American Library Association (ALA) President Wanda Kay Brown called the third Council meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. on January 28.
Memorials were read for Ellen Greenblatt (M#1), Willis Bernard “Bill” Lukenbill (M#2), Hilda L. Jay (M#3), Bill Ptacek (M#4), Carolyn A. Markuson (M#5), Learned T. “Dag” Bulman (M#6), and Jennifer Ford Paustenbaugh (M#7). Tributes were read to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Florida Library Association (T#1) and to honor Dita Kraus, “The Librarian of Auschwitz” (T#2).
Andrew Wertheimer, chair of the ALA Council Tellers Committee, presented the ALA Executive Board election results (CD#11.2). Latrice Booker, Larry Neal, and Alexandra Rivera were elected to three-year terms (2020–2023).
Rob Banks, chair of the Committee on Legislation (COL), presented the COL report (CD#20), subcommittee reports (CD#20.1), and legislative agenda for 2020 (CD#20.2) Highlights include the increase in funding for the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the confirmations of Crosby Kemper III as IMLS director and Hugh Halpern as director of the Government Publishing Office, and ALA’s work on the 2020 Census. Banks thanked advocates and ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office for their hard work. National Library Legislative Day will be held May 4–5.
International Relations Committee (IRC) Chair Emily Drabinski reported on IRC’s activities (CD#18), including an update on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A resolution (CD#18.1) congratulating the American Library in Paris on its 100th anniversary passed.
Julia Warga, chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC), provided an update on IFC’s activities (CD#19), including the 50th anniversary of the Leroy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund. The IFC has formed working groups on privacy issues raised by facial recognition and other technologies. A resolution on access to library resources and services regardless of sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation, an Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (CD#19.4), passed. A resolution on forming a working group to align vendor privacy policies with ALA policies (CD#19.5) also passed.
Banks, Drabinski, and Warga presented a joint report from COL, IRC, and IFC on the resolution in defense of the free speech of supporters of the movement for Palestinian rights (Annual 2018–2019 ALA CD#49). The resolution was reopened for debate and was defeated.
ALA Treasurer Maggie Farrell presented the Association’s FY2020 programmatic priorities (CD#13.1). A motion to approve the programmatic priorities, which are the basis for developing the FY2021 budget, passed.
Brown read a report on behalf of the Executive Board regarding the financial questions asked by councilors during Council II. The Executive Board acknowledged “significant missteps” and pledged to hold themselves to a greater level of accountability. They will use ALA Connect as a portal to collect questions by February 25 for the Executive Board and Budget Analysis and Review Committee meetings in April.
ALA Executive Director Mary Ghikas then provided answers to several questions asked during Council II, including specifics about FY2019 budget issues, the ALA building sale and endowment funds, and IT expenditures. More questions were taken from the floor, which will be addressed in continuing communications.
Ghikas reported on the final registration totals for the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia: 5,443 attendees and 2,656 exhibitors, for a total of 8,099 registrants. This compares with 9,211 in Seattle in 2019 and 8,036 in Denver in 2018.
Brown adjourned the meeting at 10:49 a.m.