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David Vess's picture

2013 Midwinter GLBTRT Representative and Liaison Reports

These reports will be moved to a GLBTRT Representative/Liaison space in ALA Connect soon.

Table of Contents - GLBTRT Representatives/Liaisons to:

  • Budget Analysis and Review Committee [none to submit]
  • Diversity Council
  • Freedom to Read Foundation
  • Legislation Assembly (Forthcoming)
  • New Member Round Table 
  • Office for Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory Committee [none to submit, no meeting]
  • Round Table Coordinating Assembly
  • Social Responsibilities Round Table


GLBTRT Representative to Budget Analysis and Review Committee - Report

[No report to submit.]


GLBTRT Representative to Diversity Council - Report

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: GLBTRT Board Form
Date: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 5:33 PM
Subject: Form submission from: GLBTRT Board Contact Form
Submitted on Mon, 02/25/2013 - 16:33
Last Name: Banasek
First Name: Megan
Email Address: megan.banasek@pacificu.edu
Comment or Question:
Report from Megan Banasek, representative to ALA Diversity Council

I attended the combined Diversity Council / Committee on Diversity meeting at ALA Midwinter 2013.   The bulk of the meeting was a round-robin discussion of what brought each of us personally to Diversity Council or the Committee on Diversity as well as what our individual goals were for increasing diversity awareness within ALA.  I spoke about the need for greater awareness of GLBT issues and increasing GLBT member visibility within ALA as well as the need to create safe spaces for GLBT members of the communities that we serve.

After the meeting, I spoke with the Chair of the Committee on Diversity as well as other committee members about creating a Safe Spaces training at Annual 2014, with an eye to creating an annual training if the first goes well.  The idea was well-received and I will be working with GLBT RT as well as members of Diversity Council and the Committee on Diversity to create this proposal over the next year.

There have not yet been any minutes or reports released from the Committee on Diversity or from Diversity Council.



GLBTRT Representative to Freedom to Read Foundation - Report

2012–2013 Board of Trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Midwinter Meeting,Friday, January 25, 2013, Seattle, Washington

In the first part of the FTRF board meeting Theresa Chmara covers litigation.  This year was not as busy as some with only two new cases, both involved libraries and both have been settled. 

New normal - A.W. et al v. Davis School District, Utah: The Davis County School District decided to remove all copies of the childrens picture book In My Mothers' House from the districts library open shelves, placing the book behind a counter and requiring written parental permission for a student to see it.  A parent had complained that the book normalizes a lifestyle we dont agree with.”  The original reconsideration committee found that the book should be retained in the library, but the district claimed that the book constituted advocacy of homosexuality,in violation of Utahs sex-ed laws. The lawsuit sought to return the book to school library shelves without restriction and to prohibit the school district from restricting access to books in the library on the grounds that the books contain homosexual themesor advocacy of homosexuality. On Jan. 31, the ACLU stated,  “Davis School District in Utah has agreed to never again remove a children’s book about a family with same-sex parents from its library shelves based solely on its content.”  FTRF was not a party to this lawsuit, but the ACLU gave FTRF credit: “We received invaluable assistance from the Freedom to Read Foundation, which helped provide resources for challenging the restriction and identifying expert witnesses who could testify about how In Our Mothers' House was well within the mainstream of children’s literature and that the school’s decision to restrict access to the book violated bedrock principles of school library science.”

Public Forum - Prigmore v. City of Redding: The Redding (CA) Public Library's “Outdoor Public Forum Policy” regulated the distribution of leaflets at the library’s entrance and in its parking lot.  The policy limited leafleting to a designated free speech area, prohibited soliciting donations, leafleting of cars, and coarse language and gestures. The library board claimed that the library’s grounds were a limited public forum where viewpoint-neutral rules could regulate the time, place, and manner of speech activities. Individuals and organizations from the ACLU to the Tea Party filed suit on First Amendment grounds.  On December 13, 2012, the California Court of Appeals overturned most of the provisions of the library policy, because it held that the library’s outdoor spaces were a traditional public forum, rather than a limited public forum as the library claimed. The court ruled that the library’s policy was neither narrowly tailored nor justified by a “compelling government interest.”  Chmara cautioned that other libraries should not assume that the facts in this case would necessarily apply to their own policies.  FTRF was not a party to this lawsuit.  Note: when constitutional rights are affected by a case, courts apply strict scrutiny and certain phrases often appear, such as compelling government interest, least restrictive, and narrowly tailored.

One older case came to an end.   

Pretending to be a hero - United States v. Alvarez: The Stolen Valor Act made it a federal crime to lie about having received military honors. Alvarez was charged with violating the Act after he falsely told the audience at a meeting that he had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The district court rejected Alvarez’ First Amendment argument but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his conviction.  Then the U.S. Government took the case to the Supreme Court. FTRF joined several other members of the Media Coalition on an amicus curiae [friendly advice to the court] brief urging the Court to overturn the Stolen Valor Act on First Amendment grounds. Last summer, the Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that the Stolen Valor Act violates the First Amendment.  The opinion by Justice Kennedy is eloquent.  Please note that other laws would address a person who profits from false claims of military honors. 

Making crime pay - People of the State of Michigan v. Kwame Kilpatrick: “Son of Sam” laws have been enacted in many states to keep criminals from making money by writing about their crimes but the Supreme Court has struck down some as First Amendment infringements.  Michigan has such a law and hopes to apply it to the proceeds from the sale of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s book Surrender: The Rise, Fall & Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick.  The trial court rejected Kilpatrick’s First Amendment arguments because Kilpatrick agreed to pay restitution when he pleaded guilty. The Michigan Court of Appeals then refused to review the trial court’s ruling.  The Michigan Supreme Court sent the case back to the Court of Appeals requiring that court to review Kilpatrick’s First Amendment claims. FTRF joined four other organizations on an amicus brief that argued that the Michigan Son of Sam law is a content-based speech restriction that violates the First Amendment.  The Court of Appeals  resolved the controversy on grounds other than the First Amendment and the case has been sent back to the trial court. 

Filtering faiths - Anaka Hunter v. City of Salem, MO, Board of Trustees, Salem Public Library, and Glenda Wofford, individually and as Director of the Salem Public Library: The ACLU of Eastern Missouri, representing Hunter, charged the Salem Public Library and its board of trustees with unconstitutionally blocking access to websites discussing minority religions by using filtering software that classifies the sites as “occult” or “criminal.” Hunter, a resident of Salem, alleges that the Salem Public Library director refused to unblock portions of websites discussing astrology and the Wiccan religion. The plaintiff further alleges that the library director informed the plaintiff that the director was required to report to the police any person who accessed such sites. On April 11, the court ruled that the City of Salem was not responsible for the decisions made by the library board and the library director. The case continues against the library board and library director. A trial is scheduled for June 24, 2013.  FTRF is not currently involved in this lawsuit. 

Not exactly a case - Some time ago, FTRF joined with individuals, other free speech organizations, and broadcast corporations to file a petition urging the FCC to reverse its new rules that impose harsh punishment on broadcast communications when individuals are surprised and utter one of the seven dirty words.  The FCC not only made harsh rules, but it imposed some fines retroactively.  This led to a lawsuit, Fox Television Stations, et al. v. FCC, but FTRF was not a party to it.  The Fox case yoyoed its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court twice and the second time the Supreme Court threw out the fines because the FCC failed to give the broadcasters “fair notice” that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent. Because the Court resolved the lawsuit on Due Process grounds, it declined to rule on the constitutionality of the FCC’s indecency regulations.  However any future fleeting misbehavior has now had fair notice. 

Developing Issues Committee Report: Trends that may lead to cases in the future. 

  • AASL's research on how CIPA is being applied in schools and how broadly schools are filtering.  Over-filtering is interfering with students' education, and particularly affecting students who are part of marginalized groups.
  • Michigan ACLU's lawsuit against Highland Park asserting a student's right to read means access to an open and staffed school library
  • School administration attempts to control off-campus student expression, especially via social media
  • Use of public records about individuals by news media, such as the Westchester Journal News publishing the addresses of gun owners.  How the Internet has affected public records and FOIA.  No more “security through obscurity.”
  • The UK request for confidential archives of interviews with IRA members from the Belfast Project. 
  • Ebooks and the “first sale doctrine” of copyright.  Legislation may be more effective than the courts, though we cannot be sure that legislation would favor access.
  • 3-D printing, maker spaces in libraries

Legislation: The big question is whether Congress will go after violence in entertainment media to avoid dealing with more controversial issues of gun regulation and mental health care.  OIF is preparing for this to become a hot button.  Other potential federal legislation addresses government leaks, net neutrality, privacy issues raised by new technology, or undermines privacy in the name of security.  Privacy is also the subject of many state bills, but many are not making it into law. 

Other items: John Chrastka has been working with FTRF on ways to recruit members.  FTRF now has a new website with lots of information. 

The Conable Scholarship continues to fund an individual's attendance at ALA Annual.  The Krug Fund is making Banned Books Week Grants.  This year one library came up with banned book trading cards. 

After consulting with ALISE, OIF hopes to create video clips and offer them to library school professors.

Jamaica Kincaid headlined FTRF’s Midwinter author event.  FTRF's next board meeting will be Thursday June 27, in Chicago.  Long-time donor Carolyn Forsman passed away. 

FTRF's Report to Council is available online.

Respectfully submitted,
Carolyn Caywood, liaison to FTRF from GLBTRT 



GLBTRT Representative to Legislation Assembly - Report

[Report is Forthcoming]


GLBTRT Liaison to New Members Round Table - Report

Submitted on Mon, 02/11/2013 - 15:07
Submitted by user:Submitted values are:
Last Name: Hylton
First Name: Kristen
Email Address: kris10hylton@gmail.com
Comment or Question:Report from Kristen Hylton, Liaison to the New Members Round Table (NMRT)

Activities: My activities as Liaison to the NMRT at this past Midwinter Meeting in Seattle included acting as the GLBTRT representative at the NMRT Conference Orientation event and encouraging new members to learn more about the GLBTRT.  During this event I was approached by several excited new members who communicated their desire to be a part of the GLBTRT, and spoke with otherswho had an interest in our organization.  I spoke with them about what the GLBTRT does, let them know how they could join, and encouraged them to attend GLBTRT activities at Midwinter.  I think the presence of a GLBTRT member at the Conference Orientation is important, as it communicates to new members that we are approachable, welcoming, and actively seeking new member participation.  It also increases our visibility to new members who are attending conference.  It was very worthwhile!

I have also been sharing GLBTRT activities and events with the NMRT membership through the mailing lists, and will continue to do so.


  • To keep communications between the GLBTRT and NMRT open and active.
  • To increase the visibility of the GLBTRT to members of the NMRT.


In order to keep communications open and active and to increase the visibility of the GLBTRT to the NMRT membership, I will continue to share the activities and events of the GLBTRT with members of the NMRT, and vice versa, through our respective mailing lists.

I also anticipate communicating with the NMRT Orientation Committee toarrange for a representative at the ALA Annual NMRT Conference Orientation event in Chicago.

I am open to suggestions, and would love to hear from you if you have any thoughts or ideas!

Kristen Hylton 
GLBT Round Table Liaison to New Members Round Table


GLBTRT Representative to Office for Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory Committee - Report

[No report to submit, meeting not held.]



GLBTRT Representative to Round Table Coordinating Assembly - Report

The meeting is well covered in the RTCA meeting notes linked below but here are some highlights:

  • Round table chairs will soon be called upon to share nominations for a new Round Table representative to the ALA Conference Committee.  That person is also the Chair/Convener of the RTCA.  More about this is in the meeting notes linked below.  There is a separate document with a job description: http://connect.ala.org/node/199899
  • The “Going Virtual” webinar and beyond…  workshop was deemed a success.  Other webinars are coming after the election.  There will be three tracts: ALA 101 for RTs; RT Conference Issues; Running Successful Meetings.  More about this, including links to the recordings and handouts, are in the meeting notes linked below. 

Link to RTCA Meeting Noteshttp://connect.ala.org/node/200651

David S. Vess, GLBTRT Chair, Ex officio GLBTRT Representative to RTCA



GLBTRT Representative to Social Responsibilities Round Table - Report

[Position currently Vacant - email david.vess@gmail.com to volunteer.]