SRRT Newsletter - Issue 206, May 2019



Letters from the Co-Editors

by Julie Winkelstein and Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow

Julie Winkelstein

From Julie:

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the spring issue of the SRRT newsletter! As I was looking through the archived newsletters (, I realized that in May it will be exactly 50 years since the very first SRRT newsletter was published in May 1969. To commemorate this anniversary, in this issue of the newsletter our "Voices from the Past" includes an essay from issue number 1. I think you'll find it as applicable today as it was then. We are still talking about social responsibility and librarianship, and the frequent challenge of using that language in our daily work lives; we are still passionate about addressing social justice and our ongoing role in doing just that. I find reading the SRRT newsletter archives comforting and inspiring. When I see familiar names in these typewritten pages, like E.J. Josey, it reminds me why I do what I do. I highly recommend looking through this archive.

And just a reminder - we're always happy to hear from readers, so if you have comments, suggestions, thoughts, ideas, please let us know.

Julie Winkelstein
SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor

Melissa Cardenas-Dow

From Melissa:

Welcome, dear readers!

As we look forward to ALA Annual 2019 in Washington, D.C., we are also looking back to the work, events, and accomplishments from ALA Midwinter 2019 in Seattle, Washington. In this issue, you'll find the minutes from the SRRT AC meeting at ALAMW19 and a report from our new SRRT Councilor on the occurrences in ALA governance and elsewhere during the conference.

As we work toward shaping our professional Association and our librarianship profession to be more inclusive and diverse, let us hold in our consciousness the work and words that have come before. This issue's "Voices from the Past" reminds us of the relevance and importance of working for our profession's social responsibilities. The people, work, and words from our past can provide us with great shoulders on which to stand in order to shape both our shared present and future.

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


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SRRT Coordinator's Column

by Charles Kratz, SRRT Coordinator, Dean of the Library and Information Fluency, Weinberg Memorial Library, The University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania

Charles Kratz

SRRT Statement on Racist Aggression at ALA Conferences
On February 2, 2019, SRRT issued a statement on Racist Aggression at ALA Conferences in condemnation of the incidents of racist behavior that were reported at the most recent American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, the best known of which is the verbal attack on Councilor-at-Large April Hathcock at a Council Forum on Monday evening, January 28, 2019. This ongoing pattern of exclusionary behavior is absolutely unacceptable and completely contrary to our values as both a profession and an organization. Please read the statement at on the SRRT website.

Amelia Bloomer Project
The Amelia Bloomer Project, a subgroup of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table's Feminist Task Force, has announced its Top Ten feminist books for young readers. The Amelia Bloomer List recommends well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content for young readers from birth to 18 years old. Named for Amelia Bloomer, a pioneering 19th-century newspaper editor, feminist thinker, public speaker, and suffragist, the list features books that spur the imagination and promote equity for people of all genders.

The bibliography is intended as a recommended reading list for children and teens. It may also be used by interested librarians, teachers, parents, and others who work with youth. The complete list can be accessed at and

SRRT Herb Biblo Travel Grants Awarded
The Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) is pleased to announce it has awarded its first annual conference travel grants to Tracy Drake, Archivist/Librarian at Chicago Public Library and to Kate Adler, Director of Library Services at the Metropolitan College of New York. The Herb Biblo Conference Travel Grants sponsored by SRRT help finance attendance at the ALA Annual Conference. The $1000 award covers limited fees related to airfare, lodging, and conference registration. SRRT funds up to two applicants per year.

Tracy Drake is an Archivist in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection located at the Chicago Public Library. As an information professional, Tracy strives to provide equitable access to the stories of Black Chicago. Her latest exhibit, "All Power to the People," which opened in February 2019, celebrates the impact and radicalism of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. She believes in confronting difficult topics in our collective historical narrative while encouraging community archival practice. In addition to her work in the archives, Tracy writes on anti-racism in society and information. She is the proud mother of a radical ten-year old and burgeoning poet. As a native Chicagoan, she enjoys exploring new places in the city, traveling and reading. She holds a MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.A. in History from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a B.S. in African American Studies from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL.

Kate Adler is the Director of Library Services at Metropolitan College of New York, where, among other things, she oversees the information literacy and reference programs and has developed special collections that focus on a critical history of poverty and on community organizing. Her professional research interests pivot around the intersection of libraries, social justice, and community empowerment and engage critical theories of race, gender, class, disability, geography, affect and biopower, and histories of poverty, labor and social movements. She has written and presented on these topics and on Critical Reference. She is a co-editor of Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis (reviewed in this issue) and her chapter examining the library services, immigration and poverty during the War on Poverty and the Progressive era in New York City will appear in the forthcoming Borders & Belonging: Critical Examinations of LIS Approaches Toward Immigrants. Kate has an M.A. in American Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center and an MLIS from Queens College, CUNY. She lives in Jackson Heights, which is in Queens, New York City.

SRRT at ALA Annual 2019 in Washington, D.C.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. where we will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of SRRT and the Alternative Press on Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 7-10 p.m. at Busboys & Poets, 450 K. St. Washington, D.C. featuring American writer, activist, and political commentator Phyllis Bennis. Besides our regular roundtable meetings, we will be featuring a Chair's Program on "Subverting Other People's Elections: History and Resources" featuring journalist Stephen Kinzer, a Panel Discussion on Hate Speech and Libraries, and a juried program on the US 2020 census co-sponsored with GODORT. All of our meetings and events are open.

SRRT Membership Numbers
As of January 2019, SRRT has increased membership by 12% compared to last year. Included are other roundtables which saw an increase in January.

Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) 1896, +12.32%
Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) 1771, +1.49%
New Members Round Table (NMRT) 1516, +8.44%
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) 1449, +5.92%
Library Research Round Table (LRRT) 1353, +1.35%
Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) 1268, +0.08%
Sustainability Round Table (SUSTRT) 1066, +67.08%
Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) 962, +9.19%

ALA 58,430, -0.08%

Get Involved in SRRT
If you would like to become more involved in SRRT or 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). You can also click on the volunteer form to use to serve on ALA, Divisions and Round Tables committees/task forces. This form includes volunteer opportunities in SRRT.


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SRRT Councilor's Report From ALA Midwinter Meeting 2019, Seattle, WA

by Tara Brady, Teen Librarian, Queens Borough Public Library, New York

As many members will already know, this year's Midwinter Meeting was marred by several incidents of racist behavior and exclusion. These incidents culminated in an outburst from one white male Council member who publicly berated a black woman Council member at a Council Forum Meeting after she made a polite and circumspect comment about being patient and kind with each other. This incident was not the only example of racism that occured at Midwinter by any means, but it was the one that forced the issue into public debate, and at the final Council meeting there was time dedicated to discussing how we can better support each other and prepare to identify and interrupt such behavior in the future. As I was present at the forum meeting in question, I did get up to address the Council during the discussion time to apologize for not speaking out then and there. I'm glad I had that opportunity because I think it's important that things that happen in public should be apologized for in public, and neither approaching April alone in person nor doing it electronically on the Council list felt right. I also thanked the Council for taking the time to speak about this and urged us as a group to resolve to do better at holding each other accountable. In the days after the meeting, SRRT joined many other groups within ALA in releasing statements showing support for April and for all members of color, as well as calling for change within the association. There has been discussion about holding a training session of some sort, and I think it's good that so many Councilors were forced to confront the discrimination that our members are experiencing, but going forward it's going to be important to keep this conversation from falling by the wayside.

The Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity was passed with support and input from the SRRT Action Council as well as others. Seeing the association's support for the movement to eliminate library fines is great and hopefully will prompt more libraries to consider this move. On behalf of the SRRT Action Council, I also noted the Council's concerns about the transparency implications of a resolution proposing a task force to investigate online deliberations for Council which were well received by the movers. The Resolution in Support of Civil Rights Protections for People for Diverse Gender Identities passed with broad support and I indicated the endorsement of the SRRT Action Council.

There were also several Library Bill of Rights interpretations from the IFC. Most notably, the IFC Meeting Rooms Library Bill of Rights was very much improved and I thanked the committee for their work in revising this interpretation and moving away from the language explicitly instructing libraries that they must not exclude hate groups from using library facilities. I mentioned the Action Council's concern about potentially othering language in the IFC Prisoner Right to Read Library Bill of Rights (which was otherwise viewed extremely favorably by the Council.) I withdrew this concern upon explanation from a formerly incarcerated person who had helped craft the language. We are expecting a large number of new interpretations from the IFC at Annual so the Action Council will once again have their work cut out for them in reviewing it all!


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Minutes from Action Council I & II meetings, ALA Midwinter Meeting 2019

Submitted by Jane Cothron, SRRT Secretary

Jane Cothron

Social Responsibilities Round Table
Action Council I & II Meetings
ALA Midwinter Conference 2019, Seattle, WA


SRRT Action Council I
Washington State Convention Center, Room 212
Saturday, January 26, 2019
8:30-11:30 a.m.

SRRT Action Council II
Washington State Convention Center, Room 209
Sunday, January 27, 2019
3:00-4:00 p.m.

  1. Welcome and Introductions
    1. Review of Agenda
    2. Attending (Saturday AC 1): Al Kagan, Natalie Harger, Elaine Harger, Gary Colmenar, Briana Jarnagin, Gwendolyn Prellwitz, Sherre Harrington, Julie Marie Frye, Yvonne (no last name noted), Pat Wand (Endowment trustee), Violet Fox, Tara Brady, Ginny Moore, David Danby, Jane Cothron, Ann Crewdson
    3. Attending (Sunday AC 2): Al Kagan, Mark Hudson, Mike Marlin, Tara Brady, LaJuan Pringle, Julie Winkelstein, Sherre Harrington, Violet Fox, Jane Cothron, Kenny Garcia, Carol Witt, Gary Colmenar, Steven Phalen, Elaine Harger
  2. Announcements
    1. Announcement of 2019 Herb Biblio Conference Travel Award recipients: Tracy Drake, Archivist/Librarian at Chicago Public Library, and Kate Adler, Director of Library Services at the Metropolitan College of New York.
    2. Patricia Wand from the ALA Endowment Trustees thanked SRRT for its work on the fossil fuel divestment document, saying that the Trustees are grateful for the input and that they'll be discussing it at their next meeting in February.
  3. ALA Council Resolutions
    1. Resolution for the Adoption of Sustainability as a Core Value of Librarianship
      1. Elaine Harger: questions whether the triple bottom line is possible or if it is merely an out for not making actual change: greenwashing
      2. Ask Tara to endorse from the floor with the proviso that we are not comfortable with the definition of "economically feasible." (moved, seconded--passed)
    2. Resolution: Proposed Definition of Sex Under Title IX, of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (endorsed)
    3. Resolution Proposing a Task Force on Online Deliberation and Voting for ALA Council
      1. Lacks provisions for transparency and intent to include all--revisit after those clauses are addressed.
    4. Resolution on Monetary Library Fines as a Form of Social Inequity
      1. Need better definition of fines vs. fees, address research on fines, change wording of first Whereas clause--condescending; people experiencing homelessness, why only the working poor?**clause eliminated from new version. **New version passed out at AC2. Discussion of fines vs. fees. Suggestion to change Whereas 4 to suggest library directors request change in funding structures to eliminate the need to depend on funding through fines and fees.
      2. Move to support in spirit, but identifies need to revise language and review actual clauses. LaJuan Pringle and Julie Winkelstein volunteered to work on the resolution, need to contact Peter Hepburn and Matthew Ciszek.
      3. Moved and seconded to endorse in principle. Passed.
    5. IFC Meeting Interpretations Revision and other IFC resolutions
      1. IFC Meeting Rooms Library Bill of Rights: Propose that Tara support the change from hate groups language and then abstain (moved, seconded)
      2. IFC Prisoner Right to Read Library Bill of Rights: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
        1. Last sentence: "The denial of intellectual freedom--the right to read, to write, and to think--diminishes the human spirit of those segregated from society." Motion to endorse with request to edit, seconded. Passed.
      3. Diversity in Collection Development: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights
        1. Motion to endorse in principle (moved, seconded) Failed. Needs wordsmithing and concerns expressed about diversity and implicit support of explicit hate groups.
    6. Copyright: An Interpretation of the Code of Ethics. Revision to ALA's Code of Ethics (no text available) No action.
    7. Fossil Fuel Divestment Document: Recommendation to Explore a New Direction for the ALA Endowment Fund. (Text sent out November 2018). Move to endorse, seconded. Passed. Thanks to Jenny Rockwell for work on research and interviews for the Recommendations
  4. Elections
    1. ALA President
      1. Julius Jefferson
        1. 15 years experience as a librarian, works at Library of Congress, began with Black Caucus.
        2. Elaine Harger: Hate speech; ALA made the movie "The Speaker" and should apologize. Response: people should know the history of the association, so the information should be available. Would be supportive if SRRT brought forward a resolution requesting an apology. Black Caucus sponsored making the film accessible, agreed to show the film--not to support the film.
        3. Al Kagan: Program on hate speech not accepted by jury, requested feedback and none was received. Response: would review the jury process and worried about lack of representation.
        4. Al Kagan: Proposed changes to Midwinter indicate that meetings will be shortened. SRRT requires 2 meetings to do the work. Julius: will review the proposal and implementation to make sure the process is working.
      2. Lance Werner: no visit.
    2. ALA Treasurer
      1. Maggie Farrell
        1. Currently BARC chair. Need transparency in endowment investments; complicated; need to move more into ESG to match ALA values, wanting more transparency from endowment trustees. Would encourage someone from SRRT to run for endowment trustee position.
      2. Andrew Pace
        1. Noted SRRT is second-fastest growing round table. 25 years in ALA. Works at OCLC in technology.
        2. Discussion of endowment investing, triple bottom line, etc. States that budget and investments for the association should adhere as much as possible to the core values of the association.
    3. SRRT Action Council
      1. Nominations
        1. Marna Clowney-Robinson
        2. Mark Hudson
        3. Stavroula Harississ (form is partially complete)
        4. Other candidates
  5. ALA Reports
    1. ALA Executive Committee Report, Ed Garcia, Executive Board liaison
      1. Midwinter proposals: limiting meetings to 1 business meeting per conference will limit attendance. Limiting opportunity to have actual meetings will limit investment and interest in the round tables and divisions. Will Executive Board and Council meet just once?
      2. Talking points.
      3. Board signed an agreement to sell ALA office building. Majority of money from the sale would go into the endowment, remainder to rent a smaller space in Chicago.
      4. Charles Kratz elected to represent round tables on search for ALA Executive Director.
      5. ALA is investing in IT. Hired Chief Information Officer.
      6. SCOE: to try to reimagine the organization.
      7. Executive Board to add social justice framework to discussions of strategic directions for ALA. No written definition; Equity/Diversity/Inclusion.
        1. Al Kagan: Plan to communicate that to ALA?
        2. ulie Winkelstein: Need to have institutional commitment to address hunger, homelessness, and poverty -- it affects all levels and types of libraries. Need support from ALA. Is it possible to create an office to develop solutions? Do we need a Resolution to Council to form Round Table?
    2. ODLOS Report and other items
      1. Briana Jarnagin, Member Services Assistant, ODLOS
        1. Discussion of proposal for SRRT website maintenance and recruitment of a SRRT webmaster: need people to maintain the SRRT space in ALA's web presence. Uses Drupal for content management system. Have to complete short, asynchronous training. Need to migrate/integrate old and new website(s).
          1. Recruit webmaster. Bylaws change needed, ex-officio member of AC? Carol Witt volunteered as web manager. Jane Cothron volunteered to assist.
          2. Motion to create ad hoc committee to determine content, form and to advise web manager. Al Kagan, Violet Fox, Jane Cothron, Carol Witt. Will seek input from other interested parties. Committee to determine chair/communication style.
        2. Do we need one website or two? The site does not have archival backups as of now. ALA site is backed up and archive space is available in ALIRE.
        3. Moved: maintain 2 web sites until site is backed up and stable, with mirror on ALA site, then to revisit decision at ALA Annual 2019. Moved, seconded, passed.
        4. SRRT committee volunteer form draft (Briana, Julie, and Sherre): edits to form sent to Julie Winkelstein, Charles Kratz, Sherre Harrington. In process. No survey questions to collect additional information will be included. Question about whether the information from the form is retained, by whom, and how long. PDF of form to be emailed to AC list.
    3. BARC Liaison report
      1. Maggie Farrell, BARC liaison. ALA BARC financial reports posted online.
    4. Planning & Budget Assembly
      1. Need a SRRT liaison: LaJuan Pringle volunteered.
    5. Round Table Coordinating Assembly Report (Jane Cothron)
  6. SRRT Reports
    1. Membership Committee (Al Kagan)
      1. Current SRRT membership as of November 2018 is 1879, 19.23% more than from the same time last year.
      2. As of March 2018, SRRT become ALA's largest round table, but at our last meeting in June 2018 we were tied for largest with the Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). LIRT now has 1773 members and is growing at only 1.78%, so we are largest by 106 members.
      3. SRRT began in 1969 with 1050 members, and was also ALA's largest round table at that time. Our low point was in 2011 with only 509 members. When we started sending out letters to new and dropped members in October 2014, SRRT had 785 members and was the seventh largest round table. So our membership has increased 239.36% since 2014, or 369.16% since 2011.
      4. If we continue to grow at the current pace, we will be well over 2000 members by next year. Our historical high was over 2400 in 2008, when we were of course the largest round table.
    2. Task Forces
      1. Feminist Task Force (Sherre Harrington)
        1. The Amelia Bloomer Project group is in deliberation as we meet and will be meeting through Monday. Thanks to Briana Jarnagin for help with publicity. New co-chairs are set for next year & the group is also working on refreshing procedures.
        2. Endorsed Proposed Resolution on the Definition of Sex under Title IX
        3. Developed a plan for the continuation of the Women of Library History site for 2019.
        4. Selected a topic for the Intro to Women's Groups at ALA Discussion Group at Annual. This is a discussion group for which FTF, COSWL & ACRL WGS take turn hosting. FTF's turn this year. Working title = "Why are we still talking about sexual harassment in libraries?"
        5. Decided to let our newsletter Women in Libraries take a hiatus & use other information sources, including the SRRT newsletter.
        6. Agreed to move forward with developing a resolution asking ALA to change the name of the Melville Dewey Medal, on the basis of what we know about Dewey's record of sexual harassment and anti-Semitism.
        7. Following up on the possibility of working with Girls Who Code.
      2. MLK Jr. Holiday Task Force (LaJuan Pringle). No report.
      3. International Responsibilities Task Force (Al Kagan). No report.
      4. Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force (Julie Winkelstein). No report.
    3. SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board report (Julie Winkelstein)
      1. Editorial Board policy change -- need to request that articles not to be submitted as .pdf (Jane Cothron: perhaps change this sort of thing from policy to procedure so the newsletter committee can do their work without having to bring questions about procedures to Action Council).
      2. Allocated $50 to pay reviews editor, but need to know how to get money to the editor (Treasurer: Madeline submits receipts to Briana, copy to Kenny Garcia/Treasurer.
  7. Additional Items
    1. 50th Anniversary Social celebration with Alternate Press in Washington D.C. -- June 2019 Report (Violet Fox)
      1. Approval of budget for 50th Anniversary Celebration. Need budget for celebration, contract for approximately $5000.00--food, drink, room
        1. Room at Busboys and Poets 6:00-9:00 p.m.
        2. Move to approve up to $5000.00 for celebration. Moved, seconded, passed.
      2. Will offer speaker Phyllis Bennis stipend/funding/reimbursement (one night in hotel, airfare approx. $600) as a speaker. Kenny Garcia suggests asking ODLOS to sponsor her registration. Moved, seconded, passed.
  8. Open Forum/Conclusion


Sunday, January 27 AC Meeting

  1. Treasurer Report (Kenny Garcia)
    1. Approval of $250 budget for 2019 Midwinter Social. Passed. (Thanks to Elaine Harger for setting up the Social.)
    2. Treasurer's report.
  2. Future of Midwinter Conference Town Hall Report (Julie Winkelstein)
    1. Change to Midwinter seems like a done deal: Indianapolis 2020 is last Midwinter before change, "time to grieve."
  3. Program proposal on hate speech in libraries not approved as a juried program, Tom Twiss and Al Kagan changed it to discussion program and will go forward with planning. Program now entered as a discussion; speaker to be Sofia Leung, from the We Here Community and MIT Library. Approved payment for speaker airfare and one night in the hotel.
  4. Open Forum/Conclusion


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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

Women of Library History -- Submissions Open!
Women of Library History is entering its seventh year. We're doing things a little bit differently this year--rather than posting intensively during March for Women's History Month, we'll be spreading posts out throughout the year. Therefore, submissions are currently open with a rolling deadline.

As usual, we are looking for your stories of women who have been significant to the libraries, services, and systems you know and love. In spite of popular depictions of librarians as meek, apolitical, and quiet, we know that librarianship has always been hard work, and that women have been raising money, creating action, and providing professional leadership for a long time.

The Feminist Task Force invites your submissions to highlight valued women in libraries. This is the perfect time of year to remember the contributions of these important women in librarianship--perhaps a founder, a mentor, or an activist in your community.

Please see our Call for Submissions page for details on the Women of Library History site.

Nominations and Recommendations for the 2020 Amelia Bloomer list are Open!
Amelia Bloomer Project committee members will be posting nominations to the project site through October 31, 2019. Readers who would like to recommend titles for consideration may submit Field Recommendations through September 30, 2019. These suggestions will be passed on to committee members, who will read the books and determine whether they should be officially nominated for the list.

The Amelia Bloomer Project seeks to recommend well-written, well-illustrated books for young readers with significant feminist content. The 2019 Amelia Bloomer List was announced in January. The 2019 top ten titles include Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X; Sarah Tsian's early reader Sugar and Snails; YA titles by Elana K. Arnold, Melanie Gillman and Joy McCullough; and Aisha Saeed's middle-grades bestseller Amal Unbound. The list is arranged by reading level, with brief annotations.

2019 Committee members were The Amelia Bloomer Project committee members are Katelyn Browne (co-chair), University of Northern Iowa (IA); Kelsey Keyes (co-chair), Boise State University (ID); Kelly Dickinson, National Cathedral School (DC); Silvia Lin Hanick, LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) (NY); Natasha Forrester Campbell, Multnomah County Library (OR); Caitie Morphew, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (PA); Melissa Nemitz, West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library System (NJ); Leila Roy, Lyman Community Library (ME); Ally Watkins, First Regional Library (MS); Madison Bishop (alternate), Plymouth Public Library (MA).

Women's Issues in ALA Discussion Group at Annual 2019
Every Annual Conference we hold this program 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. The topic for this year's discussion will be to discuss how, despite having a banner year addressing diversity, inclusion, and equity within libraries, racism and sexism continues to interact in the ongoing oppression of marginalized members of our profession. Sponsored by the SRRT Feminist Task Force (FTF), the ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS) and the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL).


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Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force News

by Julie Ann Winkelstein, SRRT HHPTF Co-Coordinator, adjunct professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

What does it mean for libraries to be addressing homelessness and poverty? What do you need to know? What resources would be helpful? Who is experiencing homelessness and poverty? Why should libraries address this topic? How can libraries take this on?

These are some of the questions that are covered in the new University of Tennessee, Knoxville library school class, "The Role of Libraries in Addressing Homelessness and Poverty." Taught for the first time in the summer of 2018, it will be offered again in summer 2019.

At Midwinter 2019 in Seattle three of my students and I had the opportunity to present a panel discussion about this class. I gave a brief outline of the class and some of the reasons I wanted to create it, but the bulk of the time was spent on the students' work -- their experiences applying what they learned and the action plans they created for the class.

ALA members can hear the audio and see the PPT slides for this presentation by going to the link, logging in to ALA and then selecting video.

I strongly believe that classes like this help prepare our current and future librarians for the work they'll be doing in their communities. Whether you work in a public, academic or even special library, you need to have an understanding of the lived experiences of all of your library users and ways in which libraries can make a difference.

I just want to end by encouraging newsletter readers to contact me or HHPTF co-coordinator Lisa Gieskes if you would like to find out more about the task force or if you have any questions. We'd love to hear from you!

Julie Winkelstein
Lisa Gieskes


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International Responsibilities Task Force News

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

As reported in the last issue of the SRRT Newsletter, IRTF continues to work on recommending a new approach for ALA investments that would involve more socially responsible investments and include divestment from fossil fuels. A leading role in these efforts has been played by Jenny Rockwell, the Adult and Teen Services Librarian, Sonoma County Library, Northwest Branch, and a member of both SRRT and the Sustainability Round Table. Jenny has done great work in preparing a report that makes the case for divestment from fossil fuels. The report was considered by the February meeting of the Endowment Trustees. We have learned that the trustees at that meeting made two new investments in Environment, Social, and Governance products. (ESG investments are a form of responsible investing related to, but distinct from, Socially Responsible Investing (SRI).) This raises the total of ESG investments to approximately 34.1% of the ALA portfolio. Although some ESG investments include fossil fuels, this increase still represents real progress.

IRTF also has been organizing a discussion group "Hate Speech and Libraries," which will be held at the Annual conference of ALA in Washington DC on Saturday June 22, 1-2 p.m. In 2018 a controversy over the challenges presented by hate speech erupted within ALA. Positions adopted by the Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and Council emphasized that libraries must respect First Amendment protections even when they protect hate speech; while critics argued that the presence of hate speech in libraries injures users from vulnerable communities and undermines the equity, diversity, and inclusion that are central to intellectual freedom. In response to objections, Council subsequently rescinded its policy revision and adopted an amended policy regarding meeting rooms. This discussion group will continue the conversation on how libraries should address the challenge of hate speech. Opening comments will be delivered by Sofia Leung, who is the Teaching & Learning Program Manager at MIT, Liaison Librarian to MIT's department of Comparative Media Studies, and member of the We Here supportive community for library and archive workers of color; and Tom Twiss from SRRT.

Finally, IRTF continues to work on the program "Subverting Other People's Elections: History and Resources," featuring the award-winning journalist, author, and scholar Stephen Kinzer. The program will be held at the ALA conference in Washington DC on Sunday, June 23, 1-2:30 p.m. As controversy continues to swirl around Russian interference in US elections, Kinzer's work -- including his books Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (2006) and, most recently, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire (2017) -- reminds us of the long and sordid history of U.S. interference in the politics of other countries. Readers may also be interested in a column by Kinzer in the Boston Globe (Feb. 8th 2019) on the most recent threat of U.S. intervention: "Yes, conditions in Venezuela are bad. No, we shouldn't intervene".


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Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force News

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager -- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

SRRT, BCALA, and ODLOS celebrated the 20th Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and Sunrise Celebration in Seattle, during the 2019 Midwinter Meeting. As always, hundreds of guests braved an early morning wake-up call to attend the celebration. Our keynote for 2019 was Jeanne Theoharis, who also keynoted our 2013 celebration. Ms. Theoharis shared highlights from her recently published book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History. She discussed how civil rights history has been used to create a false narrative regarding American exceptionalism.

The Call to Action was delivered by Loriene Roy, who invited the audience to support and celebrate new library school grads, or "upcoming librarian superheroes" as she referred to them. She also challenged us to reflect on what we, as librarians, will change (for the positive) over the next year. We were so humbled to have Virginia (Ginny) Moore, founding chair of the King Jr. Holiday Task Force, and Satia Orange, former director of OLOS (now ODLOS) deliver remarks during this special ceremony. Both of them acknowledged the hard-fought victories they achieved to bring this celebration to life in 2000. They both serve as a testament to the success of the celebration. It is now considered one of Midwinter's biggest and most inspirational events.

The King Jr. Holiday Task Force thanks each and every one who has been a part of our celebration. Because of the success of the 20th celebration, we will focus on continuing special recognition of future milestone celebrations (25th, 30th, etc.). Also, in order to keep this event going for many years to come, we will be working on succession planning, specifically for the membership of SRRT and BCALA.

The Task Force discussed submitting a program proposal for the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago. We're discussing whether or not we will do another idea exchange as we have done in the past, or if we're going to go with a different idea. Some ideas that rose to the surface include: an oral history of the King Jr. Holiday Task Force, or work with Chicago area agencies to present another kind of program related to Dr. King's legacy. We will discuss this in greater detail when we meet in D.C. during the 2019 Annual Conference.

If anyone is interested in joining or learning more about the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force, please feel free to contact me for more information.

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Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) News

Submitted by Tinamarie Vella, Vice-Chair, EMIERT Executive Board

Below are some information on upcoming events and goings-on from EMIERT.

EMIERT Chair Program: Social Unrest, Democracy, and Librarianship in the 21st Century
Saturday, June 22, 2019, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (Room TBA)

This panel will feature four library professionals (bios provided below) who will discuss social injustice issues and the library profession. The discussion will highlight how to deal with social injustice, what the impact is for our profession, and allow time to reflect on discussion points.


Alyssa Brissett is the Social Work Librarian at the University of Southern California. She provides instruction, reference, and research support (both in person and online) for students and faculty in USC's Master of Social Work (MSW), Doctor of Social Work (DSW), and Social Work PhD programs. She graduated with her MLIS from Wayne State University in 2016 and has an MA in childhood education from New York University. Her current interests include anti-racist pedagogy and online information literacy for non-traditional students.

Tracy Drake is an archivist in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection located at the Chicago Public Library. As an information professional, Tracy strives to provide equitable access to the stories of Black Chicago. Her latest exhibit, opened in February 2019 and entitled "All Power to the People," celebrates the impact and radicalism of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. She believes in confronting difficult topics in our collective historical narrative while encouraging community archival practice. In addition to her work in the archives, Tracy writes on anti-racism in society and information. She is the proud mother of a radical 10-year old and burgeoning poet. As a native Chicagoan, she enjoys exploring new places in the city of Chicago, traveling, and reading. She holds a MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a MA in History from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a BS in African American Studies from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

Diana Moronta is currently the Instruction and Technology Librarian at New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan Library. She supports research, reference, outreach, and information literacy through instruction, information literacy workshops, and outreach initiatives. She earned her MSLIS from Pratt Institute and her BA from Hunter College, City University of New York. Her research interests are critical information literacy, anti-racist, and anti-colonial pedagogy.

Dr. Ana Ndumu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park's College of Information. Ana has worked in LIS since 2004, serves on several association committees; and regularly speaks and publishes on library services to immigrants, immigrant information behavior, as well as methods for promoting diversity and inclusion within LIS. She is currently editing a forthcoming book entitled Borders and Belonging: Critical Examinations of Library Approaches Toward Immigrants.

2019 EMIERT Distinguished Librarian Award
Dr. Clara M. Chu is the recipient of the 2019 American Library Association Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) Distinguished Librarian Award. The Distinguished Librarian Award recognizes significant accomplishments in library services that are national or international in scope and include improving, spreading, and promoting multicultural librarianship. Dr. Chu is the director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, she is a respected international voice on cultural diversity in library and information science. With over 30 years of service in the professions, Dr. Chu has received numerous accolades in recognition of her leadership, service, and scholarly contributions.

As this year's award recipient, Dr. Chu will receive a commemorative plaque and a $500 honorarium to be presented during the EMIERT Chair's Program, Social Unrest, Democracy, and Librarianship in the 21st Century, at ALA's 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.


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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

A Letter from your GLBTRT Chair

With Midwinter behind us and the ALA elections rapidly approaching, I wanted to update you on a few things the board has been working on and what's coming up in the next few weeks and at Annual.

The GLBTRT has been very fortunate to have two dedicated teams of Emerging Leaders work on what's become known as the GLBTRT Archive Project in 2017 and 2018. They worked closely with the ALA Archives, establishing what the GLBTRT's collection consists of already, reaching out to members and supporters to donate what they have, conducting and recording oral histories, and more. The board had been hoping to have a third team of Emerging Leaders continue this 3-4 year project in the lead-up to our fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 2020, but not enough Emerging Leaders in the current cohort selected the project. So, I proposed, and the board voted in favor of the creation of a GLBTRT Archive Project Ad hoc Committee. If you're passionate about documenting, preserving, and presenting history, marketing, or creative web design and presentation, consider volunteering for this committee. More details can be found in the committee's page. Volunteers will serve a term of two years in this virtual committee, though we hope to see at least some committee members at the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago for our festivities. If you're interested, fill out the committee volunteer form and expect to hear from me in the next couple of weeks.

A second ad hoc committee that was formed back in the fall of 2018 is our GLBTRT 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Ad hoc Committee. The roster hasn't been updated, but this committee is currently co-chaired by past chairs Deb Sica and Roland Hansen, and includes Incoming Chair Megan Drake, past chair and current GLBTRT Councilor Ann Symons, Director-at-large David Isaac, and longtime member Bill Bergfalk. The committee is currently researching and drafting two or three options for both, the ticketed gala and the social that will be taking place during the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago. As the committee's charge reflects, there are quite a lot of moving parts to these projects. Once these options are finalized, the committee will be working with several other GLBTRT committees to make the gala and social a success. We're incredibly fortunate to have Bill and Roland in this committee; they've helped plan past GLBTRT anniversary celebrations and are clearly very good at party planning, based on the committee drafts I've seen. But they would love some company. If you're a wiz at party planning and love attention to details, then keep an eye out for a second call for volunteers sometime this year, we'd love to have you in this committee, including folks who live in or close to Chicago as we would like one or two more locals in the committee for logistical purposes.

One last item regarding committees. The Executive Board voted at its January meeting in Seattle a second time to merge some standing committees. According to our bylaws, standing committees may be created or dissolved by a majority vote of the executive board during two different fiscal years in order to allow the votes to occur under two leadership terms. The board voted in New Orleans and again in Seattle to merge Advocacy with Resources, News with Reviews, and to make Bylaws an ad hoc committee. The decision to merge the first four committees into two was based on the very complementary nature of their work. The decision to make Bylaws an ad hoc committee is a result of the seasonal nature of its work. Please know these changes to committees will not impact the current cohort of committee members, but you will see these changes reflected in the next call for standing committee volunteers, which will occur in the next couple of months.

The Bylaws Committee and Executive Board submitted the final draft of our proposed bylaws changes on February 1st. Briana Jarnagin, our ALA Staff Liaison in ODLOS, submitted it to ALA Governance, which in turn sent it to the vendor that formats all of the ALA ballots. Members will be able to see both, a document with the track changes as well as a clean copy of the proposed bylaws when they vote. Proposed changes to the bylaws can be broadly described as a conscious effort to break down existing and potential barriers to how the GLBTRT goes about its business. They include: a broader definition of the people we serve and advocate for, removing the names and number of book committees in case these need to be expanded to accommodate demand in future, re-establishing book committee terms as being two years so they are the same as standing committee terms, and changing when the Executive Board and membership may propose bylaws amendments so they may be proposed at any time, as opposed to only at membership meetings. Many thanks to Bylaws Committee members Ashley Cornell Hulser, Scotty M. Zollars, and especially G. W. Swicord, Chair of the Bylaws Committee, for working so hard on the many changes in time for the early deadline.

The Bylaws Committee already has at least one assignment after elections because the GLBTRT's Bylaws will need to be edited yet again for next year's ballot to amend any mention of our current name! As mentioned in my previous letter in December, the other big item we'll be asking membership to vote on is our name change. GLBTRT members will be asked to vote for either Rainbow Round Table (RRT), the name that emerged as the top choice of members when polled, or the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Round Table (LGBTQRT), the board's suggestion.

Looking ahead to Annual in DC, the GLBTRT will, of course, be hosting a social the Sunday evening of conference beginning at 6 p.m., as well as the Stonewall Book Award Celebration, which in recent years has also celebrated the GLBTRT's awards, the Monday of conference. After hearing from some members, and even one of our award recipients, the board elected to move the celebration from its usual 10 a.m. start to 1 p.m. so that members would be able to go and hear George Takei's Auditorium Speaker Series talk at 10:30 a.m. AND attend our celebration. Mr. Takei's talk was scheduled that morning according to his availability so we decided to move our program to accommodate our members.

The GLBTRT is also co-hosting with the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) a panel discussion called Intersectionality and the Experience of LGBTQ+ Folks. APALA Vice-President/President-Elect and GLBTRT member Alanna Aiko Moore will present on intersectionality and the future of libraries and facilitate a discussion with confirmed panelists David Lopez, Paige Flanagan, Tracy Drake, and Michael Mungin. Dates, times, and locations of programs are currently being assigned; we'll send out that information when we have it.

Finally, I've been working closely with Web Committee Chair Amelia Vander Heide to make sure the links at the bottom of our pages with historic information are live and leading to where they should. Some of these links may have been disrupted when ALA Connect was updated. Or not. But we're working on it. Web has also posted the updated policies and procedures for Over the Rainbow and Rainbow on their pages, and cleaned up the ad hoc committee pages. Thank you!

As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or the rest of the board if you have any questions or would like to volunteer and you want to know more about the work of specific committees or positions. I'm always happy to help clarify or answer any questions.

In Service,
Ana Elisa de Campos Salles

February 2019


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Voice from the Past: Excerpt from Issue #1: May 1969

Note: This is taken from a scanned copy of the typed newsletter. Question marks indicate words that are unclear because of the scanning. Also, this article has been slightly shortened. To read the entire article, please visit the newsletter archives.


What our free society needs at this moment in time is the likes of a Will Rogers or George Bernard Shaw, either of whom could slay socio-political dragons in a sentence or two. You remember Shaw maintained that all progress depends on the unreasonable man? Are you unreasonable? Do you see things taking place to which you strongly object? Of course you do. And do you then give public utterance to your gut-reaction? Or do you tend to reserve your remarks for the crowd you know best, hoping that somehow your ideas will spread and, osmotically, penetrate the skins of a wider, action-oriented audience? Of course, there's little risk in sounding off among the like-minded. But the feeling, deep inside, that impels one to speak out with conviction among a group of strangers -- most of whom are known to entertain hostile philosophies -- is the mark of Shaw's unreasonable man.

Insularism in a profession which deals with the public has to be self-defeating... The term "social responsibility" has a nice round sound but what does it mean to you, and you, and you? If, for instance, it implies that the average librarian is going to do or say the unpopular things, parade a view in public that runs the chance of alienating the power structure, forget it. This is, at least, wishful speculation. Librarians, at this juncture are just not "unreasonable" enough. The ability to carry out a socially responsible action requires a long term program of pre-conditioning that will, in time, bring about among the mass librarians the kind of positive response they are at this point, by background and inclination, in no position to give. Until they are made [?] in an action image, until they are convinced that they can speak out with conviction and with authority "social responsibility" will remain an impressive but empty term.

Then, there is the all-important matter of conditioning the public for the action-oriented posture we would adopt. Does the public accept the library in this kind of role? You know the answer to that if you have ever been under the censor's lash. As long as the people pay the rent and the salaries they alone will decide -- for better or worse -- what the library's position will be...

In the library context the top administration, starting first at the national level, would do well to plan procedures that will reach out to local taxpayers, consistently, pointedly and convincingly in a major program aimed at creating a climate favorable to the widespread acceptance of the library's importance and value in an activist capacity. An activist role is, at the outset, therefore, aimed at the national organizational level, to create a unification of objectives and to avoid fragmentation of effort in the definition [?] of diverse interpretations of what constitutes social responsibility. This means there must be a continuing vigilance in confronting [?], head on, library brush fires wherever they flare up. Where a single library faces the guns of the censorship group, the whole library structure stands on trial. Here we could adopt the philosophy that has contributed to unionism's success over the years: support the locals and the national image will take care of itself.

Libraries require marketing which is basically the same kind of marketing that moves automobiles, candy-bars and television sets. But it's likely to be tougher. After all, libraries are not the new brand on the market. They will be in a position of asking the public to forget the familiar package and buy a repackaged product. Changing the identity raises problems the new product doesn't have to face.

A concurrent and basic ingredient in the success of establishing a new library philosophy is so obvious it isn't even talked about much. This, of course, the necessity for libraries generally, by attitude and example, to be prepared to accept an activist role when the time comes. If librarians as a whole can come to feel that this role truly represents the striving for a new plateau of service and identity that will bring a revitalization of strength, vigor and dominance to the library structure, the battle will be half won.

But, if Shaw was right we'd better get used to being unreasonable because that's what it will take to get the job done.

By Roy Schumacher, Public Information Specialist


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Book Review: Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis

Review by Rachel Baum, Social Sciences and Data Services Librarian, UMass Dartmouth, Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis. 2018. Edited by Kate Adler, Ian Beilin, and Eamon Tewell. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press.

In the introduction of Library Juice Press" new book, Reference Librarianship & Justice: History, Practice & Praxis, edited by Kate Adler, Ian Beilin, and Eamon Tewell, contributor Maria T. Accardi does not mince words, calling the perspective that libraries should be "neutral at all costs" a "toxic sludge" that reinforces the "white supremacist status quo at the expense of the vulnerable" (p. 5). Accardi continues, "do not tell me that Nazis need a library," when the people who really need it are those "whose voices are usually silenced rather than amplified" (p. 5). Accardi's preface lays the groundwork for the remainder of the book, which consists of chapters from reference librarians and information workers whose experiences demonstrate how reference interactions are not neutral, and instead occur at the intersection of information and activism (p. 14).

Contributors to Reference Librarianship & Justice highlight how reference services deliver information to marginalized populations and consider ways in which we can continue to incorporate social justice into our practice.

In the book's three sections, "History," "Practice," and "Praxis," contributors recount personal stories and discuss ideologies and critical frameworks that reinforce the book's central theme -- that reference services are integral to patrons, and their proximity to activism and social change should not be discounted. Chapters from "History" remind us that information professionals have operated under some of the most restrictive of circumstances, including serving patrons while under martial law in the Philippines. Another chapter delves into shifts in LIS education in the 1960s and 70s to better train librarians to serve poor, urban populations. In "Practice," editor Kate Adler urges reference professionals to look toward different critical theories of underserved populations to help dismantle oppressive powers and practice more "mindful and critical" reference librarianship (p. 104). Most chapters in this section discuss approaches to serving incarcerated individuals, where white supremacy is at its most powerful and where librarians and library work can challenge it. In "Praxis," contributors focus on the "relational dynamics between reference worker and patron" (p. 220). The section builds upon "History" and "Practice," discussing relational theory, empathy, holistic pedagogy, and intersectionality.

Since its sections and contributors cover so many different topics and experiences, Reference Librarianship & Justice is appropriate for a variety of readers. Parts of the book, particularly within "Praxis," skew very academic, while others offer more practical experiences and suggestions. Librarians who provide reference services, reference archivists, and library administrators will find the book a worthwhile read. Educators in the social sciences will find it to be an interesting study of the library as a place for social change. LIS students will also appreciate the different discussions of critical frameworks and theories.


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Book Review: The Homelessness Industry: A Critique of US Social Policy

Review by Julie Winkelstein, SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor

The Homelessness Industry: A Critique of US Social Policy. 2018. By Elizabeth Beck and Pamela C. Twiss. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

In their book The Homelessness Industry: A Critique of US Social Policy, authors Elizabeth Beck and Pamela C. Twiss set the tone in the first few sentences:

From the late 1970s to mid-1980s, the word homeless shifted its function from an adjective to a noun. As an adjective, homeless describes people affected by such extreme social and economic hardship that they lack their own housing or a place to live. But as we will show, as a noun, the concept of the homeless became the target of academic studies, the basis for psychiatric and behavioral diagnoses, and the rationale for professional social services based on a medical model of intervention. (p.1)

These words offer readers, including library staff, the opportunity to step back from the daily conversations, visual representations and policy-making that focus on "homeless" as a noun and consider how we got here and what we can do to address this shift.

Using written materials, including government documents, newspaper and journal articles, monographs, edited volumes, reports, interviews and their own personal experiences, the authors provide a detailed history of homelessness in the US, in a quest to understand "how homelessness changed from a social problem to a normalized condition" (pp. 4-5). In early chapters we see the historical roots of homelessness and attitudes toward those who are living in poverty.

Ensuing chapters cover neoliberalism, social justice, the implementation of the McKinney Act, the emphasis on services rather than looking at the larger social context, and the need to move from managing homelessness to ending it. The final chapter, "The Continuing Quest for Justice," provides a brief recap of the five factors that contribute to an understanding of the homelessness industry, including: historical views of homelessness; the impact of neoliberal economic and social policies; compromises in public policy; emphasis on mental health rather than housing; and, the creation of a social service sector. In this chapter the authors offer final insights into how these factors have worked together to create the US homelessness industry we see today. For example, they point out that "Today behavior, not loss of income or housing, is viewed as a critical component in homelessness" (p. 231).

This final chapter ends with thoughts and strategies for moving forward in a way that doesn't duplicate the past. In words that summarize beautifully the critical need for an attitude change:

To end homelessness, we need more than effective programs to address those who end up on the street. We need an approach to society and social welfare that reverse the neoliberal agenda adopted in the late 1970s and pressed forward by the Mont Pelerin Society and laissez-faire enthusiasts... (p.239)

They go on to call for a coalition that "must call attention to income disparity both as an economic issue affecting the lives of many and also as a moral issue" (p.242).

The Homelessness Industry: A Critique of US Social Policy is a sobering, illuminating, well-researched, and well-written look at homelessness and poverty in the US and provides much-needed insights into our present reality and what needs to be done to change it. There is no simple solution to the challenge of homelessness but having a greater understanding of the forces at play, both past and present, can help all of us, including those who work in libraries, make a difference. This book is highly recommended for all library staff and library students. We need to better understand all of our library users, including those who are experiencing homelessness and poverty. Elizabeth Beck and Pamela Twiss offer us the opportunity to do just that.


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Call for SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor and Additional 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 two members who can serve on the Editorial Board as soon as possible.

Editorial Board positions are determined by the SRRT Action Council.

The SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor must be a member of SRRT and will serve as a member of the SRRT Editorial Board. The duties of the SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor, in collaboration with the Co-Editor, are to establish with the approval of the SRRT Editorial Board and SRRT Action Council the editorial policy of the SRRT Newsletter; prepare the SRRT Newsletter for online publication; handle solicitation of material, editing, input of material, and layout; work with ALA ODLOS and other necessary ALA offices to ensure access to SRRT Newsletter and its archives; publish the texts of all resolutions passed by SRRT Action Council; and publish the text of any constitutional or bylaws changes to be submitted to the SRRT General Membership Meeting. The SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor works with all the members of the SRRT Editorial Board to fulfill all these duties.

If you are interested in becoming members of the SRRT Editorial Board or applying to be the next SRRT Newsletter Co-Editor, please send a copy of your resume/CV, a brief letter of inquiry outlining your qualifications and interest in the position, and a writing sample and/or examples of previous work to Melissa Cardenas-Dow, SRRT editorial board member, at micd.srrt.newsletter [at]


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Call for Submissions

The SRRT newsletter is always looking for relevant articles, essays and letters to the editor. The next submission deadline is June 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 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 at, indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your e-mail. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.

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

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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