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Committee Update report filed for ALA Midwinter Meeting

Below is the committee update report provided to ALA's Governance Office for posting on (http://www.ala.org/aboutala/2017-midwinter-meeting-committee-information...). 

Committee on Diversity (COD) Midwinter Conference Report
2017 Midwinter Conference
Atlanta, GA

Submitted by Miriam C. Nauenburg, Chair 2016-2017

Committee members: Chair Miriam Nauenburg, Jason Monroe Broughton, Holly Clark Carroll, Martin L. Garnar, Ms. Amiya P. Hutson, Laura Lanning, Satia Marshall Orange, Karen Patricia Quash, Gloria L. Rhodes, Jose Miguel Ruiz, Jesse Bernard Sanders, III, Yvonne C. Stephenson, Fantasia A. Thorne-Ortiz, Ngoc-Yen Tran, Tinamarie Vella, Rebecca J. Kemp (Intern), Tiana Trutna (Intern), Jody Gray (Primary Staff Liaison)


  • August 2016 conference call: Final Report of the TF-EDI; Diversity MIG renewal planning; collaborative opportunity with IFC; Resolution on Transgender Health Access
  • September 2016 conference call: Gun Violence Working Group "Resolution on Gun Violence"; EDI-IWG update; Diversity MIG next steps; Annual program discussion; Intersections Blog from ODLOS
    • Gun Violence resolution: COD provided feedback on the Gun Violence Resolution Working Group's draft "Resolution on Gun Violence". This product will be presented for consideration to the Committees on Intellectual Freedom and Legislation for further discussion before being transmitted to Council for possible action at Midwinter 2017.
    • Collaboration with Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC): The COD appointed two volunteers (Martin Garnar and Jesse Sanders) to assist the IFC with drafting a Library Bill of Rights on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Libraries.
    • Diversity MIG: thanks to the efforts of COD interns Tiana Trutna and Rebecca Kemp, the Diversity MIG renewal petition was successful. Next steps: Rebecca Kemp and Miriam Nauenburg will present the MIG for renewal at the Midwinter meeting of the Committee on Organization.

Planned Activities:

  • COD plans to present a program on our Diversity MIG (survey and discussion) at Annual 2017.

Issues that affect the committee's work and their implications for the future:

  • Final Report of the TF-EDI: how much work can be absorbed by existing staff and groups? Some of the recommendations are already in place in the organization.
  • We are hopeful that the Diversity MIG's petition for renewal will be approved by COO. One of the goals of the Diversity MIG is to provide a base for deepening our discussion and collective understanding of diversity and inclusion issues across our professional organizations.

Interactions with other units within ALA:

  • Diversity Councilors Caucus: COD chair Miriam Nauenburg and new staff liaison Gwendolyn Prellwitz will meet with Diversity Councilors at Midwinter. The COD is interested in exploring opportunities for new Diversity Councilors to engage with the COD and is especially interested in hearing from more experienced Councilors in this area.
  • Collaboration with Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC): The COD appointed two volunteers to assist the IFC with drafting a Library Bill of Rights on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Libraries.
  • TF-EDI recommendations: the EDI-IWP report was accepted, and the EB will be working with staff and various groups (including the working group) to move forward, using the recommendations as a guide. COD is considering priorities in this area, whether we should create working groups to address our pieces of the report, etc.

Relationship of the committee's work to the ALA strategic plan:

New strategic direction of EDI: President-Elect Jim Neal has moved to amend the ALA Strategic Plan with the addition of a fourth strategic direction: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

  • COD has provided feedback both under its own name and in its capacity as an advisory group to ODLOS. Concerns from the committee include the possibility of increasing funding for other members (not just Spectrum Scholars),
  • Moving forward COD will consider whether to revise its charge in light of the new EDI strategic direction.

Current level of committee members' involvement:

The group is active in attending committee meetings and providing feedback as requested.

Committee self-check on its value and viability:

  • COD would like the Diversity Councilors to have a voice in the committee. Our meeting with the Diversity Councilors at Midwinter is a first step in this direction. A question for us to consider is, how are we going to work over the next six months to have a strong relationship with Council as a Council Committee. 
  • COD's two subcommittees – the Spectrum Advisory Subcommittee and the Diversity Research Grant Advisory Subcommittee will now report to the ODLOS Advisory Committee, as these committees are programmatic in nature and benefit from information sharing with the groups represented on the ODLOS Advisory Committee.

Other issues: None at this time.