SRRT Action Council Virtual Meeting, August 24, 2020

SRRT Action Council Minutes

Virtual Meeting 8/24/2020, 12pm Central


Attending: Al Kagan, Tara Brady, Lisa Eichholtz, Wendy Stephens, Tom Twiss, April Sheppard, Lea Wentworth, ALA ODLOS (Monica Chapman), Sherre Harrington,  Charles Kratz, Olivia Scully, Katharine Phenix, Julie Ann Winkelstein, LaJuan Pringle, Melissa Cardenas-Dow, Mark Hudson, Jane Cothron

  1. FYI – Midwinter to be Virtual
    1. April proposes that SRRT schedule virtual meetings outside of the Midwinter Meetings schecule
    2. Question about fee structure and free/reduced admission to Midwinter Meetings
      1. Monica Chapman referred SRRT concerns to ALA Membership Committee (Melissa Walling, chair)èsuggests April contact the committee as they work on creating the new structure under Forward Together as well as their own structures and plans
      2. April has contacted Membership Committee and has a meeting scheduled in September
      3. Many draft dues structures, based on other organization dues structures, trying to make structure less complicated and want to make sure it’s affordable, working on “making dues progressive and modern”
      4. Julie Winkelstein had talked with Membership about last Midwinter dues and gift registrations, but that did not go anywhere and the form is expiring; Monica: this is more Conference Services; Charles: this is more member promotion and new membership generation; Tara: could Membership offer internally a lower rate/scholarship membership rate and internal committees could help promote ALA with gift registrations; Monica: need a list of questions, could start a Google doc; Julie: would be happy to send questions and fill in a Google doc, to do whatever it takes; Monica: will create a Google doc and will review recording from this meeting to collect questions to refer to Melissa
  2. SRRT Action Council Nominations - Three AC Members set to expire 6/30/21. Past coordinator will facilitate nominations for open seats, need to send out a call for nominations; use social media, send suggestions to Charles, . Julie: could send out in newsletter (deadline for next newsletter September 8, 2020. Monica: will send deadlines for ODLOS newsletter (every 3rd Thursday) Monica: Bio form for candidates are due Dec. 3, 2020
    1. Three AC memberships (Tom Twiss, Kenny , Lisa Eichholtz terms will expire 6/3021)
    2. SRRT Council representative position


  1. Support for USPS
    1. Al: Jim Neal sent message to ALA Council about need to support U.S. Post Office; need statement from Executive Director, ALA Executive Board, ALA President, to Washington Office to lobby vigorously to save the Post Office, interlibrary loan depends on the Post Office. Tara: libraries as ballot collection points RUSA Stars (Sharing and Transforming Actions to Resources) sent message to support Post Office. Julie: ballot boxes are not from the Post Office; wants to support Post Office


[CHAT. From Melissa Cardenas-Dow (she/her) to Everyone:  10:27 AM

can we get that text sent out to the list again?

From Tara Brady (SRRT Councilor) to Everyone:  10:28 AM

Registering this important and timely message. Speaking up to say that as part of the ongoing erosion of public services and spaces that we have witnessed, what is happening to the USPS — right on the  threshold of election time — demands  attention. This is paramount not only in regards to the fight for the USPS’s preservation which is urgent, but also in exploration of the possibility of a partnership to make municipal libraries an alternate site for national ballot collection.


I look forward to how others will respond as I have many connected ideas.


Thanks again.

(That's Tracie's email)]


    1. Al: ALA is already on record against voter suppression, attacks on the Post Office are tied to voter suppression. Melissa: ideas about libraries as a public good, lobbying for another public service. Charles: is on COL and they will meet in September,
    2. Julie: would like SRRT to work on voter suppression/libraries taking an active role in supporting voting. GODORT has a toolkit on voting; is working on a webinar, probably in October.  National non-library organizations are already working on voter registration, sending information on how to vote.  Libraries should be involved. April: SRRT could do webinars and put information out on social media. Al: could we involve the chapter (state affiliations) councilor caucus?
    3. April to check in with Ed Garcia on actions planned by the Executive Board and will report back.
  1. Forward Together​
    1. Council meeting will happen on the push from Forward Together on disbanding council. Information on how the Round Tables plan is coming together; standardizing Round Table structures, governance, etc.  ALA is in a financially untenable situation and reports keep getting worse. Would like to move Council to virtual participation, but finances may preclude that. First meeting is this Friday.
    2. Charles: Bylaws committee seem determined to pigeonhole Round Tables into the same structure and language—president, executive board, etc.  Monica: sat in on the Bylaws meeting yesterday to represent Rainbow RT and SRRT RT; meeting called for positions as Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, but still discussing language
    3. Julie: what does the language of the various Round Tables have to do with the financial position of the organization? Charles: they don’t connect. Sherre: directive, hierarchical structural proposals (from Forward Together) create barriers and are in direct oppostion to the organizational values, both SRRT and ALA stated values


  1. Awards and grants
    1. Charles: wants to review where we are with awards; need to review who is on which committee to make sure that announcements go out (Biblo Leadership Award, conference travel grants (2 new for next year, 2 current will continue) April: will include award committee membership in coordinator’s letter. Al: is ALA sending out reports? No information on awards balances, etc., will financial reports be coming out?  Monica: have been asking for reports, but have not received reports yet; finance/accounting departments are understaffed, has been sending emails, but not getting responses. Charles: it is not acceptable not to receive membership reports or financial reports; need to send this to Executive Board for action, need transparency in getting information; [?] in times of financial difficulty, transparency in reporting is more important, not less. April to contact Ed Garcia (Executive Board) for action.  Sherre: das a member, did not read about staff furloughs, was that announced? Monica: annoncements were not made to membership, sends alerts on when she will not be available/on furlough; April can send this at her discretion. Melissa: monica do you know the rationale of why staff furloughing had been selectively shared?
    2. i was on the APALA exec board and that's where i heard it. Monica: my understanding is that they want to make sure that staff can stay with ALA instead of doing anything rash; staff can help ALA by doing furloughs. ODLOS maintains their morale, but it’s hard. Julie: does furlough impact individual staff finances, health insurance, other benefits. Monica: benefits, sick leave not impacted, not allowed to work during furlough, not paid during time furloughed. Al: furloughs affected salary, which affected retirement, something to check on. April: is there anything SRRT can do to help?  Monica: try to avoid mass emails during her furlough weeks.


Notes from chat:

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  10:02 AM

Hello everyone!

From rorylitwin to Everyone:  10:16 AM

Hi Everyone. Rory Litwin here.

From Nick Demske (he/him/his) to Everyone:  10:17 AM

Hi everybody--Nick Demske, Community Resources Librarian at Racine Public Library (Wisconsin).  Stav, welcome to the field--our libraries are only like an hour or so away from each other, I think

From Ross to Everyone:  10:18 AM

Hi! Ross Betzer from Multnomah County Library in beautiful and peaceful Portland, Oregon. I’m a cataloguer and a local history reference librarian. I’m interested in social justice issues and responsibilities for libraries with local history collections.

From Nick Demske (he/him/his) to Everyone:  10:18 AM

Julie, I am also an elected official in my community (a County Supervisor) and just watched your "Democracy in the time of COVID" webinar, so we probably wuld have some things to talk about together, too.

From Jacqueline to Everyone:  10:18 AM

Hi! My name is Jacqueline Williams. I'm a new librarian transitioning from classroom teacher to school librarian. My interest is in health diversity - respecting indigenous and alternative health care and how the library can be used as a space for education on those aspects. My email address is: I have to leave in a few minutes, but if you are interested in those topics, please connect with me and put in your subject line - health diversity education in libraries. Thanks!

From Christina Miskey to Everyone:  10:18 AM

Hello! Christina Miskey - Scholarly Communication Librarian for Research Librarian at UNLV (Las Vegas, NV). Interests are removing barriers to the profession for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ librarians, voting rights and access, and increasing the diversity of the profession and creating more diverse leadership

From Joseph William Winberry to Everyone:  10:18 AM

Hello, everyone. My name is Joseph Winberry. I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee where I study the role of information and technology in bringing about social change. I am also a recipient of the Herb Biblo travel grant to ALA in 2020 (now 2021) so I am looking forward to getting more involved in SRRT moving forward. My email is

From Sherre Harrington to Everyone:  10:19 AM

Feminist Task Force has a listserve at MIT ...

From mike.marlin to Everyone:  10:19 AM

Hi all, Mike Marlin, longtime SRRT member and ALA Councilor at Large, California Braille and Talking Book Library in Sacramento...

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  10:19 AM

April Sheppard -

Interests: race, diversity, BLM, representation in the library field, accessibility, LGBTA, Religious Freedom, Freedom of Speech and Press.

From Nichole B-Larson to Everyone:  10:20 AM

Hi everyone! I'm Nichole Bonaventure-Larson from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. I'm the Collection Development Librarian here and chair our EDI group. I'm interested in building equity in the workplace, LGBT+ resources for students and faculty, and web accessibility for patrons with limited digital tools. Nice to meet everyone!

From mike.marlin to Everyone:  10:21 AM

Thanks to all re web accessibility...I am a disability rights activist and a blind librarian...useability is often mistaken for accessibility, and both are very important

From Nick Demske (he/him/his) to Everyone:  10:22 AM

sorry everyone, forgot to add my email:

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  10:23 AM

All, here is the address to use connect:

From Melissa Cardenas-Dow (she/her) to Everyone:  10:24 AM

that email address needs a shorter alias...???

REFORMA uses it

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  10:25 AM

Let's look into it

From Sherre Harrington to Everyone:  10:26 AM

Feminist Task Force has a listserve at MIT & has for a long time, but it isn't sustainable without a commitment from someone from the institution to be the admin. I wouldn't advise that approach.


From Melissa Cardenas-Dow (she/her) to Everyone:  10:27 AM

isn't that something that can be done by RT?

From Jacqueline to Everyone:  10:29 AM

Bye everyone!

From Tara Brady (SRRT Councilor) to Everyone:  10:29 AM

I think we should give ALA IT a chance to make this system work for us, it sounds like one thing we really need is a guide on how to interact with connect 100% via email without logging in to the site.

From Scott Kushner  to Everyone:  10:31 AM

Hi My name is Scott Kushner. I'm a public library director in  the Syracuse NY area. I'm a member of SRRT. I'm also co founded and co-chair a digital inclusion coalition (  and the same with a sustainability initiative. I'm also involved with a sustainable libraries initiative in the New York Library Association. And last year took part in a roundtable discussion at the NYLA conference to reinvigorate the social responsibility round table in NYLA. I think that all of these initiatives are very much connected.

From mike.marlin to Everyone:  10:33 AM

Email is vastly ore accessible than Connect or other web based communications tools.

From Wanda Huffaker to Everyone:  10:35 AM

we meet at conference

From Audrey Duarte to Everyone:  10:40 AM

My school gave me one year of ALA membership for free, which was great. This is my second year and I believe the student membership fee was $35, which doesn't work for everyone, but for me at least wasn't overwhelming

From Wanda Huffaker to Everyone:  10:43 AM

The RTCA task force is looking at Bylaws

From Ross to Everyone:  10:45 AM

More progressive dues structures based on income or employment status sounds great. But that still doesn’t address the issue of systemic inequity that disproportionately affects people of different races.

From Julie Ann Winkelstein to Everyone:  10:46 AM

I agree, Ross

From Olivia Scully to Everyone:  10:46 AM

Yes that's such a good point - I can't help but keep thinking that this is getting at a much larger issue: Who does ALA serve, who should it serve, who are we leaving out?? And can we fix that?

From Melissa Cardenas-Dow (she/her) to Everyone:  10:48 AM

that's the crux--they don't want to do it

so the issue is more about persuasion

From Stavroula Harissis to Everyone:  10:48 AM

Being concerned about “cheating” shows a lack of trust and respect for members

From Christina Miskey to Everyone:  10:49 AM

I agree

From Julie Ann Winkelstein to Everyone:  10:49 AM

Definitely, Stav

From Audrey Duarte to Everyone:  10:49 AM

Also most people want to support good things. They won't "cheat" if they believe in ALA

From Christina Miskey to Everyone:  10:50 AM

It comes down to the organization having benefit to the members

At all levels

From Wanda Huffaker to Everyone:  10:51 AM

Why would I cheat, AND make charitable donations, or contribute to fundraising when they ask. They can't expect both.

From Ross to Everyone:  10:52 AM

Yes! THe value of ALA comes from its membership.

From Joseph William Winberry to Everyone:  10:52 AM

Good points, Julie and others. I haven’t thought much about these issues so glad I am here to engage with these perspectives.

From Wanda Huffaker to Everyone:  10:55 AM

Wasn't the Forward together proposal given to council?

From Tara Brady (SRRT Councilor) to Everyone:  10:55 AM

Yeah, it was, but now council has to work through it and put together what they're actually goign to vote on.

From Ross to Everyone:  10:55 AM

Gotta go. I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend a virtual meeting like this. Thank you!

From Melissa Cardenas-Dow (she/her) to Everyone:  10:55 AM

a working group?

From Christina Miskey to Everyone:  10:59 AM

I have to run to another meeting. This was a great conversation though and I look forward to more in the future

From Nichole B-Larson to Everyone:  11:00 AM

Thanks everyone! Bye.

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  11:00 AM


From Joseph William Winberry to Everyone:  11:02 AM

Thank you everyone. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week.

From Stavroula Harissis to Everyone:  11:08 AM

Sorry but I have to go. Thanks everyone!

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  11:09 AM


From mike.marlin to Everyone:  11:13 AM

I have to run to another meeting. Thanks for the great discussion.

From April Sheppard to Everyone:  11:13 AM


From Sherre Harrington to Everyone:  11:20 AM

From Nick Demske (he/him/his) to Everyone:  11:20 AM

I'd better get ready for my 1:30, but really nice to get to meet you all and share the space with so many people passionate about equity, justice and social responsibility.  Monica, thank you for helping facilitate the group as the staff liaison!  And April, thank you for chairing the meeting. 

From Audrey Duarte to Everyone:  11:20 AM

I would love to see city-wide public wifi to become common. Parts of Bilbao, Spain have free wifi coverage. In the meantime, people absolutely rely on the library for internet access, and it has been difficult for people while we've been closed

From Julie Ann Winkelstein to Everyone:  11:21 AM

I agree - there are some cities in the US that have that

From Wanda Huffaker to Everyone:  11:22 AM

Also some tribal areas

From Katharine Phenix to Everyone:  11:22 AM

From Scott Kushner  to Everyone:  11:23 AM

Check out the National Digital Inclusion Alliance website. Very broad discussions about this

From Julie Ann Winkelstein to Everyone:  11:23 AM

Thanks, Scott

From Scott Kushner  to Everyone:  11:23 AM

Thanks. Gotta go