SRRT Newsletter - Issue 186, March 2014

SRRT Newsletter - Issue 186, March 2014


Letter from the Editor

by Amy Honisett

Amy Honisett

In Portland, spring is in the air! Trees are blooming, lovers are loving and, just like three months ago, I’m thinking about the way we communicate with each other and share information.

In the last newsletter, I embedded a Twitter widget, to no avail (don’t worry, Pew Internet tells us that most of us don’t use Twitter, anyway!) I also have been struggling with my local newspaper, which has recently switched to mostly digital content. This was hard to adjust to, but I’ve come to enjoy the convenience of reading the paper on my tablet on the bus (no more elbowing my seatmate in the face when I turn a page!) Unfortunately, the digital platform is plagued with troubles, leaving me more and more used to getting my local news elsewhere.

You know what? There are plenty of options! While I hope my local paper never goes under, and I would love to see news media come back ten times stronger, I realize that getting the news from multiple sources gives me a much broader perspective about what’s happening in my town – in particular, our local paper produced by people experiencing homelessness and poverty (Street Roots) is not only interesting, but also extremely well-written.

What’s my point? Remember not to get into an info rut, but also – add your voice to the mix. Shy about writing? SRRT Newsletter is a great place to get your feet wet. Our readers care about what you care about and we want to hear what you have to say.

In this issue, you will find a piece about the radical act of cataloging, some great thoughts about gender-neutral bathrooms, news from your task forces and a review. You will also notice that we need a new editor; my term is ending. If you have questions about my experiences as editor, please feel free to contact me at

I’d like to thank Lydia Tang from the ALA Archives, who noticed that we were missing an issue from our digital archive, and sent it along – I did not even realize the ALA Archives existed, but what a wonderful resource!

Finally, remember to vote in the ALA election.

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Coordinator's Column

by Nikki Winslow, SRRT Coordinator, Branch Manager - Spring Valley Library

Nikki Winslow

Midwinter had to be one of the coldest conferences I have attended in my career- kudos to all of you who live in that weather each year. My family and I left Minnesota when I was a freshman in high school and I have enjoyed the desert climate ever since. I am always grateful for the mild winters in Las Vegas and heard on the news the other day that based on the winter weather calendar (December 1-February 28) this was the warmest winter Las Vegas has had on record, with an average temperature of 52.8 degrees. For those of you who, like me, like to play tennis and go outside for walks and bike rides, this is ideal, but when I continuously wake up to stories on the morning news of extreme cold and arctic freezes to the east, it honestly makes me scratch my head.

One of the topics debated at our last two major conferences was the resolution to have ALA divest in fossil fuels. Although this resolution has not passed (yet), it definitely raises the question of climate change and global warming. It amazes me that this is still a concept that many deny or are skeptical about. It seems like each year there are more dangerous or extreme storms and weather, as well as other results of global warming. The melting of ice around the world, especially in the North and South Pole, the rise of the sea level, the average global temperature increasing and the migration of some species farther north for the cooler climate have been studied and have tangible results. So, as I said, it still boggles my mind that some live in denial about this global phenomenon.

In a very simplified explanation, research has shown that the foremost causes of global warming are linked to the burning and use of fossil fuels. These greenhouse gases and emissions released into the environment have been contributing to the depletion of ozone, allowing more sunlight and heat to get through our atmosphere. I have been aware of the depletion in the ozone layer since I was in elementary school. Since then I have been very conscious of not using Styrofoam, in order to help reduce greenhouse gases being released in the process of burning it upon disposal. I’m also a steadfast recycler; I don’t use plastic water bottles, but rather a reusable cup for my water, and I teach these habits to my three children. The negative effects of global warming are more and more present each year and it is very important to me that we work towards rectifying these issues so that we may live in a clean, safe and sustainable environment.

That being said, I am hopeful that ALA will make the environmentally conscious move to divest from its fossil fuel investments as a matter of principle over financial gain. Many think of the library as the social conscience of communities, so I believe its largest organization should be a front runner in this practice. I encourage the members of our Round Table to continue supporting this resolution and effort. Please email your support to our list-serv, as the more voices we have behind it, the better.

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Councilor’s Report from ALA

by Al Kagan – SRRT Councilor, African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration Emeritus - University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign

Al Kagan

Philadelphia, Midwinter 2014

It was cold in Philadelphia, in more ways than one. SRRT had only one resolution, but it was soundly defeated at the ALA Council. SRRT members will remember our short-lived but surprising victory in Chicago last summer when the ALA Membership Meeting and ALA Council approved our resolution in support of Edward Snowden as a whistleblower who has done a great service to the country. That resolution was immediately referred back to the Council’s Intellectual Freedom (IFC) and Legislation Committees (COL), and then rescinded by the passage of the two committees’ substitute Resolution on the Need for Reforms for the Intelligence Community to Support Privacy, Open Government, Government Transparency, and Accountability (2012-2013 ALA CD#19.4 & 20.4). One might consider passage of the substitute resolution a partial victory, but it certainly felt like a defeat. ALA is good at supporting general principles, but not willing to act when an individual’s life is in danger.

Something similar happened this time. SRRT submitted an updated resolution acknowledging Edward Snowden and the IFC and COL submitted two resolutions to partially address our concerns, and in the process subvert our efforts. Although Tom Twiss and I had written a point by point response to the unsubstantiated summer IFC/COL report, the Council was not interested in hearing our arguments and stuck to the advice of the Council Committees. Only about 20 Councilors voted in favor of our resolution and the mood seemed hostile. ALA President Barbara Stripling and ALA Executive Director Keith Fiels personally apologized to me for the Council’s rude behavior, and President Stripling made a statement on the need for civility from the podium.

So again perhaps we can claim a partial victory by provoking the passage of the Resolution on Curbing Government Surveillance and Restoring Civil Liberties (2013-2014 ALA CD#19.1 & 20.1) and Resolution on Expanding Federal Whistleblower Protections (2013-2014 ALA CD#19.2 & 20.2). I am quite sure that at least the second resolution would not have come up without the debate around our Snowden resolution. It called on Congress to extend whistleblower protections to employees of all national security and intelligence agencies and to non-federal employees working as civilian contractors, establish a secure procedure for these whistleblowers and it commends the courage of these whistleblowers. The other resolution calls on Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act, which would - among other provisions - end bulk collection of U. S. person’s communications records, require court orders to collect such communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)Amendments Act, reform the FISA court and limit the types of records obtainable under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Let me try to offer some explanation for the Council’s actions. According to ALA’s structure, the ALA Washington Office (its lobbying office) is supposed to report to the Council’s Committee on Legislation. The reality seems to be the reverse. Last summer’s COL and IFC joint report began by discussing ALA’s political capital, stating that supporting an individual whistleblower would be detrimental to ALA’s political capital. This seems to be the crux of the matter. The Washington Office thinks they will be less effective on bread and butter issues if ALA acknowledges Snowden. Of course, they ignore that ALA has supported previous whistleblowers by name as recently as 2008, and they forgot about ALA’s (belated) support for Daniel Ellsberg. In my view, they have looked for any excuse to derail our efforts. Unfortunately, the Washington Office easily prevails upon the COL and the IFC, and the Council nearly always follows the directions of its committees. What is particularly annoying and frustrating this time is that the Council acted with common sense in initially supporting our resolution last summer, and then gave up on its core values and common sense to follow the advice of the Washington Office and the two Council Committees. One might have hoped that the passage of time would have turned things in a better direction and that the councilors might have rethought their summer actions. Unfortunately, groupthink has set in. Of course, recent smears by government officials do not make it any easier to get support for a “hero” as recently designated by the ACLU. But Daniel Ellsberg can tell us that this is an old story. It seems to me that ALA’s leadership in allying with the ACLU on this issue might have received some very positive attention, and perhaps increased ALA’s political capital.

On other matters, the Committee on Legislation brought and Council approved the Resolution on Maintaining Government Websites During a Government Shutdown (2013-2014 ALA CD#20.3). The only other non-procedural matter to come before the Council was the approval of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity (2013-2014 ALA CD#36). In addition, the Council made Pat Schuman an honorary member and recognized the contributions of Major Owens (known as “the Librarian in Congress,”) who died recently. Both were founders of SRRT. Although the Schuman nomination papers were not distributed, the nominator told me they were filled with her SRRT achievements. Unfortunately, none of that went into the Council document. I therefore reminded the Council of her SRRT work including founding the SRRT Task Force on Women’s Liberation, which become the Feminist Task Force. The Owens Memorial Resolution did note his work in founding the New York SRRT. Leaving out SRRT from these memorials and tributes has become a regular pattern, and I have corrected the record each time it has happened.

On a happier note, past SRRT Coordinator and current ALA Councilor Mike Marlin won a short-term seat on the ALA Executive Board by placing fourth in the Council’s election. Mike will finish the term of someone who resigned her seat. His term is five months, and he has support to run again for a full term. Hearty congratulations to Mike.

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Action Council Minutes

Contributed by Laura Koltusky, SRRT Secretary

Laura Koltutsky

SRRT Action Council 1

Saturday, January 25, 2014 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

In attendance: Al Kagan, Ginny Moore, LaJuan Pringle, Diedre Conkling, Tom Twiss, Laura Koltutsky, Gary Colmenar, Herb Biblo, Mary Biblo, Mark Hudson, Jane Glasby, Peter McDonald, Nikki Winslow

Guests: Mark Rosenzweig, Sara Kelly Johns – Executive Board


Snowden resolution

Al Kagan moved that SRRT Action Council support the resolution / Charles Kratz seconded.

Jim Kuhn: ALA has its own policy on supporting whistleblowers. IFC and Committee on Legislation are writing a resolution to remove espionage loophole.

Sustainability Round Table

See if they have any interest in supporting another resolution on climate change and divestment from fossil fuels.


Feminist Task Force

Women of Library History Project: trying to improve representation of women of color within the project. The posts will be published daily in March.

Movie title for Annual to be determined.

Amelia Bloomer booklist will come out after Midwinter.

Panel discussion at Annual will involve Rainbow Project and Amelia Bloomer Project members.

Discussed changes to newsletter.

Rainbow Project

Submitted preliminary report before Midwinter, will update after conference.

MLK, Jr. Holiday

Sunrise celebration Monday morning 6:30 AM 113 A/B.

Have a program holder for Annual 2014.

Service project – in the future (Chicago/Midwinter).

Guest Speaker

Office for Literacy and Outreach Service (OLOS)/Office of Diversity Director Michelle Harrell Washington.

Michelle Harrell Washington came to talk about OLOS/Office of Diversity Initiatives.

Homelessness toolkit – produced by OLOS and SRRT.

National Conference on LGBT Equality – Julie Winkelstein, SRRT member presented on a panel.

Skype technology – support for the International Responsibilities Task Force (IRTF)/IFC program. Julie said that she would look into how she could help.

Action Council expressed their appreciation of John Amundsen, SRRT’s OLOS Program Officer, to Michelle Harrell Washington.

National Conference on LGBT Equality – Julie Winkelstein, SRRT member presented on a panel.

Skype technology – support for the International Responsibilities Task Force (IRTF)/IFC program. Julie said that she would look into how she could help.

Action Council expressed their appreciation of John Amundsen, SRRT’s OLOS Program Officer to Michelle Harrell Washington.

International Relations Task Force - written report

Resolution on Whistleblower Edward Snowden, program co-sponsored with IFC.

Speakers for program include Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) by Skype, other possible speakers Glenn Greenwald and a yet unnamed IFC selected speaker.

Cosponsored by IFC. Co-sponsorship by Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT)? Laura Koltutsky and Charles Kratz will bring it up at IFRT.

Tom Twiss moved to add $1700 to IRTF budget line for the IRTF annual program. Laura Koltutsky seconded the motion.

Nomination of Edward Snowden for James Madison Award

The award, named for President James Madison, was established in 1989 and is presented annually on the anniversary of his birth to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.

Future AC meetings

ALA Annual Las Vegas

Membership meeting – Las Vegas - Nikki moved to spend up to $1000 on catering for the membership meeting/social. Charles Kratz seconded the motion.

Nominated Nikki for Coordinator for another year. Al Kagan made the motion, Laura Koltutsky seconded.

Locate new AC members; ask Task Forces to identify possible new members.

Membership meeting at Annual and Midwinter.

At future All Task Force meetings, every task force should send representatives to the meeting. Have an AC representative to greet people at the meeting and help orient new members.

Questions for presidential candidates

  • Fossil fuel divestment
  • Whistleblowers
  • What do they know about SRRT – The round tables, what are their purpose?

Liaison Reports

Mark Hudson – Freedom To Read Foundation (FTRF)/Progressive Librarians’ Guild (PLG)

Freedom to Read Foundation

Litigation report:

  • Arizona state law bannign ethnic studies - Curtis Acosta et al v. John Huppenthal et al
  • Tucson District School – Latino Studies, constitutionally overbroad
  • FCC vs Verizon – end user rights to wider range of information, net neutrality. Verizon engaging in throttling bandwidth
  • Ebooks – Missouri legislation to prevent patron records from being retained for ebooks

Progressive Librarians’ Guild

PLG dinner at the Sahara Grill following the PLG meeting, Sunday, January 26.

Read: INS Sandy Berman Classism in the Stacks: Libraries and Poverty, ALA Policy Statement: Library Services to the Poor.

Guest Speaker

Sara Kelly Johns – Executive Board Representative

Numbers are up for pre-registration. Membership down about 500.

Approximately 48% of library workers are ALA members.

$76,000 surplus in 2013 ALA Budget.

Some round tables have reported less satisfaction with staff members, but not SRRT.

Advocacy – importance to ALA and librarians.


2 The Declaration for the Right to Libraries has been promoted in varied settings, including International Federation of Library Association, book shows, and the League of Women Voters.

  • Targeted version for school libraries
  • More messaging opportunities
  • Joint Resolution on the Importance of School Libraries

Joint Resolution on the Importance of School Libraries.

Emily Sheketoff from ALA Washington Office has been working to lobby regarding the Reauthorization Workforce Recovery Act and the Education Act.

Community engagement – across divisions.

$1.5 million Gates Foundation grant to create public library teams to advance library led community engagement.

Workplace situation for librarians, advocacy campaigns – developing tools for individuals to run advocacy campaigns.


Political capital – whistleblowers: is ALA being too reactionary?

Council policies – reversed by ALA apparatus.

SRRT Action Council 2

Sunday January 26 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Attending: Diedre Conkling, Jane Glasby, Al Kagan, Charles Kratz, Nikki Winslow, Tom Twiss, LaJuan Pringle, Mark Hudson, Mike Marlin, Lynne Bradley (Wash. Office)

Guests: Karen Venturella Malnati, Katharine Phenix, Emily Sheketoff ALA WO, Lynne Bradley ALA WO

Speakers: Maggie Farrell Candidate for ALA President

Sari Feldman Candidate for ALA President

Emily Sheketoff – ALA Washington Office

Maggie Farrell

  • Supports whistleblowing in principle
  • Wouldn’t support the divestment resolution
  • Core values don’t stray from current message; distract from/dilute message by commenting on non-library issues

Sari Feldman

  • Need to protect privacy of patrons
  • Strategic Plan
  • Advocacy role
  • Innovation/change management
  • “Gets” round table purpose- entry point for many members, serves their interests
  • Divestment resolution – need to balance
  • Everyone has responsibility, would investigate that possibility
  • Website needs to be improved, she was unable to find information herself
  • Increasing diversity – dues structure

Emily Sheketoff – ALA Office

Thanked SRRT for inviting her to speak.

  • Net neutrality – FCC Verizon FCC may appeal to Supreme Court to be determined.
  • Barbara Stripling – Declaration for the Right to Libraries.
  • Privacy/surveillance known because of Snowden leaks.


Individual whistleblowers being identified in resolutions were thought to diminish ALA’s influence. Washington Office were they involved?

Committee on Legislation directs Washington Office and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has influence. Political capital, persuasive voice, able to benefit from it, trying to look at it as to why we should be involved. Action Council member stated that it’s problematic when the laws covering whistleblowing and what is covered for federal workers/contractors are different.

Larger coalition of civil liberties organizations have not always supported whistleblower legislation.

Legal definition and civil disobedience perspective on whistleblowers. Larger debate is more challenging than our personally held beliefs.

Committee on Legislation (COL) sent Lynne Bradley from the Washington Office to the SRRT AC2 meeting to discuss the Snowden resolution. COL maintains their position stated in their resolution from Annual 2013. COL and IFC should be involved when drafting resolutions.

What do you perceive the membership’s role in creating ALA policies? Staff do as they are told regardless of their personal beliefs.

IFRT will co-sponsor but won’t know about financial support until tomorrow’s budget report at IFRT II.

Meeting adjourned at 4:31.

Moved by Al Kagan, and seconded by Nikki Winslow.

Addendum: IFRT will co-sponsor event and will contribute $500 towards cost.

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Feminist Task Force Report

by Diedre Conkling and Audrey Robinson-Nkongola

The Feminist Task Force had some very productive meetings at the ALA 2014 Midwinter Meeting. We have some new people helping out with FTF. Joining Diedre Conkling is our new co-coordinator Audrey Robinson-Nkongola. We now also have co-editors working on Women in Libraries, Sherre Harrington and Dolores Fidishun. Notes from our meetings may be found at

Amelia Bloomer Project

2014 Midwinter Amelia Bloomer Project deliberations produced another thought-provoking list of recommended feminist books for readers age 0-18. A theme of this year's list is the feminist voice, whether it manifests as a challenge to mainstream media - as in the case of Lynn Povich and her Newsweek colleagues in the 1970s, the daring originality of the Riot Grrrls in 1990s, or Tavi Gevinson's unflinching and influential Rookie website today.

The 2014 list also highlights women with great intellectual and artistic ambition, women who refused to be repressed by the cultural limitations of their time and place. Spanning topics as diverse as labor activism, astronomy, human rights and performance art, we hope the books on this list will inspire young readers to respect their own ideas and to insist on following their passions even in the face of challenges.

The Amelia Bloomer Project is excited to collaborate for the first time with the Rainbow Project on an author panel for the ALA Annual Conference in June. Two authors with works on the ABP list will speak: William Klaber, author of The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell, and Rita Williams-Garcia, author of P.S. Be Eleven and One Crazy Summer, from the 2014 and 2011 lists. The powerful way these authors treat social injustices stemming from racial and gender discrimination and gender non-conformity in their writing suggests they will be compelling speakers. Our hope is that this program will broaden the impact of both the Amelia Bloomer and the Rainbow Projects and the issues our lists aim to address.

Women of Library History

Women of Library History is back for 2014! We are seeking stories from your library and your community. Is there a woman whose work is near and dear to your library’s heart? Someone who has made history at your library? Community activists who made library services possible? Maybe even someone whose portrait you pass every day?

In celebration of Women’s History Month this March 2014, the Feminist Task Force would like to invite submissions to highlight valued women in libraries. This is the perfect time of year to remember the contributions of these important women in librarianship—perhaps the founder or other woman (or group of women) who was significantly involved with your local library, or someone whose mentorship has shaped you as a professional.

More about how to make submissions may be found at .

Women in Libraries

Women in Libraries continues to have great content. Recent issues have included sites in the cities where ALA Conferences are held that are of interest to feminists. We need more people to review the books we receive. If you volunteer to review a book, you get to keep the book. Isn’t that great incentive? You can see the list of books to be reviewed here:

Feminist Night at the Movies


We are very excited about the movie we will be showing at the ALA 2014 Conference in Las Vegas. SRRT wants to present three years of programing about gaming. For this, the second year of programming, we wanted to present something about women and gaming. We were so lucky to find out about GTFO the Movie. The movie will be ready for showing this summer and the director and producer, Shannon Sun-Higginson will bring the movie to our program. The program will be on Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. This should be a great program and we hope you will all be able to attend.

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Rainbow Project Committee Report

by Christie Gibrich

The goal of the Rainbow List Project is to further the mission of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) and SRRT by promoting quality GLBTQ literature for youth ages birth through teens, through creating an annual recommended bibliography. We provide readers with guidance in selecting realistic and recommended books that reflect the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning experience and communities, which is becoming ever so important in today’s world. In creating our annual bibliography, we also provide a tool with which librarians and libraries can locate and retain materials within their collections.

Since the Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, the Rainbow Project has been actively reading, nominating and reviewing titles for the Rainbow List. Over 50 titles were nominated for the 2014 List, which will be created in open discussions during the 2014 Midwinter Meeting. Committee Members include: Christie Gibrich (chair), Christine Jenkins, Victor Schill, Anna White, Ingrid Abrams, Naomi Gonzales (chair-elect 2013-2014), Erin Iannacchione, Melanie Koss and Jesse Nachem.

We held monthly meetings through ALA Connect to discuss business and titles, to familiarize members with the procedures of voting and to discuss Annual. In addition, we decided to co-host a young adult author panel with the Amelia Bloomer Project at the Annual Convention in June 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. We plan to invite two authors from the finalized 2014 Rainbow List to join two authors from the finalized 2014 Amelia Bloomer List and host a discussion about writing in YA, publication, and other topics. If well-attended, we feel that by splitting the work of finding the authors we could have the author panel as a yearly program instead of alternating years, furthering the committee, GLBTRT and SRRT goals of providing information and supporting advocacy.

We have selected Naomi Gonzales for chair-elect for the 2013-2014 term and she will become chair after Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia. With the GLBTRT chair and SRRT liaison approval, Ingrid Abrams has been nominated for chair-elect for the 2014-2015 term, and will become chair following Midwinter 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Starting with Naomi’s term, we should be following the schedule set forth in our bylaws, and have a chair and chair-elect installed for every year hereafter.

Chair Christie Gibrich and Peter Coyl, 2014 chair of the Stonewall Awards, will be presenting at the Texas Library Association in April 2014 with David Levithan, highlighting books that are on both the finalized 2014 Rainbow List and those selected by the Stonewall Book Award (Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award).

Chair Christie Gibrich will become Past-Chair after Midwinter 2014 and committee members Victor Schill, Christine Jenkins, and Anna White will step down, as it is the end of their terms.

Jane Cothron, who has been serving admirably as the committee’s administrative assistant, will also be stepping down after Midwinter 2014.

Post Conference Report

During the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, the Committee created the 2014 Rainbow List, which included 30 books from over 25 publishers, including juvenile fiction, young adult fiction and non-fiction, memoirs and graphic novels. All titles were annotated; the top ten were selected and placed on the blog before the completion of the Midwinter Meeting. The introduction to the list was completed and posted on the blog as of February 4.

Committee Members included: Christie Gibrich, chair; Christine Jenkins; Victor Schill; Anna White; Ingrid Abrams; Naomi Gonzales (incoming chair, 2015); Erin Iannacchione; Melanie Koss, and Jesse Nachem.

During the business portion of the meetings, members discussed authors to invite to participate at the author panel at the ALA Annual Convention in Las Vegas. That panel will be held jointly with the Amelia Bloomer Project (SRRT Feminist Task Force). Four authors were selected and will be contacted as soon as possible so that details can be finalized. The GLBTRT Programming Committee will be contacted so that we can learn details of the program date and location for the author’s publishers and representatives for hotel bookings and coordination.

Members also discussed the language recommendation that came from the GLBTRT board changing the term “nomination” in the bylaws to another word, as it seems to be confusing some people. Since the term “submission” is already used for “field submissions” (books suggested by those not on the committee), terms such as “recommended” or “selected” were given to Ingrid Abrams to pass on to the board. Additionally, the committee discussed the fact that, due to GLBTRT’s wish to make all committees more in line with ALA procedures, there would not be a past-chair position, nor a chair-elect position, as there had been in previous years. However, the committee strongly recommends that, like Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) bibliography committees have done, the Rainbow Project should keep a project assistant to further aid the chair in communication duties.

Additionally, the committee expressed their concerns to the present-elect of GLBTRT that the wording in the Rainbow Project bylaws, or in the information and requirements given to those accepting the nomination to the Rainbow Project, should emphasize that committee members give the Rainbow Project top priority and decline appointment to any other book/bibliography committee while serving. This has caused issues during the 2013 and the 2014 Midwinter Meetings, and needs to be addressed.

Finally, the committee would like GLBTRT and SRRT to investigate whether a virtual option would be available to those on the committee who have participated fully during the year, but were unable to attend the Midwinter Meeting due to an unexpected emergency (family health, ice storms, weather, etc.) It has happened at more than one Midwinter that a committee member has nominated and read all the books, but has been stranded in airports due to inclement weather, and would have been able to participate virtually due to the improvements in technology, yet there is not a provision in the bylaws making this possible.

Members Christine Jenkins, Victor Schill, Anna White (Chair), Christie Gibrich and Project Assistant Jane Cothron stepped down after Midwinter 2014. Naomi Gonzales is stepping up to the Chair position. The other vacant jury spots will be appointed by the GLBTRT and SRRT committees.

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News from the Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force

by Lisa Gieskes, HHPTF Coordinator

Lisa Gieskes, Julie Winkelstein and John Amundsen have created a listserv devoted to hunger, homelessness and poverty. This listserv is designed to help mobilize the library community around poverty issues. The listserv is at

Julie Winkelstein presented at the National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change in Houston, January 29 to February 2, 2014, with Jama Shelton and a local Houston librarian, Karen Vargas. They addressed homeless LGBTQ youth and public libraries with a focus toward LGBT activists.

Also in January 2014, Forty to None Project director Jama Shelton joined with Julie Winkelstein from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Vikki Terrile from the Queens Borough Public Library for Safe in the Stacks: Community Spaces for Serving Homeless LGBTQ Youth at the ICPH (Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness) “Beyond Housing” conference in New York City. The interactive workshop examined the role libraries can play in addressing LGBTQ youth homelessness. See more at:

Up to 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ. Libraries are an untapped community resource that could help prevent homelessness and play an active role in the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth. These two workshops helped attendees think creatively about engaging libraries and other diverse groups of community partners in helping LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. Participants developed action plans for engaging their local libraries/community organizations, including barriers and strategies for overcoming those barriers.

The goals set forth for each workshop were to:

  • Provide an overview of the unique experiences of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness,
  • Share the Forty to None Project’s three-tiered approach for ending LGBTQ youth homelessness.
  • Explore the role of libraries in preventing LGBTQ youth homelessness and intervening in the lives of unstably housed LGBTQ youth.
  • Develop targeted action steps for engaging the attendees’ community libraries in their work with LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.

Julie Winkelstein also presented information about LAMBDA: Library Anchor Models for Bridging Diversity Achievements, a 3-year pilot IMLS grant that works with libraries in eastern Tennessee and in California to provide trainings and workshops about this topic. Information about LAMBDA can be found at:

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Report

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager - Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

LaJuan Pringle

On Monday, January 27, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force co-sponsored the 2014 Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Georgetown University professor of law, Dr. Sheryll Cashin, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Cashin discussed the examination of social stratification as a key to overcoming discrimination. She also talked about her father’s challenges as a civil rights activist and how these challenges fueled her own activism.

We were very pleased to have our longtime chair, retiree Ginny Moore, deliver the Call to Action. Ginny encouraged all of us to continue honoring the spirit and legacy of Dr. King, Jr. in our endeavors. The task force has already begun work on next year’s celebration, which will mark the celebration’s 15th anniversary.

Also at the Sunrise Celebration, we were pleased to debut five videos from ALA members, all discussing Dr. King’s influence in their personal and professional lives. Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) Director Michelle Harrell Washington and longtime SRRT activist/member Mary Biblo were among the ALA members featured in the presentations. If you’re interested in creating a video, please contact LaJuan Pringle at

The task force plans to host a King Holiday Multicultural Exchange in Las Vegas. If your library has celebrated the King Holiday with a celebration, program, or act of service, please share this information with LaJuan. We would love to hear your stories. The task force also plans on participating in this year’s Diversity and Outreach Fair. The theme for this year’s event is family literacy. We would like to develop and facilitate a poster session for this event that extends Dr. King’s legacy into literacy for all families. If you have any ideas or would like to be involved in the facilitation of this session, please contact LaJuan for more information.

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Freedom to Read Foundation and Arizona’s Ethnic Studies Ban

by Jonathan Kelley, Program Officer Freedom to Read Foundation

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is currently involved in litigation surrounding the 2012 dismantling of Tucson United School District’s (TUSD) Mexican American Studies (MAS) program. In November, FTRF took the lead in filing an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Arce v. Huppenthal, the case challenging the constitutionality of Arizona Revised Statute : 15-112, which was used by the state to threaten withholding funding to TUSD unless it got rid of MAS.

FTRF’s brief argues that the statute in question violates students’ right to receive information, based on Supreme Court rulings that the government cannot censor material based on political or partisan motives. The brief provides examples of books educators might be chilled from using in their classrooms, including The Diary of Anne Frank, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Letters from a Birmingham Jail.

The case goes back to 2010, when Arizona passed HB 2281, restricting the teaching of any courses or classes that:

  • promote the overthrow of the United States government,
  • promote resentment toward a race or class of people,
  • are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or
  • advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

Immediately upon taking office in January 2011, the new state Superintendent of Schools, John Huppenthal – who was a lead supporter of HB 2281 as a state legislator – began the process of “investigating” Tucson’s MAS program. Five months later, Huppenthal issued a ruling finding that the program was in violation of : 15-112, a finding that contradicted the report of an independent audit he commissioned in January.

Over the next several months, TUSD attempted to get Huppenthal’s ruling overturned via state court. When that effort was unsuccessful, TUSD closed the MAS program and school administrators went into classrooms, removed copies of seven textbooks and placed them in boxes labeled “BANNED.”

FTRF and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom had been monitoring the Arizona developments, but publicity around the book bannings helped bring the issue to the fore. FTRF worked with free speech activists and ethnic studies advocates, including Tony Diaz’s Librotraficante movement, to raise awareness of the dangers of censorship in this case. FTRF and REFORMA co-sponsored a “50 for Freedom of Speech” Read-Out during the last fall’s Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. And after a federal judge upheld : 15-112, FTRF coordinated the above-mentioned amicus brief.

Other amici on the brief include the ALA, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, Black Caucus of the ALA, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Association for Ethnic Studies, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English and REFORMA.

For more information on FTRF’s involvement with this case, please visit To stay updated on the case, follow FTRF on Twitter at @FTRF, on Facebook at, or on our blog at

FTRF’s ability to be involved in cases such as this is dependent on a strong membership! If you are not a member of FTRF, please consider joining. Membership starts at $35.00 per year. Call (800) 545-2433 x4226 or visit to become a member.

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Cataloging as Radical Practice

by Lincoln Cushing

Lincoln Cushing with PLG delegation in Salinas, California, supporting local public library, April 2, 2005. See

Lincoln Cushing's first career was as a community printer, producing social justice documents. His second career has been as librarian and archivist, organizing documents and making their contents accessible. He has written five books on political posters. For more information, see Docs Populi- Documents for the Public:

In my presentations about the range into which special collections and archives fall on the scale of social justice, I list some elements of archival “radicalness”:

  1. Actively building collection within a scope ignored by other institutions,
  2. “Correct” interpretation of contents,
  3. Accessible to disenfranchised communities,
  4. Financial and political independence,
  5. Control of contents by those the collection represents – curatorial and management authenticity, “community” control,
  6. Training people in skills needed to become citizen-scholars,
  7. Deliberate promotion of archive for activist functions,
  8. Breaking down of formal archive strictures – allowing touching of objects, writing instruments, food and drink, encouraging of object browsing versus access by catalog,
  9. Community input in building/correcting/amplifying the catalog record.

Here I’d like to briefly explore the extent to which new technologies and institutional practices are offering fantastic opportunities for the last item.

In my role as consulting archivist for a huge collection of social justice posters at the Oakland Museum of California, I am responsible for reviewing initial catalog records and adding key information, such as date of publication, artist and why this item is important. I’m lucky to work with a dedicated staff who have already entered most of the tedious data. With 24,000 records to build, one cannot spend a lot of time on any given item. But without this specific information, the historical value of these posters is diminished.

In many cases, the poster is the only permanent document (and these are considered ephemera!) that marks that event – a demonstration, a concert, a strike - in history. By creating an online citation for it, I am helping to slowly accrete the many unknown stories of our movements.

The fact that I am doing this work in the age of the Web and the Internet makes this research enormously easier. It also helps that every single one of these has already been digitized – I can email a small image and people often respond instantly. Not too many years ago, it would have been an awkward correspondence beginning with, “What do you know about that poster with the blue dove on a green background?” Yeah, right. One of the most gratifying parts of my job is succeeding in tracking down artists, producers, or participants for these posters.

And since we are talking events of the 1960s and 1970s, the clock is ticking on gathering first-hand knowledge. Although I’m a subject expert, I also rely on my colleagues to extend my reach. Part of my “expertise” is simply being old enough to know what these events are about, or knowing who to reach out to. Here are three examples: in the case of poster #1, I emailed a colleague who’s researching British posters; for #2, a colleague in the disability rights movement; and for #3, a political guess that the “George” was George Jackson and a lucky web search for an unusual last name.

1. [Y B A Wife]

British poster scholar Jess Baines replied:

“I'll ask the model!”

She did, and the “wife” (Pru Stevenson) chimed in: "1981 it was in response to the Prince Charles and Diana wedding. We also did Don't Do It Di stickers."

2. [Let My Hands Sing]

This is certainly a flash from the past!

The date was April 30, 1981.

I'd love to have a copy of a clearer image if you would be so inclined. The image is of Deaf poet, Clayton Valli, now deceased. He was a dear friend and at the time, I was convincing him that he was indeed a poet and encouraging him toward performing. This was his second performance with me. I am proud to say that he did continue and went on to become a well-recognized and preeminent ASL poet.

Thanks for the sweet memory.

Susan D. Rutherford, Ph.D.

Executive Director

DEAF Media, Inc.

3. [Dangerous George]

What an interesting email.

I don't exactly remember the details but what I can remember from that far off time that might be of interest:

The play was written by an ex convict from San Quentin. It was based on George Jackson, and 1974 was what I remember.

It was performed at a time of heightened racial tension in SF; specifically, the "Zebra" killings. The cast was roughly half white, half African American, and we did various exercises to capture the feeling inside the prison within the rehearsal process. It became uncomfortable at times because the outside world felt just as racially charged when you walked out of the theater. George White, I think I have his name, was one of the leads and became a successful actor in SF; he’s an excellent actor.

That's more than I thought I could remember; I hope this helps.

David Feldshuh, professor, Theater

Cornell University

Life cycle of a cultural artifact

What’s evident from these dialogues is that people are thrilled not only to play a role in being part of creating a poster, but also in clarifying and expanding the history attached to such a document. We move the catalog record beyond the “stars” of creators into the broader universe of activist participants. The archival object begins to develop more human depth and impact. Now, with a more vibrant and dynamic online record and accessible high-resolution image, the poster truly can move along its “Life Cycle” and become usable once again. The institution’s position is that it’s more important to put up imperfect catalog data, and get corrections, than to wait to post “perfect” records. This is not standard past practice, but it is a brave and practical response to the opportunities of new technologies.

It’s our job, as activists in the broad information management professions (archivists, special collections librarians, museum registrars), to use our skills to maximize the impact of people’s history. There are many ways to accomplish that, and we must cherish small victories. If we don’t do it, it will either be done incorrectly or not at all.

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Gender-Neutral Bathrooms for all of Us

by Julie Winkelstein, Postdoctoral Researcher - University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Julie Ann Winkelstein

I recently attended the Gay and Lesbian Task Force national Creating Change conference in Houston, TX. I was there to give a presentation, along with another librarian and an advocate for homeless LGBTQ youth, about public libraries and these young people. It was a great conference – participants were mostly activists, so the mood was upbeat and passionate. I attended workshops that started by asking everyone to identify their PGP (preferred gender pronoun) – and how often do you get to do that? (I mentioned this to one of my daughters and she told me that in some social environments, the answer to this would be “All the time.”)

For me, one of the highlights of this conference was the gender-neutral bathrooms. In the presentations I’ve given in the last few years, I always mention the importance of gender-neutral bathrooms in libraries because they offer one place for transgender or gender fluid homeless youth and adults to safely use a bathroom, without being stared at or verbally or sometimes even physically abused. (For more information about this idea, there’s a great document, called Peeing in Peace, published by the Transgender Law Center, that I highly recommend.)

Like many of the ideas we champion in libraries, I primarily thought about this from the viewpoint of the patron. In fact, I had never actually experienced a gender-neutral bathroom with stalls; the only kind I’d used were the single bathrooms, with a locking door. Of course, I’ve been in men’s bathrooms, like many women who get tired of waiting in line and so slip into the men’s room. However, these were also one at a time bathrooms– so I’ve been in a bathroom with a urinal, but only by myself.

In this case, both the men and women’s bathrooms had been changed to gender-neutral, using signs and fliers that explained the philosophy behind the concept. On the second day of the conference, I stepped into one. The first thing I noticed was a line of urinals – and people using them. I have to admit I was glad there were those low walls between them, because I was worried about feeling awkward if I walked in on someone using a urinal.

But the best part was when I walked out of the stall and over to the sinks. As I turned on the water, I discovered I was washing my hands next to someone who looked like they identified as male. Standing there, washing our hands in tandem, seeing each other in the mirror, we were simply two human beings doing something we’d done many times before. Yet it was different. And because of that difference, I suddenly realized what an incredible opportunity it was for me a share a bathroom with this person. Since I’ve spent my life using public facilities for women, I’ve never gotten to cross this particular artificial and divisive gendered line. We use gender to segregate from such an early age, starting with elementary and probably even preschool bathrooms. We tell a story about girls and boys and we keep telling it as they become women and men. What damage have we done with that narrative? What fears or stereotypes have we promulgated by the arbitrary act of creating a divided society?

To me, this experience was an epiphany about the narrowness of this story and the potential for creating a new one. I needed that gender-neutral bathroom because it offered me insight into the world I’d like to see. A world that isn’t about gender, but instead is about individuals and how our lives are intertwined. A world that allows us to recognize how alike we are, without the premise that our gender defines and separates us. This is the story I want to tell.

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Ayala, J. L., & In Güereña, S. Pathways to Progress: Issues and Advances in Latino Librarianship. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2012

reviewed by Max Macias, Adjunct Instructional Librarian, Portland Community College

Pathways to Progress: Issues and Advances in Latino Librarianship is a collection of essays by Latino Librarian/Advocates on Latino Librarianship and is part of the Latinos and Libraries Series, published by Libraries Unlimited.

Collection Development: an Overview for the Spanish Speaking by Sara Martinez is wonderful, akin to a mini-handbook on Spanish language collection processes. Martinez even has tips on distribution contacts and how to conduct outreach to the Spanish-speaking community.

Oralia Garza de Cort's begins her chapter, Public Library Services and Latino Children: Getting it right in the 21st Century, with a history of Latino librarianship in children’s services. Garza de Cort's analyzes and criticizes the Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library program. She then talks about first languages in the home and how they relate to literacy. She also describes REFORMA’s place in the struggle to serve Latino Children in Spanish by describing various programs REFORMA has developed by itself and in partnership with ALA.

Academic Libraries: Pathways to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Relationships in Chicano and Latino Studies by Luvano, et al. covers the “ methods used to integrate information fluency skills into ethnic studies department curricula.” This chapter is more theoretical than practical.

Special Libraries and Collections: “Invisible as Night, Implacable as Wind” California and Multicultural Archives (CEMA): The First 20 Years by Erica Bennett is an excellent history of CEMA. Bennett surveys the history, demographic developments in the US and the importance of Latino/Hispanic archives. She goes on to describe the place of CEMA in the 21st century and ends with an excellent chronology of CEMA.

Special Collections: The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries by Mari R. Estorino is a nice description of that collection and its importance and future as a major resource for Latino/Hispanic research. Also included is a beautiful piece by the late and great tatiana de la tierra, entitled Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Lesbian, Queer: Being there: Queer Latin@ Representation in the Library, which discusses the problems of and possible solutions to the lack of representation in libraries of Latino queer librarians and the resulting lack of representation in library collections.

Recruiting and Mentoring: Proactive Mentoring: Attracting Hispanic American Students into Information Studies by Alma C. Ortega and Marisol Ramos tries to answer why efforts to recruit Hispanic students – including non-Spanish speakers – into library science have so far failed and how that might be remedied with proactive recruiting and mentoring.

Leadership in Libraries: Latino Leadership in Libraries, by Luis Herrera discusses the history, present and future of Latino leadership in libraries in the US. While this chapter offers some insight into the history of this topic, it offers little in practical and effective leadership implementation for Latinos in libraries.

Digital Resource: Developing Chicano/a Latino/a Digital Resources, by Alexander Hauschild addresses the difficulty of making digital resources that relate to Chicano/a or Latino/a history available widely. This chapter mainly focuses on how to get the resources that exist linked up to one another and to outside sources for more availability.

This book is well worth the price. It contains solid information and presents a background for understanding the issues Latino librarianship in the US faces, the history of Latinos in LIS, and potential paths to the future for Latinos and those who would serve this population in US libraries. My main criticism is the lack of radical ideas or any real strength when it comes to confronting the racism and prejudice Latinos/Hispanics/Indigenous face in US libraries. We need an analysis of the impact of the Colonial Educational System on our knowledge – particularly when it comes to identity, culture and our heritage. While all these essays gave practical steps to help Latinos in the current milieu, we need to have alternative futures that change or operate outside the current system--which is fundamentally, white supremacist, patriarchal, heterosexual, classist and misogynistic. I look forward to seeing this change in analysis as a result of the practical advice given by the authors in this fine work.

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Social Responsibilities Round Table Newsletter Seeks New Editor

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

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

Our current editor, Amy Honisett, will be stepping down after the completion of her three-year term, and the SRRT Editorial Board is now seeking her replacement. The new editor will be in appointed in May 2014 and will serve as co-editor for one newsletter (June 2014 issue) under the tutelage of the current editor.

The SRRT Newsletter is produced electronically on a quarterly basis. An estimated 12 to 15 hours of work goes into each issue, focused primarily on collecting written submissions and images, editing and formatting submissions, and making final edits before submitting the finished document for publication. The SRRT Newsletter Editor also serves as SRRT Web Manager, keeping and the Resolutions Archives up to date. The SRRT Newsletter Editor works in close partnership with the SRRT Action Council and the SRRT Editorial Board.

If you are interested in becoming the next SRRT Newsletter editor, please send a copy of your resume/CV, a brief letter of inquiry outlining your qualifications and interest in the position, and a writing sample and/or examples of previous work to Rebecca Martin, SRRT Editorial Board Member, at The deadline for submission of materials is Friday, May 2, 2014.

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Trends Impacting Young Adult Services: A Paper Presentation Sponsored by YALSA Past Presidents

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Midwinter Paper Presentation is an annual event sponsored by past presidents of YALSA. Its purpose is to provide a venue for educators, librarians, students and others interested in young adult librarianship to gather and explore a topic of current interest that impacts the field. The YALSA Midwinter Paper Committee will select one paper to be delivered at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. The paper will be published in YALSA’s peer-reviewed Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults after the conference. For more information about the journal, visit

Paper Topics

The YALSA Midwinter Paper Presentation Committee is seeking proposals for papers presenting points of view based on current research and relating either to topics covered in YALSA's Future of Library Services for and with Teens Report or Research Agenda). The agenda includes four priority areas:

Priority Area 1: Impact of Libraries on Young Adults

Priority Area 2: Young Adult Reading and Resources

Priority Area 3: Information Seeking Behaviors and Needs of Young Adults

Priority Area 4: Informal and Formal Learning Environments and Young Adults


To provide a venue for educators, librarians, students, and others interested in young adult librarianship an opportunity to gather and explore a topic of current interest that impacts the field.

Application Requirements

Please use the official application form:

Paper proposals are due no later than June 1, 2014. Only previously unpublished papers will be accepted.

The winner will be selected, and all applicants will be notified by September 1, 2014.

All paper presenters must register for the Midwinter Meeting by December 1, 2014.

For questions, email the Midwinter Paper Presentation Committee Chair (

Statement on Eligibility

Any individual from within or outside of the library community is welcome to submit an application. Membership in ALA/YALSA is not required.

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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 May 16, 2014.

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 original 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.

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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 : 2014 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.

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