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The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians.

The IFRT Members Community group is the central hub for discussion, library and events. It is visible to all ALA members but only IFRT members can participate in the conversation.

  • 1.  IFRT Councilor's Report from Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session

    Posted Jan 23, 2021 12:39 PM

    Hi folks.  If at all possible, I'll be posting my reports from Council meetings directly after the end of the meeting.  I will collect and post all of these reports as a single document at the end of the conference. Here's the report from today's Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session:

    This session does not have any action items, but is an opportunity for ALA officers and staff to share reports. The meeting started with reports from ALA President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. and ALA President-Elect Patty Wong. There was a question about ALA's advocacy on behalf of front-line library workers being considered essential workers and getting higher priority for COVID-19 vaccination. It was noted that it is really a local issue, but that individual libraries are taking action to advocate on behalf of their workers and that ALA has some resources related to this topic on the website. ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall then gave her report, using her remarks to focus on the ALA Pivot Strategy, which will also be discussed in more detail at Council II. Nominating Committee chair Candice Wing-yee Mack gave her committee's report detailing candidates for the 2021 ALA Elections. There was a question about why three candidates were nominated by the committee instead of the usual two.  The answer was that the committee wanted the membership to have a wide range of options for leadership during these difficult times. There were no petition candidates for President and three petition candidates for ALA Councilor at Large.

    Peter Hepburn, chair of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee, gave his committee's report, focusing on how the delay of receiving financial information has changed the committee's workflow for the year and made it impossible to give the usual updates on how the Association's budget is doing, though the initial data show a negative trend.  He also reviewed the changes in the Annual Estimates of Income projected at the Annual 2020 Conference and the same projection from Fall 2020, which shows a $10 million decrease in ALA net assets and a $2 million decrease in budgeted revenue. ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell then gave her report, noting that there is a projected $824K deficit for FY 21, but that $1.2 million in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and an Economic Injury Disaster Loan for $150K will result in a $523K surplus at the end of the year.  Though there are still furlough days planned for ALA staff, they will be monitoring the budget closely to see if those furloughs can be reduced.  There's a lot of detail in the treasurer's report, so I would encourage you to read it if you want to see the exact figures from across the association. Maggie noted that the programmatic priorities are now called the planning and budget objectives, which will be discussed in greater detail at Council III.

    Pat Wand, Senior Endowment Trustee, gave the endowment trustee report, noting the impact of the murder of George Floyd and the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on economic conditions. The current market value of the endowment (12/31/2020) is just over $60 million while the book value is at $15.8 million. The trustees took action to rebalance the portfolio when the proportion of value in equities had exceeded the target due to the growth of the stock market and reinvested the funds in fixed income assets. There was a question about funds under management with the Blackstone Group, which will require more time to answer.

    Returning to some questions for the Treasurer that had been waiting for an answer while the endowment trustees report was happening, Maggie reported that the audit of FY 20 will be completed by June 2021. There were a number of questions about a contingency payment of $4.5 million connected to the sale of the former ALA headquarters that depends on how the building is redeveloped.  Due to the slowdown in the Chicago redevelopment market, the building redevelopment has also stalled, but they are monitoring the situation to make sure we get the contingency if a new qualifying building project is started within the negotiated time period (as I understand it, if the redevelopment either doesn't meet the criteria for the type of use that would trigger the contingency or if the building sits vacant for a certain amount of time, then we do not get that additional payment).

    Executive Director Hall reported that there are 7,012 registrations for this Midwinter event against a goal of 5,000, and this includes a record number of student registrations.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Martin Garnar, IFRT Councilor

    Martin Garnar
    Director, Amherst College

  • 2.  RE: IFRT Councilor's Report from Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session

    Posted Jan 23, 2021 01:11 PM
    Thank you for taking time to do this. I watched most of the information session but I really appreciate having this summary.
    Ray James
    FTRF Trustee 2019-2021
    Various IFRT committees 202-2021

  • 3.  RE: IFRT Councilor's Report from Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session

    Posted Jan 23, 2021 02:35 PM
         Thank you for taking time to do this.

    Wanda Huffaker
    Salt Lake County Library