GLBTRT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Round Table) RoundTable
GLBT Round Table members
The board's meeting agenda and minutes are posted. This document captures what your board is doing. At the bottom of the document, you will find links to all committee and representative reports that were submitted. Thanks to David Issak (our wonderful outgoing chair of web committee) for reminding me that we need to post links to these materials in the GLBTRT ALA Connect space.
- 2014 ALA Annual Conference GLBTRT Executive Board Minutes and Committee Reports
- Our Annual Conference events are all listed in the Scheduler.
- Want to Contact someone in GLBTRT? Use our Contact page.
GLBTRT Councilor’s report
ALA Annual Conference 2014, Las Vegas, NV
July 7, 2014
So that was Las Vegas.
I admit, I was among those in ALA who was not thrilled by the notion of going to Las Vegas for conference. I’d never been there before – the desert at 100+ degrees in summer is not a place for someone who grew up in the cool and wet Pacific Northwest and who can burn to deep redness with frightening ease – and it wasn’t on my “must visit” list. But it was where ALA went, so it’s where I went as well, and conference happened. So on to that!
Council was relatively quiet this conference with the exception – of course! – of the last session which ran over time and which, unfortunately, I had to leave early. There were no resolutions that impact the round table insofar as we work with and represent the GLBT communities. Instead, Council devoted time to other matters. For example, it debated its own means of communications (which resulted in some discussion over the precise wording of periodic review). It supported a resolution calling for the District of Columbia to have sufficient budgetary control so as not to jeopardize library service there should federal government services come to a standstill in the future. It also spent significant time in the third session on documents that provided interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights, with lengthy debate on one such document coming from the Intellectual Freedom Committee and centering on ratings for library materials. Alas, it was during that debate that I had to leave, and I will need to read the record of Council when it is available to see what outcomes from that meeting I missed.
Within the Round Table, I was able to attend the executive board meeting but not the membership meeting. The former was run effectively, allowing us to consider a large amount of business and leaving ample time at the end for some in-depth discussion of some matters. A highlight from the meeting for me was discussion of the online newsletter/blog and what an achievement it is. Roland ably chaired his last meeting (and David attended his last meeting as past-chair), and we’ll now have Ann’s leadership in the year ahead. It will be interesting to see what we all accomplish together by the end of the San Francisco conference next year.
I typically make it to almost no programs at conferences because of meetings, and this time was no different. Similarly, I could not go to the Stonewall Brunch, though I have heard raves about the food and the speakers. I’m glad to hear it was such a good event. Happily, I was able to attend the social. Yes, there were challenges in pulling it together, but the venue was pretty terrific. Out of the way? Sure. But how great to be visible at the Las Vegas GLBT community centre! Plenty of food, lots of familiar faces, some new names for me to get to know. Roland’s partner Bill and those who worked with him deserve a lot of credit for such an enjoyable time.
The big thing for me at this conference was my installation on the ALA Executive Board. I’ll remain the GLBTRT Councilor with two years left in that term, but as of 4:30 on the Tuesday afternoon of conference, I was a member of the Executive Board. It will be a privilege to work with Courtney Young in her presidential year, and I look forward to the work ahead. There will be much of it, I know. My husband, Conrad, escorted me in to the Inaugural Brunch, and I was later told by Molly Raphael that in her recollection, it was the first time that same sex spouses were introduced, though partners have been (and were again this year as Gina’s partner Kathy escorted her in). A few people commented to me on how it marks progress, and how it was meaningful to them, and I was touched. On a lighter note, the ridiculously colourful Mr Turk blazer I wore drew a lot of attention, and I cheerfully let anyone try it on who wished.
A few other things about conference to draw your attention to:
- Mack Freeman was this year’s Conable Scholar, receiving support to attend the conference and being shepherded around to many functions and meetings. I saw Mack a few times, and I was proud that one of our members had earned that award.
- The RT board has been working with ALA Conference Services on policies and practice surrounding gender-neutral restrooms. It was good to see one in place at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
- I did not make it to the Queerty party, but I heard it was a success. Between that and the librarian portraits she was helping coordinate in the convention centre (plus all the other things I would guess she had on her plate), Ingrid was a terrifically visible and active board member at conference.
- Council has a healthy contingent of GLBT members and allies, I’m always heartened to see.
- Attendance and voting records for Council are linked from here: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/council/attendance_voting/vote_ta.... Other links on the side of that page take you to various pieces of Council business. You are always welcome to contact me with questions or concerns.
- I have posted a photoset from the conference to Flickr. It is currently available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/liberrianph/sets/72157645445936564/
In closing, a few kudos and thanks. My roommates (and great friends), Todd Krueger and Martin Garnar, are an excellent pair to share a hotel room with as well as conference talk and non-conference talk, meals and drinks and Olivia Newton-John. David, Roland, Ann, and now Peter, as well as the other recent and current RT board members all contribute so well to the work that is being done. I’ve met more of you still and enjoyed a lot of conversations while we were together. There are even more of you I have yet to meet and talk with. Please, tap me on the shoulder at a future conference event and say hello.
We’re in Chicago for Midwinter, and I hope to see many of you there. Enjoy the summer!
GLBTRT Councilor, Executive Board member
The 2014 MidWinter Meeting took place a couple of weeks ago now, and with the spring semester just underway here, I’ll get this report out to the round table before more time passes.
Only a year since I left the Midwest for SoCal, and yet I was not so well-prepared for real winter when I encountered it last month at ALA MidWinter. I was heartily glad that my hotel in Philadelphia was so close to the convention center that I could dash over (or to Starbucks) without layering up too too much. I thought it was a good set of meetings in Philadelphia, though the weather might have sapped a bit of the energy out of the convention center. Still, it’s a terrific city for a conference, in my experience, and the dining there is excellent. The social was a great success, and the planners deserve our thanks for that.
Roland Hansen, David Vess, and Ann Symons shepherded the RT through its board meeting and social. Along with the rest of the executive board, they are all working hard to move the Round Table forward. The board, by the way, holds monthly meetings in Adobe Connect that are open to the membership (as was the meeting in Philadelphia – and thank you to RT members who came to listen and to contribute).
Council had a moderately busy set of agendas before it this time around with a resolution on Edward Snowden once again and a few other resolutions dealing with things more internal to ALA (electronic communications, availability of governing information, allowing programs at MidWinter). In brief:
- Council approved the establishment of a task force to work with ALA staff on electronic communication for Council. There had been a flurry of e-mails and such before MidWinter on how and where documents were posted and how and where they should be. I have not yet heard about the composition of the task force.
- Council approved a resolution requiring the governing bodies of round tables and divisions to make reports of their meetings and similar documentation available within 30 days of the meeting. This took a little discussion, and it should be made clear that it does not affect committees or other sub-bodies of the divisions or round tables. The GLBTRT already does this consistently, so far as I can tell, and there should be no further impact on the RT.
- Council did not approve a resolution to recognize Edward Snowden as a whistleblower. There was much debate, but my sense was that there was less support and a lower vote for this than for previous resolutions regarding Snowden.
- Council referred a resolution on allowing programs at MidWinter to BARC, the Budget Analysis and Review Committee. Because of the potential for financial impact to the association, this is a necessary step.
- Council debated and approved a resolution on maintaining government web sites in times of government closure. There was considerable discussion surrounding pay and obligation to the public, and Councilors had to balance the two issues as they saw fit.
- In terms of actions arising from committee reports, Council approved resolutions coming from the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Committee on Legislation related to whistleblowing and government surveillance. Council also approved a new award, Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. It sounds like a cute and funny thing, but it’s a genuinely intended award.
Council remains a place with some lively debate and some discussions that, well, aren’t quite so exciting to most of us (there are always policy wonks or governance wonks or budget wonks or…). Still, it’s a place I invite all of you to share in. No, it’s rare that you might be permitted to address Council. But the room is open, there is seating for many, and Councilors can usually lend an ear at various times. It’s YOUR Council, so come see what it is doing for you.
At Council, I often find myself talking over issues with a core group, most sitting near me, among them Gina Persichini, Karen Schneider, Matt Ciszek, John DeSantis, and John Sandstrom. RT members all, and all of them offering good thinking and clear voices at Council. There are other RT members on Council, too, and while we don’t all share the same view on each vote, it’s good that we can talk about the matters coming before us. I should also add that as much as possible, I bring the resolutions to the RT board for discussion. That was the case in Philadelphia this year, and the board, in turn, provided some guidance for my decision-making.
The big news for me, personally, was my election to ALA’s Executive Board. My second year of standing for election, and it was an honour to share the stage with the rest of the candidates. I am thrilled to be elected, and as a voice from the round tables and a gay man to add those aspects of diversity. I am also delighted that Gina joins me in election for a three-year term, and that Mike Marlin, another RT member, was elected to fill a vacated term for the next handful of months. With ALA President-Elect Courtney Young a longtime member of the RT, we will have a healthy contingent from the GLBTRT on Executive Board. I hope we serve ALA well. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Ann Symons and Robert Newlen who offered excellent advice and support on the speech (and came to watch the forum). And especial thanks to Todd Krueger and Martin Garnar, my conference roommates of some years now. It is immensely helpful to have two great friends (and fellow RT members) as my sounding boards and voices of reason when we’re back in the room. Believe me, they heard that speech many times, stopping me and helping me tweak things into a much better state. The support of RT colleagues and friends is a wonderful thing.
Annual in Las Vegas is up next. I was glad to meet a number of you for the first time in Philadelphia, and I hope to meet more of you this June. Come to the RT programs and social and meetings, come to Council. Find me on Twitter (@phepbu). Send me an e-mail. Be active in the Round Table!
In the meantime, though, get through the rest of this winter, and may things in your libraries be going well.