Saturday, January 28, 2017

Library Community responses to ALA Town Hall #alamw17 #alatownhall

Links to comments, blog posts, or emails in response to ALA

#alatownhall (blog post) - The Token Two (Jan 24, 2017)

ALA Town Hall Twitter Storify - #notmyala blog

Session video:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ALA Exec Dir Keith Fiels on Town Hall at ALA Midwinter

[alacoun] Thinking about the Town Hall conversation...

Keith Michael Fiels <>Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 4:48 PM
Reply-To: Keith Michael Fiels <>
To: ALA Council Listserv <>
Dear ALA member colleague:

Over the last two months, many members have expressed concerns about the effects of the recent election on the positions and advocacy efforts of the Association. This dialog, which has included blog postings, emails, Facebook posts and Tweets, has ultimately shown that our values are shared and clear, but there are tensions about how to take action that reflects these values in the current political environment.

The goal of the facilitated Town Hall conversation on Sunday, January 22nd is to move our thinking forward so that we can better navigate these difficult choices. We invite you to join this conversation and to share your aspirations and ideas.

Our facilitator for the session will be Cheryl Gorman (some information about Cheryl’s background follows). To help frame our thinking, Cheryl has offered some questions to help focus our time together. Please think of these as “thought starters”:
  • As we think about the member dialogue sparked by the recent election, what is our intention? What’s the deeper purpose (the big “why”) that is really worthy of our best collective effort? 
  • What do we know so far and what do we still need to learn about? 
  • Are there specific areas where our core values are being challenged that need more attention than others?
  • As you reflect on the member discussion since the election, what’s taking shape? What are you hearing underneath the variety of opinions being expressed? What’s in the "center of the table”?
  • If there was one thing that hasn’t yet been said in order to reach a deeper level of understanding and clarity, what would that be?
Please note that the session will be streamed by American Libraries as a Facebook Live stream. Because the primary purpose of the meeting is to hear from members, the session has been structured to provide an opportunity for as many members to speak as is possible given the time available.  ALA leadership is there to listen, not talk. If questions are raised, they will be captured in a “parking lot” and answered as a follow up to the session through the American Libraries blog. The blog will also provide a permanent link to the Town Hall video recording, and be available to continue the conversation.

Looking forward to our January 22nd town hall conversation,

Keith Michael Fiels
ALA Executive Director

Cheryl Gorman is the President of Integare Consulting, where she brings diverse partners from all sectors together with community members to create community-based programs and large-scale change initiatives. She specializes in supporting leaders and organizations to effectively lead community change; develop talent strategies; build community capacity; and design, manage and evaluate community-based programs. Her passion is training and coaching practitioners in the field. For the past eight years Cheryl has been a key member of the Harwood Institute team – a nonpartisan, independent nonprofit that teaches, coaches and inspires people and organizations to solve pressing problems and change how communities work together. Cheryl has trained and coached leaders at the local, state and national level across the United States, in Australia and most recently Canada. This has included working with staff teams at the American Library Association and United Way Worldwide.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Statement from Jim Neal, ALA President-Elect

From: James G. Neal <>
Date: Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 3:58 PM
Subject: [alacoun] Message to ALA Council
To: "" <>

Council Colleagues: I want to share with you the following message in the context of recent conversations about press releases distributed by the Association. These remarks are based on my presentation and my responses to questions at a program on Thursday, November 17 organized by ALA and the Internet Association, and on comments I made earlier that day at a meeting of association and national library representatives. Please share this message.

Libraries, 120,000 of all types, public, school, academic, government, corporate, are an essential component of the national information infrastructure, and are critical leaders in their communities.  We stand for freedom, learning, collaboration, productivity and accessibility.  We are trusted, helping to address community concerns and championing our core values, including democracy, diversity, intellectual freedom and social responsibility.

By bringing together access to technology, access to Internet services, providing a wide range of information resources, community knowledge, and expert information professionals, 21st century libraries transform communities and lives, promote economic development, and bridge the digital divide in this country, committed to equity of access.

Libraries are centers for research and development. Libraries support literacy, in all of its elements. Libraries are spaces for convening, collaborating and creating. Libraries help people find training and jobs. Libraries are at the core of education and scholarship.  Libraries provide access to basic and emerging technologies and the education which enables their effective use.

It has been the practice of the American Library Association to evaluate priorities, and program and funding opportunities in the context of a new administration and congress. We must sustain and grow federal funding for universal service, for broadband and wireless deployment in schools and libraries. We must create funding for library and school construction and renovation. We must focus these efforts on underserved communities, in our cities and in our rural areas. Individuals without dependable and open Internet access and without digital skills are clearly at a disadvantage when it comes to economic opportunity and quality of life. We must maintain and expand federal investment in our nation's libraries.      

People come to libraries physically and virtually for a variety of reasons. To read, to learn, to do schoolwork. To find job training and secure employment. To file taxes. To research community services, and health concerns.  Libraries support developers, freelancers, contractors, not-for-profit organizations, small business owners, and researchers.  Libraries provide materials and services for the print-disabled. Libraries serve the homeless, veterans, immigrants, prisoners, and the many individuals who are seeking to make transitions and to improve their lives.    

Libraries need to look beyond the programs and the funding. We must forge radical new partnerships with the first amendment, civil rights, and technology communities to advance our information policy interests and our commitment to freedom, diversity and social justice.  We must prepare for the "hard ball" of the policy wars.  We must fight for net neutrality, for balanced copyright and fair use, for privacy and confidentiality in the face of expanded national security surveillance, for intellectual freedom and first amendment principles, for voting rights, for the transition of immigrants to citizenship, for the dignity of all individuals. We must fight against hate in all of its bigoted manifestations.    
Libraries are about education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment and engagement.  But we are also about the imperatives of individual rights and freedoms, and about helping and supporting the people in our communities.

Jim Neal
ALA President-Elect

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Alternative Statements - Resources for ALA Leadership

Here are some statements that might provide direction for ALA Leadership when crafting a new and better response to the Trump Administration.

ALA's response to the PATRIOT Act

National Association of Social Workers

500 Women Scientists

National Council on Public History


Denver Public Library

(Looking for more to add to the list - please comment with suggestions!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

ALA "Washington Office" Statements (CoL, OGR)

District Dispatch - The way forward – better together - December 19, 2016
(this includes both prior statements from CoL and OGR, plus commentary)

ALA Councilor Listserv - Statement from ALA's Washington Office (OGR) - December 14, 2016

ALA Councilor Listserv - Statement from ALA's Committee on Legislation (CoL) - December 12, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

#NotMyALA Writings by Library Community

Links to comments, blog posts, or emails in response to ALA

Many people have commented and continue to comment on the AmLib blog post where ALA President Julie Todaro indicated she would be reading responses. November 21, 2016 - present

In reverse chronological order.

Libraries are not neutral spaces, nor should they be - Jessamyn West - December 18, 2016

Stand, Fight, Resist - Jason Griffey - December 16, 2016

F@ck you, ALA - April Hathcock - December 15, 2016

ALA and recognizing situations for what they are - Galen Charlton - December 12, 2016

We Say No - Seattle Critical Library Workers - November 28, 2016

Silence is Never an Option - J. M. Eagan - November 21, 2016

The ALA Washington Office press releases and Todaro’s Monday morning misdirection (#NotMyALA) - Rory Litwin - November 21, 2016

#NotMyALA #ThisNotNormal - Ingrid Conley-Abrams - November 21, 2016

When Professional Values Must Become Political Deeds (ALA vs a Trump Presidency) - Andy Woodworth - November 20, 2016

when words matter - Chris Bourg - November 20, 2016

Open Letter to ALA President Julie Todaro re: Recent ALA Statements - Sarah Houghton - November 20, 2016

Get Ready to Fight for What Matters - Inside Higher Ed - November 20, 2016

ALA's statements of collaboration with Trump's administration (email) - Elizabeth McKinstry - November 20, 2016

ALA Does Not Speak for Me - Emily Drabinski - November 19, 2016