Council I Ends with Minimal Action

January 22, 2012

The lone resolution on the agenda of the first session of ALA’s governing Council Sunday was postponed until the second session Monday as councilors sailed through the agenda, ending a half-hour early.

Moved to Council II was a resolution, offered by New Jersey Chapter Councilor Cynthia Czesak and seconded by Councilors-at-Large Mario Gonzalez and Valerie Bell, that opposes the discriminatory policies of publishers and distributors which adversely impact access to content by library users. It asks that the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, established by Council this past June, be directed to review the situation and recommend appropriate action.

The group also heard the first report from the 25-member Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, cochaired by Sari Feldman of Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library and Robert Wolven of Columbia University in New York City. The report noted the publication of a special ebook supplement to the January/February issue of American Libraries magazine, with an upcoming AL supplement on digital content that is in the works to coincide with the May/June issue.

DCWG also reported on the September 2011 meeting between ALA President Molly Raphael, Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, and Office for Information Technology Policy Director Alan Inouye with the president of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which resulted in an ongoing relationship. Raphael, President-Elect Maureen Sullivan, and Fiels are planning a two-day meeting beginning January 31 with publishers MacMillan, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin in New York City. ALA Treasurer Jim Neal and Raphael, along with New York Library Association President Anthony Marx, will also participate on a panel at AAP’s General Annual Meeting in March.

In other action, Council approved from the floor the addition of Gladys Smiley Bell, Peabody librarian of the William R. And Norma B. Harvey Library at Hampton (Va.) University, to the slate of candidates for the ALA Executive Board.

As Council met as the ALA-Allied Professional Association, a discussion was held about a recommendation from the Presidential Task Force for Improving the Effectiveness of  ALA's Council to abolish the APA Council (ALA-APA CD#7).  No action was taken but there was mixed views among councilors on the validity of the change.

ALA-APA Treasurer Jim Neal reported that FY11 operating revenues totaled $158,563, an increase of $3,392 from last year. Expenses were $122,410, rising $22,353 from the previous year. ALA was repaid $50,000 from the loan to APA, leaving a ending loan balance of $225,000.