#alaac16 Larry Romans Memorial Resolution

Every conference, the ALA Council passes memorial resolutions, usually as a group. While we don’t read the resolutions in Council, we have a moment of silence while the names of the departed are read.

2015-2016 ALA Memorial #14 is different for me, because I knew Larry Romans reasonably well. Or thought I did. I believe we were friends, though not close ones. I knew him from his work on GODORT and our time together on Depository Library Council (DLC) and on ALA Council where Larry really was THE RESOLUTIONS TABLE. We did not always agree in DLC or on the Council floor, but I knew him to be an honorable and civil man who would never disparage an individual instead of their ideas.

After reading Larry’s memorial resolution in preparation for his ALA memorial tonight, I realized I had been unaware of just what a giant figure Larry was within ALA or how much of his life and intellect he had invested in our organization. So now I know what greater loss that ALA and all the people Larry touched with his life are going through.

Take care Larry, wherever you are. Thanks so much for everything you’ve done for librarianship and for the words of advice and spirited discussions you’ve given me.

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2015-2016 ALA Memorial #14_61516_ACT

2016 ALA Annual Conference

 

A MEMORIAL RESOLUTION HONORING LARRY ROMANS

Whereas on January 28, 2016, the American Library Association and the broader library community lost a valued and respected member, pioneer, and leader with the death of Lawrence (Larry) Romans;

Whereas Larry Romans was a leader, member, and friend of the American Library Association since 1983, an enthusiastic champion of its goals and mission, and through his deep knowledge of the Association’s operations and his effective diplomacy, helped librarians and others become more involved in the organization and enabled a significant component of the membership to feel more connected to the Association;

Whereas thanks to his recognized skill and expertise, he was an instrumental voice in shaping ALA Council policy from 1992 onward, starting as Chapter Councilor for Tennessee and co-convener of the Chapter Councilor Caucus, and continuing as an at-large member of Council starting in 2000;

Whereas Larry Romans served the ALA as member and chair of the Legislation Committee, the Resolutions Committee, the Membership Meeting Committee and the Special Presidential Task Force on the Membership Meeting Quorum; and as a member of the Committee on Committees, Planning and Budget Assembly, Spectrum Initiative Minority Scholarship Jury, Structure Revision Task Force, Chapter Relations Committee Chapter Councilor Program Subcommittee, and ALA Legacy Society;

Whereas these broad achievements in ALA were among the reasons that Council elected Larry to the ALA Executive Board in 2007, where the Association’s governance and strategic directions benefited from Larry’s participation and influence on the Board;

Whereas Larry Romans was a member of the Government Documents Round Table beginning in 1988, serving as Chair of GODORT, chair and member of the Education Committee and the Government Information Technology Committee, member of the Steering Committee, and coordinator of the Federal Documents Task Force;

Whereas Larry Romans was founder and coordinator of the GODORT Handout Exchange for 17 years, a program that enabled government documents librarians from around the country to share handouts and best practices for use at their own institutions;

Whereas Larry Romans his encyclopedic government information online portals were innovative and widely-used resources which promoted wide spread access to free and open access to government information;

Whereas Larry Romans sought out endless opportunities to get generations of students and others excited about politics, public policy, and government information, redoubling his efforts in the era of smartphones and the Google single search box;

Whereas Larry Romans was a visionary leader in the library community during the early 1990s and insisted that users would benefit from, and usefully interpret, bibliographic information for government documents in online catalogs,

Whereas through his advocacy he encouraged other librarians to add government information to their online catalogs, to educate the government documents community on the wisdom and value of adding these records, and to show their institutions how the Government Publishing Office bibliographic records could be added quickly and efficiently;

Whereas Larry Romans was the 1995 recipient of the American Library Association/Government Documents Round Table (ALA/GODORT) Documents to the People Award, for “outstanding leadership as an advocate of effective public access to government information”;

Whereas Larry Romans was the 2008 recipient of the American Library  Association/Government Documents Round Table’s James Bennett Childs Award for “a lifetime and significant contribution to the field of documents librarianship”;

Whereas Larry Romans proudly served for three years as a member of the US Depository Library Council to the Public Printer;

Whereas Larry Romans was member of the ACRL Government Relations Committee and Legnet Coordinator, and member of the Government Relations Committee and the Ad Hoc Task Force on Advocacy;

Whereas Larry Romans was a member of the Social Responsibilities Round Table for 32 years;

Whereas Larry Romans was a member of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Round Table starting in 1998, served at various points on the Board of Directors/Steering Committee and as Board Liaison to the Membership Committee and the ALA Executive Board, and on the Over the Rainbow Booklist Committee;

Whereas Larry Romans worked with ALA staff to make its conferences more welcoming and inclusive environments for all, through ensuring that conference cities implemented sensitivity training for employees in serving transgender attendees and sponsored a resolution opposing marriage inequality;

Whereas Larry Romans spearheaded the community-wide initiative to make high quality LGBT children’s and young adult books available to libraries and families;

Whereas the GLBT Round Table in 2012 established the Mike Morgan-Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Stonewall Award, in Larry’s honor, as well as his beloved husband Mike, which is “presented to English-language books that have exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered experience” of children or young adults;

Whereas Larry Romans considered the enlargement of this Award with contributions and a challenge match from him and Mike Morgan to be one of the highlights of his career;

Whereas Larry Romans served with distinction as political science librarian at the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries at Vanderbilt University for 32 years, head of the government information department at the library for 27 years, and longtime bibliographer in European Studies, Communications Studies, and at various points coordinator of reference services and history bibliographer;

Whereas Larry Romans served the Tennessee Library Association for 27 years, as parliamentarian, member of the Board of Directors, and chair of the Legislation Committee, Bylaws Committee, and Government Documents Round Table;

Whereas Larry Romans was the 2014 recipient of the Tennessee Library Association’s Honor Award, for his years of outstanding service as someone who “made a significant contribution to the furtherance of librarianship on a statewide or national level”;

Whereas Larry Romans was the 2011 recipient of the Tennessee Library Association’s President’s Award;

Whereas Larry Romans encouraged, motivated, inspired countless students and colleagues in the profession, to find their way and use their voices to speak about their passion for librarianship;

Whereas Larry Romans was an outspoken, tireless, and unstoppable advocate and trailblazer for libraries, the ALA, government information, intellectual freedom, information literacy, and GLBT rights;

Whereas his even temper and an ability to listen to other points of view in sometimes violent committee meetings set an example to ALA members trying to reach agreements across the table;

Whereas Larry Romans was not only a pleasure to work with and a joy as a friend and mentor, but also by his own frank admission, “friendly, funny, sarcastic, hardworking, extroverted, opinionated, and pushy”;

Whereas Larry Romans was a leader, member, and friend of the American Library Association since 1983, an enthusiastic champion of its goals and mission; and

 

Whereas his deep knowledge of the Association’s operations and his effective diplomacy, Larry helped librarians and others become more involved in the organization and enabled a significant component of the membership to feel more connected to the Association; and, therefore be it …

 

Resolved, That the members and staff of the American Library Association (ALA):

  1. Offer, on behalf of all who knew, worked and were influenced by Larry’s contributions to the profession, their heartfelt condolences to friends and colleagues across the nation, in Washington D.C., the state of Tennessee, and at Vanderbilt University, and to his husband, Mike Morgan, and family; and

 

  1. Extend their deepest appreciation for Larry’s extraordinary three decades of service to ALA, to the State of Tennessee, as well as to the communities he changed through his passion for librarianship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINAL Version A.  June 15, 2016

GODORT Legislative Committee

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