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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 II

    Posted Jan 25, 2021 03:05 PM

    Hi folks.  Here are my notes from ALA Council II.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

    After reviewing virtual meeting and voting logistics, President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. called the meeting to order.   The agenda was revised to include one resolution (to be discussed below), while another resolution that was to have been added was withdrawn with the potential of it coming back for Council III. We voted to approve the amended agenda by unanimous consent. Jim Neal, chair of the Committee on Organization, brought five action items for consideration by Council (please see the linked report for details on the action items):

    1. Establishment of a Council Committee on Sustainability (approved; 159 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain)
    2. Discontinue the Library Education Assembly (approved; 157 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain)
    3. Discontinue the Exhibits Round Table (approved; 159 yes, 3 no, 2 abstain)
    4. Endorse the creation of the Exhibits Advisory Group (approved; 160 yes, 3 no, 1 abstain)
    5. Change the charge of the ALA Election Committee (approved; 162 yes, 0 no, 1 abstain)

    The next report was from Joe Thompson, chair of the Committee on Legislation. The Legislative Agenda is included in the report, so I would encourage you to take a look at it.  There was one action item: a Resolution to Support Broadband as a Human Right (endorsed by the IFRT board and IFC among others). This resolution was approved (168 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain).

    We then received two reports from special (i.e., non-Council) groups: the Freedom to Read Foundation and the Philanthropy Advisory Group.  The FTRF report will be of great interest to IFRT members, as it includes the latest updates on legal cases related to free expression as well as summaries of emerging issues. The FTRF report also includes information on their new task force on intellectual freedom and social justice. The Philanthropy Advisory Group report has minimal information, so I'll note that the presentation focused on the group's mission to raise money for ALA, what it means to cultivate a culture of philanthropy within ALA, and how we need to connect philanthropy to the ALA Pivot Strategy (to be discussed later in this session, though it looks like we might have less time for that later discussion since we're already running 30 minutes behind the timings on the agenda).

    The next action item was discussion of the Resolution to Condemn White Supremacy and Fascism as Antithetical to Library Work. Both the IFRT Board and the IFC endorsed this resolution. After a long discussion, with all speakers giving support (and a few questions along the way about what pushback we might receive, as well as some discussion about needing definitions for some terminology), the resolution was approved (160 yes, 4 no, 2 abstain). As I'm on one of the working groups named in the resolution, I'll be able to provide updates as we work on this. 

    After a break, we returned with 30 minutes to discuss the ALA 5-Year Pivot Strategy. We didn't have much time for discussion after the presentation, and I encourage you to look through the strategy document.  Final registration numbers will be presented at tomorrow's Council III.  Following the Council meeting was the forum for Executive Board candidates, which I had to skip due to a meeting with my boss.

    Final report tomorrow!  I will also post the full Councilor's report as a document for your reference.

    Martin Garnar, IFRT Councilor

    Martin Garnar
    Director, Amherst College

  • 2.  RE: IFRT Councilor's Report from Council II

    Posted Jan 25, 2021 03:11 PM

    Thank you for these reports Martin. I know they take energy to compile. Please know they are appreciated!




  • 3.  RE: IFRT Councilor's Report from Council II

    Posted Jan 25, 2021 09:54 PM
    Seconding this! Thanks so much, Martin!


    Jim DelRosso
    Interim Assistant Director
    Cornell University, Catherwood Library

  • 4.  RE: IFRT Councilor's Report from Council II

    Posted Jan 27, 2021 08:11 AM
    Thank you Martin for your excellent representation. We appreciate you getting in front of council and advocating for us. I watched both the resolutions (FR and Behavioral tracking) and wasn't surprised they struck resolve 5, they made good points about how this would be advocated for otherwise and it wasn't necessary. I'm glad nothing else was changed and we were able to reinforce the fact that we would be working in conjunction with other organizations for both lobbying and educational purposes. I'm glad council agreed and moved forward. I'm also happy Erin got the floor to speak to her resolution as I found the proposed amendment to weaken the resolution as well. Thank goodness that was defeated and the resolution was accepted as proposed. (I don't know if I'm using the right language here I've never been on or apart of council.......though maybe someday.....).

    I want to, again, thank everyone for their hard work on these vital topics and Martin, you have my gratitude. 

    -TJ Lamanna