ALA Council II took place in Las Vegas at the LVH/Westgate hotel on Monday, June 30, 2014 at 8:30am. Once again we ended early, not fully realizing what awaited us in Council III.
One of traditions of ALA is the “Recognition of Retiring Councilors and Executive Board Members” that normally takes place at Council II at Annual. The ALA President reads the names of people with expiring terms. After Council they get a certificate honoring their service and take a group photograph. I mostly approve of this practice but found it odd that re-elected members of Council were also recognized as retiring members. Things have been done this way for decades in ALA. Although I find the practice of reading the names of the re-elected along with actual departing Council members odd, it’s not worth fighting over.
Along with the recognition of retiring Councilors, we received the following reports:
- Policy Monitoring Committee (PMC) – ALA Councilor William (Bill) L. Turner, ALA CD#17.1
- Committee on Organization (COO) – James (Jim) R. Rettig, chair, ALA CD#27.1 – This committee had two action items for Council to vote on separately. Item 1, which required ALA bodies to report to the Executive Director twice a year and Item 2, which established a sunsetting clause for Membership Interest Groups. Both items seemed uncontroversial to me, but Item 1 was subjected to a surprising amount of debate before it finally passed. The second item got more discussion than I was expecting but it too passed. I voted for both action items because of the increased accountability they offered.
- Freedom to Read Foundation – Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., President, ALA CD#22.1
After receiving these reports, we started to consider the one resolution brought to Council II:
Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy to Allow City Services, including Libraries, to Remain Open during a Federal Government Shutdown, Councilors Christopher Corrigan and Jennifer Boettcher, ALA CD#45
Christopher Corrigan is the District of Columbia Chapter Councilor. Like me, he is finishing up his first year on ALA Council. He is a very earnest Councilor and was worried about his first resolution though he had done all of his homework. He brought his draft resolution to the Rules committee who helped him find every relevant ALA body that might conceivably have an opinion on his resolution. This is extremely important to do to the best of a Councilor’s ability. Otherwise your resolution will get referred to the relevant bodies, not to be heard from for six months to a year. You REALLY want to consult them first. Usually for good reasons.
He had to be reminded to slow down some in his presentation, but did a great job of making his case that he wasn’t asking ALA to urge extra funding or statehood for DC. He and the DC ALA Chapter simply wanted ALA to endorse the idea that the District of Columbia ought to be allowed to spend their locally collected tax dollars as any other city in the nation is allowed to do. He also brought statistics that showed the impact of library closures on DC.
Partly because Councilor Corrigan’s excellent preparation and partly because this resolution was obviously library related, his resolution garnered many favorable comments before being overwhelmingly approved. I voted in favor as did all but one or two Councilors.
And then after a few announcements we were done early.