Statement Regarding American Libraries’ Article on Digital Humanities

January 6, 2016

A statement from the ALA Executive Board Executive Committee, which includes President Sari Feldman, President Elect Julie Todaro, Past President Courtney L. Young, Treasurer Mario González, and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels.

The elected leadership and management of the American Library Association are proud of the work of American Libraries magazine. AL and its thousands of authors and contributors have advanced the profession, helped support improved library and information services, and championed intellectual freedom, diversity and equity of access for all.

We understand that at the heart of this work is the relationship of editor and author and, as authors ourselves, we understand that this is a relationship that often involves negotiation. Understanding that, we deeply regret that there has been a serious misunderstanding between AL and the authors regarding the recent article on digital humanities which appeared in the January/February issue of American Libraries, and wish to extend our apologies to the authors.

We also wish to extend our apologies to those at Gale Cengage, who contributed in good faith to what they understood to be a collaborative effort. We appreciate their support for the survey of digital humanities and the significant contribution it has made to our understanding of an important and emerging field of librarianship.

ALA’s Publishing Committee and American Libraries Advisory Board (both comprised of ALA members) will be meeting this Friday and Saturday to discuss the issue and to review AL’s author agreements. We expect them to make specific recommendations that we hope will prevent any such misunderstandings in the future.