SRRT Newsletter

Contents

Letter from the Editor
SRRT Coordinator's Column
SRRT Councilor's Report from ALA Midwinter Meeting 2016, Boston, MA
Minutes from SRRT Action Council, ALA Midwinter Meeting 2016
Feminist Task Force News
Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force News
International Responsibilities Task Force News
Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force News
Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) News
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) News
Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) News
ALA Task Force for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (TFEDI) News
Book Review: Censored and Under-Reported in the Mainstream
Essay: What's 'L' got to do with it?
Interview: Mary Ghikas on Merging the ALA Office For Diversity and the ALA Office For Literacy and Outreach Services
Call for Editorial Board Members
Call for Submissions
Publication Information

Letter from the Editor

by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow

Melissa Cardenas-Dow

Dear SRRT Newsletter readers:

In this issue of the SRRT Newsletter, we invite you, dear readers, to a collective reflection on the meaning of our professional values, our professional education, what labels and names we use to refer to ourselves and each other, and how we organize our work.

To help us think through our professional and social positions and the many issues they touch, the SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board and I have included two articles that focus on our professional values, the names and labels we use for ourselves, and how these intersect to lead us and our profession toward social responsibility. The first is an interview with ALA Senior Associate Executive Director, Mary Ghikas, on the merging of the ALA Office For Diversity and the ALA Office For Literacy & Outreach Services. The second is an essay written by Professors Carol Tilley and Kathryn La Barre, both faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Graduate School of Library & Information Science, which will soon be named the School of Information Sciences.

I don’t have to tell you, my fellow information and knowledge workers, that words mean a great deal. I hope this newsletter, especially this particular issue, provokes some fruitful discussions, elicits some intriguing insights and revelations, and encourages you to share these with others. As part of a professional community, one of our most basic responsibilities is to engage with one another, especially in positive, mutually beneficial ways. I hope the SRRT Newsletter is a part of that engagement.

We want to encourage your input! We will be hosting a discussion regarding La Barre and Tilley’s essay, and another on the interview article with Mary Ghikas. Each discussion session will last for a week, both using the SRRT listserv. The discussion on La Barre and Tilley’s essay will commence on Monday, April 4th and last till Friday, April 8th, while the discussion on the Ghikas interview will start on Monday, April 11th and end on Friday, April 15th. I will facilitate the discussion for both pieces on the listserv. Should you also wish to submit an essay or a letter as a response, please submit these to micd.srrt.newsletter [at] gmail.com.

I hope to hear back from many of you!

All the best,
Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow
SRRT Newsletter Editor

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SRRT Coordinator's Column

by Nikki Winslow, SRRT Coordinator, Branch Manager - Spring Valley Library

Nikki Winslow

My column this quarter is inspired by the book My Name is Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World. I am reading through a list of Young Adult books as a reviewer for the Nevada Young Readers Awards and feel fortunate this was one of the books on this list. Like many people, I am aware of who Malala Yousafzai is but was unaware of the entirety of her struggles on behalf of girls to have the right to education, human rights and many other causes. She wasn’t even 10 years old when she became a spokesperson in Pakistan for girls to have the right to go to school! When I think about my own children, I cannot imagine them taking such a strong stand at such a young age, especially when they are knowingly putting themselves in danger with a group like the Taliban.

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” Malala has proven how much impact each of us can have on making change happen through the use of our voice. After she was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for continuing to go to school and being an advocate for all girls to get an education, she recovered from her injuries and has used all of this publicity to be an even more outspoken fighter for basic rights for all people. From public speaking, presentation to the United Nations, writing her book, and social media presence, she has created awareness worldwide about the issues plaguing many countries throughout the world. I believe it is our duty to carry her mission forward and talk to others about these injustices and see what we can do to help.

Although we may think we are only one small voice among many, I make a call to action to all of you to continue to fight for those who need your help and your voice. It could be speaking out against someone making a racial comment or slur, participating in a protest or appealing to a governing board about something you think is wrong. If more people step up to advocate for people who are not able to, our combined voices will be much louder and more powerful.

Malala has been such an inspiration to me and I vow to carry her call for peace and equality into the work I do each day. I hope you do, too.

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SRRT Councilor’s Report from ALA Midwinter Meeting 2016, Boston, MA

by Laura Koltutsky, Social Sciences Librarian, University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources

Laura Koltutsky

As the new SRRT Councilor, I had a steep learning curve at Midwinter 2016. I attended Council Orientation and immediately stepped into the process of presenting my first resolution on behalf of SRRT. My thanks to Al Kagan who helped me understand Council processes and politics. This SRRT resolution, CD#34 titled Resolution on replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading “Illegal Aliens” with “Undocumented Immigrants” was presented to and adopted by the ALA Council. I heard many Councilors speak passionately about the need for these language changes. The SRRT member who brought this resolution forward had already followed all the processes provided by the Library of Congress for such changes but this request was denied by the Library of Congress. The process of trying to change the subject heading was started by students who had discovered it while using the library catalog from their institution.

After my term began last summer, I was included in a National Surveillance Working Group to revise a National Surveillance resolution along with Al Kagan, and representatives from the Committee on Legislation, the Intellectual Freedom Committee, and ALA Council membership. We were assisted by staff from the Washington Office, the Committee on Legislation (COL) and the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC). Al Kagan outlined what happened to the SRRT resolution from Annual 2015 in his report published in the October 2015 issue of the SRRT Newsletter. This working group was the result of two competing resolutions being referred back to the COL in Council.

The end product of all of this effort was the Resolution for Restoring Civil Liberties and Opposing Mass Surveillance, CD#19.1 which passed unanimously in Council. This was not a surprising result as all interested parties within the National Surveillance Working Group had agreed upon the language of the resolution beforehand and Council had referred it back to the COL. The process of working in consultation did make it a stronger resolution while retaining the key concerns that SRRT had brought forward. It seems unlikely this much effort will be possible for future resolutions but some helpful connections have been made.

Other resolutions discussed at Midwinter included the following:

  • CD#31 Resolution Concerning Accessibility of ALA Conferences and Meetings for People with Disabilities raised concerns about a perceived lack of sensitivity around members who had encountered challenges at conference venues. There was discussion regarding having mandatory training for all ALA staff, but that was removed. The resolution ended up focusing on developing a Conference Accessibility Task Force to deal with these and other concerns. The resolution was adopted by ALA Council.
  • CD#32 Resolution Against Islamophobia was also adopted by Council and was well supported both in Council and at Council Forum. The vote was not unanimous but passed by a large margin.

I attended the Diversity Caucus of Council for the first time, and there was an extensive discussion around the proposed changes to be made to the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS). SRRT member Ginny Moore expressed concern about removing the word Diversity from the name. Her concerns included that diversity would be perceived to be less of a priority for ALA. The new name proposed, the Equity and Inclusion Office, was challenged by other Councilors and I think this was a surprise. This proposed change was brought forward by Jody Gray, the new ODLOS Director, who felt one office could not promote diversity within the entire organization; that there is a broader need for diversity within the practices of the organization. Jody also attended Action Council II and received further concerns about whether the name change was a sign of diversity receiving less focus and funds within ALA.

If there are any questions about this report please contact me at laurakoltutsky@gmail.com.

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Minutes from SRRT Action Council, ALA Midwinter Meeting 2016

Submitted by Nikki Winslow (SRRT Coordinator) and Kenny Garcia (SRRT Secretary)

Social Responsibilities Round Table
Action Council I & II Meetings
ALA Midwinter Conference 2016, Boston MA

SRRT Action Council I
Saturday, January 9, 2016
8:30-11:00am


In attendance: Diedre Conkling (Action Council Member), Nikki Winslow (Coordinator), Kenny Garcia (Secretary), Al Kagan (Action Council Member), Tom Twiss (Action Council Member), Julie Marie Frye (ALISE Liaison), Mark Hudson (PLG Liaison), Madeleine Charney (SustainRT Representative), Charles Kratz (Treasurer), Laura Koltutsky (SRRT Councilor), Lisa Hinchcliffe (President-elect candidate), Jim Neal (President-elect candidate), and Peter Hepburn (Executive Council Liaison)

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Review of Agenda
  3. Guests
    1. Madeleine Charney reported on what SustainRT have been doing over their first year and a half, which included programming, getting a resolution passed, and connecting authors with libraries on sustainability-related book talks and programming.
    2. Lisa Hinchcliffe spoke about her candidacy, which focuses on four areas: Championing what we do and also making ALA more inclusive; digital inclusion, such as live participation in programs at the conference; Re-engage ALA-APA (Allied Professional Association) to advocate for library workers in a way that ALA can, and to make sure library workers are getting paid a living wage in order to live a happy life. Up until now, APA has focused on professional development workshops.
    3. Jim Neal spoke about his candidacy, which focuses on external factors: Join the conversations in the world we live and work in; the need to become strong political advocates in regards to treaties and policies to protect our profession; the need to be inclusive to include new members into leadership roles and be more involved in the future of the association.
    4. Peter Hepburn will work on setting up a meeting with SRRT, Mario Gonzalez (ALA Treasurer), and the ALA endowment team. Membership is up in the Association and in many of the Round Tables. He is looking at accreditation standards that reflect library services of the future. Direct any feedback to Peter.
  4. Resolutions
    1. Draft Resolution for Restoring Civil Liberties and Opposing Mass Surveillance
      1. Al explained the background of this resolution. Al moved to endorse it, Diedre seconded. Motion passed.
    2. Resolution on replacing the Library of Congress Subject Heading “Illegal aliens” with “Undocumented immigrants”
      1. Given to Mark by a colleague who wrote this resolution, who is a cataloger. This is an effort to remove pejorative language from cataloging subject headings. The resolution has circulated in many other round tables to review as well. Mark moved to endorse this resolution and for Laura take this to Council, Al seconded. Kenny added that he believes REFORMA will be supportive of it. Motion passed.
    • Laura discussed the resolutions with us in Action Council II. She discussed the Mass Surveillance resolution as she presented it at Council Forum on Saturday night and it got a lot of positive support. She was encouraged to have SRRT work on resolutions in a collaborative manner in the future so there is more buy-in in the process. She submitted the “Illegal Alien” resolution by Saturday’s deadline and believes it will be discussed in ALA Council II and thinks it will be received positively. She also voted on the “Islamophobia” resolution which passed. An accessibility resolution was put forward, but she wasn’t sure it will be presented again at this conference. If it does, she wanted to know if she should support it on behalf of SRRT. We agreed she should; it would increase accessibility awareness at future conference sites.
  5. Election/Nominations
    1. 3 AC-at- large positions
      1. Tom, Gary and Mary are termed out. Tom is considering running again, Mark might run, and Julie expressed an interest.
    2. IFC Liaison
      1. This has come from the working group on the mass surveillance resolution. SRRT was invited to have a liaison on IFC. Charles volunteered to attend as a liaison. We’ll follow up with it at Annual.
    3. Legislative Assembly
      1. Diedre is willing to attend for SRRT starting at Annual. She might be able to attend meeting on Monday as well.
    4. COL Liaison
      1. We’ll ask again at Action Council II and possibly put an email out to the general listserv. Diedre said there is someone from Oregon that was recently appointed to COL that may be able to report back to SRRT. She will let us know. We discussed this again on Sunday and are going to try to find someone interested through the listserv before Annual.
  6. Reports
    1. Treasurer
      1. Very limited expenses so we are up almost $2,000. Budget is very healthy, especially with increased membership.
      2. Tom passed out the anticipated expenses for the IRTF program at Annual. He motioned to allocate up to $3,000 and Charles seconded. The motion passed.
    2. Membership Committee
      1. We are the fastest growing round table in ALA with 1,022 members, which is up 32%. There is a good chance that SRRT will move up from the 7th largest to possibly the 5th or 6th largest roundtable in the organization. ALA as a whole is growing by 6%.
    3. Task Forces
      1. Feminist Task Force
        1. Diedre posted notes from their meeting last night to the listserv. FTF is trying to get the Women of Library History from Tumblr into Wikipedia. Meeting on Sunday to work on that.
      2. MLK Jr. Holiday
      3. IRTF
        1. Discussed funding for the Annual Conference program. There are some concerns about the speakers getting travel visas so looking at having other speakers as a backup plan. IRRT is going to discuss being a sponsor or endorser of the program to help promote it further as well. Correction: IRRT did not previously reject support for this program. It was for a resolution in the past. Want to look at some other groups to sponsor it, too.
      4. Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty
        1. Survey going out to libraries on how they address homelessness in their libraries. LaJuan is going to send out the survey for our feedback on it. Julie is going to work on a resolution for Annual about homelessness.
    4. Open Forum/Conclusion

SRRT Action Council II
Sunday, January 10, 2016
3:00-4:00pm

In attendance: Diedre Conkling (Action Council Member), Nikki Winslow (Coordinator), Kenny Garcia (Secretary), Al Kagan (Action Council Member), Tom Twiss (Action Council Member), Mark Hudson (PLG Liaison), Laura Koltutsky (SRRT Councilor), Melissa Cardenas-Dow (SRRT Newsletter Editor), Andrea Mullarkey, Theresa Tobin, Mary Biblio, Ginny Moore, Bernadine Abbott Hodusk, Tara Brady, Christine Hage (President-elect candidate), Susan Hildreth (ALA Treasurer Candidate), and Jody Gray (Director, Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services)

  1. Resume where we left off from AC I
  2. Summary of Planning and Budget Assembly Meeting
  3. Guests
    1. Christine Hage spoke about her candidacy. She wants to encourage collaboration among library professionals, vendors and policy. An example is the e-book negotiation and getting new e-books into libraries across the country. She also wants separate working groups that focus on specific issues facing the association.
    2. Susan Hildreth spoke about her candidacy. Susan is the only candidate for Treasurer at this point. She would be willing to work with SRRT on looking into divestment of fossil fuels investments when elected.
  4. Discussion
    1. Visit from Jody Gray--Name of new OLOS office
      1. She gave a little history on the merging of the two offices and the potential name change. Also asked for feedback on the name change to help guide the new name for the office. Laura asked her if she wanted feedback why she didn’t disseminate it more widely--including to Council. Jody acknowledged that she hadn’t thought about sending the document to Council and will keep that in mind in the future. Jody also encouraged us to send feedback on the mission statement and name change by January 31st and hopes to implement by mid-February. Al asked Jody to see if she included “housing status” in the mission statement and she said she would check. Bernadine asked if others have provided alternate names as suggestions. Jody said no one has so far but would love to have suggestions sent to her.

RESOLUTIONS
Discussed during Action Council Sessions

  1. DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR RESTORING CIVIL LIBERTIES AND OPPOSING MASS SURVEILLANCE
  2. Whereas the American Library Association (ALA) has always supported the fundamental principles of government transparency and public accountability that undergird the People’s right to know about the workings of our government and to participate in our democracy;

    Whereas the ALA Council adopted “Resolution Reaffirming the Principles of Intellectual Freedom in the Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks” (2002-2003 CD#19.1), “Resolution on the USA PATRIOT ACT and Libraries” (2005 CD#20.6), “Resolution on the Use and Abuse of National Security Letters” (2006-2007 CD#19.3), and “Resolution on the Need for Reforms for the Intelligence Community to Support Privacy, Open Government, Government Transparency, and Accountability” (2012-2013 ALA CD#19.2 and CD#20.40), and other surveillance-related resolutions;

    Whereas the ALA “values access to the documents disclosing the extent of public surveillance and government secrecy as access to these documents now enables the critical public discourse and debate needed to address the balance between our civil liberties and national security” (2012-2013 ALA CD#19.2 and CD#20.40);

    Whereas the ALA reaffirms that “;these disclosures enable libraries to support public discourse and debate by providing information and resources and for deliberative dialogue and community engagement” (2012-2013 ALA CD#19.2 and CD#20.40);

    Whereas the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies conduct surveillance activities pursuant to multiple legal authorities, including Executive Order 12333, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as amended, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the USA FREEDOM Act;

    Whereas the ALA defends privacy rights and supports government transparency and accountability; and

    Whereas passage of the USA FREEDOM Act meaningfully contributed to recalibration of the nation’s privacy and surveillance laws, restoring civil liberties, but accomplished only a fraction of all such necessary change; therefore be it

    RESOLVED, that the American Library Association, on behalf of its members and the public interest:

    1. Urges the President and Congress to amend all germane surveillance-enabling authorities, such as Executive Order 12333, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as amended, and the USA PATRIOT Act, to:
      1. Require government agencies to obtain judicial warrants before collecting any individual’s personal information from third parties and require court approval for National Security Letters;
      2. Raise the standard for government collection of all records under FISA from “reasonable grounds” to “probable cause” and sunset Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT ACT (commonly known as the “library records” section);
      3. Limit the government’s ability to use information gathered under intelligence authorities in unrelated criminal cases, thereby making it easier to challenge the use of illegally obtained surveillance information in criminal proceedings; and
      4. Prohibit the government from requiring hardware and software companies to deliberately design encryption and other security features to facilitate government access to information otherwise protected by such features;
    2. Recommits itself to leadership in the fight for restoration of the public’s privacy and civil liberties through statutory and other legal reforms; and
    3. Commends and thanks all parties, both inside and outside of government, involved in developing and securing passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, resulting in movement away from overbroad surveillance laws and practices for the first time in more than a decade.

  3. RESOLUTION ON REPLACING THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUBJECT HEADING “ILLEGAL ALIENS” WITH “UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS”
  4. Whereas the terms “illegal” and “alien,” when used in reference to people, have undergone pejoration and acquired derogatory connotations, becoming increasingly associated with nativist and racist sentiments;

    Whereas the appropriateness of the word “alien” as a legal term is being questioned, with the New York Times Editorial Board calling for it to be retired and the state of California passing SB 432 to remove it from the state’s labor code;

    Whereas referring to undocumented immigrants as “illegal” is increasingly viewed as dehumanizing, offensive, inflammatory, and even a racial slur;

    Whereas a national campaigns such as “Drop the I-Word” and #WordsMatter are urging news media to stop using the word “illegal” to describe immigrants;

    Whereas many news organizations have committed to not using the word “illegal” to describe immigrants, including the Associated Press, USA Today, ABC, The Chicago Tribune, and the LA Times;

    Whereas college students have petitioned the Library of Congress to retire the subject heading Illegal aliens;

    Whereas there is no explicit mandate from Congress that LC must follow the U.S. Code terminology in this matter;

    Whereas the ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) Thesaurus and MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) both use the term Undocumented immigrants, and both are produced by federal government agencies;

    Whereas the ALA policy B.3 (Diversity) states that “ALA recognizes the critical need for access to library and information resources, services, and technologies by all people, especially those who may experience… discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status...;” and

    Whereas the ALA policy B.1.1 (Core Values of Librarianship) states that all library users should receive “accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests;” now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association urges the Library of Congress to change the subject heading Illegal aliens to Undocumented immigrants.


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Feminist Task Force News

by Audrey Robinson-Nkongola, Assistant Professor/Campus Librarian - Western Kentucky University

The month of March is Women’s History month in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

In order to prepare for this post, I researched feminism and libraries. I conducted another Google search with “women libraries.” Of course, I discovered several domestic and international libraries that focus on women’s issues and successes.

The University of Houston Libraries has the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection. Named for Carey C. Shurat, a native of Houston, Texas and proponent of women’s issues. The Collection’s website describes the archive: “Women’s Archive and Research Collection contains the records of women’s organizations and the papers of prominent Texas women. These materials document the range of women’s concerns, the ways in which women have come together to achieve their goals, and the impact they have had on the world around them.” The Women’s Archive and Research Collection contains records that date back to 1877.

Another feminist library is called Feminist Library on Wheels (F.L.O.W.). F.L.O.W was created by Jenn Witte and Dawn Finley. F.L.O.W. is located in Los Angeles, California and is a part of the Women’s Center for Creative Work. Books can be returned to the owners while they are on their bikes. The library is based on an honor system. Users can look on LibraryThing to see what is checked out. According to Witte and Finley, F.L.O.W. is a “multimedia collection of feminist texts, artifacts and ephemera made available to as diverse an audience as possible, by bicycle.”

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Hunger, Homelessness & Poverty Task Force News

by Lisa Gieskes and Julie Winkelstein

Our Task Force is making plans to host a program tied to equity for the Annual Conference in Orlando.

In addition, HHPTF members are writing a resolution to encourage ALA to dedicate more resources toward addressing the topic of homelessness and libraries, since public libraries in particular are being so impacted by the housing and poverty challenges in U.S. communities. Task Force members are also working on creating an online resource so public library staff can share concerns, successes and challenges related to serving their unstably housed library users. If you are interested in either or both of these, we'd love to hear from you! You can contact Julie Winkelstein to volunteer to help or for more information.


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International Responsibilities Task Force News

by Al Kagan, African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration Emeritus - University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

During the last few months the IRTF has continued its work in countering mass surveillance and in publicizing issues related to Palestinian libraries.

As more extensively reported in the last newsletter, we have been working with the ALA Council and its Committee on Legislation (COL) and its Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) in a working group to promote a consensus resolution on mass surveillance. Laura Koltutsky and Al Kagan represented SRRT on the working group. The group’s proposal unanimously passed the ALA Council, and without debate. (Please see the Resolution for Restoring Civil Liberties and Opposing Mass Surveillance in the minutes above.)

As also reported in the last newsletter, members of the IRTF have been working on plans for an exciting program on Palestinian libraries at the ALA annual conference in Orlando. This event, which will be jointly sponsored by SRRT and Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP), is tentatively entitled “Palestinian Libraries Under Occupation.” Randa Kamal and Diana Sayej-Naser, two prominent librarians, will be coming from Palestine for this program. Kamal is the director of libraries at Al-Quds University in Jerusalem and President of the Palestinian Library Association. Sayej-Naser is director of the Main Library at Birzeit University in Birzeit, Palestine near Ramallah, and also General Coordinator of the Palestinian Library and Information Consortium (PALICO), a consortium of academic libraries. Each will speak about the special problems and issues encountered by Palestinian libraries and librarians, about what their respective Palestinian library and librarian organizations are doing to address those problems, and about what the international library community can do to help.


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Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force News

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager -- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Task Force participated in this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration in Boston. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Mary Frances Berry. Dr. Berry spoke of Dr. King’s influence and discussed her arrest at an anti-apartheid protest and spoke of her support for numerous other causes, including “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Arab Spring. She was most poignant as she spoke of her relationship with Coretta Scott King. The two formed a bond after Dr. King’s death. Dr. Berry’s respect and admiration for Mrs. King was apparent as she addressed their involvement in the Free South Africa Movement. Dr. Berry’s Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy was recently published by Beacon Press, co-sponsor of the Sunrise Celebration. Berry briefly touched on themes of the book, including voter fraud and corruption through vote buying. ALA Past President Barbara Stripling delivered the Call-to-Action for the event.

The Task Force is hoping to screen a film for the Annual Conference. Our proposal to present the film as a Now Showing @ ALA program is currently being reviewed.


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Ethnic Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) News

Submitted by Leslie Campbell Hime
EMIERT Chair
Richland Public Library
Richland, Washington

Jaena Alabi is EMIERT’s 2016 David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award recipient for her article entitled “Racial Microaggressions in the Academic Library Environment: Results of a Survey of Minority and Non-minority Librarians.” Alabi’s article provides important context for understanding racial microaggressions in the workplace and lays the groundwork for transformative conversations about diversity and multiculturalism in the library profession.

The award will formally be presented to Ms. Alabi at Annual before the EMIERT sponsored panel, Intercultural Programs and Academic Libraries.

EMIERT is sponsoring three programs at ALA Annual 2016: Intercultural Programs and Academic Libraries: An Urban Perspective; Chronicle of Florida Jews; and Let the Circle be Unbroken: Meditations on a Successful Mentoring Circle In 2014.

EMIERT Taste of the Town: Eatonville, FL: Join EMIERT on Friday, June 24, 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. for a tour of historic Eatonville, Florida. Eatonville is one of the first incorporated African American communities in the United States and is famous for being one of the homes of Zora Neale Hurston. Registration is $40 and includes bus transportation from the Orange County Convention Center to Eatonville and a guided tour of the historic community. Following the tour, there will be a picnic lunch.

The 47th Annual Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast: Join the ALA Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee as we celebrate the very best in children’s and young adult literature representing the African-American experience at the 47th annual Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast. To be held Sunday, June 26, 7:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m., the breakfast will feature CSK Winner and Honor authors and illustrators, as well as the recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.


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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) News

Submitted by Peter Coyl, GLBTRT Chair

ALA Midwinter was bittersweet for many members of ALA, including the GLBTRT Executive Board, as we noticed the absence of Director-at-Large, and ALA Councilor-at-Large, Larry Romans who was unable to attend due to ill health. Larry unfortunately passed away weeks after our meetings in Boston. His passing has been felt by many, as he was well-liked and a friend to all he met. His influence and support of Children’s and Young Adult literature will be felt for years to come due to his, and his husband’s support of the Stonewall Book Awards.

At Boston, the GLBTRT announced the winners of two new awards, in addition to the Stonewall Book Award Winners, the Rainbow Book List and Over the Rainbow Book List.

The GLBTRT announced the Jean-­Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries as the inaugural recipient of the Newlen-­Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community. The award was established to honor a library, librarian, library staff member, library board and/or library friends groups who serve the GLBT community. Nominees are judged based on innovation, impact, sustainability and advocacy. A full press release is available here: https://t.co/7dl0oMjcdK

Michael McConnell and Jack Baker were named the inaugural recipients of the GLBTRT Award for Political Activism. The award will be presented on Monday, June 27, 2016 during the Stonewall Book Awards program at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The GLBTRT Award for Political Activism seeks to recognize librarians and library related organizations who have made outstanding contributions in the area of GLBT activism. The award consists of a certificate and $1,000. A full press release is available here: https://t.co/YSfCz5mrp1

The Stonewall Book Awards committee was able to, through the generosity of Mike Morgan and Larry Romans, award the Stonewall Book Award to a Children's title and a Young Adult title. This option is now available to the committee should there be a title in each category meeting the criteria. A full list of the Stonewall Book Award winners is available online at http://www.ala.org/Stonewall

Also announced at ALA Midwinter were the bibliographic lists Over the Rainbow (for adult readers of fiction and non­fiction) and the Rainbow Book List (for children and young adults).


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Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) News

Submitted by Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, SustainRT Member-at-Large

News from the Sustainability Roundtable

  • SustainRT now has a blog! To view the blog, please go to: http://olos.ala.org/sustainrt/. If you would like to share how you are promoting sustainability in your library or community, please consider contributing a post for the blog. Submissions for the blog should be between 500-1000 words and will be subject to review prior to posting. Please send submissions to sustainrtblog@gmail.com.
  • Upcoming webinar: May 19, 2016, 12:15-12:45pm (EDT) -- Rachel Shea on Sustainability and the Sacred (and librarians!). Librarians embody sustainability through the building of communities, spaces, collections and relationships.This is our core.To register and to view archived SustainRT webinars visit http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/events-0
  • SustainRT Lightning Rounds Event - Deadline to submit: Monday, April 4, 2016 Do you have a sustainability-related library story to tell? ALA's Sustainability Round Table (SustainRT) is looking for people to share their sustainability-related library projects during its program at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando.

    Format: Presenters will have five minutes each to tell their stories, with follow-up questions at the end of the program. Presenters may opt to use one fixed image (electronic or otherwise) as part of their presentation. The program will be held at ALA Annual on Sunday, June 26th from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

    Eligibility: Anyone may submit a proposal, though preference will be given to SustainRT members.

    Purpose: To share creative and important work that contributes to a more resilient, harmonious and holistic community through economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability work being done in libraries of all kinds. We are seeking a diverse representation of innovative sustainability projects that go beyond the straditional "greening" of libraries.

    To submit a proposal, send an email to Jason Nosek with the following:

    • Name
    • Institution or organization
    • Phone
    • Email
    • SustainRT member? (Y/N)
    • Title of your presentation
    • Description of the presentation you are proposing to make
    • Brief statement telling us what excites you about your topic and/or the sustainability movement within the library profession

    Proposals are due by Monday, April 4, 2016.

For more information about SustainRT: http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/

Inspired? Get involved! Find out how here: http://www.ala.org/sustainrt/how-get-involved.


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ALA Task Force for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (TFEDI) News

by LaJuan Pringle, Library Manager -- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

TF-EDI recently launched its final survey. The survey addresses financial inclusion, specifically as it relates to ALA conferences, webinars, and other Association events. This survey has been the most widely received, in terms of participation. The survey heavily resonates with participants and seems to be indicative of what SRRT has been saying for a while -- personal finances, as well as organizational support, determine inclusive participation within the Association. As the task force winds down, results from this survey, as well as information gathered from programs delivered in Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago will play a crucial role in delivering recommendations on how ALA can best build a climate that fosters equity, diversity, and inclusion. If the recommendations are adopted by Council, they will be turned over to a new group for implementation. TF-EDI will share its findings in Orlando.

TF-EDI is excited to announce the participation of Michael Eric Dyson at the Opening General Session in Orlando. The session will take place on Friday, June 24, 4:00-5:15p.m. Dyson will be on hand to discuss his latest book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America. The task force strongly believes Mr. Dyson can generate a substantial discussion of equity, diversity, and inclusion within our own organization, based on his own experiences. TF-EDI encourages all Orlando conference goers to attend the Opening Session.

LaJuan Pringle
Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, SRRT Representative
lpringle@cmlibrary.org

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Book Review: Censored and Under-Reported in the Mainstream

Review by Frederick W. Stoss - Associate Librarian, SUNY University at Buffalo

Censored 2015

Censored 2016

Next time some Conservative starts whining about the “liberal bias in the mainstream media,” consider two things. First and foremost is the near-total domination of Conservative, Republican, and Tea Party viewpoints, philosophies, dogma, and campaigns of misinformation, fear-mongering, and anti-science and anti-intellectualism vitriol. Second, there are major and important news stories that simply do not get the attention and coverage they deserve.

Dr. Carl Jensen, Sociology and Communications Professor, founded Project Censored in 1976 at Sonoma State University as part of a student research program in media and critical thinking. The Top Twenty-Five most censored and under-reported stories are compiled along with critiques and scholarly commentaries. This compilation is published by 7 Stories Press (http://www.projectcensored.org/store/).

A book of related compilations, Censored 2015: The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2013-2014, was published by 7 Stories Press in fall 2014.

Here is the list of the 2015 Top Ten Stories Ignored by the Mainstream media:

  • Half the Global Wealth Owned by the 1 Percent
  • Oil Industry Illegally Dumps Fracking Waste Water
  • Eighty-nine Percent of Pakistani Drone Victims Not Identified as Militants
  • Popular Resistance to Corporate Water-Grabbing
  • Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Deepens
  • Methane and Arctic Warmings’ Global Impacts
  • Fear of Government Spying is Chilling Writer’s Freedom of Expression
  • Who Dies at the Hand of Police—and How Often
  • Millions in Poverty Get Less Media Coverage Than Billionaires Do
  • Costa Rica is setting the Standard on Renewable Energy

As the forthcoming election approaches, these issues remain important to consider, and 7 Stories Press continues to publish updates. Censored 2016 was released in the fall of last year. I invite you to catch up on the information that may be omitted from your daily news intake.


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Essay: What's 'L' got to do with it?

by Kathryn La Barre and Carol Tilley, Associate Professors, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What’s ‘L’ got to do, got to do with it?
What’s ‘L’ but a second hand profession?
What’s ‘L’ got to do, got to do with it?
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

Al Kagan, writing in the December 2015 SRRT Newsletter, pondered the lack of support that Steven Salaita received from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at University of Illinois. While it’s true that GSLIS as a unit issued no statement of support as so many other campus academic units did, individual faculty members —including your two authors— were deeply involved in faculty and student-led initiatives to buttress Salaita’s cause. At the conclusion of his essay, Kagan wonders if the profession’s shift from library-focused to information science-driven, along with the accompanying shift in values, led to this lack of broad support by GSLIS and the University Library. There’s some truth to that assertion.

Within the next month or so, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois will become the School of Information Sciences. For several years, GSLIS has branded itself as the ‘iSchool at University of Illinois,’ a reflection of its membership in the iSchools, an international consortium of programs established in 2005, dedicated to ‘advancing the information field in the 21st Century.’ Of the sixty-five member iSchools, only fifteen retain the word ‘Library’ or one its variants as part of their names. The inner sanctum of the iSchool organization, the twenty-five member iCaucus, will have only one North American member —University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill— that retains the ‘L’ word as part of its school name once the change at Illinois is complete. Compare these numbers with the fifty-nine LIS degree programs in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico accredited by the ALA, nine of which offer information science or information studies degrees which elide the ‘L’ entirely, and six offering a generic master of science (no designation of (L)/IS).

LIS has long been a field concerned with innovation and technologies. In 1897, a single decade after Melvil Dewey helped open the School of Library Economy at Columbia University—the first library school in North America—the Illinois State Library School, what is now GSLIS, enrolled its first students on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its inaugural director was Katharine Sharp, an energetic librarian who understood the value of nascent technologies such as typewriters and the Rudolph Continuous Indexer in advancing librarianship. A century later GSLIS was the first LIS program to adopt a broad and successful online degree option. Sharp also understood the importance of librarians being engaged in the communities they served. She supported innovative programs such as one that put library students in charge of a local public library’s children’s department and another that established traveling book collections for rural communities. In more recent years, GSLIS pioneered a community informatics program, one that helps people leverage technologies to meet their everyday life needs. This coming Fall, GSLIS welcomes its first graduate cohort into the new information management program, a degree with no overlap in coursework with the existing (and continuing) program in library and information science (LIS). Degree programs like this are not new in LIS schools. Neither are the certificate programs and specializations in areas like data science or information security management.

Sometimes looking back helps us look forward, especially as we survey the blunt effects of naming and power in our field. In the 1980s Jesse Shera reflected upon a long career as both information science advocate and veteran of the naming wars in LIS. With jaded eyes, he damns the haste with which library science “‘seized upon information science’ as potential supports to professionalism...science does not a profession make, and an overlay of scientific operations is not a sine qua non for professionalism.” He gives voice to a still-abiding concern that,

the sublimation of librarianship in favor of emerging technologies represents the loss of control of the library profession to other and less competent hands. Of the dangers in this threat we do not seem to be fully aware…If we permit ourselves to be mesmerized by the gadget, if we accept the flickering image of data on a fluorescent screen as knowledge, we will soon become like those mythical people of many centuries ago who mistook for reality the passing shadows reflected on the walls of a cave.[1]

It seems clear that the move toward a stronger ‘I’ emphasis in LIS programs will continue. Is it the terminus of a battle simmering since the 1960s and 1970s over the primacy of the ‘L’ or the ‘I’? A final repudiation of the interconnected nature of information science and librarianship? A consequence of a corporate neoliberal university pushing aside a service-oriented (and feminized) profession for one which can more readily be monetized and commercialized? Is Jesse Shera’s nightmare vision in which we become “sorcerer’s apprentices, with data, data everywhere and not a thought to think,”[2] coming true?

Those faculty committed to the critical, innovative, and progressive values of librarianship may have lost the naming battle at GSLIS. We may not have succeeded in garnering a consensus statement of any kind with regard to Steven Salaita. Still we heed Shera’s words:

To keep something burning, to carry the light as best we can forward into the darkness and wind: That good friends, is the apotheosis of librarianship, that is what librarianship is all about. To bring man and book together in a fruitful relationship for the benefit of the individual, and through the individual to society, and to do so in an environment hospitable to serious meditation; that is our task… to carry the light as best we can.[3]

Though the candle is guttering and its light is frankly hard to see, the authors proudly carry it into the dark of this night. What does ‘L’ have to do with it? Everything.

[1] Shera, Jesse (1983). “Librarianship and Information Science” in Machlup, Fritz, and Una Mansfield, Eds. The Study of Information: Interdisciplinary Messages. New York: John Wiley & Sons, p. 387.

[2] Shera, Jesse. (April 1968). “Editorial.” Wilson Library Bulletin, p. 156.

[3] Shera, Jesse (September 1969). “The Quiet Stir of Thought,” Library Journal, p. 2875.


Also see:

Tilley, Carol, & Walter, Scott. (2016) “What’s in a name?” College & Research Libraries, http://crl.acrl.org/content/77/1/2.full.pdf+html

La Barre, Kathryn. (2013) “Foreword,” in H. Curtis Wright. Jesse Shera, Librarianship, and Information Science. Library Juice Press.


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Interview: Mary Ghikas on Merging the ALA Office For Diversity and the ALA Office For Literacy and Outreach Services

by Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow, Reference & Instruction Librarian, University of California, Riverside

The following article is an edited version of an interviewed conversation between the author and Mary Ghikas, Senior Associate Executive Director of the American Library Association. It was conducted in late October 2015, when the news of the merger of the Office For Diversity and the Office For Literacy and Outreach Services was a topic of conversation on the SRRT e-mail listserv.

Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow (MICD): Thanks so much for agreeing to talk with me about this topic, Mary. Let’s start by you telling me a little bit about yourself and your role within ALA.

Mary Ghikas (MG): I’m a 43 year member of ALA. 20 years of that is staff at ALA. What I do here is, my official title is Senior Associate Executive Director. Basically, I function as the #2 person at ALA.This means that part of my work is to give Keith [Fiels, ALA Executive Director] the kind of support he needs on occasion. I also support the ALA Executive Board and some ALA committees. I also have a directorate role, so I have a reporting relationship with some ALA pieces, including the 11 divisions, Conference Services, IT, and the program offices (ODLOS, OIF, OHRDR, Office for Accreditation). I do hiring, performance reviews, and supervision of ALA staff and managers.

MICD: That seems like a lot.

MG: It’s interesting. I see it as pretty much giving me the license to be interested in pretty much anything I want to be interested in, within the full, broad field of librarianship. How wonderful is that? It gets me involved with a lot of different member groups and very different levels in the volunteer structure. Very diverse groups of people, with many different interests and backgrounds.

MICD: Earlier you mentioned about being an ALA staff member for 20 years, but being a member for about 43 years. Could you talk a bit about your career as a librarian before becoming an ALA staff member?

MG: Once a librarian, always a librarian. I worked mostly as a public librarian at large urban settings. I worked for LA (Los Angeles) City, Los Angeles County, Chicago Public, mostly on the tech services, library technology side of librarianship. That’s really, really early library technology. My last position within a library was as the Assistant Commissioner at Chicago Public Library. Then, I worked for a small nonprofit in the [Chicago] district, then in the private sector with Gaylord Information Systems for a few years. They ran a multi-type system in New York, the western New York system, which I worked in and included small academic libraries, school library districts, corporate and hospital libraries and public libraries. Then I came to ALA.

MICD: That brings us to my next question. Can you give me some background information on the ALA Office For Diversity and the Office For Literacy & Outreach Services merger?

MG: I’ll need to pull up some historical documents, but, basically, the Office For Literacy & Outreach Services [OLOS] comes out of that whole period of foment within the Association in the 1960s and 1970s. SRRT was one of the key drivers of the development of the Office. So there’s a real focus on equity and inclusion on the outlook of its work, especially when you look at the OLOS founding documents. OLOS was already in place when I arrived at ALA. During my time here, the Spectrum Scholarship initiative was developed in the late 1990s. Coming out of that, when I set out to hire a diversity officer, we initially thought of placing that person in the Office For Human Resources, Development & Recruitment [HRDR]. For a variety of reasons, we ended up creating a separate office around the diversity officer position, the Office For Diversity [OFD]. After a few rounds of Directors of the OFD, it became apparent that there was an enormous amount of overlap between the goals and work of OFD and OLOS. Diversity, we found, involved bigger questions and a bigger array of issues. It needed a bigger array of people who needed to be involved and engaged. If you look at diversity, equity and inclusion, the three together, you see that the people involved with OLOS and OFD are the same people. And sometimes there were collisions, people stepping over each other. There was very little clarity. Sometimes a project belonged to OLOS and sometimes OFD. We saw situations where there were confusion in some corners and overlap in others. We weren’t sure who was responsible for which piece of this or that. Things weren’t working quite the way we wanted them to work.

Then in 2008, when the economic recession came about, we were in the same economic straits as our members and many libraries across the country. We had huge issues we had to deal with. We ended up thinking of hiring someone very strong and allow them to run both offices [OFD and OLOS]. And that got us partly to where we wanted to be. That was about the time that Miguel Figaroa was Director of OFD.

In the last three budget cycles, the two offices had a consolidated budget. It’s only been in the last year that we are finally starting to see some clarity around how the different pieces held by the two offices come together, so what we are looking at at this point is really a single administrative unit. I see them now as three portfolios, if you will: diversity, literacy, and outreach services. And maybe, as time goes by, we’ll find out that there are additional portfolios or maybe just two. I think we have great flexibility within the broad umbrella of equity and inclusion.

The one piece that I had to look at for a while is literacy because it seems like an outlier. And yet that goes back to some of that foundational work with OLOS, that I mentioned earlier. When they do work in literacy and look at the work of the office, they are doing work within the context of equity and inclusion. For instance, the work of improving literacy is working in the absence of support, resources, inequitable access, active denial of resources. So when I looked closer at the kinds of work that the office was doing, and looked at what was being done in OFD, I saw that there was a way to pull resources together around the critical focus of equity and inclusion. I do think this is a tremendously critical place for us to be at this point. It may take a lot of resources.

We always look at resources in two ways: internal, budgeted resources within ALA, such as staff, travel, and research grants, and the member-based resources, such as all the committees. But then there are also resources that come in from member contacts or the work of ALA staff members, such as the Dollar General Literacy Foundation as part of the OLOS portfolio. These last sort of resources are the kind that sit somewhere in the middle of the other two. So we’re looking at the new director who has a strong focus on equity and inclusion, a strong emphasis on education, a strong outlook on social justice, paying attention to social justice issues, outreach and education, and support and leadership for libraries, librarians, and library staff. Does that make sense?

MICD: Yes, it does.

MG: Having gone down the road of pulling these combination of things together on the internal ALA staff side, we are now taking a look at the member side. A call was made recently to bring together a group of committee and round table members tied to OLOS and OFD, members who have done work with one or the other or both. At the moment, there’s organizations like the OLOS Advisory Committee still existing [Editor’s note: OLOS Advisory Committee is now known as the ODLOS Advisory Committee ]. The questions posed to them was, “What do you want the umbrella group to look like? What do you want this new office called? You could choose to have it be called the Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. You could ask ALA Council to change the name to Office of Equity and Inclusion. You tell us. What for you will signal the right umbrella concept?” So there’s a working group charged with investigating this name and the office charge. Since ALA Council approves the charges of the offices, any name and charge changes need to go to the ALA Committee on Organization.

Aside from thinking about budgetary concerns within ALA, I often think about how to help get member work done that needs to get done. How do you help member groups who are each working in their own space, how do you help them see that helping other member groups with their work will help them do their own? Especially since members doing this work have their own jobs and tasks and don’t necessarily see how their ALA work coincide with the work of others in the Association. So for the case of the OLOS Advisory Committee, I ask what relationship it has with all the other committees, such as the Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee. So this working group is looking at the sorts of questions that try to find clarity with how functions, charges, and committees are related to each other. During Midwinter, I am hoping that we can have the conversations necessary so we can go ahead to the Committee on Organization, then the ALA Council that will give us an OLOS Advisory Committee that is reshaped that will advise the merged Office across the full span of issues that relate to equity and inclusion. Including literacy, outreach services, and whatever else needs to be there.

MICD: It’s pretty complex. It’s not just a matter of merging two offices together. But also committees and groups that work with the offices.

MG: Yes. We can’t really look at the internal stuff without also looking at the member side of things. For the most part, the internal, staff side pieces can’t really do their work without the member side. That’s how member associations work. Associations are really people who have come together to do something that they couldn’t do by themselves. So we have to keep our essential “association-ness” in mind when you think about how to do something here. It could be quite easy and occasionally tempting to think we can do things by ourselves, but that’ll be a wrong way to go about doing things. We really need to think about how to bring other committees and groups along.

What I’ve been hearing from members and the Task Force for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is that equity and inclusion are critical issues for the profession and the larger society today. How do we then put resources together to have an impact on these issues? The merger is one simple answer to this question. It can be that simple. And that complex.

MICD: There doesn’t seem to be a set idea for the merger to be “successful.” So how do we know if the merger has reached success?

MG: I can suggest some things. But ultimately, perhaps there are two ways to come at this. One is to say, if we agree that the fundamental, critical issues at stake are those of equity and inclusion, for which the Office can provide leadership to all us in the Association. I think this is the right way to go, but my thinking is, this might not be sufficient. Second, from a management perspective, I can say that there are overlap here and some resources there. And the best way is to organize the Office this way. But I can only do so much of this from the internal, staff side. We need both. So we need to ask our members where we need and want to focus, especially if we all agree that the critical issues facing our society today are issues of equity and inclusion. I anticipate that some of the focus will stay with Spectrum and we have a budget commitment to bring another half-time staff person to work specifically on Spectrum.

One of the exciting things about the new Office director is her strengths in education around issues of diversity, social justice, equity, and inclusion. But still we need to ask and answer--what are the key issues in the various pieces that address these other pieces of diversity, social justice, equity, and inclusion?

To some extent, being in an association is being in a large conversation. I can’t just talk to myself. I need to talk to you. You all need to talk each other. We need to all talk to the staff in the Office. They need to talk to you. And we all need to come together. When the real question is what can we do that will ultimately have an impact on our communities, I can’t answer that by myself.

MICD: The challenge isn’t just before the Association in terms of the merger. It’s also a challenge to us, as a profession.

MG: Yes, it is. I think there are an important group of committees and roundtables and the staff in the new Office to support them are doing very interesting work, but they need to define that work. I have a pretty high level of confidence that they can do it.

MICD: Are there any other plans at ALA to merge other offices?

MG: There has been a whole lot of internal changes, for all the same reasons that libraries aren’t static. Work pressures, new priorities, money, resources, these all come into play. For instance, the Director of HRDR is also spending some of her time managing the Allied Professionals Association. It’s not an uncommon thing, this consolidation of resources. I think in this case, the case of OLOS and OFD, what makes it different is it wasn’t purely an economic decision. Programmatically, we needed to gain some efficiency in order to gain some impact and we needed to get sharper focus, to redefine the focus. We needed to ask how the different, divergent pieces of each office serve equity and inclusion. This made it more difficult, I think. It makes it more complicated because it makes it necessarily a conversation that involves a lot of people.

MICD: You did mention the economic side of this merger. There’s concern that there’s not adequate budget to address both diversity and literacy.

MG: Resources have always been an issue. There always will be more demand than what we have money for. That’s just the way it is. Right now, to address resource concerns, I have an office structure that includes the Director, a Program Officer on the outreach side, a Program Office on diversity, and a Program Officer on literacy. I also have a grant funded position through the Dollar General literacy project and we have a half-time position this year to specifically provide support for the Spectrum program, so the Program Officer in diversity can do other types of work. Which is important because the Spectrum program takes an enormous amount of work in terms of staff support. This array of resources may get shifted around, as the new Director sees fit. I want to segment the work in a way that makes more sense. We might get more impact if we divide the work differently. I just don’t know. I think the new Director coming in needs the opportunity to take a look at the resources she has and decide what would work most efficiently.

We had taken a look at the Office’s allied pieces, all the standing committees, plus the task forces, looked at the charges of all of the round tables that relate to this Office. We took a look at their websites. Then, of course, the five caucuses. It’s a critical piece to look at the array of organizations and see how focus and mutual support can be developed among them. There’s a lot of potential there.

MICD: I guess the question is harnessing it, focusing it.

MG: Yes, it is. That’s always the question.


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Call for Editorial Board Members

Are you looking for a way to be more involved in the Social Responsibilities Round Table? Are you passionate about books, media and their role in social responsibility? Do you have excellent writing and editing skills? Are you good at meeting deadlines and encouraging others to meet them as well? If so, membership to the SRRT Newsletter Editorial Board might be just the volunteer position you’re looking for!

We are in need of two members who can serve on the Editorial Board as soon as possible.

Editorial Board memberships positions are determined by the SRRT Action Council.

If you are interested in becoming members of the SRRT Editorial Board, please send a copy of your resume/CV, a brief letter of inquiry outlining your qualifications and interest in the position, and a writing sample and/or examples of previous work to Melissa Cardenas-Dow, SRRT Newsletter Editor and SRRT Editorial Board member, at micd.srrt.newsletter [at] gmail.com.


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Call for Submissions

The SRRT newsletter is always looking for good articles, essays and letters to the editor. The next submission deadline is May 20, 2016.

Submissions to the SRRT Newsletter may be made by any current SRRT Member or SRRT affiliate. Please send your submissions electronically in one of the following formats: MS Word, RTF, PDF, or plain text pasted into the body of an e-mail. Submissions should be 500 to 1,000 words. Graphics are encouraged. If using images that are already on the Internet, the URL of the image and a caption or description may be added to the text of the submission.

Please send original submissions and inquiries to SRRT Newsletter Editor Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow at micd.srrt.newsletter [at] gmail.com, indicating "SRRT Newsletter" within the subject line of your e-mail. A confirmation of receipt will be sent in a timely manner.

Submissions for book or media reviews should be sent to Meaghan Hunt-Wilson, the SRRT Newsletter Reviews Editor at SRRTreviews [at] gmail.com, indicating “Reviews” in the subject line of your e-mail.

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Publication Information

SRRT Newsletter is published quarterly by the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association. ISSN: 0749-1670. Copyright © 2015 by the Social Responsibilities Round Table. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without permission.

Editor: Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow, micd.srrt.newsletter [at] gmail.com.

Reviews Editor: Meaghan Hunt-Wilson, SRRTreviews [at] gmail.com.

Editorial Board Members: Erik Sean Estep, Michael Gorman, Rebecca Martin, and Julie Winkelstein.

Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of ALA/SRRT. The editors reserve the right to edit submitted material as necessary or as whimsy strikes.

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