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Courtesy consult with related committees

  • 1.  Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 05:44 AM
    Dewey certainly deserves his #timesup moment -- long overdue. Like many others I voted at yesterday's Membership Meeting to rename the medal. I did not want to go on record opposing such an action. But I had two concerns.

    First, a point was raised that the member resolution to change the name of the Dewey award had not been passed by the Awards Committee, confirmed by the chair, even as an info item. This feels like a breach of protocol of longstanding ALA practice.

    Second, while there is no immediate harm in a one-off effort, this action could have been embedded in a comprehensive review of all awards, which would have shifted the focus to ensuring all ALA award names align with our core values, versus a focus on any individual award. ​

    Karen Schneider
    Dean, University Library
    Sonoma State University

  • 2.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 05:59 AM
    I am more than certain I am speaking out of ignorance here. But I do wonder if this is more an issue of the complexity and opacity of our organization from the perspective of many personal members than willful oversight of protocol. 

    I was grateful that Ed Sanchez, Resolutions Committee chair, read from the ALA constitution that membership may bring any issue to the Membership Meeting. 

    Melissa Cardenas-Dow, MLIS, MS

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S8+

  • 3.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 06:23 AM
    I didn’t say it was willful, but it is recommended practice to scan the environment. This is also a way to build goodwill and buy-in. There is a lot of complexity and opacity in ALA but I’m pretty sure the movers were aware ALA has an awards committee.

    I too appreciated Ed’s clarification though that is another topic (and just to be clear, I did not speak to either issue one way or the other).

    Karen G Schneider

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 4.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 07:28 AM
    I don't think that not consulting with the awards committee (full disclosure, I'm the chair this year) was willful at all.  I just think that the process wasn't known.  However, I do believe that since the ALA Awards Committee (and its juries) IS the body that approves ALA awards and gives out these awards, I do think that when this resolution is brought up at Council, I would hope that it will be referred to the Awards Committee for review with the suggestion for change for all the reasons outlined in the resolution.   As I tried to say (speaking very inarticulately as a personal member) yesterday, I hope going forward that every body of ALA to think "long and hard" before naming awards after human beings because of this very thing.  Let our awards represent our contributions.

    Just my two cents on this issue,
    Susan Jennings
    TN Chapter Councilor and Awards Committee Chair

  • 5.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 07:49 AM
    Thanks, Susan. I hope referral is on the table at Council. 

    I said what I said because I've had the experience of not knowing what to do with a resolution I wanted to move and being intimidated by approaching people within the structure. I had also heard that some personal member movers (from other resolutions) had attempted to reach out but got no response. Perhaps the opacity and complexity of the organization are making things difficult at so many levels.

    Melissa Cardenas-Dow, MLIS, MS
    American Library Association, Councilor-At-Large, 2016-2022
    phone: 909-793-2030
    Google Hangout: melissa.cardenasdow
    Twitter: @micdow
    MiscEtcetera blog:

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." -- attributed to Ian Maclaren

  • 6.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 07:54 AM
    Yes!  There HAS to be collaboration on these things and a transparent way to do it!


  • 7.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 08:09 AM
    Hi all:

     Building on what Jennifer said, what about having a way to have a link on the Councilor page to individual profile pages that we self populate.  It could contain our "day job," who we represent, other service with ALA, and our professional passions and interest.


  • 8.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 08:28 AM
    A relatively straightforward option with existing resources could be our ALA Connect Profiles, the Council membership list is found here: 

  • 9.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 08:03 AM
    What about having mentor volunteers to have a "speed mentoring" session with new councilors?  I was thinking about a 30 minute period set aside just for this.

    For what its worth!

  • 10.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 01:09 PM
    It takes me a bit of time to think through  things, please excuse this delayed response. 

    1) changing the name of awards (any award moving forward) - from a public relations standpoint - having some lead time will give time to develop a response or points to share both inside and outside the organization.

    2) if there is a sponsored monetary award, giving the sponsor a heads up.

    Sara Dallas

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  • 11.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 09:21 AM

    First, I'd like to point out that the mover is not on council, and so isn't likely to see a discussion on this forum, though I believe at last part of it has been forwarded to her.  I don't know if Sherre is aware who is on the awards committee, let alone whether she knows how to go about contacting them. For myself, as the councilor of a Round Table of which she's a member, I serve her.  I take orders from her, from the rest of the SRRT Action Council, and from the SRRT membership at large.  

    This is, to my mind, exactly the sort of thing the membership meeting is for: so that when a member, like Sherre Harrington, sees something about the association that they think needs to be changed, they have an opportunity to gather support directly from other members and send a message to us on council that they want us to take action.  We shouldn't be trying to shoehorn council expectations into the membership meeting. That process is complex enough for those of us on council: we shouldn't expect members to learn them on the fly when they have an idea they want to present to their fellow members. I don't think we should expect the members at the membership meeting to know all the things council members do, and I wouldn't presume to tell Sherre or any member that they have to adhere to any council process that isn't also required for the membership meeting, let alone unwritten council 'norms.' To my knowledge the membership meeting is not binding. The Dewey Award still exists until we take steps to change that.  For such a low-stakes meeting the barriers should be lower, shouldn't they?

    Tara Brady
    Teen Librarian
    Queens Public Library

  • 12.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 09:32 AM
    I wholeheartedly agree with what Tara says here. We don't need to add more obstacles to members bringing resolutions to ALA leadership, especially not unspoken rules, when the process and policies are confusing and opaque enough. Part of our job on Council is to take what membership refers to us, work through the particulars, and refer or consult with necessary organizational units as necessary. Let's do that work and make the process for member engagement as easy and barrier-free as possible.

    April Hathcock
    Director of Scholarly Communications and Information Policy
    New York University Libraries

  • 13.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 09:35 AM


  • 14.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 09:53 AM



    Because of the below conversations on the SRRT listserv, the four resolutions introduced at the membership meeting yesterday seem to have been developed by the Social Responsibilities Roundtable. I hope this clarifies why I and others asked questions about collaborating with, or at least informing those units that the resolutions will be introduced. I'm curious as to why the movers chose this route when the roundtable has a Councilor. I believe that we make better policy when we talk to each other about possible intended and unintended consequences.


    Here are excerpts from the SRRT Listserv that informed my stance:


    "Here is a resolution that we will bring to the SRRT Action Council and the ALA Membership Meeting on Saturday, June 22, 4:30-5:30 pm in the Washington Convention Center in DC during the ALA Annual Conference. If you are going to the conference, PLEASE come to the ALA Membership Meeting to vote on this resolution and 3 other SRRT resolutions. If we get enough SRRT members to this meeting, we can definitely pass the resolution, which then automatically goes to the ALA Council agenda. Unfortunately, we have not been able to get enough SRRT members to this meeting in recent years to make a difference. We are not talking about a lot of folks. If we could get 50 more of us to the meeting, we could do this. So again, if you are going to DC, please please go to the ALA Membership Meeting and vote."




    "I'm writing to let you know of an opportunity to pass an important resolution within the American Library Association (ALA). The Social Responsibilities Round Table, along with others, plans to introduce a resolution to ask ALA to oppose anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) legislation.  The resolution will be brought first to the ALA Membership Meeting, which will be held Saturday, June 22, 4:30-5:30, Convention Center, Ballroom A. I am hoping to count on your presence and support. However, if you are unable to attend please spread the word and let folks know how they can vote for it. After passing the membership meeting, the resolution will be sent to the council for a vote. Once approved by a council vote, then we can mandate that all members of Congress get a copy of the resolution. I've attached the draft of the resolution below."  












    Ann Dutton Ewbank, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Director of Accreditation and Operations

    Director, School Library Media Certificate

    Department of Education

    College of Education, Health and Human Development

    Montana State University


  • 15.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 09:34 AM
    Hi Tara:

      Thank you for reminding us that the mover is a member and not a Councilor!  As it is the process of Membership Meeting to move member resolutions that are passed to move on to Council for our consideration and voting, the process is complete.  I appreciate the time that she took to draft and present this resolution!

    Susan J

  • 16.  RE: Courtesy consult with related committees

    Posted Jun 23, 2019 11:16 PM
    Edited by Tara Brady Jun 26, 2019 03:39 PM
    First, I'd like to thank April and Susan for their comments.  

    Regarding the question of why the movers chose this route, again, the membership meeting is a venue for ALA members to seek the support of their fellow members.  So our intended consequence was to gain the support of members at the membership meeting before relaying the resolution to council.  They could have sought the support of SRRT alone, but that was by no means required.  In particular I think that the discussion around the Dewey resolution at the membership meeting was fantastic and I'm glad it happened.  I wouldn't presume to take over a member's resolution just because they were a member of SRRT and had brought it to the SRRT action council, any more than I would expect any other body who might be consulted on any member or council resolution to do the same.  

    This brings me to a second point. I stand by my position that no membership meeting resolutions are required to adhere to any rules but the ones that govern the membership meeting, let alone any council norms (which is another way of saying 'things that a lot of people who have been around for a while like to do and expect others to do and that others, especially newer faces, might not see the need for.')  However, I do want to note that Sherre Harrington actually did attempt to reach out to the awards committee.  Whether it was because she found outdated contact information, her message was missed, or for some other reason, she wasn't able to connect with that committee.  Tom Twiss reported a similar experience in trying to reach out to APALA and IFC.  Both movers reported independently that they didn't mention this when asked because A) 'trying to reach out to' is not the same as 'working with,' and B) they didn't want to seem to be blaming anyone for the lack of connection or implying that they were simply ignored.  Again, I maintain that it was by no means incumbent on them to take this step for a membership resolution, but take it they did.

    Tara Brady
    Teen Librarian
    Queens Public Library