American Library Association (ALA) President Julius C. Jefferson Jr. called the second ALA Council meeting to order at 12:08 p.m. on January 25 at the 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual.
Jim Neal, chair of the Committee on Organization (COO), reported on COO actions since ALA Virtual in June (CD#27) and presented five action items, all of which passed: a motion to establish the Council Committee on Sustainability; a motion to discontinue the Library Education Assembly; a motion to discontinue the Exhibits Round Table; a motion to endorse the creation of an Exhibits Advisory Group; and a motion to change the charge of the ALA Election Committee to eliminate the physical presence mandate for participation.
Joseph A. Thompson Jr., Committee on Legislation (COL) chair, presented that committee’s report (CD#20–20.2), which includes federal funding, legislation, and advocacy updates and the 75th anniversary of ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. COL anticipates more opportunities in the Biden administration for funding and broadband legislation. A resolution in support of broadband as a human right (CD#20.1) passed unanimously.
Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) President Barbara Stripling presented the FTRF report (CD#22), with updates on new and current litigation, developing issues, and Banned Books Week grants. FTRF has also established a new Task Force on Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice, chaired by Neal and Loida Garcia-Febo.
Members of ALA’s Philanthropy Advisory Group gave a presentation (CD#34) on what ALA needs to do to build a culture of philanthropy.
ALA Councilor Lindsay Cronk brought forward a resolution to condemn white supremacy and fascism as antithetical to library work (CD#43). The motion passed as amended.
A resolution on replacing the Library of Congress subject heading “illegal aliens” with “undocumented immigrants” (CD#44) was withdrawn until Council III on January 26.
ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall opened a discussion on ALA’s 5-Year Pivot Strategy (CD#36) for increasing membership and revenue. ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell provided a brief financial update as part of Hall’s presentation.
Hall announced 7,085 attendees at Midwinter Virtual, compared with 8,078 attendees in Philadelphia in 2020 and 9,188 attendees at Midwinter in Seattle in 2019.
Jefferson adjourned the meeting at 2:58 p.m.