SRRT Coordinator's Column

SRRT Coordinator's Column

January 2024

One of the difficult things about working with social justice is just how many things can fall under the scope of “social justice.” At times, it’s overwhelming because there is so much that needs to be addressed. Other times, we may disagree about what defines social justice, the role of librarians, or what issues we should or shouldn’t put our efforts into. We saw these questions in full force after the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) passed the Resolution Calling for an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza in November 2023. The response to the resolution was quick, loud, and polarized. For every email we received that condemned the resolution, we received one that praised it. For nearly every comment stating that librarians shouldn’t speak on international issues, we received one stating this is why they join organizations. We lost members and gained members. And none of these responses are wrong, nor right. There is not one path to social justice and everyone’s path may look different.

The most troubling response to the resolution was from the American Library Association (ALA) itself. A common criticism of past SRRT resolutions is that we don’t gather feedback before submitting the Round Table’s resolutions. This time, we shared the resolution far and wide, including putting it on our website for ease of access. Without warning, ALA removed the resolution from our Resolution Archive. It was days later before we learned that this was a conscious decision from ALA leadership, accompanying a new policy that draft resolutions cannot be publicly posted online – a policy that SRRT seems to be the only round table to be notified as of yet.

We empathize with the incredible stress that ALA leadership must be experiencing in our current political climate. It is a position that neither of us want to personally experience. But we must not lose sight that together, we’re stronger, even if we don’t always agree. It was a missed opportunity for us to work together through communication. Despite sometimes being seen as “rabble rousers,” we do not want to see ALA struggle.

In closing, we would like to remind everyone that SRRT is a reflection of our members. If there is a topic that we don’t discuss enough, it is likely because it has not been brought to SRRT Action Council. If there are topics we focus on too much, it is because those are the ones that are being brought. We encourage ALL members of SRRT to submit resolutions, whether they bring them to SRRT Action Council to consider or submit them directly to ALA Council. We are your organization.

2024 Ballot

We are pleased to announce the SRRT candidates for the Spring 2024 Ballot:

The election runs March 11-April 3, 2024

SRRT Member-at-Large Candidates (elect three)
Derek Wilmott, Member at Large candidate

  • Currently an SRRT and IFRT member, Co-Chair of SRRT's Programming Committee 2023-24, and member of CORE's Access/Equity Leadership Team, as well as ODLOS' Services to Refuges, Immigrants and Displaced Persons Sub-committee (SRIDP). Also, member of REFORMA affiliate.

De 'lvyion Drew, Member at Large candidate

  • Currently an SRRT, EMIERT, LSSRT, NMRT, and RRT member. Also, member of SCRL and PLA divisions. Member of BCALA affiliate.

Patti McCall-Junkin, Member at Large candidate

  • Currently an SRRT member and ACRL Health Sciences Interest Group Membership Committee 2020- present. Also, member of affiliate, American Indian Library Association (AILA)

Rachel Rosekind, Member at Large candidate

  • Currently an SRRT, GNCRT and EMIERT member, along with PLA and United for Libraries divisions. Co-Chair, SRRT Programming
    Committee, 2023-Present; Member, Herb Biblo Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Justice & Equality Committee, 2023-
    Present; Member, Best Graphic Novels for Adults Selection Committee, 2024; Also, member of BCALA and REFORMA.

SRRT Councilor Candidates (elect one):

Tara Brady, SRRT Councilor

  • Currently the SRRT Councilor, 2018-Present; member of GODORT, LSSRT, RRT, SRRT, SUSTRT

Frieda Afary, SRRT Councilor

  • Currently an SRRT and IFRT member, Member of SRRT's Programming Committee 2022-present, also member of PLA division.

Membership Update

As of November 2023, SRRT remains the largest round table with 1,676 personal and organizational members. However, many other
round tables gained members while SRRT lost some. Here are the largest round tables and their membership:

Round table: Membership:
Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) 1,676
Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) 1,643
New Members Round Table (NMRT) 1,639
Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) 1,616
Rainbow Round Table (RRT) 1,564
Sustainability Round Table (SUSTRT) 1,275
International Relations Round Table (IRRT) 1,225
Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table (GNCRT) 1,218
Library Research Round Table (LRRT) 1,091

ALA has 48,172 members.

If you are interested in joining a SRRT Task Force or one of our committees,
please contact us at: - April Sheppard or - Charles Kratz

-- April and Charles