SRRT Newsletter - Issue 200, September 2017

SRRT Newsletter - Issue 200, September 2017


Letters from the Editors

by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow and Julie Winkelstein

Melissa Cardenas-Dow

Greetings SRRT Newsletter readers!

This issue witnesses a significant transition for SRRT Newsletter. This is our first issue with two editors, Julie Winkelstein and me. Julie will be handling the solicitation work and publication preparations while I will continue with the online uploading and maintenance of the SRRT Newsletter archive, the SRRT Resolutions archive, electronic document transformation tasks, and web maintenance. This sharing will enable us to keep up-to-date in all areas.

We are looking forward to this new structure and hope that it will prove to be a prudent and wise decision for us. We are also hoping we will have more hands to further grow and nurture our newsletter and web presence to encompass content and formats that serve the needs of both SRRT and its members.

Julie Winkelstein, our new co-editor, was a member of the SRRT Newsletter editorial board when I first joined as editor. She was an important part of the board and helped guide me through my period of transition. So really, Julie isn't all that new to our publication or our processes! Below are a few words of introduction from Julie. Let us all welcome her back to the SRRT Newsletter.

All the best,

Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow

SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor

Julie Winkelstein

Hello everyone,

I'm excited to be the co-editor of this newsletter. I was on the editorial board for six years and I've missed being part of the process of creating this document that represents so many social justice aspects of not only SRRT, but also ALA itself.

As you may already know, the SRRT Newsletter has a long history, starting with the very first issue in 1969 (archives of the newsletter are available here: and the newsletter is indexed by H.W. Wilson). For many, many years it was a print-only newsletter, as you'll see when you go to the archives. The first online-only issue was in March 2009 (here's a link to comments from LaJuan Pringle about this change: and it's been online-only ever since.

It's amazing to go back and read older issues. For example, issue #1 has a piece written by Roy Schumacher, called "Wanted: Unreasonable Librarians," in which he talks about the role of the library in speaking out about social responsibility. It's a passionate and well-written piece that could have been composed today.

I encourage you, the reader, to take some time to peruse these archives. I hope they will inspire you to write your own articles for us — ones that speak to the work you do or the work you'd like to do. That speak to the changes you'd like to see or your view of the role of the library in social justice work. Or maybe you've read or watched something that inspired you? We'd love to know about it.

The SRRT Newsletter is a critical piece of the social justice work that we, as library staff, do. For more than 40 years it has been telling our story — a story of discovery, passion, change, commitment, discussions — even confrontations. When you write for this newsletter, you are putting yourself into that history. We look forward to hearing from you!

Julie Ann Winkelstein

SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor

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SRRT Coordinator's Column

by Kenny Garcia, SRRT Coordinator, Research & Instruction Librarian, Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library, CSU Monterey Bay, Marina, California

Kenny Garcia

My name is Kenny Garcia, and I'll be serving as the SRRT Coordinator for 2017-18.

SRRT will share news and information with members once a month through the SRRT Membership (SRRTAC-L) listserv.

According to the July 2017 ALA Membership Report, SRRT has seen a 29.78% increase in membership since last year. We are now the third largest round table. Thank you, Al Kagan, and the SRRT Membership Committee for all of your hard work!

Time Period SRRT Membership Numbers Percentage of Growth
July 2017 1412 +29.78%
June 2017 1406 +28.28%
April 2017 1342 +21.01%
March 2017 1341 +19.20%
February 2017 1272 +15.74%
January 2017 1189 +10.19%

As a reminder, international members of ALA can now join SRRT for half-price. The new rate started on September 1st, 2017.

If you would like to become more involved in SRRT and/or its task forces, please let me know so I can direct you to a task force representative. The SRRT Task Forces are: Feminist Task Force (FTF); Hunger, Homelessness, & Poverty Task Force (HHPTF); International Responsibilities Task Force (IRTF); and Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force (MLKTF).

SRRT Action Council is also always looking for folks to run for open positions. If you plan on attending Midwinter and Annual, please join us at our Action Council meeting or attend the all task forces meeting.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas on how to better support member engagement, please let us know. We hope to hear from you!

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Councilor's Report from ALA Annual Conference 2017

by Laura Koltutsky, SRRT Councilor, Social Sciences Librarian, University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources

Laura Koltutsky

ALA members are able to bring forward resolutions at either the Virtual Membership Meeting held before Annual Conference or at conference at the Membership Meeting. Instructions for doing so are available online:

One such resolution brought forth and approved at the Virtual Membership Meeting held on June 8, 2017 was An American Library Association Statement on Global Climate Change and a Call for Support for Libraries and Librarians, ALA CD#41_62517_FINAL. It was discussed in Council I on Sunday, June 25, 2017. It was a lengthy discussion, with suggested amendments, and there was a failed attempt to refer the resolution to an ALA Committee before Council vote. Personal member Fred Stoss, the mover of the motion, spoke to the motion after an invitation by Council. The resolution was eventually passed in Council I without significant changes. The process was captured fairly effectively in the Actions of the ALA Council 2017 ALA Annual Conference document available:

From my admitted limited experience as SRRT Councilor, the discussion described above was unusual. It is a relatively frequent practice that Council defeats suggested amendments and does not refer the resolution to another ALA body—in this case SustainRT. The will of most Councilors was not to alter the spirit of the resolution, which I very much appreciated.

At Council II, Council also approved adding Definitions of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) to the Policy Manual Recommendation #4.2, which was included in the Committee on Diversity report.

From the Actions of the ALA Council 2017 ALA Annual Conference Document:

VOTED, To add the definitions of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion developed by the Task Force (2015-2016 ALA CD#38_61316_INF, Recommendation #4.2) to the ALA Policy Manual; audit all definitions of equity, diversity, and inclusion across the association to ensure the broadest possible understanding; and explore core values and roles and responsibilities statements to assess equity, diversity, and inclusion. (ALA CD#44.1_62517_ACT)

The other resolution of interest was also included in the Committee on Diversity report. This resolution began conference as the Resolution on Libraries as Safe Spaces. This resolution came from a group of Councilors (including COL, COD, and SRRT members), who felt the Resolution on Gun Violence Affecting Libraries, Library Workers, and Library Patrons had weakened the language around libraries as safe spaces too much, due to the consensus process of the working group. The resolution as presented to Council had a title change to Resolution on Libraries as Responsible Spaces, as "safe spaces" proved to be contentious. There was an attempt to refer the resolution to IFC, which was defeated. The resolution was passed by Council after an amendment removing the first whereas clause. The resolved clause that was unchanged read as follows:

That the American Library Association, on behalf of its members:

  1. urges libraries to embrace the mantle of responsible spaces by adopting and enforcing user behavior policies that protect patrons and staff from harassment while maintaining our historic support for the freedom of speech;
  2. encourages libraries to develop community partnership programs with and promote services to underrepresented and unacknowledged community members;
  3. encourages libraries to sponsor programs fostering meaningful and respectful dialogue in community; and
  4. directs the Committee on Diversity, with the support of the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services and the ODLOS Advisory Committee, to develop, provide, and disseminate materials and programming for libraries that deter hate, foster community, and oppose bigotry toward or oppression against any group.

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Minutes from Action Council I & II

Submitted by Kenny Garcia, 2016-2017 SRRT Secretary

Social Responsibilities Round Table
Action Council I & II Meetings
ALA Annual Conference 2017, Chicago, IL

SRRT Action Council I
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Palmer House, Clark Room 7
8:30-11:30 a.m.
SRRT Action Council II
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Swissotel, Lucerene Room III
3:00-4:00 p.m.

In Attendance: Diedre Conkling (Coordinator), Nikki Winslow (Nominations Committee Chair), Kenny Garcia (Secretary), Al Kagan (Membership Committee Chair, IRTF Coordinator), Mark Hudson (Freedom to Read Foundation & PLG Liaison), Charles Kratz (Treasurer), Laura Koltutsky (SRRT Councilor), Mary Biblo, Ginny Moore, Damon McGhee, Lajuan Pringle (MLKTF Representative), Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Sherre Harrington (FTF Representative), Jane Cothron, Anders Ericson, Julie Marie Frye, Tara Brady, Katharine Phenix, Jane Glasby

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Review of Agenda
    1. Additions
  3. Resolutions
    1. GODORT resolution for Midwinter
      1. The main objective of the resolution is to support the request for funding in order to preserve federal government publications
      2. GODORT is asking for SRRT's endorsement
        1. Al moved to endorse it, Charles seconded. Motion passed.
    2. Passed at Membership Meeting and to be voted on by ALA Council - An American Library Association Statement on Global Climate Change and a Call for Support for Libraries and Librarians
      1. The second resolve clause should specify what ALA is expected to do
      2. Charles moved to endorse it, Al seconded. Motion passed.
    3. Council Resolution - Resolution on Libraries as Safe Spaces
      1. The resolution will be brought to forum tonight and will be discussed at Action Council II
      2. The resolution is asking for ALA to take a stand
      3. Safe space terminology revised to responsible space terminology
      4. Recommended revised definition: all people are responsible in advocating for a safe space for everyone
  4. Election 2018
    1. There will be four open slots for action council
    2. Charles Kratz will serve as coordinator-elect and Jane Cothron will serve secretary-elect
      1. Kenny motioned to approve these appointments, Laura seconded. Motioned passed.
      2. Kenny Garcia will be the incoming coordinator in 2017-18
      3. Jane will serve as secretary starting at next Midwinter
    3. Action Council will need a treasurer once Charles starts service as coordinator
  5. Reports
    1. Treasurer's Report
      1. The SRRT balance is at $74,000
        1. With the increase in membership, the amount SRRT has received in paid membership fees from ALA does not add up to amount we should have received.
      2. Travel fund for task force members
        1. Criteria
          1. Would be open to task force coordinators and action council members
            1. Should be open to student members to get them more involved
          2. Financial implications
            1. No amount specified
              1. $500 each as an initial amount
              2. 2-3 grants per conference
          3. Charles will work with Julie on finalizing a proposal
    2. SRRT Membership Committee Report
      1. SRRT is larger now than a few of the ALA divisions
    3. Task Force Reports
      1. Feminist Task Force (FTF)
        1. Program on Sunday morning
        2. Fifth year of Women of Library History
          1. Will continue for another year
        3. Wikipedia edit-a-thon event for Midwinter
          1. Incorporating Women of Library History project
      2. Martin Luther King (MLK), Jr. Holiday Task Force
        1. Theme will be discussed today for next Midwinter in Denver in 2018
        2. Will work on holiday exchange program at Annual in New Orleans in 2018.
      3. International Responsibilities Task Force (IRTF)
        1. Bill McKibben program today (Saturday, June 24)
      4. Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force
        1. No report given
    4. Planning Budget Assembly
      1. Meeting is tomorrow (Sunday, June 25)
        1. ALA budget is steady. Most of the revenue is coming from conference and publishing. Revenue from roundtables is up and expenses are down.
        2. Roundtable membership is interest-specific and it's cheaper to join.
        3. Third quarter revenue estimates are lower than expected, but expected to improve in fourth quarter.
        4. ALA Council has questions regarding projected revenue.
        5. BARC developed a ten year projection chart.
    5. Legislation Assembly (COL)
      1. No resolutions discussed.
      2. Hard to find access to Congressional Research Service.
        1. Library of Congress is working on creating a website to advertise this service.
      3. Working on including broadband service into infrastructural legislation.
      4. Working on net neutrality and copyright legislation.
    6. Sustainability Round Table
      1. Great collaboration going on between SRRT and SustainRT.
        1. Co-sponsored Bill McKibben program.
        2. Joint Social
        3. Socially responsible investment (20%)
          1. Working on a resolution for Midwinter
      2. Bill McKibben program.
      3. Joint Social
        1. Sponsored by Greenleaf Publishing.
        2. Appetizers and free drinks.
    7. Intellectual Freedom Committee/Intellectual Freedom Round Table
      1. Concerned about time slot given for program at 8:30 a.m.
      2. Did not discuss membership statistics.
      3. No feedback given on resolutions.
    8. Round Table Coordinating Assembly
      1. SRRT will be given a time slot as part of the Meet Your ALA initiative.
        1. ALA can print brochures for free (maybe first 100 to 200) for this initiative.
          1. Brochure will need to be revised.
        2. Space to promote SRRT and recruit new members
      2. Conference Accessibility Task Force —
      3. Conference Remodel Plans — look at the documents found here, – Need programs by August? Automatically get one program slot and a discussion group/interest group slot. Need to appoint someone to program jury.
        1. Julie Marie Frye self-nominated to serve as the SRRT representative to the program jury.
          1. Deidre and Kenny will submit nomination.
        2. Coordinator Program and Interest Group meeting guaranteed.
        3. 60 minute slots for programs, unless partnering with other roundtables.
        4. Need to change our process to submit proposals.
          1. Need to submit proposals in August.
          2. Need to be strategic regarding what can be accepted through a juried pool.
            1. IRTF and MLKTF will need to communicate with each other regarding what will be a coordinator program and interest group meeting
              1. One possible title: Trump Trends
              2. Programs will need to be discussed during Midwinter
            2. Amelia Bloomer program will be sent through the jury process.
          3. Joseph Egan is on the Conference Program Committee
          4. There will be three Roundtable representatives each year.
            1. SRRT will have their representative serve on the program jury this year.
            2. The two guaranteed SRRT conference programs will be finalized at Action Council II.
      4. ALA Connect: New site going live late August or so. No access to ALA Connect during 3 weeks in August.
        1. Public option should be the default setting.
          1. Form needs to be filled out.
            1. Deidre will submit the form.
          2. Deidre and Kenny will be the community admins.
          3. Polling option yes.
    9. ALA Council
      1. Safe space resolution not well received in Council.
        1. Also not received well in ALA Committee on Legislation (COL) & ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC)
      2. There were first amendment concerns.
      3. Membership resolution was voted on six times and passed.
    10. ALA Executive Board Liaison — Karen Downing (around 10:00 a.m.)
      1. Attack on federal library funding
        1. Washington Office organized outreach to Congress and National Library Legislative Day.
      2. There is a corporate Committee for Library Investment that Gale and other library-related companies are participating in 21,000 conference registrants as of Friday.
      3. Membership is down (56,000; 4% lower)
      4. ALA budget: lower than forecasted; strong conference participation should alleviate this concern.
      5. ALA Executive Director search is ongoing; hope to have someone in place by Midwinter 2018.
        1. Mary Ghikas will serve as interim executive director
      6. Hillary Clinton event: doors will close early; bags will not will allowed.
        1. Concern over pandering to Democratic Party.
          1. Hillary Clinton is not a candidate; publisher is paying her speaker fees and she will be discussing her new book.
      7. Conference changes, limits to program time slots, juried pool process.
        1. Concerned about Midwinter Conference remodeling.
        2. Can have an impact on if and when current events and topics are discussed at the conference.
      8. Concerned about Sarah Jessica Parker's statements against feminism
      9. IMLS funding discussion needs to include discussion on lack of local funding sources and local advocacy for public libraries
        1. ALA tries to work with state chapters on advocacy training through advocacy boot camps.
  6. Additional Items
    1. Changes for Newsletter Board
      1. Addition of Laura Koltutsky to the SRRT Editorial Board.
      2. Renewal of Rebecca Martin's tenure on the SRRT Editorial Board.
      3. Restructuring of the SRRT Newsletter Editor position to a co-editorship.
        1. Julie Winkelstein has proposed and agreed to take on the tasks for reviewing and soliciting submissions.
        2. Melissa is willing to stay on for another tenure to focus on uploading the newsletter issues and working on website and its files.
      4. Will be discussed at Action Council II
        1. No objections to Laura and Rebecca's appointment to the board.
        2. No objections to the restructuring of the editorial position.
    2. Access to the SRRT Membership discussion list — who should have access? Should we increase usage? What should be posted?
      1. SRRT coordinator, officers, and membership chair should be given listserv moderator access.
        1. List will be sent to Kristen
    3. Updating of the SRRT websites at and — Who will do this work? What updates are needed?
      1. Melissa is willing to take on some of it; Violet volunteered to help.
        1. If any members find any issues on the website, send the information to the website editor.
    4. Changes in Bylaws
      1. The proposed changes to the bylaws were approved at the membership meeting, which added inclusive language regarding international members.
      2. The international membership fee for ALA is $82 annually, which may be prohibitive for some international librarians. There should be a sliding scale ALA membership fee for all members. Proposal was made to offer half-rate SRRT membership dues for international librarians.
      3. Al moved to have SRRT offer a half-rate international membership fee, Nikki seconded. Motion passed.
    5. Spectrum Scholars event went well
    6. Meet Your ALA booth
      1. Monday timeslot for SRRT at this conference
      2. Plan is to continue tabling at future conferences
        1. ALA offered to print out brochures for this tabling.
          1. ALA offered to provide design support
            1. Any logo changes need to go through action council.
          2. Laura will work with Melissa on revising the SRRT brochure.
    7. Future programs
      1. SRRT will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.
        1. There should be a special commemorative program.
        2. Midwinter will be in DC.

Other SRRT Events

Friday, June 23

SRRT All-Task Force Meeting: Hyatt Regency McCormick, Room Clark/CC 22 AB — 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 24

Bill McKibben: "Imagining a World That Works — In Time to Prevent a World That Doesn't" McCormick Place, Room S102 — 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Introduction to Women's Issues (need location) 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (co-sponsored by FTF)

SRRT and SustainRT Joint Social and Membership Meeting: McCormick Place, Room W194b, 5:00p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 25

"Dismantling the Master's Bookshelves": Feminism for Libraries in the Real World (FTF program): McCormick Place, Room W175c, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Deprofessionalization, Cutbacks, and Progressive Librarianship in the Trump Era: Swissotel, Room: Lucerene III, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. (PLG)

PLG Meeting: Swissotel, Room: Lucerene III, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

PLG / Braverman Prize Dinner: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Big Bowl Chinese and Thai, 60 East Ohio (one block west of Michigan Avenue) 312–951–1888

The PLG / Braverman Prize Dinner will be in honor of the 2017 Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize winner, Matthew Weirick Johnson from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for his essay "Personal Health Data, Surveillance, & Biopolitics: Toward a Personal Health Data Information Literacy."

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Feminist Task Force News

by Sherre Harrington, Director and Liaison to Mathematics & Natural Science - Berry College Memorial Library, Mount Berry, Georgia

Here We Are ALA 2017 Program

Photo: the panel and FTF coordinator Sherre Harrington

Nominations are open for the 2018 Amelia Bloomer Project

The Amelia Bloomer Project is an annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18. Members of the reading public may submit nominations for the Amelia Bloomer Project through September 30, 2017. These suggestions will be passed on to committee members, who will read the books and determine whether or not they should be officially nominated for the list. For more information, including the nomination form, please visit the Amelia Bloomer Project website at:

FTF Program at ALA Annual 2017

Former librarian and editor of the new YA book Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, Kelly Jensen, moderated a panel with writers Mikki Kendall, Erika L. Sanchez and Brandy Colbert and librarian Jessica Pryde.

Planning for 2018

FTF plans to organize a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at ALA Annual 2018, using the FTF Women of Library History project content to expand the representation of women librarians/library folk on Wikipedia. This will have the direct impact of expanding coverage of women in library science and the indirect impact of bringing in more women as editors, which will help chip away at the systemic bias of a project that's mainly written by relatively affluent white men. Of course, men will also be welcome at the event because feminist/allied men who are attracted to the project through FTF will go in with an understanding of the systemic bias of Wikipedia and will be more likely to take that into account in their editing.

Women of Library History will also return in 2018 for a 6th year.

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Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force Essay

by Lisa Giekes and Julie Ann Winkelstein, HHPTF Co-coordinators

The Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force (HHPTF) is dedicated to addressing the barriers that prevent community members and the libraries that serve them from having access to critical resources, information, and partnerships that can alleviate poverty. Formed in 1996, the Task Force continues to work toward the goals of ALA's "Policy 61." More information about the history of the TF can be found here: More information on ALA's "Policy 61" (now known as ALA Policy B.8.10: "Library Services for the Poor") can be found here:

An example of the kind of work that libraries can do is the MakerYOUth Program at the Richland Library in Columbia, SC. This program is designed to offer STEAM programming for underserved youth experiencing homelessness, by bringing maker programs to youth in area shelters around Columbia. It's designed for youth K through 12th grade. Information and up-to-date articles and resources related to poverty and homelessness can be found at the HHPTF website:

If you'd like to submit examples of the work you're doing or if you simply have questions or comments, please contact the co-coordinators. Julie Winkelstein: and Lisa Gieskes:

We look forward to hearing from you!

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International Responsibilities Task Force News

by Al Kagan, African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration Emeritus — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The SRRT International Responsibilities Task Force worked with the Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT), the American Indian Library Association (AILA), and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) to bring environmentalist Bill McKibben to speak at our annual conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017. It was a terrific presentation, and I will try to relay some of the highpoints from my notes and discussions.

McKibben is the author of the first book on global warming, and the founder of, a grassroots network, now in 188 countries. acts to limit climate change by mobilizing support for alternative renewable energy sources while closing all fossil fuel energy generation. 350 works to ban fracking and supports the movements against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. The organization works to cut financial support to the fossil fuel industries and supports divestment campaigns. 350 supports climate justice and listening to the communities hit hardest by climate change. Leadership of the movement must come from the people who are on the front lines of resistance, often the indigenous and poorest people in the world.

The number in the name refers to the safe limit of carbon parts per million in the atmosphere, a number that might have been possible to maintain when the organization was started in 2008. But sadly, we have now passed 400 parts per million. The name was picked because it was understandable in all languages.

Bill McKibben said that in the past he misunderstood what was going on in the national debate on climate change. We had won the scientific argument but lost the fight against established power and money, greed, and self-interest of the few at the top. Writing books was therefore not enough, and by the fall of 2009, the network sponsored a Global Day of Action of 5200 demonstrations in 181 countries. He showed some very inspiring slides from that day, taken in various countries around the world.

He said that we don't have any time left and we need worldwide action. The fight against the Keystone Pipeline shows it is possible to stand up and win, and this has had a ripple effect for struggles everywhere. He noted that we stopped Shell from drilling in the Arctic. McKibben said that old people need to get arrested. They have a lot less to lose than young people. He told us: "There is not the slightest thing radical about what we are asking for." Rather, the radicals are in the oil companies and in Washington, DC.

McKibben told us this is the first crisis with a time limit, and that we could not have guessed how far and fast climate change would happen. It was recently 129 degrees in Pakistan, and 116 degrees in Oman. These are temperatures at the limit of human survival. We have lost half of the sea ice in the Arctic. An iceberg as large as Delaware will very soon break off in the Antarctic. (It did break off the week of July 12th). McKibben noted that at the rate we are going, we can expect 7-8 degrees F rise in the next 100 years, which would mean "the end of civilization as we know it."

He also said we could not have guessed how slowly the world would react. Engineers at Exxon knew the problem in the early 1980s, but it was against corporate self-interest to act on this knowledge. The corporation instead shut down its climate research and started a very successful campaign to deny the science. The US is the climate change outlier in its denial. The rest of the world accepts the science and many efforts are succeeding. The cheapest forms of energy are now sun and wind. In Denmark, they are producing one-half of their power through wind!

One way for individuals to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions is to contribute money to support renewable energy projects such as wind farms, solar power, or biomass energy. Individuals can calculate how much carbon and other greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere through air travel or other transportation, and then contribute an appropriate amount to a non-profit organization that will transfer these funds to such projects. These contributions are called "carbon offsets," and it is easy to make these calculations online. Although McKibben said these carbon offsets are only a drop in the bucket, he uses the organization NativeEnergy for his offsets.

McKibben also advocated support for the indigenous organizations Honor the Earth and the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Green for All.

When asked about the value of a carbon tax, he said it might have been useful in the past, but now the problem is too big. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and we need a public campaign to spread alternative energy.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force News

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager — Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force is planning our 18th Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration with BCALA and ODLOS. The theme of the celebration is "Where Do We Go From Here." We're in the process of selecting our keynote and Call-To-Action speakers. We will make an announcement in the upcoming weeks.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force's Multicultural Exchange was awarded a slot as SRRT's interest group discussion for the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Planning for the exchange is underway.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force is always looking for new members. The charge of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force is to support and advance the observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as an American celebration, through collaborative relations with the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) and the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), and in cooperation with the caucuses and all other ALA units for a broad spectrum of academic, public, school, and special library participation. We support the fundamental values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. We are looking for members who seek the same. If you're interested in learning more about the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force, please email me at This is a great task force to be a part of.

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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) News

Submitted by Jennifer R. Maguire-Wright, GLBTRT Chair and Chief of Materials Management Division at Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The GLBTRT is excited to thank bibliotheca once again for its wonderful support of diversity in libraries and in the workplace.

The American Library Association (ALA) and the ALA's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) released the following statement in response to current policy efforts to exclude transgender individuals from military service, LGBTQ recognition under the Civil Rights Act.

General Announcements from GLBTRT

The round table is continuing to reach out to members for feedback on a potential name change for the round table. Stay tuned for updates on our listserv and at Midwinter and Annual 2018, as we continue to seek feedback from members and continue the conversation.

The call for nominations for our 3 non-book awards will go out shortly. Please start thinking of the wonderful people you have worked with to nominate them for these awards:

  • GLBTRT Award for Political Activism
  • The Larry Romans Mentorship Award
  • The Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Service the GLBT Community

We will also begin accepting volunteers for our book committees in the coming weeks, please consider volunteering and stay tuned for links on the listserv once they are up and live!

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Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) News

Submitted by Jodi Shaw, SustainRT Coordinator

The ALA Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) is pleased to announce free memberships for LIS students!

Beginning September 1, 2017, students may join SustainRT for free.

To qualify for a free membership, students must be:

  • Currently enrolled in ALA-accredited Master of Library Science/Master of Library and Information Science (MLS/MLIS) program.
  • Student members of ALA.

SustainRT strives to achieve a more equitable, healthy, and economically viable society by providing resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development, collections, exhibits, events, advocacy, communication, library buildings and space design. SustainRT is a member of the ALA's recently formed Office of Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS), which supports library and information science workers in creating responsible and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community.

Membership affords ample leadership opportunities to infuse sustainability throughout the library profession.

Inquiries may be directed to Madeleine Charney, Chair, SustainRT Membership Committee

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Media Resource Alert: Two Weeks in May

Submitted by Monika Antonelli, Outreach Librarian, Minnesota State University Mankato Memorial Library, Mankato, Minnesota

Librarian's Documentary Film Explores Student Protests against the Vietnam War

Mankato State College march

Mankato State College students march down Main Street in Mankato, Minnesota.

(Image courtesy of the University Archives at Minnesota State University, Mankato)

Mankato State College protest

Students protest the Vietnam War on the Mankato State College campus.

(Image courtesy of the University Archives at Minnesota State University, Mankato)

The late 1960s and early 1970s were turbulent years on many college campuses in the United States. Outreach Librarian, Monika Antonelli, recently produced a 50-minute documentary film examining student anti-Vietnam War protests on the Minnesota State University, Mankato's campus during this time period, which was then named Mankato State College.

The documentary film, Two Weeks in May, was made to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the campus. The film is based on the school's 2017 Common Read book, Out of Chaos: Reflections of a University President and his Contemporaries on Vietnam-Era Unrest in Mankato and its Relevance Today. Out of Chaos was compiled by James F. Nickerson, who served as the Mankato State College President from 1966 to 1972. With input from graduates, faculty, administrators, and citizens, the book is a collection of personal reminiscences about events that occurred on the campus and in the city of Mankato, Minnesota.

Two Weeks in May focuses on events in the first two weeks of May 1972. On May 8, 1972, President Richard Nixon ordered the mining of major North Vietnamese ports without consulting Congress. This event further escalated public opposition against the Vietnam War and fueled another outbreak of contentious anti-war protests at colleges around the United States, including Mankato. In addition, the film examines Mankato State College President Nickerson's leadership, which many believe kept demonstrations at Minnesota State College from escalating into the disruptive violence experienced on other college campuses. The film highlights the importance of student engagement with social and political issues, and demonstrates how the actions of an individual or group can influence the course of history.

This is Antonelli's first attempt at filmmaking. The making of the documentary film was a year-long project and involved Antonelli enrolling in two film production classes. The project relied heavily on materials found in the University's archival collections, including historic photos, film footage, recorded audio, student newspapers, yearbooks and documents.

The documentary also allowed the Library to provide significant learning opportunities to students. Several Minnesota State Mankato film program students assisted with the project. Students were involved in filming interviews with alumni, as well as retired and current faculty members. Over the summer, a graduating student in the undergraduate film program was hired as the director and editor for the film. In addition, two Minnesota State Mankato alumni, who are members of the band "The Frye," wrote an original song for the film called, "We'll Take It from Here" (

The film was made possible with financial and staff support from Library Services at Minnesota State University, as well as with support from the English Department, the Film Studies Program, and a grant provided by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature.

The World Premier of Two Weeks in May is scheduled to be held on November 1, 2017, as the Minnesota State Mankato's Common Read Keynote Event. To view a trailer of the film visit

Images can be found at:

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Essay: NC is a No-Go: Bathrooms, Libraries and the Limits of Welcoming

By Chris Bourg, Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries

The following essay is an edited reprint from the Feral Librarian blog, maintained by Chris Bourg, Director of Libraries at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The post was originally delivered as an invited talk at the 2017 TRLN (Triangle Research Libraries Network) annual meeting. From Chris: "TRLN leadership were exceptionally accommodating and supportive of me giving the talk remotely because of the very concerns I addressed in the talk." Because of space concerns, we are only able to provide you with part of Chris's speech/post. We strongly encourage our readers to read the post in its entirety in the Feral Librarian blog ( Many thanks to Chris for allowing us to reprint this shortened version of the post in this issue of the SRRT Newsletter. –– Melissa and Julie

"Welcome to our bathroom!"

This is my "Welcome to our bathroom!" story.

Not long after [North Carolina's] HB2 passed, I'm at a meeting of my library-director peers. At this point I'm still new to being a library director, so I don't really know very many of my peers. So, I'm at this meeting with about 100 other library directors, and a colleague I don't know except by name and institution starts a conversation with me. She's older, straight, cisgendered, white. With no prompting from me, she starts this conversation with me and proceeds to tell me how horrible HB2 is, and how "the transgenders" (sic) aren't a threat to anyone, and just generally how against HB2 she is. This is literally the first conversation I have ever had with this woman, so I smile and nod along awkwardly, silently praying this convo will end quickly. Eventually it does end, but our story does not. Later that day, during a break in the meeting, I head to the restroom and end up behind this woman in line.

She turns to me with a big sweet smile, and says, loud enough for everyone to hear: "Welcome to our bathroom!" I think she even patted me on the shoulder or something.

She meant well, I assume, but there's a lot that went wrong in that interaction, for me. And there is much to unpack about assumptions, intent, and whose feelings got centered, and who got singled out, and how much more awful it would have been if I were trans, or if I weren't white (like every other person in that bathroom — after all it was a conference full of library directors). If it is helpful to you, I suggest you might use this story to talk amongst yourselves about micro-aggressions and about good intentions gone wrong.

But I want to use this story — my "Welcome to our bathroom!" story — to point out some ways library diversity and inclusion efforts often fall short, or worse.

I think this story is a pretty decent example of ways in which folks who think they are being welcoming and who are trying to embrace diversity actually end up doing more harm than good. And it is really hard to resist the urge to apologize for how harsh that sounds — because there is a prevailing narrative — especially popular in librarian circles, that says social justice advocates have to be patient and understanding and kind and nice and forgiving when people try to "be good allies" but mess up. And certainly we need to allow people to learn from mistakes and missteps, but/and in order to learn we have to be specific about when and how our seemingly well-meaning efforts fall short.

What I'm saying is, we need to move beyond the notion of being welcoming and we need to consider real fundamental, cultural and structural changes that would foster inclusion and justice.

I want to really zero in on the "Welcome to our bathroom!" story and talk about one of the many ways it is problematic. Whatever other assumptions might have been going on in that statement, by welcoming me to her bathroom, this nice straight lady made it very clear that she conceived of the women's restroom as hers and not really "mine" until women like her welcomed me.

And I think this is also what we in libraries do when we declare ourselves "welcoming" to librarians and archivists of color. We welcome "them" to our spaces and to our profession, without really doing the work to actually make our profession and our cultures inclusive, and without doing the work to undo the decades of exclusion and discrimination that are the history and legacy of our profession and of most of our institutions.

And we focus our diversity and inclusion efforts on programs that are designed to recruit members of underrepresented groups into libraries and archives. Then we train "them" on how to succeed in "our" institutions and "our" cultures.

And because representation matters, recruitment programs for librarians and archivists of color continue to matter. We remain an unbearably white profession, and progress towards becoming more diverse is and has been really slow; certainly far slower than the rate of change in the demographic makeup of the country and/or of the college student population.

So, yes, our recruitment programs matter, but/and they are not enough. We also have some serious retention problems. And I think that has a lot to do with us resting on our good intentions and assuming that being nice, welcoming white ladies (and we are mostly women in this profession) is enough.

It is not enough.

When I talk about diversity, inclusion, and social justice with white librarians, I always hear from people about how much better libraries are than the rest of society, about how liberal and welcoming librarians are, and about how our lack of diversity is really just a pipeline problem. (I also hear a lot of "shouldn't we be neutral?", but in the interest of time, let's take up that neutrality myth in the Q&A if you want). And there's always at least one dude who wants to talk about the plight of males in this predominantly female profession. Don't be that dude. Not today.

At any rate, I'm pretty tired of hearing those tropes — and I'm willing to bet our colleagues of color are also really tired of hearing them.

Many librarians and archivists from marginalized groups do not experience our profession or our organizations the same way us white folks do. Which should not be surprising — there is ample evidence across many domains that demonstrate that the life circumstances of people of color are different from those of white folks.

At any rate, my experience is that many of us think we are being welcoming, but we are often just about as ham-fisted and unwelcoming as the woman who welcomed me to the ladies' restroom after assuring me she was down with the gays and the transgenders. I'm sorry to say that much of what we do in libraries in the name of diversity and inclusion is just as performative and is often less about making real changes and is more about making us look good and feel good about ourselves.

I want to call your attention to some blog posts from some colleagues I admire very much:

These colleagues write about the emotional, physical, and intellectual toll of being a librarian of color in an overwhelmingly white profession, full of well-meaning nice white ladies (and a few men) who likely think of themselves as liberal and accepting and welcoming and not at all racist. (And I imagine there are some folks in the audience who are uncomfortable, or maybe even offended by the phrase "nice white ladies", so let's talk about that in the Q&A).

April talks about ALA as "Five days of having "nice white ladies" tell you to be "civil" and "professional" when you talk about the importance of acknowledging oppression and our profession's role in it."

Sarah writes of hearing some white women use the words "inclusive" and "welcoming" to describe our association. And then she reminds us that it's not up to the majority to determine whether or not the space is/has become welcoming and inclusive. Those sentiments are aspirational, not reflective.

And Fobazi calls our attention to this post by a white woman on a Facebook page I won't be linking to:

diversity at #alaac17

The post reads:

"One of my greatest takeaways from #ALAAC17 was seeing the beautiful diversity in our profession. We truly represent all those we serve and I'm proud to call you my people." Not only are we really not that diverse, and we certainly don't "truly represent the people we serve," but this kind of statement renders our non-white colleagues as props on some self-satisfyingly diverse stage we can admire. As Fobazi says (sarcastically), "I love knowing that my body is seen as diverse. Not as a person. But as a pat on the back."

And too often this is exactly what we do in libraries. We don't want to dig deep, we don't want to confront our own ingrained racism and homophobia, and we don't want to examine the racist and oppressive histories and legacies of our institutions. So we talk about how we love diversity and how welcoming we are.

And we tell the one queer librarian we know that we are against HB2 and we welcome her to our bathroom and we tell anyone who will listen how much we love seeing the "beautiful diversity" of our profession — while we remain 88% white and while our culture and our policies and our bathrooms continue to reflect and enforce a traditional gender binary.

You know that saying "We've come a long way, baby"? Well, we haven't really come very far ... and don't you dare call me baby.

In the meantime, at the Society of American Archivist meeting, we laugh at all-gender restrooms.

And to make matters worse, we get defensive when we are called on our "nice white lady" micro-aggressions. We tone-police people of color and queer activists and we tell them to be more patient and that they/we will make more progress if they act more professional, without ever interrogating the inherent classism and racism and heteronormativity built into our conceptions of professionalism.

And we complain that the language and the concepts of social justice are too advanced, and that the activists among us need to slow down and provide an on-ramp for those of us who are trying to catch up to diversity work.

Too much of our diversity work is based on an unstated assumption/attitude that libraries belong to us (white folks), and out of the goodness of our progressive and definitely not racist hearts, we need to welcome 'diverse' people. That framing, that way of approaching this work is itself a micro-aggression and is part of a culture that keeps us from making any real progress toward inclusion and social justice. And it is the same attitude and culture that makes it OK for a nice straight lady to welcome me to her bathroom.

I think that our diversity and inclusion work and our diversity and inclusion committees have to move away from questions of how we can be more welcoming; and we have to tackle the harder questions about how we create cultures and policies and practices and organizations that are inclusive and that foster and promote equity and social justice. To do that, we have to admit that no matter how well intentioned we may be, libraries and archives are not magically welcoming spaces for people from marginalized communities.

Think about it — I shared with you my own stories of being marginalized by well-intentioned straight colleagues and allies, but/and I come to these encounters with a whole bunch of privilege. My queer identity intersects with loads of privilege — I'm white, I have too many degrees from too many Ivy Plus schools, and I'm the director of the best library in ARL. And I still steel myself against the inevitable micro-aggressions I will experience at library conferences, and I get stressed just trying to pee when I travel.

And y'all, the stuff I have shared today is just the tip of a very chilly iceberg. Ask me about fund-raising and job interviews ...

But enough about me — here's another example:

At ACRL, Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, spoke about the importance of having a regular outlet for her frustrations as a woman of color in a profession that is overwhelmingly white. The most accomplished, most senior librarian in the country admits that she calls her mom to regularly vent about real and pervasive frustrations of being a black woman in this profession.

Some of you, maybe many of you, didn't need convincing that we have a lot of work to do — individually and as organizations; but I'm willing to bet that some of you did need either convincing or reminding. I hope this talk has done some of that.

I know you will be talking about diversity & inclusion later today, and you will be discussing ways to promote diversity and inclusion in TRLN and your individual institutions. I hope you will ask yourselves and each other some hard questions. I have a few starter questions to suggest: What needs to change at my institution to go from passively "welcoming" to actively inclusive? How does my library enforce a gender binary? How is our definition of "professionalism" classist, racist, heteronormative, etc.? How might we better understand ways we fall short, as individuals and organizations? What are we doing that is queer-affirming in my library?

And I have a few suggestions for queer affirming things you can do in your libraries:

  • Gender neutral bathrooms
  • Pronouns, preferred names
  • Queer-affirming content in ALL displays, libguides, etc. (not just in June)
  • Ally training

What else ...?

I tweeted this morning that this talk might well end up being the queerest and most personal talk I've ever given. I think that might be true.

This was a hard, but cathartic talk for me to prepare and to give. I hope it was helpful to you and the work TRLN intends to do.

Let me close with this — if you are queer, if you are trans, if you are any part of the big glorious LGBTQ+ community, please know that I see you, you belong here, you are valued, and I will never stop fighting for you — for us.

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Call for Submissions

The SRRT Newsletter is always looking for relevant articles, essays, and letters to the editors. The next submission deadline is December 1, 2017.

Any current member of SRRT or its affiliates are welcome to submit articles and letters. We also welcome relevant submissions from others and encourage guests to write for us. 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 Co-Editor Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow at micd.srrt.newsletter [at] and Co-Editor Julie Ann Winkelstein, 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 or media reviews should be sent to Meaghan Hunt-Wilson, the SRRT Newsletter Reviews Editor at SRRTreviews [at], indicating "Reviews" in the subject line of your e-mail.

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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 © 2017 by the Social Responsibilities Round Table. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission.


Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow, micd.srrt.newsletter [at]

Julie Ann Winkelstein,

Reviews Editor: Meaghan Hunt-Wilson, SRRTreviews [at]

Editorial Board Members: Cicely Douglas, Michael Gorman, Laura Koltutsky, and Rebecca Martin.

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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