The final Council session consists of Tributes, Memorials, Testimonials as well as several key committe reports such as Committee on Legislation and the Office of Intellectual Freedom. In addition, we discussed two resolutions that will go to the Budget Committee (BARC) for fiscal implications. Finally, two councilors ask to add two discussion items; concerns about the FY19 budget and how can we use of time more effectively during Council sessions.
Rob Banks shared the Committee on Legislation report and focused his report on the Monday announcement regarding the President’s budget. It calls for the elimination of IMLS, NEA, IAL and the NEH. He encouraged everyone librarians and advocates to go to ala.org\fundlibraries to review the Media kit that has been developed to help respond to our Representatives. This will definitely be a priority for National Legislative Day in early May.
The Offiice of Intellectual Freedom has been working on two resolutions related to Net Neutrality and creating a Visual Media and Performing Arts Policy. Both resolutions passed. I will send them out as soon as the final document is ready.
The two resolutions that were referred to BARC were:
Resolution for Socially Responsible Investments for ALA endowment and Resolution on Addressing Roadblocks to Diversity in Leadership Pipieline.
Finally, as I mentioned in my previous post the FY17 budget ran in the red and several council members raised concerns about not having a balanced budget. Council members had concerns about the initiatives, travel costs, real estate costs and spread of the programmatic plan. There was discussion about the need to up our game with technology to better meet our members needs as well as the fact we have mature revenue lines such as publishing, membership growth strategies and cost of conferences.
While the need to be a more effective organization can provide avenues to our fiscal concerns serious decisions have to be made to bring the ALA budget into alignment. The Council similarly pushed the timeline for making significant changes and will not be happy with an 18 month planning and no immediate changes timeline.
our last topic was about using our time better and how we can include more open discussion times with members. Several councilors made suggestions and also even included if it was necessary to have Midwinter to save some money. The general consensus was that Council Forums which are more informal get together for discussion were super valuable but perhaps should be included after a Council meeting so more people could attend.
Overall. this was a very productive Midwinter. I was more involved in the work of Council because I know serve on Resolutions committee and Membership Meeting Committee. I am able to get a better handle on the direction we are going and how to help the association and Kansas librarians.
Thank you once again with the opportunity to serve.