Hi folks. Here's the first of my Council-related reports for the Annual Conference. Reports from Council I & II will be sent tomorrow after those meetings, with a final report from Council III on Tuesday. As has been my practice, I'll post the combined reports as a document in our Connect library when the conference is over.
Membership Information Session and Virtual Membership Meeting
The meeting opened with a review of meeting logistics, then President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr., noted the memorial and tribute resolutions (available near the bottom of the Council Documents page). We then heard the reports of the President, President-Elect, Executive Director, and Treasurer. After a break, we heard the reports of the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), the ALA Endowment Trustees, and the Office for Public Policy and Advocacy.
A few items of note from the reports:
- We have seen a significant increase in cost containment, resulting in lower actual expenses as compared to budget, and we are on target to end the fiscal year with a small positive balance.
- Budget goals include increasing our liquidity so that we have the equivalent of one quarter of our annual budget as cash on hand and having an endowment that is two to three times the size of our annual budget.
- We want to increase revenue by 10% over expenses and increase membership by 5%.
- The endowment is doing well even with having temporarily drawing down the principal through loans to the association over the past two years.
At the close of the presentations, President Jefferson reviewed the ways that members can get involved with ALA through volunteer opportunities. In response to a question, President Jefferson also reviewed where we are in the Forward Together timeline and noted that Council is about to consider a number of resolutions that would outline a new governance structure. There was also a question about ALA's legal counsel and concerns that the firm is perceived as anti-union. President Jefferson reported that the executive board has discussed this concern and is comfortable with the separation of the areas of practice within the firm, since the attorney working with ALA is not involved with labor relations litigation. There were concerns about a lack of publicity for this meeting and a lack of information about the ALA Allied Professional Association outside of the twice-yearly reports to Council. Executive Director Tracie Hall noted that we exceeded our virtual conference registration goal of 9,100 by 20 attendees as of Sunday morning and will provide daily registration updates for the rest of the conference.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Martin Garnar (he/him/his)
Director, Amherst College Library
Chair, ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee