May 2014 ALA Committee on Legislation Conference Call

The American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Legislation recently posted the notes of their 5/14/2014 Conference Call. It makes for good reading if you’re interested in federal legislative issues related to libraries, privacy and surveillance.

One item they mentioned in the conference call I’d like hear more about was:

  • Don Essex, Legislative Information Specialist at the WO, gave an update on the Resolutions project. ALA Resolutions have been organized and digitized. This project will allow staff and COL members to search and find resolutions previously passed by ALA Council on subjects relevant to COL. For details please see the document that was attached to the email with the agenda for this call.

This seems like a potential first step in analyzing how much good our resolutions do, which seems to be a point of perpetual debate in ALA Council.

If you are not familiar with the work of the ALA Committee on Legislation (COL), here is their charge:

COL CHARGE: To have full responsibility for the association’s total legislative program on all levels: federal, state, and local. To recommend legislative policy and programs for council approval and to take the necessary steps for implementation. To protest any legislative or executive policy adversely affecting libraries. To seek rulings and interpretations of laws and regulations affecting the welfare and development of libraries. To represent the ALA before the executive and legislative branches of government as required at all levels. To provide a forum within ALA to gather information about needed legislation and to keep all units of the association informed of the ALA legislative programs. To direct the activities of all units of the association in matters relating to legislation.

I’m not sure every Councilor understands the intended overarching position of COL over ALA legislative efforts. I know I didn’t fully comprehend it at Midwinter 2014.

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