ALA Council

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  • 1.  Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 25, 2022 05:38 PM
      |   view attached
    Hot off the press!  So to speak. 

    Again, any inaccuracies are my own.


    Rhonda Gould
    North Shore Library
    Glendale, Wisconsin


    Council Forum 062522.docx   11 KB 1 version

  • 2.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 25, 2022 06:53 PM
    Hello! I was ill-prepared for a fully virtual forum and missed a question about a comment I made in council today while I scrambled to get set up.  I was referring to the policy currently described in our policy manual which says that all ALA members are explicitly permitted access to the membership meeting and all council sessions with a badge for that day's conference OR their membership card:

    A.7.4.5 Registration at Conferences and Midwinter Meetings (Old Number 7.4.5)

    ALA members may attend general membership and council meetings, whenever and wherever held, by showing either a conference badge for the day of the meeting or a current membership card. Registration badges shall be shown for admission to all other meetings.

    Registration at Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings is required of all those attending all other meetings of the Association, its units, committees, etc., except as specifically waived by action of the Executive Board.

    Tara Brady
    Teen Librarian
    Queens Public Library

  • 3.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 26, 2022 10:16 PM
    Thanks for these notes Rhonda, and thanks for the policy citation Tara.

    I can only share what I was told by ALA Governance which is "if you are not registered for the ALA Annual Conference (either in person or digital experience), you cannot participate in the AC Council sessions." and this is despite what President Wong said in April which is "we will honor ALA Policy (A.7.4.5) regarding registration and ALA Conference meetings and Councilor expectations." I think CD#5.2 is an attempt to clarify this position but also adds a (paid) registration requirement for Membership and Council meetings which wasn't there previously.

    As a person who planned to attend from home, I'm not sure if there is a difference between participation and attendance, but after attempting to get clarification on these points beginning in April, again in late April, and again in June, I decided to see what would happen if I did not register. Like many Councilors who were planning on attending only the Council meetings at Annual, the Digital Experience price tag seemed steep. I was able to receive Zoom links for the Council meetings but I was not given voting credentials despite asking for them. I know I am not the only Councilor who sat this one out because of what they felt were unpalatable options.

    I respect that ALA has economic considerations, and that "We are ALA." I think we also have to appreciate that sometimes equity considerations and organizational income considerations are going to conflict. It's messy. I do not object to paying for my ALA membership and conference attendance, but I would like to see some equitable pricing for meetings and, as long as we are having hybrid meetings, I would like to see Membership and Council meetings fully accessible for in-person and online attendees.

    Jessamyn West
    Chapter Councilor - Vermont

  • 4.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 27, 2022 07:52 AM
    Thank you for summarizing my own feelings about this, Jessamyn. My chapter does not provide funding for the Chapter Councilor, and I'm lucky that my institution has foundation funds that allow me to pay the costs associated with being a Councilor. I do think making Councilors who want to attend meetings at conferences virtually, and not attend any other part of the virtual experience, could create undue burden for some -- both current Councilors and those who might be interested but can't afford the costs.

    As we move forward defining the roles and responsibilities of Council, I ask us to be mindful of the costs associated with being a Councilor and try to make involvement financially possible for all.

    Jayne Blodgett
    Colorado Chapter Councilor

  • 5.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 27, 2022 08:53 AM
    I concur, and I would actually like to see a possible abbreviated cost.  I have no qualms about paying SOMETHING, but $250 was steep in my mind (even for the conference itself, but especially for those of us who will likely just attend meetings).  I do think it is problematic to have a fee for ALA members who want to attend just the meetings, but, based on Jessamyn's experiment (I think that's in this thread somewhere), maybe members ARE able to view the meetings.  Though I'm not sure most would be able to figure out having to register through the scheduler without a lot of time and effort.  Just my thoughts.

    Sonnet Ireland
    Library Director

  • 6.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 27, 2022 09:04 AM
    As a side note, I had to pay $175 for virtual with a discount since I was only attending council meetings. I found that very steep.

    Kari R. Mitchell, MLIS

    Sent from my iPhone
    Please excuse any typos

  • 7.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 27, 2022 09:31 AM
    BTW, I would have asked all my questions at Forum last night.  But no more Forum, sigh.��

  • 8.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 28, 2022 09:36 AM
    Usually there is a discount for lifetime members, but I was told that wasn't the case this time.  Even then, it's still steep, I agree.

    Sonnet Ireland
    Library Director

  • 9.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 27, 2022 09:45 AM
    Hey All,

    One of the many things I appreciate about the Public Library Association is its dedication to operationalizing and embedding equity in its work. To that end, it created a subsidized seat for small and rural libraries on the Board.

    The council could consider a sliding scale model, provide scholarships, or allocate subsidized seats, to encourage broad participation from members who might not otherwise be able to participate. 

    I believe the council benefits from a range of voices, and there are specific, actionable ways we can make that happen.

    All the best,
    Erica Freudenberger
    Councilor-at-Large (rotating off Council)

    [Erica] [Freudenberger]
    [Outreach & Engagement Consultant]
    [Southern Adirondack Library System]
    [She, Her, Hers]

  • 10.  RE: Saturday evening forum notes

    Posted Jun 26, 2022 07:39 AM
    Thank you so much for these notes, Rhonda!

    I really appreciate Aaron's comments as Rhonda related them: "I'm hoping C&B will come out with actionable looks at options for both directions - listing out how pieces might look a little different or a lot different.  There'll need to be COO & C&B collaborations, too - hopefully each group will incorporate ideas from each other in the late summer / early fall." You've all heard me say in meetings that I am an optimist, and that we have an opportunity to be really creative in how we restructure our governance. Even with council retaining  policy-making authority, there will still be ways we can improve and streamline our work. I'm looking forward to seeing what C&B comes up with, and helping with that work. I'm hoping that once we see some more concrete concepts of how this could be structured it will reassure folks on both sides that we are all working towards what's best for our organization and our profession.

    Nicholas Tepe
    Ohio Chapter Councilor

    Athens County Public Libraries