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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.

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IFRT Councilor's Report from Council III

  • 1.  IFRT Councilor's Report from Council III

    Posted Jan 26, 2021 03:22 PM

    Hi folks.  Here's my report from Council III, which just concluded.  I'll be posting the full document with all reports in the Connect library.

    Council III

    After reviewing virtual meeting and voting logistics, President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. called the meeting to order.   The agenda was revised to include two resolutions (to be discussed below). We voted to approve the amended agenda by unanimous consent. We then recognized the people being honored by memorial and tribute resolutions (all resolutions available on the Council Documents page).

    The results of the Executive Board results were announced, with Christina Rodrigues, Ana Elisa de Campos Salles, and Sam Helmick elected to join the board after the 2021 Annual Conference. Ismail Abdullahi, chair of the International Relations Committee, presented the committee's report (there were no action items). Martin Garnar (that's me!), chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, then followed with his committee's report, including two action items.  The Resolution in Opposition to Facial Recognition Software in Libraries (in the separate report of action items) was discussed at length. The resolution was amended by removing the 5th clause regarding transmitting the resolution to Congress (vote to amend: 156 yes, 9 no, 0 abstain) and ultimately adopted as amended (vote to amend: 149 yes, 4 no, 3 abstain).  The Resolution on the Misuse of Behavioral Data Surveillance in Libraries (also in the linked report of action items) was also discussed at length. An amendment to modify the final resolved clause to specifically mention privacy audits was defeated (vote to amend: 66 yes, 90 no, 4 abstain), with IFC Privacy Subcommittee Chair Erin Berman being allowed to speak against the motion. The resolution was adopted as originally submitted (vote to adopt: 156 yes, 2 no, 2 abstain). Chairs Abdullahi and Garnar then returned to the virtual podium to present a joint report on the U.S. Media Corporations resolution working group, noting that while progress has been made on a new draft, the working group needs more time.  Like the resolutions, the working group statement is in the report of action items.

    After Council agreed to extend the time of the meeting, Treasurer Maggie Farrell presented the FY 22 Budget Objectives. Council voted to concur with the Executive Board and approve them (161 yes, 1 no, 0 abstain). Maggie then presented the Operating Agreement Working Group update, but since we were pressed for time because the IFC chair took up SO MUCH TIME with his resolutions, it was a short update.  Please refer to the linked report for the details.

    The Resolution on replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading "Illegal aliens" with "Undocumented immigrants" was next on the agenda. Those speaking against it referred to the 2016 resolution on the same topic, suggesting that we did not need to take up the topic again when we are already on record in support. Brian Stearns, the chair of the CORE Subject Analysis Committee, noted that his committee was not consulted even though it's directed to take action in the resolution. After some discussion, there was a motion to withdraw the resolution to be reevaluated at Annual 2021 after consulting with the CORE committee named above. The motion to withdraw was approved by general consent – no formal vote was required.

    The Resolution to Classify Library Workers as 1b Workers to be Listed as a Priority Workforce in Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine was the final resolution under discussion.  We had to extend time once again shortly after the resolution was introduced, as there's still some business to do after the resolutions.  An amendment was proposed to completely replace the resolved clauses with new ones that would encourage libraries to share success stories about getting library workers reclassified, supporting library workers to receive the vaccine as soon as possible, and to refer the resolution to the Committee on Legislation, Committee on Library Advocacy, and the Chapter Relations Committee with a report. The amendment passed (vote to amend: 87 yes, 60 no, 8 abstain). Another resolved clause was added by consent (no vote needed) affirming that library workers have a right to a safe workplace. The twice-amended resolution was adopted (vote to adopt: 149 yes, 4 no, 2 abstain).

    We extended the session one more time (now over an hour later than planned), but first took a break since we hadn't stopped in 3 hours. We returned in closed session to vote on an ALA Honorary Membership, which is a confidential process. After we returned to open session, ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall made some final announcements, including a breakdown of registrants. We had 7,121 registrants, including 2,016 student attendees.  President Jefferson adjourned the meeting.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Martin Garnar,
    IFRT Councilor

    Martin Garnar
    Director, Amherst College