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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Public Library Association (PLA) (division of ALA) statements

Press Release - PLA President Felton Thomas Jr. releases statement on public libraries and inclusiveness - November 15, 2016

Press Release - PLA offers post-election resources for public libraries - December 15, 2016

PLA website - Post-Election Resources

Emails and Statements from Julie Todaro, ALA President

Email to ALA Councilors listserv - [alacoun] Current Situation - Content coming out - November 14, 2016

Press Release - ALA President Julie Todaro releases statement on Libraries, the Association, Diversity and Inclusion - November 15, 2016

Press Release - ALA offers expertise, resources to incoming administration and Congress now rescinded, original linked here- November 15, 2016

Press Release - Libraries Bolster Opportunity: New briefs show how libraries support policy priorities of new administration - "posted by accident," wiped completely from ALA site, looking for original to link here - November 18, 2016

Email to ALA Councilors listserv - [alacoun] Todaro Apology - ALA Press Release on our 3-page content on what libraries have to offer - November 18, 2016

Email to ALA Councilors listserv - [alacoun] ALA- current issues press - November 21, 2016

A Message to Members - American Libraries blog - November 21, 2016

Email to ALA Councilors listserv - [alacoun] ALA Issues Posting and Thank You to Council - December 6, 2016

Press Release - ALA president responds to member concerns on new administration - December 6, 2016

Post to "About ALA" section of ALA.org - Q & A Related to New Administration - December 6, 2016

American Libraries - Moving Forward Together - January 3, 2017

Official Statement from ALA's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group (EDI-IWG)

Statement on Recent Post-Election Communications

Official Statement from the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group - November 28, 2016

The ALA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Implementation Working Group (EDI-IWG) expresses disappointment and dismay towards the ALA Washington Office press releases, “ALA offers expertise, resources to incoming administration and Congress” and “Libraries bolster opportunity — new briefs show how libraries support policy priorities of new Administration.” These statements imply uncritical cooperation with an administration that is already acting against ALA’s core values.
This body, first as a Task Force and now as an Implementation Working Group, has toiled for the past two years on infusing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) into our profession and association. The press statements from two weeks ago, released just as we begin implementing the Task Force’s recommendations, contradict our work that is vital to the future of our organization. We object to the ALA’s encouragement of the policies of an administration that has demonstrated disrespect for our values and our profession. Our utmost priorities during this current time of rampant misinformation and propaganda should be honoring diversity and ensuring the ethical use and critical evaluation of information.
While we appreciate President Todaro’s remarks on the morning of November 21, 2016 regarding the egregious error in releasing a “draft” statement and subsequent withdrawal of the more explicitly supportive releases, we call for accountability from the ALA Washington Office for creating the original statements. We need reassurance that the authoring body is as invested in upholding our professional core values as we are. We do not want to be an association of empty lip service; we want to be an association of action, one that stands up for the rights of its members, its service communities, and its patrons. We call on ALA to dedicate material, time, and labor resources to make EDI a top priority for our organization, without pandering to those who would undermine our work. It is our duty and obligation to provide our members and patrons with the information they need to make sound, rational decisions within the association and the larger society.  

Statement from ALA's Washington Office (OGR) 12-14-16

Also only sent to the alacoun listserv. *sigh*


From: "Emily Sheketoff" <esheketoff@alawash.org>
Date: Dec 14, 2016 2:19 PM
Subject: [alacoun] WO Statement
To: "alacoun@lists.ala.org" <alacoun@lists.ala.org>

Dear Councilors:

I wanted to follow up on the message from the Committee on Legislation by providing some background on how we have worked with new Administrations and Congresses in the past, and how this work is always informed by our core values as an Association.

After every federal election, both the Offices of Government Relations and Information Technology Policy in ALA’s Washington Office actively engage in educating new political actors on library issues.  Specifically, we reach out to every newly elected Member of Congress in both the House and Senate, and to every new President’s Administration, to share our white papers, one-pagers and brochures on all the various issues that affect library professionals ability to deliver the best services to their patrons.  Both OGR and OITP will continue to work closely with COL and the OITP Advisory Committee to promote the best in library services.

This practice gives us a valuable early chance to fully explain how a broad range of laws and policies can potentially help or hurt our ability to deliver needed services across the nation.  These issues include the obvious, like LSTA funding and privacy, and more complicated matters such as copyright, surveillance and even aspects of immigration policy. Eight years ago, for example, we worked with both the incoming Congress and Obama Administration on their efforts to implement a Stimulus Program, which led to libraries benefiting directly from the “BTOP Program,” which underwrote library broadband services across the country.  Similarly, in the immediately prior Bush Administration, ALA’s direct engagement with the White House and Congress resulted in First Lady Laura Bush’s championing, and Congress’ creation of a dedicated title supporting  Librarian Education in LSTA.

As it has for over 70 years, the ALA Washington Office will continue to work with all federal decision-makers to maximize libraries’ and librarians’ ability to make the most and best library services possible and accessible to all of our patrons, and to keep libraries at the core of their communities.  These actions are always aligned with our core values of access, confidentiality/privacy, diversity, education and lifelong learning, intellectual freedom,  social responsibility,  professionalism, and service, and in concert with ALA’s  policies in these areas. Much of our work  with federal programs, including LSTA and the E-Rate, directly supports the ability of thousands of libraries to provide equity of access and inclusion for all.

Emily Sheketoff

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Statement from ALA's Committee on Legislation (COL) 12-12-16

ALA's Committee on Legislation (CoL) issued a statement yesterday, but only to Councilors. See below.

(I also posted it as a comment on the AmLib blog, here: https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/a-message-to-members/#comment-3050273314)

From: "Ewbank, Ann" <ann.ewbank@montana.edu>
Date: December 12, 2016 at 11:35:55 AM MST
To: ALA Council <alacoun@lists.ala.org>
Subject: [alacoun] Committee on Legislation Statement
Reply-To: "Ewbank, Ann" <ann.ewbank@montana.edu>
CoL Statement
In light of the recent discussions among the membership, Council and the Executive Board, the Committee on Legislation (COL) has been asked by the Executive Committee to provide a statement to Council regarding our work.
COL is a committee of ALA Council. COL believes that ALA’s core values (including but not limited to equity, diversity, inclusion, intellectual freedom, and privacy) are best supported by robust federal funding for libraries of all types, policy legislation, and Executive Branch procedures that are in alignment with these core values. Our charge is as follows:
“To have full responsibility for the association's total legislative program on all levels: federal, state, and local. To recommend legislative policy and programs for council approval and to take the necessary steps for implementation. To protest any legislative or executive policy adversely affecting libraries. To seek rulings and interpretations of laws and regulations affecting the welfare and development of libraries. To represent the ALA before the executive and legislative branches of government as required at all levels. To provide a forum within ALA to gather information about needed legislation and to keep all units of the association informed of the ALA legislative programs. To direct the activities of all units of the association in matters relating to legislation.”
Some confusion may exist surrounding the roles of The Office of Government Relations (OGR) and the Washington Office in regard to recent statements issued following the Presidential election. OGR is one of two offices* in the Washington Office, and reports to the Committee on Legislation. OGR is the lobbying arm of the Washington Office and actively lobbies for ALA core values, issues, and policies approved by the ALA Council after being vetted by COL.
COL is in constant, year-round contact with OGR, including an annual retreat, nine hours of meetings at both Annual and Midwinter, monthly conference calls, and regular email communication. Members of COL are thoughtful and deliberate as they vet each policy position and make recommendations to ALA Council and provide direction to OGR.
To this end, OGR, under the direction of ALA policy and COL, works with elected officials on both sides of the aisle, in order to secure positive federal legislation for libraries of all types and to advocate for federal policies that are consistent with ALA’s core values. This includes continuing to lobby for E-rate, LSTA, the Library of Congress, IMLS, ESSA, balanced copyright, privacy protections, and a host of other federal programs and policies that directly impact libraries. Continued and increased support for these programs are vital to libraries’ ability to enact the core values that are expressed by ALA.
Be assured that COL will continue to keep ALA’s core values at the forefront as we make recommendations to ALA Council and provide direction to OGR. We invite all ALA members to join us at our open meetings at any Midwinter and Annual conference. We invite dialogue and questions from ALA members. We thank members who have expressed their thoughts and opinions during this time and ask that members continue to communicate with COL.
We also recommend that library supporters participate in National Library Legislative Day, subscribe to District Dispatch, and respond to Calls for Action around legislation and policy. Our library patrons depend on the services we deliver and we need to make sure those expanding services can continue with positive legislation and policy decisions. And that only comes from very active advocacy on our part. Together we can make a positive impact for libraries of all types.
If you are interested in learning more about the work of COL, please see the following article:
Ewbank, A., Masland, J.T., & Zabriskie, C. (2016). Library issues at the federal level: An introduction to ALA’s Washington Office and the Committee on Legislation. Political Librarian, 2(1), 11-16. http://openscholarship.wustl.e...
Ann Dutton Ewbank
COL Chair, 2015-2017
*/ The Washington Office also is home to the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), which is overseen by a non-Council Advisory Committee. COL plays no role in oversight of OITP or its good work.