SRRT Newsletter - Issue 183, June 2013

Also available in EPUB format.



Letter from the Editor

by Amy Honisett

Amy Honisett

It’s almost time for the Annual Conference! I’m sad that I can’t go; my experience at ALA last year was wonderful and I think there’s so much value in getting out of your routine, getting out of your library, meeting new people and hearing new ideas. Don’t forget there may be other opportunities to meet and learn from your colleagues. I recently attended my local library association (Utah Library Association) conference. The meeting was a powerful reminder of the fantastic resources available to me close to home. I attended excellent programs on intellectual freedom, serving diverse patrons and more. Not only did I learn a lot, I met people with whom I may be able to collaborate; geographic proximity means that these librarians may face some of the same issues that I face in my work life and, while technology makes long-distance partnerships viable, face-to-face connections are valuable too. In fact, this issue brings you a column from Wanda Huffaker, whom I met through the Utah Library Association.

This issue of the newsletter also contains a schedule of SRRT programs at ALA, task force news, updates from our friends and some thoughts on making conferences more environmentally friendly. Enjoy the conference if you’re going and remember to report back here if you have news you would like to share with SRRT.


Return to Contents

SRRT Programs at ALA

For the most current schedule of ALA programs, visit

Friday, June 28

All Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room

Feminist Task Force Meeting
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room

Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force Meeting
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room

International Responsibilities Task Force Meeting
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room Tbl 4

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force Meeting
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room

Rainbow Project Task Force Meeting
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room

Task Force on the Environment Meeting
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Buckingham Room

Saturday, June 29

Action Council Meeting I (A)
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - S504bc

Amelia Bloomer Project Author Panel (SRRT-FTF)
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - N427a

Action Council Meeting I (B)
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - S504bc

Introduction to Women's Issues in ALA (SRRT-FTF)
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - N139

Now Showing @ ALA: Returning Fire: Interventions in Video Game Culture
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - S503a

Membership Meeting and Social
8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Exchequer Restaurant and Pub - 226 S. Wabash Avenue

Sunday, June 30

Action Council Meeting II (A)
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - S503b

Action Council Meeting II (B)
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - S503b

How to Plan and Run a Successful Human Library: Promoting Understanding, One Conversation at a Time
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - N129

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Video Tribute filming session
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago - Conference Room 4H

Libraries Transforming Communities: Extending Our Reach
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - N138

Progressive Librarians Guild
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - N136

FTF Feminist Night at the Movies
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Chicago - Columbus AB

Monday, July 1

Out of the Library and into the Community: Academic Librarians and Community Engagement (ACRL WGSS)
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - S502

How the Dutch Caribbean Goes Green with Libraries and Other Supporters: A Panel Presentation
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
McCormick Place Convention Center - N127


Return to Contents

Coordinator's Column

by Laura Koltutsky, SRRT Coordinator

Laura Koltutsky

I have very much enjoyed being Coordinator of the Social Responsibilities Round Table. It is rewarding to learn more about how an organization like the American Library Association functions. The work of the round tables is critically important to ALA; they are the primary form of grassroots involvement within the organization. Round tables provide opportunities for individuals to find others with similar interests and concerns. The opportunity to work in communities of our peers expands our knowledge of our profession and our world. I have learned so much from my colleagues and friends with whom I have served through the round table structure. It has been a privilege that during my professional career I have been given travel support from my employers, which has allowed me to attend ALA meetings and conferences since 2001.

There are growing financial pressures upon ALA members and it is challenging or impossible for many SRRT members to attend Midwinter and/or Annual. I think as other groups like ACRL have chosen to allow for virtual committee membership, perhaps round tables should also allow for virtual members in executive roles. In reality, many of our round tables are already doing much of their work virtually between conferences. I believe that a few round tables have explored doing so, and I hope that a group like the Social Responsibilities Round Table would be open to exploring how this might occur. I will bring this up at Action Council and I look forward to productive discussion about the possibility of creating a virtual Action Councilor position. I would like to imagine that there would be interest from SRRT members who want to be more involved within SRRT but who cannot attend in person.

Thank you for entrusting me with the Coordinator role. I look forward to continuing my involvement with SRRT well into the future.


Return to Contents

Feminist Task Force News

The Feminist Task Force (FTF) puts together, for each conference, information that can be used when planning your Conference Schedule. Sherre Harrington, editor of Women in Libraries, has posted lots of great information about meetings, programs and other Chicago events in the newsletter. There is also a more detailed conference schedule at It is worth your time to look at the information in both places. The formats are different and, if you want a printout, you can print whatever works best for you. Some copies of this information will also be available at FTF meetings and programs.

The Amelia Bloomer Project: Elizabeth Wein and Jessie Hartland, both of whom have books on the 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project list, will speak at an author panel. There will also be publisher giveaways and raffles of books from the 2012 and 2013 lists.

Saturday, June 29th, 8:30-10:00 a.m. - McCormick Place Convention Center, N427a.

Introduction to Women’s Issues: Every third year it is FTF’s turn to organize this discussion group. This year we are having a discussion related to this year’s SRRT program on gaming and hope to plan another discussion related to women and gaming for the 2014 conference. We will discuss who the gamers are - studies are showing more women gamers - inclusion and collection development.

Please bring any information you may have on this topic to the discussion. Individuals will have 3 – 5 minutes to share information they have. Discussion will follow.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. - McCormick Place Convention Center - N139.

Feminists' Night at the Movies: The SRRT Feminist Task Force is once again holding Feminists’ Night at the Movies at the ALA 2013 Annual Conference. We are pleased to announce that we will be showing “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.” As a special treat, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, the movie director, will be attending the showing to discuss the movie and the making of the movie.

Wonder Women

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, Wonder Women! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation.

Wonder Women! goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists and real-life superheroines, such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre.

For more information, visit:

Sunday, June 30, 2012 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker Dr.) in Columbus AB.


Return to Contents

Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force News

by Lisa Gieskes, HHPTF Coordinator

Extending Our Reach

The ALA's Office for Literacy and Outreach Services produced a hugely successful toolkit, Extending Our Reach. This toolkit and accompanying ALA online webinar is now being used by libraries nationwide to help solve homelessness. The webinar and toolkit provide librarians with the tools and training they need to lead their communities in finding pioneering solutions by advancing library-led community engagement and innovation.

Join us for two panel discussions planned for ALA Annual 2013 that align with ALA’s focus on “transforming our libraries, ourselves.” The goal is to promote innovation and provide tools to help libraries adapt, stay strong and improve services. Join us as we share ideas, programs and best practices throughout the field.

Extending Our Reach will highlight the model programs listed in the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services toolkit. This toolkit was a success, especially with ALA’s Day of Caring at Midwinter, at which librarians were able to work with multiple homeless advocacy groups and community support services, each one serving different demographics. Several prominent libraries and stakeholders will participate in this ALA panel, including the San Jose Public Library, San Francisco Public Library, University of Tennessee and Richland Library. This panel will provide a place to share how our libraries are transforming communities and help other urban libraries do the same. The program is set for Sunday, June 30 from 4:30-5:30 pm in room MCP-N138 (McCormick Place).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices: a Rubric for Librarians

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices: a Rubric for Librarians will discuss the creation, maintenance and issues surrounding a SEO Best Practices Wiki entry in Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki. We look to recruit our library colleagues to bring “search engine friendly” and “not search engine friendly” web site examples to the table as SEO teaching models. Please join us and share the latest SEO tools and cutting edge optimized library sites. We will emphasize how technology builds community engagement. This LITA SEO Interest Group session is scheduled for Sunday, June 30 from 10:30-11:30 am.


Return to Contents

Martin Luther King, Junior Holiday Task Force News

LaJuan Pringle

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager - Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force has some exciting plans in store for the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Video project, entitled Librarians and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: His Words and Our Lives, will take place on Sunday, June 30, 2013 from 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Hilton – Chicago. The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) will join us in sponsoring this event. We hope that conference attendees (including members of SRRT) will come record a brief reflection on the ways in which Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to equality, peace, nonviolence, justice, hope, freedom, service, civil rights and human rights plays a part in their work in librarianship.

We also co-sponsor the program, How to Plan and Run a Successful Human Library: Promoting Understanding, One Conversation at a Time. This event, which also is on Sunday, June 30, takes place from 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. at McCormick Place N129. It is a joint effort with the Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force. The program will feature Anne Hedrich, a librarian at Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library, who will discuss her experiences running a human library there. Our own Julie Winkelstein, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will discuss her experiences coordinating the human library that took place at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The panel discussion will also include Angela Neff, Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library; Alison Kastner, Multnomah County Library and Colleen Leddy, Stair Public Library.

We also would like to encourage anyone who is interested in learning about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force to join us for our task force meeting on Friday, June 28 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Hilton-Chicago, Buckingham Room.


Return to Contents

International Responsibilities Task Force News

by Mike Marlin, IRTF Chair, Director - California Braille and Talking Book Library and Fred Stoss, Arts and Sciences Libraries, University at Buffalo

Mike MarlinFred Stoss

IRTF is pleased to announce part one of a series of socially responsible gaming programs intended to cover, over the next few years, militarism, racism and misogyny/ female tropes in the gaming sphere. At the 2012 SRRT membership meeting, there was consensus that gaming has become a hot topic in the library world and a socially responsible critique and deconstruction of its various stereotyping and injustice toward dissenting viewpoints would be beneficial to librarianship at large. Since IRTF has always been concerned about how information about war and militarism is portrayed and funneled through library collections, we elected to kick off the series with a film screening and panel discussion of Returning Fire, a fascinating examination of war games.

Returning Fire: Culture Jamming, War, & Militarism in the Online Gaming Sphere: Cosponsored by SRRT and the Games and Gaming Round Table (GAMERT), we feature the documentary film, Returning Fire, followed by a panel discussion of war games and their place in libraries. Directed by University of Georgia professor Roger Stahl, Returning Fire is a sobering look at what video games like Modern Warfare, America's Army and Battlefield are doing to users, our political culture and our capacity to empathize with people directly affected by the trauma of war. It features three culture-jamming activists who infiltrated online war games in an effort to break the hypnotic spell of "militainment," forcing us to think critically about what it means when the tools of modern war become forms of consumer play.

Returning Fire (length: 44 minutes) will be shown in its entirety, followed by remarks from the film’s director, Professor Roger Stahl from UGA in Athens, Georgia, and one of the film’s three culture jammers, Joseph Delappe (Las Vegas, NV) plus audience Q&A/discussion. This promises to be a lively conversation affecting front line librarians, collection development specialists and gamers.

Saturday, June 29, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. McCormick Place Convention Center S503a

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility - IRRT Chair's Program

The talk will address the power of video games as a maturing medium and a largely untapped tool "for good.” It will make an impassioned case for using games for social impact and learning, with an overview of the latest trends and core challenges. Asi Burak will share some case studies and success stories including his unique entry to the field, leading the team behind the award-winning game PeaceMaker around the Middle East Conflict. Attendees will learn about the field at large and how Games for Change is leading the future of this movement, including showcasing games in public spaces, museums and libraries.

Monday, July 1 - 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - McCormick Place Convention Center S404a

How the Dutch Caribbean Goes Green with Libraries and Other Supporters: A Panel Presentation

Learn how the Caribbean islands of St. Maarten and Aruba and others advance sustainability and energy awareness. The National Library of Aruba supports the annual Green Aruba conference, established the Caribbean Energy, Environment and Sustainability Education program, presented two Green Education symposia and launched GreenSCool, a carbon reducing gaming program. St. Maarten's Phillipsburg Jubilee Library installed cost saving solar panels and established education and information programs supporting them.

Panelists: Mrs. Astrid Britten, Director of the Aruba National Library, Caribbean Library Association (DCLA) Secretary, past-President and current Board Member Association of Caribbean Universities, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL); Mr. Ronny Alders, Coordinator of the Green Education Symposium at the Aruba National Library, past-ACURIL Executive Board member; Mrs. Monique Alberts-Director of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (St. Maarten), DCLA President, and ACURIL Board member; Dr. Geert Kooistra, Strategic spatial planner & process designer at "Planosfeer" in the Netherlands; Ing. Johannes Lankester - Consultant and Engineer for Regional Development & Sustainability, Friesland (Northern Netherlands).

Moderator: Fred Stoss, University at Buffalo, Arts & Sciences Libraries.

Monday, July 1, 2013 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. McCormick Place Convention Center N127


Return to Contents

Intellectual Freedom Round Table 40th Anniversary Celebration

by Jonathan Kelley, Program Coordinator

Intellectual freedom fans will have a whole mess of interesting and fun programs and events to choose from at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Chicago! Won’t you please join us at some or all of the following events:

IFRT 40th Anniversary

Before the Intellectual Freedom Round Table, there was the Task Force on Intellectual Freedom, a place for the ALA rank and file to have its voice heard on intellectual freedom-related happenings. It was sponsored by SRRT’s precursor, the Round Table on Social Responsibility in Libraries. A couple of years after the task force’s voluntary disbanding in 1971, John Phillip Immroth helped lead an effort to get a new Intellectual Freedom Round Table formalized. At the June 1973 Annual Conference in Las Vegas, that effort came to fruition and IFRT held its organizing meeting.

Today, IFRT flourishes via its awards (the John Phillip Immroth Award, Eli M. Oboler Award, and the newly renamed Gerald Hodges Chapter Relations Award), conference programs, publications and other educational efforts. It is consistently among ALA’s largest round tables! This summer, IFRT will be celebrating with a fun party at the Chicago Cultural Center (formally the main branch of the Chicago Public Library), 70 E. Washington St., in the gorgeous Preston Bradley Hall.

For information on tickets (available to everyone, not just ALA members), please visit We hope you’ll join us at this wonderful event featuring award presentations, live music, food, and libations!

Friday, June 28, following the Opening General Session and Exhibits Opening, from 7:30–10:00 p.m.

FTRF Meeting & Member Reception

The Freedom to Read Foundation is, of course, the First Amendment legal defense and education organization affiliated with ALA. It holds meetings the day before Conference (Thursdays at Annual, Fridays at Midwinter). Conference attendees are welcome to attend the 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. session, at which FTRF General Counsel Theresa Chmara provides a comprehensive, articulate rundown of the cases in which FTRF is involved and the trustees discuss developing issues and FTRF’s educational and outreach efforts.

Following Thursday’s meeting is FTRF’s annual Member Reception, where you can meet fellow FTRF members, the 2013 recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship, Amanda Meeks, and Chicago’s very own celebrity FTRF supporter, author Sara Paretsky! There is no charge to attend this event, which will be at the Chicago Hilton from 5:00–6:30. (If you’re not an FTRF member, you can join at or at the event door!)

Merritt Fund Reception for a Cause

On Saturday, please stop by the ALA President Elect Suite for the annual LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund Reception for a Cause. Hosted by Barbara Stripling, this is a chance to both show your support for the Merritt Fund—which for over 40 years has provided financial assistance to librarians who have lost their jobs or otherwise been harmed in the workplace due to their defense of intellectual freedom or because of discrimination. Too often, we at the Office for Intellectual Freedom talk to librarians worried about speaking up for freedom of access to information because they need their job. The Merritt Fund, though small, has been a lifeline of support for those who have taken risks and faced consequences. We hope you’ll be there!

Programs, Programs, Programs!

Please check out our list of programs at under “Conference Programs, Meetings & Events” or search for “Intellectual Freedom” in the ALA Conference Scheduler. We have some terrific ones planned:

  • An Intellectual Freedom 101 program on Friday at 12:30 for conference/IF newbies
  • An IFRT program on book challenges on Saturday morning
  • The Committee on Professional Ethics program, Ethics in Action, on Sunday afternoon (also a Friday preconference called Ethics Matters on ethical decision-making), followed by an Intellectual Freedom Issues Briefing Session
  • And the two Intellectual Freedom Committee programs on Monday—Do Not Track Me: A Cross-Generational Discussion of Personal Privacy, and Book on Fire: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Fahrenheit 451.

In addition, other units are having programs touching on intellectual freedom issues, including a Sunday GLBTRT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table) panel on filtering; an ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) program on intellectual freedom and academic libraries, on Saturday, and a conversation on gun violence and library responses on Friday afternoon.

Finally, as part of the Now Showing film festival, there will be a screening of Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, about the legendary owner of San Francisco’s City Lights bookstore. That showing will be Sunday at 10:30 a.m., followed by a discussion.


Return to Contents

Get to Know GODORT


by Kris Kasianovitz, 2012-2013 Chair – GODORT Membership Committee

GODORT (Government Documents Round Table) Steering, Committees, Task Forces and the general membership have been involved in a lot of activities since our last newsletter update. Here’s a rundown of our advocacy efforts, education opportunities and ALA Annual events.

Advocacy ALERT - Disappearing documents!

Part of our role as government information professionals and as an organization is to monitor the distribution of and access to government publications, keeping an eye out for the takedown of specific publications or even entire websites. Recently, there have been three major incidents in the United States that have resulted in the loss of access to full text government publications.

GODORT Steering has been monitoring the situation, disseminating information and working with the ALA Washington Office to write resolutions to get access restored as well as encourage government agencies to take a less reactionary approach to limiting access of materials they feel compromise personal privacy and/or national security.

If you are interested in getting involved or want more information about these and other GODORT advocacy efforts, please consider attending the GODORT Legislation Committee meetings at ALA Annual. This is where members provide updates and write the resolutions. Can’t attend a meeting? Please contact Barbara Miller, the current GODORT Chair. Announcements and discussion also take place on GOVDOC-L, a discussion list of government information professionals.

National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) Goes Dark!

Background: In 2011, it was announced that the US Geological Survey would lose all of the funding for its National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) program. This popular service gave researchers a single entry point for finding data that was compiled for multiple government agencies on environmental science, species taxonomy and disease propagation. The USGS FAQ has a variety of posts explaining the shutdown of NBII:

GODORT Members Take Action:

  1. The site was harvested by UNT in January and is available via the CyberCemetery,
  2. Federal Documents Task Force tackles the issue at their meeting during ALA MidWinter in Seattle. We anticipate other programs will lose their funding and GODORT is working to find solutions to capture and archive all this important content.

NASA Technical Reports Server Goes Dark!

Background: Emails, tweets, Facebook and blog posts were flying fast on March 21, 3013, as scientists, citizens and everyone in between encountered the following message:

“Until further notice, the NTRS system will be unavailable for public access. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and anticipate that this site will return to service in the near future."

Partial access was finally restored by May 9, 2013.

GODORT Members Take Action:

  1. GODORT Steering worked with the ALA Washington Office to address this denial of access to publicly funded research. As one member stated:
    “Even if national security issues require that the site be reviewed, it would seem that NASA bureaucrats could make the database available as an index without serving the PDF files. If that's not feasible, they could create a mechanism for users to request files be reviewed and made available to provide access to reports that do not compromise national security, perhaps using ERIC as a model."

    Yes, ERIC also went dark, but has restored access to PDFs from 2005-2013 and offers a submission form to request the release of pre-2005 reports.

  2. GODORT Legislation is working on issuing a thank you resolution from ALA as well asking for more requirements for open electronic materials. At the Annual meeting in Chicago, work will be done to write a resolution to ask for agencies to not remove databases.

Upcoming GODORT Webinars

The GODORT Education Committee has been working diligently to bring low-cost or free, high-impact training and professional development opportunities to the library community in general. Webinar announcements are posted widely to a variety of listservs.

The next webinar will be June 7, at 1pm EST.

"I Didn't Know I Could Do That!:" Government Resources for Citizens.

This webinar will highlight some of the more useful government sites, such as Medline Plus,, and selected state, county and local government websites. It will also show ways to market these resources via library sites, blogs, and LibGuides or similar software.

Presenter: Alex Simons, a government documents librarian at the University of Houston, current Chair of the Texas Government Documents Round Table as well as serving on the ALA-GODORTs Education Committee.

You need not be a member of GODORT to participate in this webinar. Registration details are forthcoming. Please contact either of the GODORT Education Committee co-chairs with questions: Jesse Silva, or Lynda Kellam,

GODORT is gearing up for the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

We invite you to attend and participate in our various activities:

ALA Preconference on using International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community.”

This promises to be an excellent learning and professional development opportunity for all librarians, not just government information folks. Speakers are from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations Publications and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Register at or call ALA Conference CompuSystems at 866-513-0760 (Use Event Code: GOD1).

Registration Rates: $100, GODORT member; $150, ALA member/non-member; $75 Student member. Conference registration is not required in order to register for this preconference and lunch is included in the rate.

Get a GODORT Buddy for ALA Annual in Chicago

Interested in government information librarianship? Want to know more about what we do in GODORT? Get a Buddy!

The GODORT Buddy program was created to provide a personal introduction to the Government Documents Round Table. New and prospective GODORT members, as well as members becoming active for the first time or after a long absence are encouraged to request a GODORT Buddy.

Questions, contact Kris Kasianovitz,, GODORT Membership Chair 2012-13.

GODORT Happy Hour!

One of our most popular events at MidWinter and Annual conferences is the Happy Hour. This is an informal gathering to meet up with members and non-members to catch up on life, do a little networking, and enjoy whichever city we are in. Bring a friend!

GODORT Buddies typically meet and get their GODORT goodies at the Happy Hour.

Riverwalk Cafe & Bar Friday, June 28, 2013 5:30-7:00 p.m.


GODORT Meeting Schedule (all meetings are open, GODORT membership not required!)

Meetings that might be of particular interest to SRRT members:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

ALA Washington Office Breakout Session I - Gigabit Libraries - 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - McCormick Place North (MCP) - N427bc

ALA Washington Office Breakout Session II - How Do I become a Citizen? Libraries and E-government: Meeting the needs of your community - 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - McCormick Place South (MCP) - S402a

ALA Washington Office Breakout Session III - The Courts and Copyright: What You Need to Know - 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - McCormick Place South (MCP) - S402b

Gov Docs for Kids Committee Meeting: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Hilton Chicago (HIL) - Conference Room 5F
Tom Adamich, Chair

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Legislation Committee Meeting II: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - Hyatt Regency McCormick Place (HRM) - Clark 22AB
Bill Sudduth, Chair

Monday, July 1, 2013

GODORT General Membership Meeting: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - InterContinental Chicago (INTER) - Toledo
Barbara Miller, Chair


Return to Contents

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table News


by John Mack Freeman, Chair-Elect - GLBTRT Newsletter Committee

The GLBTRT has had a busy spring, electing a new slate of officers and preparing for the annual conference. We're proud to announce Ann Symons as our new Chair-Elect, Dale McNeill as Treasurer, Ingrid Abrams and Lisa Johnston as Directors-at-Large and Peter Hepburn as Round Table Councilor.

The GLBTRT will be hosting the following events at ALA Annual this year, and we encourage you to attend:

Saturday, June 29

Outreach to LGBT Homeless Youth
10:30 – 12:00 p.m. - McCormick Place-S106b

Sunday, June 30

Pushing the Boundaries: LGBTQ Presentation and Representation of/by Asian/Pacific American Writers
10:30-11:30 a.m. - McCormick Place Jackson Park 10A

Access Denied! Filtering: Trouble, Tyranny, and Triumph
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Hilton Chicago, Williford A

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. - Ann Sather Restaurant

Monday, July 1

Stonewall Book Awards Brunch
10:30 – 2:00 p.m. - McCormick Place, Hyde Park 11AB

For more news about the GLBTRT, you can find our most recent newsletter here:


Return to Contents

Helping Me, Helping You

Wanda Huffaker

by Wanda Mae Huffaker, Librarian, Chair Intellectual Freedom Committee, Utah Library Association Salt Lake County Library Services

In 1979, a spunky little Utah librarian stood up to the Davis County Library Board and refused to pull a book from the shelves. Jeanne Layton was subsequently fired, brought national attention to the state of Utah and helped strengthen the Freedom to Read Foundation in its mission to defend First Amendment values. ALA President Dennis Day led the fight for support and later when he returned to Utah as director of the Salt Lake City Library, served as Chair of the Utah Library Association (ULA) Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC -

Dennis handpicked and organized a committee and developed training to take on the road throughout Utah. Chip Ward, a member of the committee wrote:

Challenges in Utah have been minor compared to other states. More challenges will follow. Ask those who have been embroiled in such a controversy and they will tell you that the time to prepare for such a challenge is before it happens. The ULA IFC would like to help your library prepare.…We have taught workshops in writing selection development policies….We are currently reaching out to those in the school library media center community to build bridges and forge alliances….We want to do more…. Take time to touch the source of our power and carry it with us as we go. It is still worth defending.

They wanted ULA members to feel a sense of passion again about First Amendment rights. The goal was to educate people about their rights, impassion them with a desire to defend them and empower them to do so in the face of danger.

When the last of these committee members resigned and I became chair, I felt uninformed, uneducated and inadequate to do the job. I read every ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom policy and statement again and again. I tried to recruit committee members, plan meaningful conference sessions and memorize the Freedom to Read Statement. While committed to the principles, I was overwhelmed with the practices.

In 2011, one person showed up to a business meeting and volunteered to be the co-chair. He was smart, enthusiastic and motivated. The next year we invited Chris Crutcher to speak. His session was rousing and emotional. Following the session, we had requests for more basic intellectual freedom training. We also recruited more members for our committee. After enlisting a select few new library school students and graduates we had a great, exciting and educated committee that was eager to learn about intellectual freedom.

A few weeks later, a controversy in Davis School District hit the news regarding In Our Mother’s House, by Patricia Polacco. A parent had complained about the content (two mothers raising a family) and the book had been placed behind the desk in four schools in the district. While researching the IFC for a 100 year history of the ULA (, I wondered if one reason Utah had so few book bannings and challenges was because of the concerted teaching efforts of the previous committee. It had been fifteen years, so perhaps it was there was a need for more training to avoid controversy, preparing for challenges before they happened.

Preparing for training was also the best way for a new committee to learn principles of intellectual freedom. We scheduled several sessions and assigned different areas of the ULA IFC manual to committee members to study and prepare. It was a daunting task to become experts on Challenges, Confidentiality, CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act), FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), filtering, state laws, academics, trustees and the law. We believed we could teach all this in an hour session.

Fortunately for us, our first presentation at the Cache Valley Library Association in Northern Utah was cut short when their business meeting ran over. We had to glean the highlights, use our knowledge base and speak from the heart. The discussion was selection vs. censoring and the current banned book, In Our Mother’s House. We then had direction for our upcoming sessions. We prepared our next session accordingly: Selection vs. Censorship.

It was an emotional presentation; the librarian who had stood up in the district meeting and opposed the action to remove In Our Mothers’ House told her story. She had risked her job speaking to the press, but her actions helped bring national attention to the situation, thus beginning the efforts that eventually resulted in all copies of the book being returned to the shelves. Our other sessions, ULA Fall Conference, Davis School District Secondary Teachers, Emporia State University and our ULA Annual Conference were based on some form of the same topic.

Teaching librarians to incorporate intellectual freedom values into their selection responsibilities requires us to know what those values are. We have to be more than familiar with them, we have to be able to interpret them and apply the principles to questions we are asked, advise if necessary and serve as a resource.

We have determined that, rather than the lofty goals of a year ago, we are better able to focus on one subject at a time. Our plans this year are to focus on privacy. As we meet with institutions, we can gather information and assess needs. It will help us to better educate librarians on their obligations to protect patrons’ identifiable information in library records, self- service holds and customer interactions.

It is inspiring to me to have dynamic committee members who are passionate about intellectual freedom. They are motivated to the continuing education of learning its principles and applications in order to be teachers and leaders. All librarians are facilitators to the access of information, whether teaching how to find a book on coyotes for a report or showing someone how to use special collections registers to primary documents. Through training others, the ULA IFC members are now more prepared to teach, assist and support Utah libraries and librarians. We want to and are able to help Utah libraries become more passionate about their First Amendment rights. We have a desire to defend those rights and as we do, we also become better librarians.


Return to Contents

Greener ALA Conferences as a Social Responsibility

Fred Stoss

by Fred Stoss, Arts & Sciences Libraries - University at Buffalo

As a past-Coordinator for ALA’s SRRT and a past-Chair and past-Co-Chair of ALA’s Task Force on the Environment (TFOE), I have a few decades of program planning for ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings. ALA Conference Services has done much to make the Conferences “greener,” but ALA’s efforts are typically dependent and limited to the extent to which the Conference Hotels and Convention Centers, as well as the host cities, are dedicated to embracing greener conferences.

There are countless issues and there is a long way to go. I think ALA is on the right path. Here are some of my ideas for greening ALA.

Shorter conferences: The energy-consumption and the carbon and ecological footprints are smaller because we are not consuming or generating as much waste. There have been rumors and rumors of rumors about greatly reducing the Midwinter Meetings for business only purposes, no exhibits or discussions (clever “disguises” for technical programs that are not to be conducted at Midwinter). Theoretically (if all the e-meetings rumors are true and implemented), ALA Midwinter could/should be rolled back to a two-day ALA Council Meeting with all division, section, round table, task force and other sub-unit business meetings taking place in virtual environments. Put ALA Connect on steroids and make it easier to use and this is accomplished.

Virtual conference activities and meetings: There are ALA Members who no longer attend ALA meetings because they do not want to engender the environmental costs of traveling across the country to attend. Some divisions and sections hold virtual business meetings before ALA meetings; committee members and chairs do not need to travel, especially to Midwinter Meetings. ALA should examine the feasibility for members to have access to real-time and other digital access to conference programs and allow them to “pay as they go” from one program to another.

Transportation: I went to the 2013 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, producing a massive carbon footprint in air travel. I took one cab ride and walked, used conference buses or took the train. The TFOE implemented a bike rental service in Chicago once that was more than marginally successful – it was fantastic for getting around the downtown hotel complex and faster than the ALA sponsored buses. The rental service ended when ALA raised the issue of liability and insurance.

Paper waste and recycling: Convention Centers have improved dramatically in the past decades but the hotels are still woefully inadequate in providing recycling options, which vary greatly from one city to another. Hotels are extremely resistant to putting up recycling stations because they distract from the aesthetics of many of the large hotels’ decor. The vendors are getting better about not bringing so much stuff, but they can do more. The Exhibitors Round Table explores ways to improve every year; they need encouragement, support and acknowledgement: TFOE should be given a task from ALA to provide an annual “Green Conference Exhibitor” Award and create a metric for determining what vendors lowered their overall eco-footprint. ALA streamlines its registration process almost every year and should consider eliminating the on-site, paper registration forms, allowing individuals to use their laptop, iPad, smartphone or dedicated e-registration device to submit their registration information directly to the registration desks and pick up their badges. Perhaps the print version of the conference booklet could remain; the program booklet, vendor, hotel, city, attractions and other pertinent information could be loaded onto flash drives. A name-badge deposit could be instated so that the badges could be reused or recycled.

Convention center, hotel and restaurant behaviors: We see more recycling containers in convention centers but not in hotels, where they are considered to deviate from the aesthetics of the decor. If you do not see recycling containers, ask for them and keeping asking. Books are written about the ways to be “greener” in your lodging and food consumption. Consider scheduling some meetings and social events in locally owned and operated vegan/vegetarian restaurants using locally or regionally produced foods and beverages or in local, independent progressive bookstores. Air conditioning and heating is a variable at each convention center and conference hotel and there is not much ALA can do, but someone has to start the ball rolling, so complain about excessive air conditioning, when warranted.

Promoting greener conferences and green practices: Each ALA Conference website should link to an ALA Greener Conferencing site specific to each venue where conferences are held. ALA should prepare, with the assistance of its members, roundtables, task forces, sections and other sub-units and a comprehensive ALA Guide to Greener Conferences, like the 2007 model prepared by Center for Environmental Policy and Management, Environmental Finance Center, EPA Region 4, by the University of Louisville Department of Sociology shown at

ALA’s Conference Services, as well as a few roundtables and divisions, have made great strides in the past. The Association is awash with individuals of all backgrounds and settings able to take on critical leadership roles in making ALA’s conferences greener. This expertise, motivation and drive should be tapped. There is a collective and near universal will to “do the right thing;” we just need to do it! While we made these important first steps, we are far from achieving everything we can.


Return to Contents

Call for Submissions

The SRRT newsletter is always looking for good articles, essays and letters to the editor. The next submission deadline is August 31, 2013.

Submissions to the SRRT Newsletter may be made by any current SRRT Member or SRRT affiliate. Please send your submissions electronically in one of the following formats: MS Word, RTF, PDF, or plain text pasted into the body of an e-mail. Submissions should be 500 to 1,000 words. Graphics are encouraged. If using images that are already on the Internet, the URL of the image and a caption or description may be added to the text of the submission.

Please send submissions and inquiries to SRRT Newsletter Editor Amy Honisett at, indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your e-mail. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.

Submissions for book reviews should be submitted to the Reviews Editor, Candise Branum, at 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.


Return to Contents

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,

Reviews Editor: Candise Branum

Editorial Board Members: Gerardo Colmenar, Heather Edmonds, Erik Sean Estep, Rebecca Martin, Julie Winkelstein, and Sara Zettervall.

Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of ALA/SRRT.

The editors reserve the right to edit submitted material as necessary or as whimsy strikes.


Return to Contents