ALA Conference Committee Committee
The following statement has been posted to the ALA Council list:
Statement on the call for a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels
In the past week, a number of posts on the ALA Council list have pointed to a call for a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels. Information is available on the National Labor Relations Board website, as well as the UNITE HERE and Hyatt websites.
ALA, like other associations, cannot engage in practices which would be viewed by the law as “restraint of trade.” ALA cannot encourage a boycott of a specific vendor, product or service. This does not mean that there cannot be discussion of a specific product, service or vendor at ALA meetings or in ALA publications, including discussion lists. But, as relates to antitrust considerations, such discussion may not seek to fix prices, regulate the availability of services or products, encourage unfair practices, encourage non-competition, or encourage boycotts. ALA members must refrain from using ALA resources, including discussion lists, for these purposes.
Antitrust law applies to both commercial and nonprofit organizations. ALA’s tax status is not relevant to this issue. Unions are exempt from most antitrust provisions, recognizing the specific purpose for which they are organized.
ALA provides a wide range of hotels for members at its conferences and recognizes that individuals selecting hotels will make different choices, for many reasons. ALA does have Hyatt contracts in both Seattle (Midwinter 2013) and Chicago (Annual 2013). The conference center at the Hyatt McCormick Place is an integral part of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference campus. ALA will, as it has previously, be sure that Hyatt is aware that some ALA members may choose not to stay at a Hyatt property and will share specific concerns expressed by its members.
If members of the ALA Conference Committee (or other readers of this post) have further questions or concerns, they may be posted here. You may also contact me (email@example.com or 312-280-2518).
Dear Conference Committee:
I have attached the agenda for our meeting in Anaheim. We will meet on Saturday, June 23 from 1:30-3:30 in the Hilton Anaheim / Salinas. If you haven't already done so, please read the revised document "Annual Conference 2013: ChangeRoadmap" that Mary sent out on June 5th. If you have thoughts or responses to add, please do so since that will advance our discussion in preparation for our meeting. I am hoping that Scott and Mary will again (for one final time) team up to do our "Meeting Notes." They have been so valuable in keeping the threads going in what has been a very busy and productive time for this committee. It will help our new chair, Rose Dawson to have these in hand as she charts the future course. Let me know if you would like to add something to the agenda.
I look forward to seeing you in California!
Please excuse me if I'm drowning you in information. This helps me process and work through the details. I also need your feedback.
The attached document, as well as the one previously posted, was background for a discussion this morning with staff from ALA Divisions and Offices. It adds some specifics to the general concepts and directions layed out in the initial background paper. As you look at it, you might notice several things:
(1) We are trying to analyze and pull together various types of content. Ultimately, with a few exceptions all of these things will just be "content" to attendees -- but we may have gotten to individual pieces by different paths, may manage each differently, may slot/place each according to different requirements. This was primarily an internal exercise, but....
(a) In looking at 2012 program content, a cluster of recurring "updates" stood out. We are proposing to pull updates -- samples, both current and potential, are listed on the attached document -- into a discrete content stream. This will facilitate scheduling, coordination and marketing.
(b) The "shorts" (IGNITE! and similar formats) and "conversation starters" were added/modified this year (2012). They are solicited in an open call. There is an open voting period, followed by a second round of voting (based on the first) by the ALA Conference Committee. In Anaheim, both series of meetings are using the same space -- at different times. The space -- unusually for ALA -- will be set in rounds, not theater rows, to encourage discussion.
(c) Meal events and book/media award events often get lumped with programs, but are handled quite differently. They often have very unique requirements. They are listed on this document -- but we are aware of them and will work with the sponsoring groups.
(2) In 2012 we grabbed the "content buckets" related to Transforming Libraries. These intially came from discussion with member leaders about what they meant when they talked about the ongoing, significant transformation in libraries. Discussion then focused on areas in which transformation was occurring -- space, collections, services, etc. The "content buckets" -- my not-so-elegant term, but you may have a better one -- are listed on page 2 of this document.
In today's discussion, the following modications were suggested to the list to improve their effectiveness as broad areas for conference programming:
(a) Add one new content area: Transforming Libraries: Systems and Technology
(b) Merge two existing content areas: Space: Physical and Virtual
Those changes seem reasonable to me. If you have recommendations or comments, let me know.
(3) A rough process for program submission is outlined on pages 2-3 of this document. There was general support for this process. Based on extensive discussion this morning, the following additional points were made:
(a) Programs will be submitted with one content bucket selected, one or more subject heading selected, and without a firm day/time selection. Program submissions will include "must not conflict with...." information. Conference Services will slot programs -- across 5 program slots/day, SA-M -- in November, and confirm with Division or Office/RT liaison. The purpose of this shift is to reduce the number of content conflicts that members/attendees must handle.
(b) Divisions will continue to slot discussion/interest groups -- evenly across 5 programs slots, SA-M. Discussion/interest group submissions will include one or more subject heading. Requiring subject headings will allow us to begin to link programs and potentially associated discussion/interest groups and recommend discussion/interest groups to attendees, based on profiles in ALA Connect.
(c) Meetings present some unique scheduling challenges. For FY13, meetings need to be spread evenly over 5 program periods, SA-M. There was also some initial discussion around possible alternative scheduling approaches: e.g., setting aside the 4:30-5:30 slot for meetings. As we begin to both pull in the "campus" and push out more impact information, we will need to have further discussion on this. There was also some discussion of the purposes for which groups need to come together at Annual.
One more internal meeting -- with staff liaisons to the various ALA Round Tables -- is being set up this month. Between that meeting and 2012 Annual, we will pull together a single document incorporating pieces from both of the internal documents I am sharing with you, so that staff have something they can share with members for discussion at Annual.
Please share your thoughts -- comments, worries, recommendations,...... (Those who are reading these posts but who are not members of the ALA Conference Committee, your comments, worries, recommendations.... are also invited. That's why these documents are posted as public documents. Your comments will be helpful to me and helpful to the committee.)
Thank you all for your help -- and for your patience with long documents and posts.
As you know, over the past few years there have been a number of significant changes affecting ALA conferences -- some affecting Midwinter, some Annual and some both. We have reached a point where the basic processes which enable us to pull together a large, very complex event need to be fundamentally revisited. The attached document was developed as a background document for internal use -- with executive directors of ALA divisions, with directors of ALA offices, with liaisons to ALA round tables and other groups.
After discussion with Steve Matthews, chair of the ALA Conference Committee, I am sharing this with you. (1) We believe it will provide necessary background for discussion when we meet in Anaheim. (2) We need your creative thinking on these issues as we plan for future conferences.
Internally, we are in the middle of the meetings noted above; it is likely that I will have at least one additional document for you prior to Annual 2012. We are also beginning the process of defining requirements for a new conference technology package, e.g. proposal/abstract process, meeting management, reports. The attached document relates primarily, though not exclusively, to Annual, and primarily to programs and related discussion/interest group sessions.
We will be discussing some of these changes, and others, when we meet in June. Chair Steve Matthews is working on the agenda, which you should receive in the next week or so.
Thanks. See you soon.
The announcement for the ALA Virtual Conference is going out on at the beginning of next week and registration for Virtual will open. Just to remind you where we are:
- ALA Virtual Conference (July 18-19) is a 3rd conference, still in its growth stage. It is not a shrunk down version of ALA Annual. We've tried to keep the overall focus on "mapping library transformation" -- where are we going, what might it look like, how do we get there.
- In general, ALA Virtual Conference Content is unique to that event. We're still waiting on a couple of confirmations, but here's what I can tell you about this year's VC content at this point:
> George Needham and Joan Frye Williams will open day 2 of the VC, talking about libraries after print.
> Stephen Abram will close the VC.
> Marie Ostergard from the Urban Mediaspace in Aarhus (Denmark) will do a session on the library as an innovation space.
> James LaRue (Douglas County Libraries, CO) will talk about the innovative e-book work there.
> Emily Dowdall (Pew Research) will talk about the Foundation's study of the Philadelphia Free Library and the library's role in an urban community.
> There are several contributed sessions, selected by the ALA Conference Committee:
- Lisa Hickman on publishers partnering with libraries.
- Marlene Harris on e-readers.
- Peter Murray on open source software.
- Terry Ballard on using Google products to enhance the library mission and branding.
- Steven Bell on designing for the user experience.
> During the "author lunches," Booklist's Brad Hooper will interview Katherine Boo and Donna Seaman will interview Anne Tyler.
I'll have another update as the final confirmations come in.
Thanks for all your help and guidance.