honisett

Hello SRRT newsletter readers! My name is Amy Honisett; I am the new editor for the SRRT newsletter and the new web manager for SRRT’s site. I am taking over these positions from Myka Kennedy Stephens, who has been the editor and web manager for the past three years. Myka’s excellent work and tireless effort have allowed me an exceptionally easy transition into these roles.

About me: I decided to become a librarian in 2008 after working at a credit union and then owning my own food service business. I chose librarianship because I firmly believe that access to information is vital to a healthy society; information literacy is an essential factor in leveling the playing field and creating opportunity. Knowing how and where to find information allows us to create better, richer lives - as individuals and as members of the large and small communities in which we all live. I became a member of SRRT because I believe that this profession can create and support positive change and I want to be part of that change.

I earned a Master of Arts in English from Portland State University in 2003 and graduated from Drexel University in 2010 with a Master of Library Science. From 2009 until this past February, I worked as a circulation assistant at the Tualatin Public Library in Oregon. I left that position to become the Education Librarian at the Eccles Health Sciences library at the University of Utah.

I hope that my experiences and my education will help me to serve you well as the editor of the SRRT newsletter and I look forward to hearing from you with contributions to and ideas for the newsletter.

Please always feel free to contact me with ideas, suggestions, or contributions to the newsletter. You can reach me at ahonisett (at)


Amy Honisett

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Coordinator's Column

By Jane Glasby

Jane Glasby

As your newest SRRT Coordinator, I am fortunate to have as my predecessor the very able Mike Marlin. Mike accomplished much during his tenure, including sorting out the confusion many of us have been feeling over the budget, which turns out to be as healthy as those of other ALA bodies. Thank you, Mike, and congratulations on being elected to ALA Council!


The 2011 Conference saw social responsibilities coincide with issues of intellectual freedom. Daniel Ellsberg spoke at two of our programs. Three motions related to WikiLeaks were introduced, and both the Intellectual Freedom Round Table and the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (in conjunction with the Committee on Legislation) offered programs about WikiLeaks. The only body not cognizant of our responsibility in this area seems to be the ALA Council! I am always saddened to hear Council members voice uninformed opinions that ignore the basic social responsibilities of librarians. Perhaps all SRRT members should run for Council and see what happens.

This is a good time to remind everyone that there are positions on Action Council that need to be filled for a year. See elsewhere in this newsletter for the details of how apply. Help us out, and get your feet wet, if you are new.

In addition to The Most Dangerous Man in America - Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, we enjoyed the films Pink Saris from the Feminist Task Force and Obligation to Endure (about the EPA libraries) from the Task Force on the Environment, as well as the Video Round Table’s program about filmmaker Helen Hill, which SRRT Co-sponsored. The Amelia Bloomer Breakfast and the MLK Holiday Multi Cultural Idea Exchange were popular returning events. Our affiliate, the Progressive Librarians’ Guild, hosted speaker Amy Sonnie, “The Banned Librarian.” The innovative “Human Library,” where people are the books to be checked out for short interactions, was a great success. Participants were eager to try out the idea at their own libraries.


We are librarians. Everywhere we turn at ALA, librarians share new ways to deliver content and interact with patrons, new ways to deal with changes to the publishing environment, new ways to teach and to catalog. I value talk about new tools and technologies, new ways to preserve, select, organize and offer access and I value talk about intellectual freedom and patron privacy.

For those of our profession interested in social responsibilities, there are so many places where we can and should intervene in these discussions of “library issues.” In areas where ALA is already active, SRRT members should be influencing the direction and focus of activity to include socially responsible practice. The Round Table offers us a place to refine our understanding of complicated but essential topics by discussing and researching them with like-minded people so that we can participate effectively in ongoing discussion and activity at ALA.

But SRRT as a body has had a more fundamental function ever since it was established in 1969, and that is to push ALA to do the right thing in the areas where it does not see why or how it should engage. On the cutting edge of librarianship, every issue is a “library issue.” The areas that are considered "off limits" or "none of our business" are exactly those where the big changes are made. Just imagine, before SRRT, some of those wild ideas beyond the bounds of “library issues” involved taking a stand against segregation, pushing for equal pay for women, making the Association more accountable to members by opening all meetings, and refusing to buy or sell products produced in sweatshops.

Today, the issues that the reactionary elements of the ALA refuse to consider because they are "not library issues" are ideas such as taking a stand against the war in Afghanistan, supporting WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, and giving members easy access to information about union actions against hotels so that members can avoid crossing picket lines at Conference. I was shocked when Council refused to make it possible to share this information with members, as I was shocked that they didn’t consider the WikiLeaks aim of open government a “library issue.” One thing we do in SRRT is to persevere. ALA has not heard the end of these subjects. We will be returning to Council with these and other issues. I hope to see you soon at SRRT meetings and on the Council floor.

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Why SRRT and Why Action Council

SRRT Action Council members tell us what SRRT means to them, how they define social responsibility, and why they ran for Action Council.

Jane Glasby

Jane Glasby

When I first came to ALA in 2004 as a student, I headed straight for SRRT. I was looking for the left wing at ALA. For those members of SRRT who never attend ALA conferences, or never quite get to a SRRT meeting when at conference, I have to tell you the experience has been both interesting and daunting. However, it turned out that I didn’t have to establish my credentials before speaking up and joining in. After all, SRRT was the force behind the establishment of the open meeting policy at ALA.

The main work of SRRT is done in the Task Forces. The problem with the All Task Forces meeting, apart from the fact that it is held ridiculously early in the morning, is that all the task forces meet simultaneously, so that participation is only possible in only one task force at a time. This meant that for several years I hovered, moving from one table to another, believing in the mission of each and every task force and unable to decide where to sit.

I want to be on all of them.

I want to be on the Feminist Task Force. Politically, I have always identified myself first and foremost as a feminist. The Feminist Task Force is very well organized, has wonderful events and programs, maintains a great web presence, and - at 41- is the oldest Task Force in continued existence. It maintains close relationships with the Committee on the Status of Women in Libraries (COSWL) and the Women’s and Gender Studies Section of ACRL. Many of the most enjoyable and interesting programs and events I have attended have been organized by these groups.

I want to be on the Poverty and Homelessness Task Force. As a public librarian, the patrons I see most of, from the moment the Main library opens at San Francisco Public, are the disenfranchised, the poor, the sick, the homeless; and I see how much better we could serve them. The Task Force puts pressure on ALA to act on existing policy and to create new policies and initiatives.

I want to be on the Task Force on the Environment. After all, influencing policy and behavior towards the environment is fundamental to the future of our planet. The TFOE organizes successful discussions, films, and simple, effective campaigns such as providing bicycles for conference rentals and Cup by Cup for a Greener ALA, in which they got ALA to promote the idea that people attending Conference could prevent the waste of tens of thousands of disposable cups by each bringing their own reusable coffee mug.

I want to be on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force. This task force organizes the best event at Midwinter: the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration. We read Dr. King’s words, eat breakfast, hear an invited speaker, and sing We Shall Overcome. I urge all our members to attend this moving and inspiring event if you can.

I want to be on the Rainbow Project Task Force. Who wouldn’t want an opportunity and excuse to read and endorse a lot of great youth books with gay /lesbian /bisexual /transgender/ questioning themes? I look forward to many more bibliographies and programs from this newest task force that we share with the GLBTRT.

I want to be on the next Task Force that someone comes up with.

So why did I finally choose to sit down at the table for the International Responsibilities Task Force, despite my great interest in other task forces? Simply because it represents the place where ALA’s social responsibilities are most challenged. We are forced to examine our position as representatives of what is still the dominant world power. If we can make the case that international responsibilities are an essential part of what makes us library professionals, then we have arrived at a full understanding of what Social Responsibilities are.

I joined Action Council because if I don’t do it, no one will. Action won’t happen unless we make it happen. This is my professional association and if I care about it, I have to be involved.

Julie Winkelstein

Julie Winkelstein

Even though I’ve belonged to ALA for many years, and even though I was a public librarian for 20 years, and even though my first 10 years as a librarian were spent acting upon the social responsibilities aspect of librarianship, I wasn’t aware of SRRT until I wrote a graduate school research paper on the intersection of social justice and librarianship. I was excited to find a part of ALA that seemed to speak to who I am as a librarian and as an activist.

I am currently in an Information Science doctoral program. Being away from the daily challenges of public librarianship has offered me the chance to look at what we do as public librarians from the vantage point of social justice and social responsibilities. My years as a jail and prison librarian, the time I spent in a jail tutoring program, and my work as a Family Literacy coordinator offered me daily opportunities to address the disparities I see in our society. However, I never really had a chance to talk to others like myself and to see the importance of the work I was doing in a larger sense - as part of a community of librarians who view the role of public librarians as being greater than the day-to-day realities of overdue books, unruly teenagers, social media, funding, and the wide range of other issues that comprise the daily working life of a public librarian.

In SRRT, I have found people who are passionate about the connection between libraries and social responsibilities and who are willing to commit the time and the patience it requires to navigate the realities of librarianship, the differences in our approaches, and the myriad ways there are of defining the concept of social responsibility.

When I had the opportunity to run for SRRT Action Council, I decided it would give me a chance to have a greater say in how SRRT - and ALA - connect the two subjects that are of greatest importance to me: social justice and libraries. So far, it has been a rewarding, challenging and thought-provoking experience. As a result, I have renewed my commitment to bringing in as many voices and opinions as possible, so the definition of “social responsibilities” will continue to evolve and inspire.

I hope anyone reading this will attend a SRRT meeting at the next ALA conference and, in the meantime, email an Action Council member to let us know what’s important to you. The topic of social responsibilities and librarians has a rich history and it’s our job to make sure it continues to be relevant.

Nicole Winslow

Nicole Winslow

I ran for SRRT Action Council because I wanted to get more involved in a national level committee and I found that SRRT was a good fit for me. I define social responsibility, and describe it to my children, as being there to fight for those who are not able to do it for themselves. As a librarian, I have had access to an educational system and information that many do not have the privilege or ability to access. I want to be involved in continuing to make the library systems throughout our country the equalizers of the masses; we do not turn people away because of race, ethnicity, or social status.

I work in the large metropolitan area of Las Vegas and see people from all walks of life on a daily basis. Many immigrants utilize our services because of my branch's location. These services include classes in English as a Second Language, citizenship and using computers. I strive to make the library a welcoming and friendly environment for anyone who steps through the doors and hope to make our branch even more of a community gathering place as time goes on. Being part of the Action Council gives me hope that I might have influence on decisions that could impact a larger number of staff and patrons. I look forward to my meetings and interactions with all members of SRRT.

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The Human Library at ALA Annual 2011

Julie Winkelstein at the Human Library

By Julie Winkelstein

This June, for the first time, ALA - through SRRT - hosted a Human Library at the annual conference. It was an amazing and satisfying experience for me, as the coordinator, and - judging from the evaluations we received - for the Readers and the Books as well.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Human Library, here is a brief description. (Much more extensive information can be found on the Human Library website, at

The impetus for the Human Library - also known as the Living Library - came from a group of Danish students who were concerned about hate crimes and who wanted to help people see past biases and stereotypes they might have of others. In the Human Library, the Books are people and each Book represents a common prejudice or stereotype. In our library, the Books included a blind music snob, an herbivore, a zine librarian, a feminist, an Anishinabe/Ojibwe Indian, an obese person, a person married to a transwoman, a civil rights activist, a Catholic, a White male corporate manager and many more. Each Reader perused the catalog, registered for a library card, signed an agreement to treat each Book with respect, and then sat down with a chosen Book for 15 minutes (because we only had two hours, we had to limit the time). Readers were encouraged to ask respectful but personal questions, since the point of the library is to promote communication and break down barriers.

We met in a large hotel meeting room that was set up with pairs of chairs scattered around the room. At one point, when I looked around, I could see that every Book was checked out and everyone in the room was engaged in an animated conversation with a stranger. At that moment, I understood the power of such a simple concept. SRRT plans to do it again next year and I would love to hear from anyone who would like to be a Book. You can email me at jwinkels(at)

Book and Reader

Human Library

Human Books

At the Human Library

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International Responsibilities Task Force - Focus on International Misconduct and Secrecy

by Tom Twiss

Tom Twiss

This summer, SRRT’s International Responsibilities Task Force has focused its attention on cases of heroic whistle blowing that expose the international misconduct of the U.S. government. Our activities included organizing two programs at the ALA annual conference, submitting three resolutions to SRRT Action Council and to the ALA membership, and beginning to organize a program for next year’s ALA conference in Anaheim.

For many of us, the highlights of this year’s ALA conference were the two programs in which Daniel Ellsberg spoke. Ellsberg remains America’s most famous whistle blower because of his 1971 release of the Pentagon Papers, which chronicled the sordid secret history of American involvement in Vietnam. On Saturday evening, June 25, Ellsberg answered questions following a showing of the Academy Award nominated film The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. The following morning he appeared as an Auditorium Speaker, addressing the issues of war and secrecy. In both sessions, Ellsberg drew parallels between the U.S. war in Vietnam and its current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and between his own release of the Pentagon Papers and the recent release—allegedly by Private Bradley Manning—of documents related to U.S. wars and foreign policy and the publication of those documents by WikiLeaks. One can get a sense of Ellsberg’s remarks from a fascinating interview in the July/August issue of American Libraries. IRTF would like to express our appreciation to all the people in ALA who made this program possible, including the ALA Executive Director, ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom, ALA President’s Office, the Office for Literary and Outreach Services, the Social Responsibilities Round Table, the Video Round Table, and eleven past presidents of ALA.

Ellsberg Accepts SRRT Tshirt

Daniel Ellsberg Accepts a SRRT T-Shirt

Following the lead of Daniel Ellsberg, the IRTF supported freedom of the press and opposed the use of secrecy to hide government misdeeds by submitting three resolutions to SRRT Action Council and to the ALA membership meeting: a Resolution in Support of Wikileaks, a Resolution on WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies, and a Resolution in Support of Bradley Manning. SRRT Action Council reaffirmed its support of the first and second resolutions and endorsed the third. Subsequently, all three resolutions were voted down in a poorly attended ALA membership meeting. However, IRTF has decided to continue publicizing issues related to WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning and we will consider resubmitting these resolutions at a later point.

One way in which we are continuing to work on WikiLeaks related issues is by preparing our program for next year’s ALA conference. We have already begun working with the Law and Political Science Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries on a program related to secrecy and security issues. We hope to have a panel discussion that will include leading supporters of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning.

We would like to use this opportunity to commend progressive librarians in Australia for their successful efforts to get the Library of Congress and the National Library of Australia to drop the subject heading Extremist Websites for books about WikiLeaks. An article on this campaign appeared in the online publication Firedoglake in July.

Finally, some additional news related to IRTF: I will continue as IRTF coordinator for the coming year. Also, two Pittsburgh SRRT members, Dan Hensley and Jonah McAllister-Erikson, both at the University of Pittsburgh, have agreed to help revise, redesign, and update our IRTF website and Dan has agreed to take over as IRTF web manager.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Multicultural Idea Exchange – Saved by the Stars

by Virginia B. Moore

Virginia Moore

After economic difficulties and other misfortunes caused cancellations from invited guest speakers, Carolyn V. Neal (Property Management Librarian, Cleveland Public Library and faculty at Bryant & Stratton College) became a star by contributing the star-studded Cleveland Public Library 2011 King Holiday program. Neal was introduced as one of Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers” in March 15, 2007 and she was welcomed with gratitude for heroically appearing at ALA in spite of a family tragedy on the previous day. The stellar presentation of the exemplary city-wide celebration included an outdoor banner, a power point presentation, and audience participation.

Neal showed many ways the Cleveland Public Library celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the theme Remember, Celebrate, Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off! The 26th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm featured iLinda Reese, show host at Village TV-1, introducing keynote speaker George C. Fraser, chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc., author of Race for Success, and the creator and publisher of the award winning Success Guide Worldwide: Networking Guide to Black Resources. Autographs followed the program, which included a performance by the Nathaniel Dett Choir of the Cleveland School of the Arts and a photograph exhibit, “Women of a New Tribe,” showcasing the physical and spiritual beauty of black women. The annually published calendar announced commemorative programs designed for children, teens, and adults throughout the month of January.

The presentation received a wow, which continued as the audience shared programs ranging from California to the New Orleans Public Library, whose presentation included colorful brochures. The calendars, brochures, and other handouts were distributed again at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Exhibit during the ALA Diversity & Outreach Fair, which received many compliments.

Special thanks to all attendees, with special appreciation to Task Force members Mary Biblo, Julie Winkelstein, and new participant Sarah Burns Gilchrist, SLIS graduate student at Indiana University, Indianapolis. Endless gratitude is extended to La Juan Pringle for consistent, invaluable assistance since 2006, along with sincere appreciation to SRRT Officers and OLOS Staff.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force – In Memory of Patricia Wilson Berger

At the SRRT All-Task Force Meeting, the Task Force and Sunrise Celebration Committee forwarded the ALA Memorial Resolution for Patricia Wilson Berger that was endorsed by SRRT Action Council. The endorsement honored Patricia Berger for her numerous achievements and acknowledged her revitalization of the National Library Involvement Committee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission as ALA President, 1989-1990. Following the Commission’s sunset in 1996, the early leadership of Patricia Wilson Berger had fostered the Committee’s establishment as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force in 1998. The SRRT Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force reiterates the Resolution to express profound gratitude for the distinguished memory of Patricia Wilson Berger and deepest sympathy to her husband and family.

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Hunger Homelessness and Poverty Task Force Report

by Lisa Gieskes

The HHPTF presented their Poverty Tooklkit for ALA attendees during the ALA annual conference. Audience members were invited to contribute to the toolkit by contacting Lisa Gieskes, HHPTF Coordinator.

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GreenNotes: A Resource for Things Environmental and Sustainable

by Fred Stoss

2012 Green Book Festival Call for Entries

See for information on the Green Book Festival's annual competition.

Growing Green Leaders

Green Corps is reaching out to supporters and allies to help them find the next class of environmental organizers. Green Corps organizers recruit and train students from hundreds of colleges across the country to demand an end to the nation's addiction to dirty coal and oil and a transition to a clean energy future. If you know someone who wants to get training and make a big difference on environmental causes, tell them about Green Corps! Follow this link to find out more about Green Corps:

If students want, the program also has a do-it-yourself approach to gaining the skills for launching a career as a social change organizer. Each year they run a year-long paid training program for recent college graduates. Route this information to faculty, students, advisors, and others that may know a future environmental organizer/leader and have them apply today to join the Green Corps class and build a movement to defend our earth. Begin here:

Promoting Sustainability on College Campuses

The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education advances sustainability in higher education. Find out more here:

Free Environmental Health Resource

Issues pertaining to environmental health include the medical and health implications we face in the environments where we live, go to school, work and play. From childhood lead-poisoning to indoor air pollution-induced asthma, addressing such environmental health threats can be a tricky and exhausting challenge. Staying abreast of information is one of those challenges.

The fall edition of NIH MedlinePlus should be available by the time you read this. NIH Medline Plus is a consumer friendly magazine featuring reliable, up-to-date health information, including the latest breakthroughs from National Institutes of Health (NIH) - supported research, including the research of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences,, and the National Cancer Institute,

The NIH, the National Library of Medicine, and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine are the publishers of this free quarterly magazine. Read the online version or download the print edition here:

You can subscribe to a print copy as an individual and/or order bulk copies for your patrons. Request an individual subscription here:

Bulk orders can be placed here:

There is also an English/Spanish edition that is published irregularly. NIH MedlinePlus Salud is produced by NIH, the National Library of Medicine, and the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, in partnership with the National Hispanic Medical Association. Read the online version or download the print edition here: Request an individual subscription here: Bulk orders can be placed here:

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ALA Councilor's Report

by Tiffani Conner

(Thanks to Tennessee Chapter Councilor Kevin Reynolds, SRRT member, for the use of his notes to create this report)

Tiffani Conner

New Orleans drew a slightly better than projected attendance with just over 20,000 people, including exhibitors. However, attendance was less then recent annual conferences (26,201 in Washington, DC; 2010 and 28,941 in Chicago in 2009). For a general overview of the conference, please see sources such as the AL Direct Annual Conference Wrap Up (

ALA Council I began with two presidential task force reports, the Chapter Relations Task Force report ( and the Future Perfect Task Force report ( The second report drew considerable discussion. This Task Force was asked to envision the ideal ALA structure if there was no governing body. While the report was characterized as a broad "idea" paper, criticism was leveled at the ideas of dissolving Council and integrating chapters and ALA. Finally, Council considered and passed the resolution on Out of School Time Library Programs.

ALA Council II began with the Policy Monitoring Committee bringing two actions (, both approved by Council. Both actions were to align policy language with the 2015 Strategic Plan and the resolution Clarification within Job Listings as to the Presence or Absence of Domestic Partner Benefits.

The Constitution and Bylaws Committee presented two action items ( to clarify language in the bylaws. Council approved both items: the first, to ignore votes for a Council candidate who withdraws from the election between the time the ballots are distributed and the time the election results are reported, the second allowing voting at virtual membership meetings.

Three action items:

  • Revision of the charge of the ALA-Children's Book Council Joint Committee
  • Creation of a new Games and Gaming Round Table
  • Several recommendations for BARC and staff surrounding hybrid meetings, including a pilot study of carrying hybrid meetings, were brought forward by Committee on Organization (COO) ( All were approved by Council.

The Council Effectiveness Task Force ( discussion and consideration of action items were postponed to Council III.

The Freedom to Read Foundation ( report included updates on recent litigation pertaining to First Amendment issues and a suggestion that ALA carefully consider privacy concerns in the area of e-books; vendors could track patron use, among other complications.

The Presidential Task Force on Equitable Access to Electronic Content (a.k.a. EQUACC) wrapped up its work. The reporter emphasized the urgent need for resources and a fixed place in ALA for continuing the work of EQUACC. Two formal action items from the Task Force were voted on and passed by Council:

  • The report will be referred to BARC (fiscal implications) and the Executive Board and Executive Director will develop an implementation plan
  • An ongoing group will be established to address issues of Equitable Access to Digital Content on a coordinated, association-wide basis

ALA Council III began with the Treasurer's Report ( on the finances of the Association.

The Intellectual Freedom Committee report ( contained one action item, the Resolution to Protect Library User Confidentiality in Self-Service Hold Practices. Council voted to adopt the resolution.

The Committee on Legislation chair presented a report with several action items (, all of which were adopted by Council:

  • Resolution to Continue Opposition to the Use of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT act and the Use of National Security Letters to Violate Reader Privacy [joint resolution with IFC]
  • Resolution on Government Printing Office F2012 Appropriations
  • Resolution on Defunding of Statistical Agencies
  • Resolution to Increase Funding for the Improving Literacy through School Libraries Program
  • Resolution to Increase Funding for the Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA)
  • Resolution to Include Libraries in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

The Council Effectiveness Task Force report ( was again brought forward. It offered several recommendations and four action items. Because of the number of items in the report, each recommendation and action item was considered separately. The recommendations fell into these areas:

  • Preparation, effectiveness, reports, resolution process
  • Improved internal communication
  • Role of Information Session and Membership Meetings
  • Playing a more strategic role

Action items (approved by Council) included:

  • An amendment to provision #6 of the "Content" section of Policy 5.3 to state that "Resolutions should clearly support ALA's Strategic Plan as well as its mission and/or its core values"
  • Add to the "Process" provisions of Policy 5.3 the statement that "A supplemental explanation consisting of one or more expository paragraphs should accompany every resolution clearly stating how the resolution supports ALA's Strategic Plan as well as its mission and/or its core values." This supplementary explanation is not a part of a resolution proper
  • Expanded opportunities for members present at the Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference
  • Council self-assessment of its effectiveness

Council considered and adopted the Resolution to Endorse the United Nations' 16 May 2011 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom Opinion and Expression. The UN report can be found here:

ALA-APA Council (Sunday, June 26, 2011) began with news that ALA-APA director, Jenifer Grady, would be leaving her post for Tennessee in July. Lorelle Swader will take on the ALA-APA directorship (Executive Director's Report).

Positive news concerning the ALA-APA finances ( was revealed; FY 2011 is projected to end with approximately $40,000 in net revenue.

The Certified Public Library Administrator Program now has 136 candidates, with a total of 49 graduates thus far. There are 182 applicants and 144 active candidates in the Library Support Staff Certification Program across 34 states.

Finally, National Library Workers Day had over 600 individuals nominated as "stars," and 900 Facebook friends. The 2012 National Library Workers Day will be Tuesday, April 10 (Committee on Salaries and Status of Library Workers).

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Minutes from SRRT Action Council Meeting I

Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 10:30 am in New Orleans, LA

Meeting Called to order at 10:32 a.m.


The following SRRT members were present:

Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator

Jane Glasby, SRRT Coordinator-Elect

Nancy Garmer, SRRT Secretary

LaVonda Broadnax, SRRT Action Council Member

Al Kagan, SRRT Action Council Member

Gary Colmenar, SRRT Action Council Member, EMIERT liaison

Emily Puckett-Rogers, SRRT Action Council Member

Julie Winkelstein, SRRT Action Council Member

LaJuan Pringle, SRRT Action Council Member, SRRT Membership Committee Chair

Diedre Conkling, Feminist Task Force Representative

Teresa Tobin, Feminist Task Force Representative

Ginny Moore, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Representative

Tom Twiss, International Responsibilities Task Force Representative

Laura Koltutsky, IFRT Liaison

Mark Hudson, FTRF and PLG Liaison

Bleue Benton, Illinois Librarians for Social Responsibility Forum Representative

Laura Krier, SRRT Website manager

Mary Biblo

Alison Lewis, SRRT Newsletter editorial board

Charles Kratz


Representatives from distributed materials and announced a program they sponsored Saturday afternoon to prepare libraries that are facing the threat of privatization entitled Privatization of Libraries: What’s at Stake for Your Profession and Community.

ALA past-president Betty Turock spoke to the SRRT Action Council as a representative of the Spectrum Scholarship Initiative. She stated that she started out in SRRT and issues of equity have always been paramount to her. Spectrum supports emerging minorities and prepares them to become emerging leaders. The Spectrum presidential initiative is pushing to support Spectrum on the level that is really needed. 729 scholars, mainly academic and public, are supported by the program and Turock stated that we are gaining on a more representative workforce.

Turock requested we give money on behalf of SRRT. It costs $6,500 to support one scholar for tuition and education. An additional $1,500 is needed for the leadership conference at ALA.

She stated that someone had raised the idea of having leaders work with certain areas of interest within ALA and that we could certainly invite them to come meet us and bring them into SRRT. The Spectrum leadership model chooses candidates that do well and work hard rather than simply “developing” leaders. A short question and answer session about supporting Spectrum followed Turock’s presentation.

Rachel Gordon from Energized Films announced she was here for the Ellsberg Film. She does media relations for Energized Films: Connecting Films to Community.

Ginny Moore announced that the MLK, Jr. Holiday Multi-Cultural Idea Exchange would proceed on Saturday afternoon. The keynote speaker cancelled at the last minute, but Carolyn Neal from Cleveland Public Library agreed to present, so the show will go on.

Mike Marlin stated that SRRT needs a representative to attend the ALA Planning and Budget Assembly (PBA). Zora Sampson committed to attending this conference and taking notes, but SRRT does need a permanent representative if anyone can do it.

Marlin also announced that Tiffani Conner, SRRT Representative to ALA Council, could not attend this conference. He requested volunteers to sit in on council, take notes, and write a summary for SRRT. Teresa Tobin suggested that someone could simply sit in and report on SRRT issues. Anyone can attend council meetings. However, it is a three meeting commitment.

Julie Winkelstein announced the program she had on Monday: the Human Library. People check out a “book” which is actually a person to whom they can talk for 15-20 minutes. The idea is to foster communication and break down stereotypes and each book represents a different kind of stereotype. Winkelstein asked for volunteer librarians or books and Nancy Garmer agreed to help with the program.

Mark Hudson, Progressive Librarians Guild liaison, announced that the PLG meeting on Saturday featured Amy Sonnie. Sonnie wrote Revolutionary Voices, an anthology of writing by LGBT youth, which has been challenged many times. She is promoting her new book about little known social movements of the 1960s, entitled Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times. Hudson also announced the location of the annual PLG dinner: Angeli on Decateur.

Al Kagan clarified that the Daniel Ellsberg film was showing in Auditorium A Saturday night, but the Question and Answer session to follow was in Auditorium C. The Sunday morning presentation by Ellsberg was in Auditorium B.

Teresa Tobin announced that the Feminist Task Force was showing the film Pink Saris about the feminist movement in India.

As part of ALA’s Now Showing @ ALA film program, all films were being shown in Convention Center, Auditorium C.


Memorial Resolution for Patricia Wilson Berger

Ginny Moore brought forth the Memorial Resolution for Patricia Wilson Berger. Moore stated that Berger is credited with revitalizing the ALA National Library Involvement Committee of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday Commission that, because of the commission’s sunset, later became the SRRT Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force in 1999. Mike Marlin read the “resolved” clauses. Moore moved for SRRT to endorse the memorial resolution. Teresa Tobin seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Al Kagan suggested that Moore should specifically state that Berger was credited with revitalizing the MLK Jr. Holiday Commission when she brings the motion to the ALA Membership meeting and to Council, since it was not stated directly in the resolution.

Memorial Resolutions do not require speaking at the Membership or Council meetings and are passed as a matter of course. The names are called for a moment of silence. However, having SRRT endorse the resolution provided a record and recognition of the historical involvement between SRRT and Patricia Berger. Moore stated that she intended to pass on a copy of the effective minutes to the family.

Memorial Resolution for Diane Gordon Kadanoff

Teresa Tobin introduced the Memorial Resolution Honoring Diane Gordon Kadanoff. Tobin stated that Kadanoff was active in SRRT, started the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL), and was instrumental in the SRRT Feminist Task Force (FTF). Tobin moved for SRRT to endorse the resolution. Jane Glasby seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Resolutions in Support of WikiLeaks

Tom Twiss stated that the resolutions in support of WikiLeaks were tabled at Midwinter. He would like to resubmit them to the ALA Membership Meeting and reaffirm SRRT’s commitment to them. The resolutions will automatically go to ALA Council if they are passed at the ALA Membership Meeting. Twiss outlined the small changes he made to the resolutions.

Mike Marlin provided a summary of what happened with the resolutions at Midwinter. There was a lot of conversation at the ALA forums and Tiffani Conner made changes based on these discussions that were never discussed officially. Forums have no weight on what comes before Council.

Teresa Tobin said the fact that the resolutions were tabled at Council was outrageous; we need to make clear that Forums are not an official activity of ALA Council. She stated that Larry Romans tabled the resolutions, but she’s not sure if he understood that he was tabling them forever.

Discussion ensued regarding the usefulness of taking the resolutions to Forum. SRRT thought this was a proactive approach, but perhaps it backfired. The discussion needs to happen on the floor of ALA Council.

Al Kagan agreed with everything Tobin said. He stated that if everyone at the current meeting attended the ALA Membership meeting on Saturday, there is a good chance we could pass the resolution. Bodies are needed at the membership meetings to make a quorum (75 people) in order for any business to be conducted.

Discussion ensued regarding the last “resolved” clause. Julie Winkelstein believes that it is a distraction and is unnecessary. Other AC members agreed that it might be better to focus on the more pressing issue, WikiLeaks, and not on Julian Assange, which is probably the more volatile issue.

Twiss moved that we strike the sixth “whereas” clause and amend the fifth “resolved” clause to state: “Condemns the harassment of WikiLeaks without naming any other names or people.” Al Kagan seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Subsequently, this resolution did not pass at the ALA Membership meeting and was not brought to ALA Council.

Resolution on WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies

Mike Marlin asked if all the information in the resolution is still true and accurate. Al Kagan said that it is an executive order, so it is still in effect. Julie Winkelstein expressed concern that the information must be current before we bring it forth and stated the resolution needs to clarify that the OMB order was as a result of Executive Order 13526.

Winkelstein moved to make a small change to “whereas” clause 4, stating “This OMB order” and incorporate these changes and reaffirm the Resolution on WikiLeaks and Federal Agencies. Kagan seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Subsequently, this resolution did not pass at the ALA Membership meeting and was not brought to ALA Council.

Resolution in Support of Bradley Manning

Tom Twiss explained that in the case of Bradley Manning, the death penalty is applicable, but the decision is up to the Military Tribunal. ALA has a documented history of supporting whistleblowers, so this case is equally important to support. This resolution was already submitted, so any changes to the resolution would have to be explained at the membership meeting when speaking about it. Al Kagan moved to bring the resolution as stated to ALA Membership Meeting as a SRRT resolution. Mark Hudson seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Subsequently, this resolution did not pass at the ALA Membership meeting and was not brought to ALA Council.

SRRT Website Revisions

Laura Krier stated that she has been working with ALA to revitalize the SRRT page on in conjunction with ALA’s rollout of their new content management system. The committee working on transitioning ALA to the new CMS has looked at all the Round Table pages and highlighted current issues that need to be fixed before the pages can move over. All of the SRRT links used to go to the site, but since it changed, they don’t work anymore.

Discussion ensued regarding the best long-term strategy for SRRT’s web presence. Currently we have the data on both the site and Teresa Tobin said that historically, the Feminist Task Force had a longstanding policy of not using the ALA site as their home website because ALA can capriciously change what it wants to do. It used to be that ALA did not allow ALA units to link outside of the ALA site, but that is not true anymore. SRRT embraced the same mindset: it doesn’t necessarily want ALA to control what it can and cannot put on the website. There is no precedent in ALA imposing any rules other than what you could link to, but that has changed.

Regarding maintaining two different sites, Tobin agreed with Krier that new members look to the organization for information within the organization. Alison Lewis expressed that if the site looks empty and is not current, it gives the impression that SRRT is not active or does not have much going on.

Krier said she gets the impression that the new ALA site will automatically update council members and maintain those sorts of updates. She also stated that it looks like ALA is trying to structure it more and update Round Table pages to make them more involved. The new system is based on Drupal and will be more flexible and updatable. We can remove a box if it’s empty, so we don’t need to have empty categories; we can simply reference the full website to update the ALA site.

SRRT Action Council agreed that we will maintain two websites for now. Krier will populate , but we will also keep the new rollout of that Myka Kennedy Stephens recently completed. The new newsletter editor, Amy Honisett will continue to maintain that site. SRRT will watch ALA to make sure they are dedicated to openness on their website before we migrate over and maintain only one website.

Alternative Publishers of Books in North America (APBNA) Sponsorship

Rory Litwin, of Library Juice Press, wrote a letter asking if the SRRT Alternative Media Task Force (AMTF) would endorse APBNA. Discussion ensued about AMTF, which has not met in three years. There are a couple of members, but everyone is busy. Gary Colmenar stated that it was a lot of work and many members got burned out by the demands of the 40th anniversary event, which was difficult to stage. SRRT bylaws do have parameters for the creation and sun-setting of task forces. If a task force does not meet for two successive conferences, it is discontinued.

Regarding this particular letter, since AMTF is currently considered dissolved, we decided to say that “SRRT endorses.”

Julie Winkelstein stated that she hates to see the AMTF go. Colmenar said academic libraries are now doing open access journals, which include alternative publishing models, small presses, and independent presses.

Alison Lewis asked if the Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force (HHPTF) is meeting. Someone came to the task force meeting, but Lisa Gieskes is the chair and she couldn’t make it, so the task force did not officially meet. Lewis said she wished HHP issues were more clearly tied to SRRT because OLOS also has a committee on it. Winkelstein said HHP is clearly a SRRT issue and the overlap between SRRT and OLOS should be more organized. Jane Glasby asked if there is a liaison between OLOS and SRRT for HHP. Winkelstein said she would talk to Miguel Figueroa.

Spectrum Scholarship Poster Display

Poster Display

Jane Glasby asked if anyone had any input or ideas on the poster display she created for the Spectrum Scholarship event on Thursday to introduce new spectrum scholars to ALA. Everyone agreed it was lovely.

Consensus agreed to move other agenda items to SRRT AC II on Sunday.

Meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

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Minutes from SRRT Action Council Meeting II

Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm in New Orleans, LA

Meeting Called to order at 1:43 p.m.


The following SRRT members were present:

Mike Marlin, SRRT Coordinator

Jane Glasby, SRRT Coordinator-Elect

Nancy Garmer, SRRT Secretary

LaVonda Broadnax, SRRT Action Council Member

Al Kagan, SRRT Action Council Member

LaJuan Pringle, SRRT Action Council Member, SRRT Membership Committee Chair

Emily Puckett-Rogers, SRRT Action Council Member

Julie Winkelstein, SRRT Action Council Member

Diedre Conkling, Feminist Task Force Representative

Ginny Moore, Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Representative

Tom Twiss, International Responsibilities Task Force Representative

Bleue Benton, Illinois Librarians for Social Responsibility Forum Representative

Laura Koltutsky, IFRT Liaison

Mark Hudson, FTRF and PLG Liaison

Alison Lewis, SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board

Nicole Winslow

David Danby

Monika Antonelli

Review of Saturday ALA Membership Meeting

All three SRRT resolutions were soundly defeated despite the quorum issues at the Saturday Membership Meeting. ALA President Roberta Stevens took a non-binding vote and although the resolutions did not pass at membership, SRRT can still bring all three of them to Council if we choose to. Nancy Garmer noted that ALA president-elect Maureen Sullivan voted against all three SRRT resolutions at the membership meeting.

Discussion ensued about whether it is worth it to bring the resolutions back to council. Mark Hudson moved to bring the Bradley Manning resolution to Council pending Councilor support, but subsequently withdrew the motion following continued discussion.

Executive Board Report

Linda Williams, SRRT liaison to the ALA Executive Board, was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. She sent Mike Marlin a report via email, which he will forward to SRRT Action Council.

Electronic Participation during AC Meetings

Emily Puckett-Rogers expressed that it is difficult for her to continue to justify the cost of this conference as a SRRT member in addition to the other conferences she attends professionally. Mike Marlin suggested that perhaps one of the six required AC member meetings could be attended via Skype. Skype can be used as an external group system with speakers so that everyone can hear.

Jane Glasby stated that she understands that not everyone can attend, but she really thinks face-to-face is more appropriate and suggested that perhaps the people that phone in shouldn’t be able to vote. Al Kagan agreed with Glasby. He said that SRRT has had two virtual experiences, one completely online and one when the newsletter editor called in, and he felt they were both unsatisfying.

Puckett-Rogers stated that she often uses Skype for international and national group calls and, while there are sometimes technological issues, it is overall an effective way to meet. We need to make distinctions between full group meetings or one-on-one, or what kind of meeting can we do electronically.

Marlin stated that if we do make these changes, it would require a change to bylaws and it would bring up the separate topic of voting electronically, which would also require a change to bylaws. Tom Twiss said that perhaps an intermediary situation would work by which people can participate and contribute virtually but not vote.

Julie Winkelstein stated that she rejects barriers and finances are a barrier. She also said that participating electronically but not voting is disenfranchising.

Nancy Garmer stated that she doesn’t think we should give up on electronic meetings because we have had a few frustrating experiences. We should keep trying to make it work.

Puckett-Rogers agreed and stated that technology is improving all the time. In the time between the two conferences, there will probably be vast improvements in virtual technology.

Deidre Conkling said that being present and appearing in public is ideal, but if participants phone in or appear by Skype, it counts as attending and, as these are governing bodies, they get to vote. Conkling said that it is quite effective and it works just fine.

Nicole Winslow said we should stop fighting it. Ginny Moore stated that, as the senior citizen in the room, she feels that we need to look at all the ways it will work for everyone.

Garmer stated that while obviously virtual attendance is not ideal, it is not ideal for the attendee either; they are going to lose the entire conference experience. We should allow virtual participation and encourage people to participate and contribute however they can. There are a lot of people out there who can’t afford the cost of attendance, but could be very productive as SRRT members helping from home. Action Council should encourage everyone to attend the conference and meetings in person; however, if it is not possible to attend, virtual participation should be allowed.

Garmer made a motion to allow virtual attendance in the case that attendees cannot attend for any reason for a one-year trial period, to be revisited next year at ALA annual. LaJuan Pringle seconded the motion. Al Kagan and Mark Hudson abstained. The motion passed.

SRRT Elections, Tiebreakers and Vetting Candidates

Mike Marlin clarified that the SRRT Coordinator is not responsible for vetting AC candidates. The process entails the SRRT coordinator putting a call out for candidates with the job description, link and deadline information. Marlin and Nancy Garmer agreed to work on rewriting the language in this bylaw for Midwinter.

Marlin brought up the ALA process for breaking a tie since SRRT had a tie in the most recent Action Council elections. He said that a run-off election seems fairer, but ALA rules state that a tiebreaker is determined by lottery. It was agreed that it is probably not worth pursuing with ALA since it happens so infrequently.

Marlin said that the Round Table Coordinating Assembly recommends revisiting bylaws every couple of years, so we should be thinking about revising the elections part and including e-participation.

Listserv Etiquette Policy

Listserv etiquette was discussed to determine if a defined policy is necessary. If everyone can participate, there must be a clear definition of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable; it can’t be left open for interpretation. Mike Marlin presented a document with examples of how other organizations have worded policies.

Laura Koltutsky will draft a listserv policy to submit to the list for comments and bring a finished copy back to Midwinter.

Additional Discussion

Emily Puckett-Rogers stated that she works with open resources in education such as Creative Commons and other groups that use open source licensing. Should SRRT adopt an open license on the materials that SRRT produces, such as the website and newsletter? Piecemeal pieces of ALA have done it, but it has not been done consistently within the organization. Puckett-Rogers said it could broaden the impact of SRRT to reinforce the use of open source materials and take an active role in letting people use our resources. She will look at what kind of license is available and what we would want.

Alison Lewis said that SRRT signed a contract with Wilson to have the newsletter indexed in library literature and we will need to check through ALA to see if there is a conflict.

Meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

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SRRT Membership Meeting

Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm in New Orleans, LA

Meeting Called to Order at 4:00 p.m.

Introductions and Announcements

Noriko Asato stated that he is attending the conference from Hawaii and is interested in starting a SRRT group there.

Task Force Reports

Feminist Task Force – Diedre Conkling reported on the Amelia Bloomer Project, which supports children’s books with strong female characters. Diane Kadanoff was instrumental in FTF, ALA, and in making this book award happen. FTF is looking at doing another pre-conference in 2014 with COSWL, WSS and Gender Studies – all of which kind of grew out of FTF.

International Responsibilities Round Table – Tom Twiss said that he is working on a program for 2012 on Wikileaks and/ or Bradley Manning, or something that perhaps ties in with national security in conjunction with the ACRL Law and Political Science Section. He is throwing some ideas around.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force - Ginny Moore spoke about the problems encountered by the presenter canceling at the last minute. Despite this roadblock, the feedback from the Multi-Cultural Idea Exchange indicated that the program was a great success.

There were many compliments at the Diversity Fair, which had a display of the 2011 Midwinter MLK/Black Caucus Sunrise Celebration photos that the MLKTF has continued over the years. Moore stated that Satia Orange had provided information, so the Black Caucus and MLKTF are already working on the speaker for next year’s Sunrise Celebration. The OLOS acting director contacted Texas civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander, who wrote the book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Freedom to Read Foundation - Mark Hudson attended the FTRF meeting all day Friday, which mostly covered bills in state legislatures. FTRF is continuing to work on several cases involving Internet filters in public libraries in Missouri and Washington. FTRF is also taking an interest in e-privacy issues regarding e-readers and Overdrive. They are concerned that e-book providers are not protecting privacy. Patrons can borrow formats that are not protected through software that will allow third-party vendors access to their information. This concern extends to e-commerce issues as well, so there needs to be more awareness on the issue.

Rainbow Project Task Force – Jane Glasby read the report she received via email from Lynn Evarts. The Rainbow Project has a new web page and blog. Mike Marlin said he will forward her report to the Action Council.

Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force – Julie Winkelstein reported that her committee is almost ready with a HHP toolkit that includes suggestions for libraries to work with people, concrete examples, bulleted lists, etc.

Task Force on the Environment – No representatives attended the meeting, but a program is in the works for a 2012 Green Libraries program.

Office for Information Technology (OITP) - Mike Marlin stated he will send his report via email.

Other Discussion

SRRT member Michael Seigler from Smyrna, GA raised concerns about library privatization. It was stated that ALA is not in support of privatization. ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels stated in his report that they are aware of the problem and working to create a tool kit to provide to libraries as a means to prepare and defend against the privatization infiltration.

Action Council discussed the times of conference Action Council meetings. It was decided to do another Doodle survey, as somebody is always going to have a conflict.

Newsletter Editorial Policy

Myka Kennedy Stevens, outgoing SRRT newsletter editor, requested that we vote on the Newsletter Editorial Policy that she has been working on for the last three years. It was revised since last presented a year ago at Annual in D.C. Discussion ensued; however, Julie Winkelstein was the only Editorial Board member left in attendance.

Deidre Conkling stated that Action Council needs to communicate to the Editorial Board that they do not set the policy. The Editorial Board sets the procedures, but they do not set policy. Action Council is the policy-making body of SRRT. The newsletter editor is ex-officio. If it is just procedures, then write it as procedures. It cannot be written as policy.

Mike Marlin suggested that since the tone and the language of the amendments were changed, we should postpone further discussion until Midwinter.

Treasurer’s Report

Mike Marlin reported that SRRT has approximately $4,000 for the rest of the fiscal year. SRRT brought in approximately $8,000, $2,000 less than hoped for. Most of the money went to the Daniel Ellsberg program, the Human Library and a little to the MLKTF. SRRT allotted each task force $1,000 for next year, which will be fluid funds that can be moved around. Marlin stated that 2012 programs should be in the works by now and that SRRT is doing OK financially.

Following discussion, Marlin made a motion for SRRT to contribute $1,000 to the Spectrum Scholarship fund in the next fiscal year contingent upon the confirmation of the accuracy of the May, 2011 budget report. SRRT will also offer personal members the opportunity to contribute to the scholarship fund. Deidre Conkling seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Ginny Moore suggested that we look at other ways to raise money – ask members or others. Al Kagan suggested that if other people contribute, we could submit the money in the name of SRRT. SRRT can send the $1,000 from the SRRT fund and then include additional monies that were raised from the general membership.

Julie Winkelstein asked if we could use SRRT money to offer grants to have students come to ALA. Jane Glasby and Winkelstein agreed to form a subcommittee to look into grants.

Winkelstein said she would like to do a program about homeless teens in public libraries and will work on that for 2012.

Membership Meeting Report

LaJuan Pringle gave the Membership Meeting Report: membership is down 20% from May 2011. The current number of SRRT members is 1,032 as of May 2011.

Nancy Garmer suggested that as part of membership, we should query our members to see what they would like to see SRRT doing and what kind of programs interest them.

Officer Appointments

Susan Dillinger told Mike Marlin via email that she will stay on as treasurer another year unless someone else wants to do it. Sue Dillinger was voted to stay on as treasurer another year.

Marlin made a motion to vote Amy Honisett in as newsletter editor and web manager for 2011-2014. Nancy Garmer seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Julie Winkelstein and LaJuan Pringle agreed to co-chair the Membership committee.

The Exhibits and Nominating Chairs have been empty for a while.

Co-Coordinator/ Coordinator – elect is still open.

Al Kagan made a motion that Marlin informally act in a past-coordinator position and that SRRT formally create that position in the bylaws. Jane Glasby seconded the motion. The motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 5:41 p.m.

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Litwin, Rory (compiler) & Wallace, Martin (editor). Speaking of Information: The Library Juice Quotation Book. Minnesota: Library Juice Press, 2009.

Reviewed by James Walter, MLS 2011 graduate, University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science

What better way to illustrate the importance of a quotation book than with a quotation? In the foreword to Speaking of Information: The Library Juice Quotation Book, past ALA president Michael Gorman proclaims, “Essentially, every quotation book is an argument in favor of a field of study...prepare to have your view of our profession reinforced, challenged, and/or broadened.” This book is separated into fifteen chapters of quotations relevant to the field of librarianship: censorship, copyright, information overload, neutrality, and social responsibility, to name a few. The owners of each quotation range from celebrities past and present, famous scholars, and rock-star librarians to the scattered, powerful anonymous and unknown quotes: “Silence is the language of complicity” (Unknown).

There is no doubt that quotations have power in our society. In school, we learn that a research paper is dependent on proper quotations; our work relies and builds upon the work of others. Popular culture is built upon quotations, slogans, and catchphrases. “Just Do It,” for example, might be one of the most well known phrases on the planet. A strong quotation has the power to challenge the reader's thoughts about a subject. One of my favorite quotes from this book was Neil Postman's words from Chapter 7: Data, Information, Knowledge, and Other Wisdom, “Information is the gunpowder of the mind.” These seven words bring to life the image of information as a weapon; immediately I thought social media's role in political uprisings around the globe. Four quotations later, Chris Fujiwara writes, “It's no exaggeration to say that in the information age, texts aren't read, they're searched....”) Just as I was thinking about the power of information, another quote reminded me how easy is to use this power improperly. Our society is obsessed with fast, easy information, but how much of this information do we truly process?

Speaking of Information is an excellent book for librarians of all backgrounds and experience levels. These quotes serve to remind us the importance of our fields and our jobs, “If you find something everyone agrees on, it's wrong” (Morris Udall) or, “Librarians like to be given trouble; they exist for it” (Catherine Drinker Brown). They remind us the value of free information for our entire society, the evils of censorship, and the pressing issue of digital information overload in our quest to preserve information. Speaking of Information is an important book that presents “the idea of the library as servant and protector of the public sphere.” This book is also a guardian of accurate information in a digital age, a valuable trait for any librarian.

This book is highly recommended for all libraries and librarians. It can be digested in short sections or used to focus one's research about a particular topic in librarianship. More information about this title can be found at the official Library Juice website at

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Nectoux, Tracy (editor). Out Behind the Desk: Workplace issues for LGBTQ Librarians. Minnesota: Library Juice Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Rebecca Howard, Readers’ Librarian - Tulsa City-County Library

In this collection of provocative and personal essays, librarians explore what it means to be out at work.

A thread through many of the essays is the sometimes circuitous path leading to librarianship. Often a second or third career, librarianship is a profession that ultimately “fits” for these essayists. Authors also discuss the challenges in acquiring, cataloging, organizing, and marketing material. Developing a balanced, visible collection becomes a conscious act of social justice. Essayist Kimberli Morris elaborates:

Librarians, just by doing the routine (and maybe even mundane) task of deciding what materials to acquire, cataloging, and otherwise processing that material to make it accessible, and just by answering reference questions that lead patrons to that material, are activists.

Perhaps the most intriguing and challenging section is the last, which explores professional obligations as they intersect and contradict personal identities. In particular, Kellian Clink’s essay, “When is the personal not professional? An exploration” engages this issue with integrity and respect. Demonstrating a commitment to professional ethics, she discusses the moral dilemmas inherent in reference work. How does one balance her role as citizen with her role as librarian? Clink’s response is far from prescriptive, but firmly rooted in the concept of trust:

The value I hold dearest as a librarian is the value that patrons will have the kind of experience that will make it clear to them that the library is the place to come when they are considering refinancing their mortgage, when they are ill, when they have to deliver a eulogy or a best man speech…I value their trust in me as a non-judgmental information professional.

Clink’s article offers substantial food for thought about what it means when professional obligation bumps into personal convictions—a question that impacts every librarian to one degree or another. She reminds us that we work in a murky reality, not a sterile classroom. I found her approach to be a very compassionate and admirable one.

While reading this collection, the phrase that kept coming to mind was “the personal is political.” It is impossible to tease out the personal from these essays, because that is their essence—raw, vulnerable, witty, proud, and wise. The road to activism typically begins with the kernel of personal experience. For many of these authors, activism was inevitable. By simply being visible as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person, many authors were propelled into roles as mentors, leaders, and activists. And personal stories become much larger when they are linked together and circulated. Jason D. Phillips perhaps says it best—he wrote his piece to “reach out to you, the readers, who are members of my community, to offer you hope and comfort, to identify with you, and to let you identify with me.” This is a valuable, historical compilation that will benefit all librarians, but particularly those who are out (or contemplating being out) behind the desk. More information about this title can be found at the official Library Juice website,

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

Reviewed by Seth Kershner, MLIS

Times are tough for new librarians. According to the 2010 Library Journal placements and salaries survey, unemployment among LIS graduates is hovering around eight percent. Those who do find work increasingly have to settle for poorly paid, part-time, or nonprofessional positions.

Yet library schools keep churning out graduates; 5,000 or so newly minted librarians got their degrees in May and according to the Library Journal survey, many library schools are very poor performers when it comes to job placement. At UCLA, for example, only five of 79 graduates (six percent) had found jobs after a year; at the University of North Carolina, it was 12 percent. Should the deans of those schools share any responsibility for flooding a crowded job market? Should such schools reduce the number of students they admit each year?

As a recent LIS graduate, I turned to Richard Cox’s new book, The Demise of the Library School, hoping to find answers to those questions. While I don’t think he succeeded in taking critical stock of library schools, there are some notable highlights to the book.

Cox’s main argument is that the future of library schools is intimately bound up with the future of the university. In one of his more compelling arguments, Cox claims that one way in which library schools are becoming “corporatized” is by giving greater prominence to distance education, whereby administrators ask professors to give more of themselves, by being available 24/7 to their students, while the library school—by increasing enrollment—gets to demonstrate its value to the university.

Cox laments the lack of attention given in library schools to studying the analog elements of the field (e.g., book history). If today’s library schools are not giving students a values-centered education, but are instead offering them the quickest, most convenient paths to an MLIS degree, we will soon witness the demise of the library school as it becomes irrevocably transformed into a diploma mill or “teaching factory."

Although these sections of The Demise of the Library School are most stimulating, I am afraid many readers may never reach them on their own because of the countless digressions, parenthetical asides, and repetitive phrasing that characterize the author’s writing. In his prologue, Cox—a professor of archival studies at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences—apologizes in advance for the unfinished quality of his writing, explaining that the book grew out of discussion board posts for a course he taught five years ago, and that parts of the book had originally appeared on blogs.

The book also suffers from a confusion of terms. The title leaves the reader to expect a book about library schools, but most of the time Cox seems content to talk about the university. It seems that even Cox himself didn’t quite know what he wanted this book to be. “This is not a research study,” he announces in his prologue, adding, “I tend to think of it as a commentary. Maybe [a memoir] is what I am doing.” The uncertainty of it all makes for a read that can be as maddening as it is intriguing.

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Volunteer Positions Available

Action Council Volunteer Wanted

Because of resignations, we need two volunteers to serve on Action Council for one year, through the end of Annual Conference 2012. This is an opportunity to try AC on for size.

If you are interested, please submit your “statement of concerns about policy and action on social responsibilities of librarians and a short note listing your professional experience,” as stated in the bylaws for election procedure. (See See the website at for information about the bylaws, the newsletter, and the task forces. Remember, you can set up your own task force on any issue.

We are looking for a statement of why you want to be on Action Council and what you would like to see happening in SRRT. Any information about your background as an activist and as a librarian would be interesting. The statement can be fairly short.

This is not an election, but we will be treating it as near to an election as we can. Remember, if you write a short statement now and decide to run for a full-term seat, you will already have written your statement.

Closing date is September 26, 2011 to submit a statement.

Book Reviews Editor Wanted

Are you looking for a way to be more involved in the Social Responsibilities Round Table? Are you passionate about books and their role in social responsibility? Do you have excellent writing and editing skills? Are you good at meeting deadlines and encouraging others to meet them as well? If so, the SRRT Newsletter book reviews editor might be just the volunteer position you’re looking for!

Jennifer Caldwell is stepping down as book reviews editor in December 2011 and the SRRT Editorial Board is looking for a new editor to take her place. The SRRT Newsletter is produced electronically on a quarterly basis. The book reviews editor’s responsibilities include maintaining a list of reviewers, editing reviews, selecting materials for review and soliciting reviews.

If you’re interested, please send a copy of your CV/resume, a brief statement outlining your qualifications and interest in the position, and a writing sample and/or examples of previous work to Editorial Board member Julie Winkelstein at The deadline for submission of materials is October 30, 2011.

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In the last issue of the newsletter, Betty Turock's name was misspelled.

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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 29, 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 Amy Honisett at ahonisett(at), indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your e-mail. 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.

Submissions for book reviews should be submitted to the book reviews editor Jennifer Caldwell at Jennifer.Caldwell(at) Submissions should be sent electronically in MS-Word format or a Word-compatible format. Reviewers should keep their reviews to 300-500 words; any length much shorter or longer should be discussed with the reviews editor prior to submission. Reviewers should avoid conflicts of interest. Full disclosure should be made to the book reviews editor when appropriate.

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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 ? 2011 by the Social Responsibilities Round Table. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission. Editor: Amy Honisett, ahonisett(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.

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