Council II: Resolution to Condemn Destruction of Gaza Libraries Passes

Updates to ALA Core Values approved

January 21, 2024

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American Library Association (ALA) President Emily Drabinski called the second ALA Council meeting of 2024’s LibLearnX conference to order at 3:06 p.m. on January 21 in Baltimore.

The Council II agenda was adopted (CD#8.2) and Drabinski addressed memorial resolutions honoring Hwa-Wei Lee (M-#1), George Needham (M-#2), Candy Morgan (M-#3) , Betty-Carol Sellen (M-#4), Adonna “Donna” C. Fleming (M-#5), and Donna Louise Gilton (M-#6). She also announced tribute resolutions recognizing the 10th anniversary of the Sustainability Round Table (T-#1) and honoring retiring Maryland State Librarian Irene Padilla (T-#2).

Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Lesliediana Jones presented the committee’s report (CD#19–#19.2).

The International Relations Committee (IRC) Chair Julius Jefferson Jr. presented IRC’s report (CD#18). The report included a resolution condemning the damage and destruction of libraries and other cultural institutions in Gaza. The motion passed 143–2, with three voters abstaining.

Bylaws Committee Chair Brian E. C. Schottlaender presented a report and action items (CD#25) that add sections to the ALA bylaws that outline processes for Executive Board members and councilors to virtually participate in meetings. The first motion passed unanimously and the second motion, specific to Executive Board participation, passed with minor language amendments.

Toni Negro, Policy Monitoring Committee member, presented a report and action item (CD#17) to amend the ALA Policy Manual to not require committees to submit their resolutions to the Resolutions Committee, but rather encourage committees to share resolutions with councilors before meetings via ALA Connect. The motion passed.

In reports from special committees, Freedom to Read Foundation President Sukrit Goswami (CD#22) and Core Values Task Force (CVTF) Cochairs Sara Dallas and Erin Berman provided updates (CD#34). CVTF’s report included a proposal to replace ALA’s Core Values of Librarianship with updated ones: access, equity, intellectual freedom and privacy, public good, and sustainability. CVTF’s action item also included a recommendation that ALA’s Executive Board assign groups to write interpretations for each value. After a motion to extend the feedback phase another six months was defeated, Council approved both actions.

ALA continued conversation on the resolution introduced in the Council I meeting on January 20, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza (CD#48). With a majority of opposers noting that the scope was outside of ALA’s purview, the resolution was defeated. A motion to refer the IRC and Committee on Legislation to explore a further statement on this topic by ALA’s 2024 Annual Conference or sooner was also struck down.

ALA Interim Executive Director Leslie Burger announced that as of January 21, the number of LibLearnX registrants is 1,996.

Drabinski adjourned the meeting at 5:47 p.m.


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Council I: Discussion of Ceasefire Statement Postponed

New membership model, dues approved