SRRT Newsletter - Issue 205, January 2019



Letters from the Editors

by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow and Julie Winkelstein

Melissa Cardenas-Dow

Greetings SRRT Newsletter readers!

This issue of the SRRT Newsletter is the one we usually publish right before the ALA Midwinter Meeting. In 2019, it will be held in Seattle, Washington. We provide you with a schedule of the SRRT events during Midwinter Seattle. Additionally, there are reports from various SRRT TFs on events and plans, as well as ways that readers can become more involved.

An exciting feature in this Newsletter issue is a conversation with Nicola Andrews, SRRT's first ALA Emerging Leader.

As always, we hope the SRRT Newsletter is both enjoyable and informative.

All the best,
Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow
SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor


Julie Winkelstein

Hello everyone!

In this Newsletter we offer you reports from our coordinator, Charles Kratz, as well as from our Task Force coordinators. We've also included the SRRT ALA Midwinter meeting schedule. Every year, the highlight of Midwinter for me is the MLK Jr. Sunrise Celebration. It's amazing to realize that 2019 is the 20th anniversary of this event! For many years, I didn't attend because being somewhere at 6:30 a.m. on a winter morning didn't even sound like an idea worth considering. But one year, many years ago now, I went and have been going ever since. The sense of community, of shared passion and commitment to creating a better world, and of simply celebrating together always leaves me with an appreciation for the work we can do together. If you're able to attend Midwinter, I hope to see you at this Celebration!

Best wishes,
Julie Ann Winkelstein
SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor


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SRRT Coordinator's Column

by Charles Kratz, SRRT Coordinator & Dean, The University of Scranton Weinberg Library, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Charles Kratz

SRRT ALAMW19 Meetings
We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference in Seattle, Washington. The ALA Midwinter online schedule is now available. We hope to see many of you at the SRRT events and meetings. All of our meetings are open. In the SRRT Action Council meetings, elected action council members will be considering a number of items, including ALA Council resolutions. Anyone in attendance can provide input, ask questions, make comments, and participate in these meetings.

It would be great if more SRRT members attended these meetings, especially if you are interested in running for a SRRT Action Council seat. I will be sharing a draft SRRT Action Council agenda in January 2019 before the meeting.

If you are attending Midwinter and you would like to learn more about or become more involved with any of the Task Forces, please attend the SRRT All Task Force Meeting on Friday, January 25th, from 7:30 - 9 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Washington State Convention Center, Ravenna Room.

Welcome to 2019 ALA Emerging ALA Leader Nicola Andrews, who is being sponsored by SRRT this year. Nicola is a NCSU Libraries Fellow at the NCSU Libraries, North Carolina State University. We look forward to meeting Nicola during ALA Midwinter in Seattle.

SRRT Membership Numbers
As of October 2018, SRRT has increased membership by 21% compared to last year. Included are other Round Tables which saw an increase in October.


ALA Round Tables Membership Numbers Percentage of Growth
Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) 1858 +21.36%
Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) 1782 +3.48%
International Relations Round Table (IRRT) 1661 +2.85%
New Members Round Table (NMRT) 1488 +12.81%
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) 1453 +11.68%
Library Research Round Table (LRRT) 1347 +5.48%
Sustainability Round Table (SUSTRT) 981 +120.95%
Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) 957 +16.99%


ALA has 58,602 members, +1.92%

New Direction for the ALA Endowment Fund from Al Kagan, SRRT International Responsibilities Task Force
After much research and effort (mostly by Jenny Rockwell), SRRT and SustainRT have just completed a long and, we hope, very persuasive report for the ALA Endowment Fund trustees. The report makes the argument for divestment of fossil fuels from the ALA Endowment Fund and for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) screens for more of the ALA portfolios.

For any comments and/or questions, please contact Al Kagan.

The report can be read or downloaded online.

Run For SRRT Action Council
We hope you will run for SRRT Action Council. The terms are 3-year terms. Those elected this spring will have terms starting at the end of the 2019 Annual Conference through the end of the 2022 Annual Conference. There are 3 Action Council terms expiring in 2019. Please see the link below and note that the form closes on February 1, 2019. If you have any questions, you can contact me. Please follow this link to appear on the ballot.

Become More Involved in SRRT Task Forces
If you would like to become more involved in SRRT and its Task Forces, please let us know so we 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). Please fill out the volunteer form to serve on ALA, Divisions, and Round Tables committees and task forces. This includes volunteer opportunities to serve on SRRT Action Council and the SRRT Task Forces.


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ALA Midwinter Meeting 2019 Schedule

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2019 in Seattle, Washington

Friday, January 25, 2019

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting I (SRRT-FTF)
1/25/19, 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel -- East Room

ODLOS Advisory Committee Meeting - Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
1/25/19, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Ballard

All Task Force Meeting
1/25/19, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Ravenna

Feminist Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
1/25/19, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Ravenna

Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
1/25/19, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Ravenna

International Responsibilities Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
1/25/19, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Ravenna

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force Meeting (SRRT)
1/25/19, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Ravenna


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Action Council I Meeting (SRRT)
1/26/19, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Washington State Convention Center, Room 212

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting II (SRRT-FTF)
1/26/18, 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel -- East Room

SRRT Joint Social with Seattle PLG chapter and Sustainability RT
1/26/19, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Left Bank Books, 92 Pike Street


Sunday, January 27, 2018

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting III (SRRT-FTF)
1/27/18, 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel -- East Room

Action Council II Meeting (SRRT)
1/27/19, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Washington State Convention Center, Room 209

Progressive Librarians Guild Meeting
1/27/19, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Washington State Convention Center, Room 209


Monday, January 28, 2019

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observation and Sunrise Celebration
1/28/19, 6:30 - 7:30 a.m.
Sheraton Seattle Hotel -- Metropolitan Ballroom

Amelia Bloomer Project Committee Meeting IV (SRRT-FTF)
1/28/19, 9:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel -- East Room


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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

FTF on the Web at
Feminist Task Force is in the process of moving our web presence from the now-defunct Wikispaces platform to In the interim, look for FTF news on our Facebook page or on the Feminist discussion list.

Subscribe to Feminist by filling out a brief form that asks for your email address (your name is optional), a password you set, and whether you want email from the list batched in a daily list. On average, list members only receive a few emails a month. Once you submit the form, you will be sent email requesting confirmation, to prevent others from gratuitously subscribing you. This is a private list, which means the list of members is not available to non-members, and it's managed by FTF members. Subscribe to Feminist.

Women's Issues in ALA Discussion Group at ALA Annual
Every Annual Conference we hold the Women's Issues in ALA Discussion Group as an opportunity for people to discuss real issues that are important to them as well as learn about how to get involved with women's groups in ALA. Sponsors are FTF, the ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS), and the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL).

For ALA Annual 2019, it is FTF's turn to organize the discussion group. The suggested topic for this year's discussion will be strategies for advancing gender equity in the library workplace. As individuals and as leaders, what can we do to cultivate a workplace that values and fosters respect for all? We're looking for a moderator -- could it be you? If you're interested, email FTF Coordinator Sherre Harrington.


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Hunger, Homelessness, & Poverty Task Force News

by Julie Ann Winkelstein, SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor and HHPTF Co-Coordinator

In the last year, members of the HHPTF have concentrated on two projects: Updating the language for what is currently called "Policy B.8.10: Library Services to the Poor" and "Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement." Both of these resources are necessary for the work of libraries across the US -- one for guidance on policies and the other for practical and supportive information about addressing homelessness in our communities.

Homelessness and poverty are complicated and multi-dimensional challenges in our society, and the role of libraries in addressing these challenges is not simple. Each community, each library, each person, has a role but each must gather information, listen, create partnerships, and take action that works for the library and the community.

As Canadian government minister Adam Vaughan stated at the 2018 "Coming Up Together" conference earlier this year: "Homelessness is a symptom of failure of government structures" and "Our systems are projecting people into homelessness." In the HHPTF, we raise awareness of homelessness, poverty, and how we can work together to address the systems as well as the outcomes.

We will be at Midwinter at the SRRT All Task Force meeting on Friday evening, January 25, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the Ravenna Room at the Sheraton Seattle. For those of you who are able to attend Midwinter, we hope to see you there, where we will be discussing new projects for 2019 and beyond. More information about HHPTF can be found on our website. Please email us with any questions, comments, concerns, and suggestions: Julie Winkelstein and Lisa Gieskes. We look forward to hearing from you!


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International Responsibilities Task Force News

by Al Kagan and Tom Twiss, IRTF Co-Coordinators

Beginning in 2013, the SRRT International Responsibilities Task Force (IRTF) has been working to try to persuade the ALA Endowment Fund to divest from fossil fuel investments. At that time, we presented a resolution to the ALA Council at the Midwinter Meeting, but it was declared out-of-order on a technicality. We tried again at the 2013 Annual Conference at both the ALA Membership Meeting and ALA Council, but did not get very far. With the rising support and the success of ALA's newest round table, the Sustainability Round Table, we have been working jointly on a new initiative. Our 2018 resolution did not pass the ALA Council. However, in further discussions with the ALA Treasurer, we are now advocating increased Environmental, Social and Governmental screening (known as ESG), including divestment from fossil fuels, through hiring new investment advisors who understand the terrible financial risks involved as well as the climate change imperatives to divest from fossil fuel stocks. Jenny Rockwell (member of both round tables, and Adult and Teen Services Librarian, Sonoma County Library, Northwest Branch) has done a tremendous amount of work on preparing a report to present to the Endowment Trustees for their consideration at the 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. We think that success is only a matter of time.

IRTF is also continuing to work on a program "Subverting Other People's Elections: History and Resources," for the ALA Annual Conference in 2019. Interference by the Russian government in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has generated enormous discussion, outrage, and concern about future elections. Our program will feature the award-winning journalist, author, and scholar Stephen Kinzer who will draw upon his research to discuss the history of attempts to subvert elections and election outcomes in other countries and will cover resources that provide information about those attempts.

Stephen Kinzer worked for The New York Times for more than twenty years, mostly as a foreign correspondent. He has published numerous books, including Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (with Stephen Schlesinger, 1982); All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (2003); Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (2006); Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua (2007); Reset Middle East: Old Friends and New Alliances: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Iran (2010); The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (2013); and, most recently, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire (2017). He has taught journalism, political science, and international relations at Northwestern University and Boston University. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University and he writes a world affairs column for The Boston Globe. For several interviews with Stephen Kinzer, visit Democracy Now! and search for his name.


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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force News

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager -- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

A More Beautiful and Terrible History and Jeanne Theoharis

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force has worked with ODLOS and BCALA to plan the 20th Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration, which will take place during the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, on Monday, January 28, 2019, 6:30 a.m., at the Sheraton Seattle in the Metropolitan Ballroom.

To celebrate this milestone, our keynote is Jeanne Theoharis. Ms. Theoharis served as the event's keynote speaker in 2013, and will return this year, on the heels of the release of her latest book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.

In addition to Ms. Theoharis, the Call To Action will be delivered by former AILA & ALA President, Dr. Loriene Roy. This year's celebration will also feature remarks from Ginny Moore and Satia Orange, two of the original founders of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration. We'll also have a special musical guest from the Seattle area.

I'd like to thank both Briana Jarnagin and Andrew Jackson for their tireless leadership and support in planning this celebration. I'd also like to acknowledge the continued support of OCLC, with their sponsorship. And last but not least, thanks to all of the Sunrise attendees, who have braved the elements every Monday morning at Midwinter, to attend the celebration. Your participation has been crucial to its success. We look forward to celebrating with you in Seattle! Thanks to everyone for allowing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Task Force the opportunity to advance our charge, which is to support and advance the observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday as an American celebration.

Friday, January 25, 2019, 7:30 p.m., Sheraton Seattle, Ravenna Room. Our agenda will include a discussion of the Task Force plans for 2020.


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SRRT Sponsors Its First ALA Emerging Leader: Nicola Andrews, Class of 2019

by Kenny Garcia, SRRT Emerging Leaders Selection Committee

Nicola Andrews

The Social Responsibilities Round Table is sponsoring Nicola Andrews in the 2019 Class of Emerging Leaders. The ALA Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Nicola is one of 50 leaders selected to participate this year. She will be the first Emerging Leader that SRRT has sponsored, and hope that this leadership opportunity will support Nicola, SRRT, and ALA in becoming better stewards of social justice for library workers, libraries, and the library profession.

Nicola is originally from Auckland, Aotearoa, and a member of the Ngāti Pāoa iwi. As a first-generation graduate from Auckland University of Technology, she worked three years in administration and marketing for Auckland City Libraries (Tāmaki Pātaka Korero). Nicola earned a Master of Library & Information Science degree from the University of Washington Information School in June 2017. Her areas of professional interest are Mātauranga Māori, integrating indigenous knowledge within libraries and the LIS curriculum, instructional design, and outreach services. She is currently a libraries fellow at North Carolina State University.

We look forward to hearing more about Nicola's work and the work that the other Emerging Leaders will be working on in the upcoming year.


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Interview: Introducing Nicola Andrews, SRRT's First ALA Emerging Leader

by Melissa Cardenas-Dow, Julie Winkelstein, SRRT Newsletter Co-Editors, and Nicola Andrews, SRRT ALA Emerging Leader, 2019

Melissa and Julie are excited to share an asynchronous interview with Nicola. Questions (Qs) were sent to Nicola via an electronic document using cloud technology. She provided us with responses (As) featured below. The following piece has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: Tell us a bit about your future career plans. Is there a particular area of librarianship or information services you want to focus on? Why that area?

A: This is a timely question as I am about to enter the last six months of my fellowship with NCSU Libraries. I've been fortunate during my fellowship to have developed strong experience in instruction and to continue to develop many different kinds of outreach skills and projects which align with my public-library roots. Like many of my peers, I think librarianship offers a vocation in which service played a large role and I would like for whatever my next step is to involve public services or instruction work in some capacity. I have a personal focus on Indigenous and Māori information systems and thinking about how librarianship and archival work can become more actively inclusive for minoritized peoples.

Q: What drew you to the ALA Emerging Leaders program and why SRRT in particular?

A: The opportunity to participate in the ALA Emerging Leaders program was appealing for numerous reasons -- I have many inspiring friends and colleagues who are alumni of the programme. This is an opportunity to serve the profession while also seeing my collaborators face-to-face. And I am interested in the governance and planning of ALA itself. It's an honour to be part of the 2019 cohort!

I'm excited to be the first ALA Emerging Leader sponsored by the Social Responsibilities Roundtable, particularly as it enters its fiftieth year. My practice is rooted in progressive and critical librarianship and thinking about how as a profession we can turn our good intentions into policies and practices which redress power structures and actively do public good. I'm very excited by the task forces created by SRRT, in particular the Feminist Task Force, and the Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force. In my fellowship, I've collaborated with others to host food and toiletry drives that benefit food pantries on my own campus, at the Digital Pedagogy Lab, and the DLF Forum this year; and have tried to explore ways that video games can enable students to talk about social issues -- so SRRT seems like a great fit for me!

Q: Please share with us your thoughts on what part social justice plays in the information services professions in general, as well as in the American Library Association.

A: Social justice is applicable to every part of our profession. If we examine the beginnings of librarianship, we can outline how Western education was weaponized to facilitate assimilation of Indigenous peoples, trace the gatekeeping done by libraries for the benefit of "gentleman scholars," and describe how Melvil Dewey groomed women for librarianship so that they could be subservient, paid less, and unquestioning of his predatory advances. SRRT is uniquely poised to hold ALA and the profession accountable to our aspirations for liberation, to reflect on the responsibilities of libraries to uphold social justice principles when it comes to more modern issues such as fees and fines, data privacy, and meeting room policies. While as a profession we love to serve our patrons, I also hope that we can apply social justice frameworks when looking inward and considering issues which impact our colleagues, such as LIS credentialing, unpaid internships, accessibility, and racism. We know that reflection and change can be uncomfortable, but everyday we have an opportunity to celebrate the work that we do, while also looking to the future. I'm happy to have a chance to get to know SRRT and ALA colleagues better, as we step up and do the work.


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

submitted by Ana Elisa de Campos Salles, GLBTRT Chair 2018-2019

Ana Elisa de Campos Salles

With the change of season and the lovely sprinkling of extra days off, I thought it a great time to let you know of at least a few things we're currently working on and what you can look forward to in the coming months from the GLBTRT Executive Board.

Book Committees
The explosion in books with queer content in recent years has of course been wonderful. But it also means the workload for our five book committees, Over the Rainbow, Rainbow, Stonewall - Barbara Gittings Literature, Stonewall - Israel Fishman Nonfiction, and Stonewall - Children and Young Adult, has been increasing steadily. It's important to me that all committees and volunteers enjoy what they're doing and don't feel overwhelmingly stressed out about their work. The GLBTRT Bylaws need to be updated anyway, so I initiated an online conversation with the above committees' chairs and the board that began with a review and update of their committee pages, including an increase in the number of committee members, and is now about how we can make adjustments to their workflow. This discussion has been incredibly useful so far, and it continues. Thank you to the committee chairs for their feedback, especially at a time when they're still trying to review as many titles as possible.

We'll be working with the Bylaws Committee on a draft of suggested changes to our bylaws in the coming weeks, so look out for a draft of the proposed changes at least thirty days before the ballot. For future reference, any changes to the GLBTRT Bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Board or by a GLBTRT member at a membership meeting and require a simple majority vote by the membership in the Spring ballot during ALA elections.

I want to thank all the GLBTRT members who have responded so enthusiastically to the call for volunteers for the book committees. I've had a large response from people wanting to volunteer, especially for the two youth committees, and have been doing my best to include you all. I'm happy to report all five committees will have at least two more committee members than they did this year, part of our discussions around how to improve the workflow of the committees. I hope this expansion and the decision to make Over the Rainbow and Rainbow virtual committees will help accommodate the number of GLBTRT volunteers wanting to participate.

Midwinter Activities
The Midwinter Meeting will once again be happening in Seattle and I'm incredibly happy to be chairing the GLBTRT there. It was at Midwinter 2013 in Seattle that I began stalking keenly following the GLBTRT, as well as Council and anything else within ALA I was interested in learning about. It was pretty daunting, walking into the GLBTRT Executive Board meeting, where I knew no one. I do remember I sat at the same table as Anne Moore. Anne probably won't remember, but I already thought she was pretty badass then. I also attended what must have been an all-committee meeting where I thought, newbie that I was, people would also be talking, but it was really a space for GLBTRT committees to have more face-to-face time together. I guess I looked pretty clueless by the door, trying to decide where to sit, because a really nice guy came up to me, introduced himself, and explained what was going on. Not only that, he asked me if I had any questions about the GLBTRT, and proceeded to answer everyone without judgement, using his laptop to demonstrate where to find more information on the GLBTRT pages and how. That was David Vess, Chair of the GLBTRT that year. That's the kind of person he is.

We'll be hosting the first GLBTRT 101 of the year in Seattle, an information session for anyone interested in finding out more about the GLBTRT. Everyone's welcome. We'll start with some basics, but the bulk of the session will be dedicated to fielding your questions about anything GLBTRT-related. Want to get more involved, but curious about what Stonewall committee members really do? Have a seat and chat with a former chair or member. Curious about the work of the Executive Board? Talk to me or another member of the board. Any other committee or liaison duties? We have you covered. We'll also be hosting another GLBTRT 101 in DC at Annual. I hope these sessions will be useful for any new or returning GLBTRT members, and for anyone considering membership in the GLBTRT.

We're also scheduled to have a GLBTRT social on Sunday, January 27th, officially from 6 - 8 p.m., but we always tend to stay a bit longer. I'm currently working on finalizing the venue in Seattle and will share that with you and have the scheduler updated as soon as possible.

GLBTRT Name Change
In late 2016, the GLBTRT Executive Board began discussions regarding whether the name Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) is still an accurate reflection of our membership. The GLBTRT Executive Board had a conversation about this at their meeting during the 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, and gathered several possible names from an online discussion on the listserv. A series of in-person dot tests using those names were held at our executive board and membership meetings, and at the social during the Annual Conference that year. An additional survey with the top five names was sent out via the listserv in May 2018 and the results were discussed at the Executive Board meeting during the Annual Conference. The name that received the most dots by GLBTRT membership who responded was Rainbow Round Table. After so much discussion the last two years, it's time to put it to a vote. The Executive Board voted at its meeting October 2018 to put forward another name for voting, also in the dot test, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Round Table. So make sure your membership is up to date in the Spring and be sure to vote for one of the two names. The GLBTRT has undergone several name changes during its existence. It's time for one more.

GLBTRT Executive Board Nominations
Finally, I wanted to remind you of one more deadline. If you're interested in running for the GLBTRT Executive Board, now is the time to submit a nomination, on behalf of yourself or someone else! Being on the GLBTRT board these last few years has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me, and if you have any questions or have been wondering whether you should run, please, get in touch! I'll be happy to discuss all the ins and outs. Find out more about the Executive Board and submit a nomination by February 1, 2019. I would love to see some energetic, motivated people run and keep making the GLBTRT ever more inclusive, visible, engaged, and relevant.

There are a few more items I could include here, but this letter is long enough as is! I did want to thank the Program Planning Committee for their amazing work so far. The ALA conference restructure included a more limited number of time slots and rooms for meetings, as well as a new jury-based method of selecting a smaller number of programs for the Annual conference (doing away with programs entirely for Midwinter Meetings, though this doesn't include committee meetings, news you can use, or information sessions, like GLBTRT 101, for example). The deadlines for submitting programs for Annual 2020 began this past August and concluded in November, meaning, the Program Planning Committee, soon after beginning their terms after Annual, had to hit the ground running to create these proposals. Thank you Ahliah, Allan, Cynthia, Heather, Megan, Thomas, Whitney, and committee chair Ash, for being so on point.

As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, need any guidance, have any suggestions, or simply want to talk about something; I can be reached via email. It's been my absolute pleasure to be your chair so far and I look forward to seeing at least some of you in Seattle.


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Reprinted Blog Post: Normalizing Pronoun-Sharing at Philosophy Conferences

by Hannah Trees, blog contributor at the Blog of the APA

You may have noticed the pronoun ribbons at the ribbon bar at ALA conferences. The hope is that every conference attendee will take the time to add their pronouns to their badge. Related to this, we'd like to share this blog post from Hannah Trees, philosophy PhD student at the University of Texas, Austin. Although she writes about philosophy conferences, we think this applies equally well to our ALA conferences.

Note: This blog post was published in March 20, 2018 and can be found at Blog of the APA, the weblog of the American Philosophical Association. Hannah Trees wants to point out that despite the url for her post, she simply uses "pronouns," rather than the term "preferred pronouns." As she says, "I want to clarify that I usually avoid the term 'preferred pronouns.' Suggesting that pronouns are merely a matter of preference can give people the wrong impression about why using correct pronouns is important."

~~Melissa and Julie, The SRRT Newsletter Co-Editors

Last month, I attended the Central APA meeting in Chicago to be part of a panel on queer productions of knowledge.[1] I do not usually expect big events to be queer-inclusive spaces, but I was very excited to see that the conference was providing pronoun stickers for everyone in attendance. When I arrived, a volunteer told me that pronoun stickers were available to put on my name badge and pointed me in the direction of a nearby table in the middle of the main floor of the conference center. The large rolls of various types of stickers -- "SHE," "HE," "THEY," "ZE/HIR" and write-your-own -- were readily available for the duration of the conference. For those unfamiliar with the practice of sharing pronouns, it usually goes something like this: "Hi, my name is Hannah. I use she/her pronouns." In situations where you can't verbally introduce yourself to everyone, like APA meetings, a "SHE" sticker on your name badge does the work for you. These stickers make it less likely that trans, queer, and gender non-conforming people are misgendered by people who've just met them, and ideally, if everyone uses them, it helps to normalize the practice of sharing pronouns.

Unfortunately, the meeting in Chicago turned out to be less than ideal in this respect. As soon as I began going to sessions, I noticed a marked lack of pronoun stickers on name badges, especially among the cisgender men in attendance.[2] Given that everyone was told upon checking in that there were pronoun stickers and the central location and constant availability of the stickers, this lack of use could not be attributed to ignorance or a sticker shortage. Each name badge even had a clearly labeled place to put a sticker. And while I'm sure that there were probably a few people who refused to use them due to transphobia, I'd like to give the philosophic community the benefit of the doubt and assume that most of the people who didn't have stickers on their badges were not motivated by anti-LGBTQ sentiments.

So why were so many cis people not using pronoun stickers? I think the most likely answer is quite simple: they thought they didn't need to. The vast majority of cis people (and many queer and trans people who "pass" as cis) don't need to worry about telling people what their pronouns are, because most of the time everyone else can correctly guess which pronouns they prefer. We have all been socialized to assume that when someone dresses a certain way or has certain secondary sex characteristics, we should use pronouns that "match" that person's gender presentation or perceived sex.[3] When it comes to cis people, these factors lineup in exactly the way we have been taught to expect, and so when a cis person is given the option of putting a sticker next to their name to make sure others know their pronouns, they have the luxury of opting out.

Of course, you might be thinking: why does it matter if cis people don't explicitly tell people their pronouns? If no one is ever going to use the wrong pronouns, isn't it just redundant to tell others which to use? The APA meeting program has one response to this question: the stickers "can easily be worn as a show of solidarity." The quote in full is as follows:

"Beginning this year, as a show of the APA's commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are introducing pronoun stickers for your name badge, including blank stickers that will allow you to use a pronoun of your own choosing. Stickers will be available for pickup at registration and can easily be worn as a show of solidarity, and a means of making our annual conference a friendly and safe environment for all." (from the APA Central Division 115th Annual Meeting Program, page 1.)

While it is admirable that the APA is encouraging straight and cis people to be better allies, this answer misses the mark. It suggests that only certain people -- people who don't have the luxury of "looking cis" (Again, you cannot tell if someone is cis or trans just by looking at them. But it is the people who "look cis" by societal standards, whether they are actually cis or not, who have the privilege of not needing to tell people what pronouns they use.) -- really need to use pronoun stickers or engage in any other pronoun-sharing practices. Everyone else can choose whether or not to use pronoun stickers depending on how explicitly pro-LGBTQ they want to be. This line of reasoning ignores the fact that everyone has preferred pronouns, and that because of this, everyone should get into the habit of telling others what pronouns they use.

Most importantly, cis people's refusal to engage in pronoun sharing practices reinforces the deeply ingrained idea that we can tell which pronouns someone prefers simply by looking at them. It encourages people to jump to conclusions about other's pronouns because it supports the current norm of simply making assumptions about how others identify, rather than attempting to shift the social etiquette to one that encourages the sharing of and asking for pronouns. We have to remind ourselves that although it might seem superfluous for someone who identifies as a man and has a beard and wears a shirt and tie to let others know that he prefers he/him/his pronouns, there are people who look and dress like that who do not use he/him/his and who do not identify as men. Until we all stop making assumptions about pronouns, the simple act of making an introduction will remain a social nightmare for those people who don't fit the cisnormative mold.

Moving forward, I hope that the APA maintains their commitment to LGBTQ inclusivity, but more needs to be done to ensure that everyone understands the full import of pronoun sharing practices. There are many very simple changes that we can all make: include your pronouns on your website and in bios; when introducing yourself in any context, but especially when in front of a large audience (as a session chair or at the beginning of teaching a new group of students, for instance), tell the audience your pronouns; if you are introducing someone else before a talk, ask them what pronouns you should use in your introduction. These are not practices that should be relegated to explicitly "queer" spaces; there are queer people in every area of our discipline, and in that sense, all spaces are queer spaces. Furthermore, when we leave APA meetings and return to our home departments, there will be no name badges and pronoun stickers to fall back on. When we ask our undergraduates to introduce themselves at the beginning of the semester, it is up to us to make it clear that verbally sharing one's pronouns is a normal and easy thing to do. Of course, this is not the only thing that must change in order to make philosophy more inclusive, but it is small shifts like this that make the difference between a climate that is rife with seemingly innocent microaggressions and one that is genuinely welcoming of individuals of all genders.

[1] I use the term "queer" to mean anyone who falls under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. Not everyone in the LGBTQ community identifies as queer, though, and when talking about the identity of a specific individual, it is always best to ask them which terms they prefer.

[2] For those unfamiliar with this terminology, someone is "cisgender" or "cis" if they identify as the gender that they were assigned at birth. For instance, someone who was assigned female at birth and who identifies as a woman is a cis woman. Normally, no one should assume that they can tell whether someone is cisgender or transgender just by looking at them, but I think in this case, it is safe to assume that if someone wasn't using a pronoun sticker, they probably weren't part of the LGBTQ community.

[3] I put "match" in quotes because there is nothing inherent to certain secondary sex characteristics or to ways of dressing or presenting oneself that make these things correspond to feminine or masculine pronouns. And I say "perceived sex" rather than "sex" because no one can know for sure what someone's sex is based merely on cursory observations about their secondary sex characteristics. A discussion of how sex, like gender, is socially constructed is not something I can get into here.

Hannah Trees (she/her) is a fourth year philosophy PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include self-knowledge, introspection, and feminist and queer epistemology.


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Book Review: Climate Justice Field Manual: A Field Manual to Increase Climate Activism

Review by Fred Stoss, Librarian: Biological, Environmental Sciences & Mathematics, University at Buffalo

Climate Justice Field Manual: A Field Manual to Increase Climate Activism. 2017. Jill Macintyre Witt. Bellingham, WA: WWU Graduate School Collection. Free download at or ISBN: 9781387037094. 246 pages.

Print copies available from Jill Macintyre Witt, via Lulu. $26.16 (printing cost).

Climate Justice Field Manual: A Field Manual to Increase Climate Activism

First and foremost, before continuing, there is a disclaimer I must make -- my personal connection to this book and its author. I am mentioned in the acknowledgements for having helped in the research for this book. Both Jill Macintyre Witt and I have been trained by Al Gore to give his climate change slide presentations and served as Mentors for his nonprofit's Climate Reality Project's Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

At the 21st Conference of Parties (COP), known as the Paris Climate Summit in November-December 2015, nearly 200 governments agreed to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The United States is now the only country to have pulled out of this agreement, and it is this action that contributed to the American Library Association Resolution on Climate Change in 2017. In the absence of a unifying agreement, each nation (and now a growing number of U.S. States and Cities) is left up to its own devices to lower carbon emissions. National governments may propose and perhaps partially fund programs attempting to achieve carbon reductions, but it will be much smaller geographic units from sub-national to local (home to community) levels to implement them.

Climate Justice Field Manual: A Field Manual to Increase Climate Activism focuses on strategies to increase climate activism through a compilation of best practices. This field guide informs individuals and organizations on ways to move people toward climate activism and engagement with lowering carbon emissions in meaningful ways. It also provides additional insights to help build the climate justice movement. Witt used her capstone project for her Master's degree in Environmental Studies at Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University to formulate this "climate justice field manual" as a guideline for designing, developing, and implementing effective programs for dedicated and cogent climate change activism by infusing "social movement-building strategies, effective climate communication tips, and detailed accounts of incorporating climate justice into the ways we address the climate crisis."

This self-published book is incredibly well designed into five major sections: What is Climate Justice?, Social Movement Building, Effective Climate Communication, Climate Activist Survey, and Climate Justice Building. The book includes poignant photographs and carefully compiled inventories of resources that assist readers in all aspects of activist-oriented programming.

There are three major groups that will find this book an almost essential tool for turning environmental activism into environmental actions. First are public libraries, which serve as information gateways for individuals and organizations that carry out necessary climate justice programs, projects, and activities to create effective change. Both the print and online versions of the text could be useful. The second category of institution that could benefit from this text are academic libraries, where students are eager to engage in various outreach programs within the communities of their campuses, as well as the communities in which those campuses reside. The last group of individuals are those who clearly recognize that we are living precariously in a greenhouse gas-constrained world and ready to make dedicated efforts in getting others informed, motivated, and activated to take on realities of the challenges so that future generations will not have to live in a world that is constrained by greenhouse gases.

The availability of the free downloads provides an outstanding opportunity for anyone engaged or thinking of engaging in a meaningful climate justice action or campaign to obtain guidance and create effective change.


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Book Review: You Have the Right to Remain Fat

Review by Kate Bellody, Research & Education Librarian, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, New York

You Have the Right to Remain Fat. 2018. Virgie Tovar. New York, NY: Feminist Press. ISBN: 9781936932313. 128 pages. $14.95. See book description from Feminist Press.

You Have the Right to Remain Fat

Virgie Tovar is an author, activist, and expert on fat discrimination and body image. She is also the voice many may be searching for -- one that inspires while simultaneously dismantling our pervasive diet culture and fatphobia.

You Have the Right to Remain Fat is Tovar's manifesto. It weaves together memoir, research, and cultural criticism in a way that is both accessible and empowering. Tovar writes candidly about everything from family dynamics to Western expectations and advertising. Lots of territory is covered in this short book, perfect for sparking curiosity while uncovering how fatphobia and diet culture are linked to systemic issues with diverse personal impacts.

The most riveting aspects of the book break down how fat people are made to take the blame for cultural anxiety and issues, resulting in a toxic diet culture that impacts society at large. Tovar considers diet culture and fatphobia a social construction and explores how they perpetuate, and are informed by, racism, classism, and sexism.

Tovar also offers a fresh perspective that challenges contemporary body positivity and self-improvement narratives. She argues that these movements are not truly inclusive and have instead led to a new "aspirational" health culture and industry. Even within the context of this critique she remains relatable, conversational, and hopeful as she guides readers toward body liberation.

Throughout You Have the Right to Remain Fat, Tovar details her journey to discovering fat activism. Tovar's words may inspire a similar discovery for readers. She writes, "the allure of diet culture is a life lived in the future," (p. 104). In You Have the Right to Remain Fat, Virgie Tovar passionately calls for a right to freedom from body shame and for a life lived in your body, in the present.


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Voices From the Past: Excerpts from SRRT Newsletter issue December 1984

Each issue, the SRRT Newsletter will feature relevant article excerpts from past issues, chosen by the Editors.

This issue offers the following excerpt from SRRT Newsletter: December 1984. Issue #74. Newsletter issues from 1984 are available online.

It's interesting to note that in 1984, the SRRT Task Forces listed in the newsletter were:

  • Alternatives in Print
  • Civil Rights
  • Feminist
  • Gay
  • International Human Rights
  • C.S. King Award
  • Library Union
  • Men's Issues
  • Peace Information Exchange


From the newsletter (p. 7):

It is widely felt that the ideals and spirit of Christmas are in harmony with the concept and goals of pacifism. The angelic proclamation in the biblical story of Christmas, "On earth peace, good will toward men," is a creed which fully supports the pacifist philosophy. It is much less known, however, that there is a well-known Christmas carol which is as much a plea for world peace as it is a celebration of the holiday season.

On Christmas day 1863, the famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807- 1882) wrote a seven-stanza peace poem, Christmas Bells. Longfellow's lyrics were inspired by the horrors of the American Civil War in general and by the serious wounding of his son in particular. Not too long afterward, Longfellow's peace poetry was combined with a wistful and beautiful tune by the English composer John Babtiste Calkin (1827 - 1905) and the enduring Christmas song: "I heard the bells on Christmas day" was created.

The reason that this popular carol is not usually regarded as a peace song is that the first three verses, which deal only with Christmas, are sung far more frequently than the last four, which focus on the issue of war and peace. This emphasis on the Christmas verses is partly due to their being the first section of the song and partly due to the understandable inclination by most people to prefer the joys of the holiday season to the serious realities of war.

The final two verses eloquently express Longfellow's strong concern with peace:

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep:
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"


In this holiday season clouded by war, world tensions, and proliferation of nuclear weapons, let us hope that the poet's sentiments become universal.

--William E. Studwell, Northern Illinois University, author of Christmas Carols: A Reference Guide (1984).


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Call for Editorial Board Members

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

We are in need of additional members who can serve on the Editorial Board as soon as possible.

Editorial Board memberships are determined by the SRRT Action Council.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the SRRT Editorial Board, 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 Melissa Cardenas-Dow, SRRT editorial board member, at micd.srrt.newsletter [at] or Julie Winkelstein at


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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 March 1, 2019.

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, or plain text pasted into the body of an email. 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 email. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.

Submissions for book or media reviews should be sent to Madeline Veitch, the SRRT Newsletter Reviews Editor at, indicating "Reviews" in the subject line of your email.

Submissions to SRRT Newsletter Letters to the Editors
The Newsletter invites readers to submit letters to the editors relating to social responsibilities and libraries. The letters should be respectful and thoughtful, either respond to specific content in the newsletter or include suggestions for topics of interest to SRRT members to be addressed in future issues. We will only publish letters of more than 200 words in exceptional circumstances.

Letters may be edited for length, grammar, and accuracy. You will be notified if your letter will to be published.

Submit your letters to Michael Gorman, member of the SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board, at michaelg [at] You may submit your letter as an attachment in one of these formats: .doc, docx; or in the body of your email message.

Letters must include your full name, address, a telephone number and email address if you have one. This is for us only -- we don't share this information.


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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 © 2019 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: Madeline Veitch,

Editorial Board Members: 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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