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Lindsay Bosch (staff)'s picture

March 25 – March 31 pre-vote discussion: Creation of Committee on Professional Values

Dear Board members,

The Board Working Group was appointed at the ALA Midwinter 2013 meeting to draft a charge for a proposed new committee that would address the issues of Intellectual Freedom and Ethics.  This discussion was based on the report of the Structure of Core Organization Values Task Force.  The attached Board action form details the actions the Working Group recommends.


The discussion period will be this week and the voting period next.


Please post your comments/questions in ALA Connect.




Loretta Parham's picture

The document reads well, but I wonder if it should somehow speak to the concern of the board that the committee not get weighted down in trying to plan/deliver programs.  I want to recall that the committee is more advocacy and communication.

I also want to raise the question/possibility of having two liaisons that can tag-team across both IF and Ethics rather than one liaison dedicated to one area.  Finally, is there a need to indicate that the liaisons can serve a long long time? 


Loretta Parham

CEO & Director, Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library

Joyce Ogburn's picture

To offer a point of information, the two current liaisons have appointments through June 2013.  I don't know where Trevor is in the appointment process and whether we could make a change at this time. Over time we might find that we need to develop other liaison positions as new or different issues arise - these are the two we have at the moment. I don't know how might fit with the idea of a tag team. Hmm.

We tried to craft the language of the charge so that the expectation to plan programs was no longer there while still expressing that the board had an expectation of making sure our members and others were well informed. Do you have any suggestions for alternate language? We can also reinforce this  change in emphasis through the board liaison relationship and when the committee does its work plans.


ACRL President 2011-12

Maggie Farrell's picture

The liaisons are required (or strongly encouraged - I don't have the ALA language) by the ALA Committees. My sense is that the ALA Committee work and meeting schedule is such that it is likely difficult to have one person serve both ALA Committees.

Maggie Farrell
Dean of Libraries
University of Nevada Las Vegas
Steven Bell's picture

Many thanks to the Board Working Group for putting together a solid charge for this merged committee. I think it does make clear what the Board's expectations are. I think we all share Loretta's concern that the Committee does not get bogged down in program planning - though they are as welcome as any other group to propose them - and I think it's clear in the charge that the Committee members have high level responsibilities and that planning programs is not foremost among them.

I recognize that there is a symbolic attachment to the two existing committees, but I do believe the proposed name is on the long side [ Committee on Intellectual Freedom, Ethics, and Professional Values ]. My preference would be for Committee on Professional Values - and it can encompass IF, Ethics and other value related issues as they arise. To my way of thinking, having a new name goes well with having a new structure and charge - and signals we are setting a new path for the contributions this Committee can make.



Steven Bell Associate University Librarian Temple University bells@temple.edu http://stevenbell.info