ALA Conference Council III

Courtney Young, President of ALA called our meeting to order and presented Memorials and Tributes.  She read the following names for memorials: Gail A. Schlachter, David Cohen, Charles Benton, Cynthia D. Clark, Ruth C. Carter, William Vernon Jackson, Elizabeth H. (Betsy) Park, Floyd C. Dickman, Cynthia G. Hurd, and Zoia Horn. The tribute resolutions were: Jessie Carney Smith; 25th Anniversary of the Signing of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA); 35th Anniversary of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA); Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD; and 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Council stood for a moment of silence.
3 resolutions were added to the agenda.
Resolution on Gun Violence
Resolution to endorse statement from the movement for Black Lives on Charleston Shooting
Resolution on improving access to Spanish, bilingual and books in various languages for children in detention centers.

Resolution on the Passage of the USA Freedom Act and Reaffirming ALA’s Commitment to Surveillance Law Reform
Resolved, on behalf of its members
1. commends the authors and primary supporters of the USA Freedom Act for their efforts, courage and success in securing its passage
2. recommits itself to the maximum possible restoration of the public and civil liberties through statutory and other legals reforms
3. reaffirms its commitment to fostering maximum transparency in all workings of government.

There was great debate because the resolve clauses didn’t encompass the resolve clauses that many on Council felt needed to be included.  A motion was made to amend the resolution which was seconded.  Another motion was made to amend the amended resolution to include the following language.

  1. Repealing Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, and all other sections that authorize mass surveillance of the American public;
  2. Repealing all mass surveillance authorized by the USA Freedom Act, by adopting into law the following measures: requiring government agencies to get a national security warrant before collecting personal information from third parties, raising the standard for government collection of call records under FISA from “reasonable grounds” to “probable cause,” limiting the government’s ability to use information gathered under intelligence authorities in unrelated criminal cases, making it easier to challenge the use of illegally obtained surveillance information in criminal proceedings, prohibiting the government from requiring hardware and software companies to deliberately weaken encryption and other security features, and requiring court approval for National Security Letters;
  3. Prohibiting the government from conducting warrantless reviews of Americans’ email and other communications under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and
  4. Amending Executive Order 12333 on United States Intelligence Activities by deleting all authority for mass surveillance of the American People.

This was language from a previous version of the resolution.

The motion passed.  Next council voted on a motion to refer the amended resolution back to the Committee on Legislation and the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The motion passed and the resolution was referred back to COL/IFC.

Resolution on Gun Violence.
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its members

  1. deplores the gun violence that materially affects libraries and the communities we serve; and
  2. will work in every way that it can to support legislation that prohibits the carrying of guns in or near libraries and other educational institutions.

An amendment was offered to the second clause: will work with state chapters and affiliates to support legislation that allows the prohibition of the carrying of guns in or near libraries and educational institutions.

Council approved the amendment to the resolution. Council also approved striking the last “whereas” clause. The amended resolution was approved.

Resolution to Endorse Statement from the Movement for Black Lives on Charleston Shooting
Resolved, that ALA endorses the Statement from the Movement for Black Lives on the Charleston Shooting, issued on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Council approved the resolution.

Resolution on Improving Access to Spanish, Bilingual and Books in Various Languages for Children in Detention Centers.
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

  1. urges ALA members and units to support the REFORMA Children in Crisis project for the continued delivery of books to refugee children and teens;
  2. encourages the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop a partnership with the United States Customs and Border Protection agency to ensure that unaccompanied refugee children have access to books and programming in those children’s native languages, whether they speak Spanish, indigenous languages, or other tongues, and bilingual books;
  3. urges libraries in affected areas to provide services and programs for and with detained minors while under they are in the care of government-designated service providers; and
  4. encourages ALA members and other relevant ALA units and affiliates to develop materials that meet the information and recreation needs of refugee children, teens, and their guardians, and to share that information with librarians in other affected communities.

Council approved the resolution.
If you are interested in reading the complete documents from Council please visit ALA connect and follow this link, and click on the files.

Keith Michael Fiels reported that the final grand total attendance was 22,696.

The last Council III session ran significantly over the time allotted so the final two resolutions I was not present to vote as I needed to head to the airport to catch my flight.  I will adjust my return times for my next ALA meetings so this doesn’t occur again.  It was a very busy and enlightening Council session and I think that there is much work for all of ALA to be proud of.




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