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ALA Council ReportFebruary 1, 2024
The American Library Association (ALA) Council met at the 2024 ALA LibLearnX Conference. ILA Executive Board member Paul Mills, who also serves as a member of the council, summarizes the meeting below.
ALA Council Session I
Saturday, January 20, 2024
ALA Council heard a report of recent Executive Board actions. It was noted that the work of the firm performing the ALA Executive Director search has begun. Nominations for the ALA Council Executive Board were also reviewed.
The ALA Membership Committee proposed a change in personal membership dues for Fiscal Year 2025. The proposal includes modest reductions in the costs in order to promote greater membership in the Association. Council approved.
The ALA Committee on Organization proposed that the four elected members of the Committee on Committee serve as additional ex-officio, voting members of the Committee on Appointments. It was reported that advising on committee appointments involves a review of about 500 applications for various appointments, and this would provide additional help. Council approved.
The ALA Policy Manual Revision Working Group discussed their work to revise the ALA Policy Manual to bring it in line with the revised ALA Bylaws approved in 2023. They plan to complete their work by January 2025 and have been meeting monthly.
The ALA Treasurer reported the financial results for the first two months (September and October 2023) of Fiscal Year 2024. Revenue has fallen short of budget by $2 million, and expenses have declined by $1.9 million versus budget. More detailed reporting will be forthcoming.
A Resolution Calling for an Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza was put forth. A motion was made to move this resolution to the International Relations Committee and the Committee on Legislation. Council defeated this motion. A second motion was made to postpone this resolution until the end of Council Session II so that the International Relations Committee report could be heard. Council approved this motion.
Interim Executive Director Leslie Burger reported that 1,326 paid registrations had been received, and 646 comp’ed or exhibit-only registrations had been received. The total is 1,972 and is slightly down from last year.
ALA Council Session II
Sunday, January 21, 2024
The Intellectual Freedom Committee reported that they are exploring an update to the Freedom to Read statement. More information will be forthcoming. The committee also reported on the Book Resume Project, which is designed to provide helpful information when responding to a book challenge.
The International Relations Committee reported that there will not be a World Library information Congress (WLIC) in 2024. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) is looking for a host site for 2025.
A Resolution on damage and destruction of libraries and other cultural institutions in Gaza was introduced. The resolution calls for the protection of libraries, schools, and other cultural institutions and for assistance in rebuilding them when practical. Council approved.
The Bylaws Committee put forth two amendments to the Bylaws. One of the amendments ensures that Councilors will be able to participate virtually. The second amendment provides that the Executive Board shall make observations of their meeting observable as is reasonably feasible to do so. Council approved both amendments.
The Policy Monitoring Committee proposed that the Policy Manual be amended to reflect the discontinuation of Forums. Council approved the discontinuation of Forums in June 2022. Council approved.
The Freedom to Read Foundation reported on a string of legal victories in defense of the First Amendment. You may read about them starting on page 2 of their report.
The Core Values Task Force completed two and a half years of work and presented a revised set of core values for Librarianship. The last revision to these values was in 2004. The values are access, equity, intellectual freedom & privacy, public good, and sustainability. You may read the task force’s report here. Council approved them and directed work to be done on interpretations of them for the various subdivisions of ALA.
The resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza that had been postponed from Council Session I was discussed. Council did not approve the resolution.