November 21, 2016
For American Library Association members, this past weekend was a firestorm of controversy around a series of press releases, retractions, and apologies having to do with the association’s posture toward the incoming Trump administration and the unshackled radically conservative 115th Congress. I want to avoid chronicling these events, but will refer you to two centerpieces of the weekend’s discussion, blog posts by Emily Drabinski and Sarah Houghton. If you haven’t read them yet, read them first so that I don’t have to spend time rehashing the events. I would add one thing to these statements though, which is to emphasize that the press releases came not from the ALA President, but from the ALA Washington Office, which is ALA’s lobbying arm and its site of relations with the government. These press releases were a statement of ALA’s intention to collaborate with the Trump administration and Congress to help them with some of their goals which ALA shares in common. The fact that they did not express any of ALA’s priorities that are in conflict with Trumpism was what enraged members. My personal reaction was disappointment and anxiety – anxiety that ALA will go down in history as collaborating with a fascist government rather than opposing it in any way. And my impression of the press releases was that they were driven by fear – fear, perhaps, that the Washington Office has to show it is willing to cooperate if it is to have any hope of preserving the LSTA and the IMLS. (The Library Services and Technology Act and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are the two major sources of Federal funding for libraries and have to be periodically renewed by Congress, so they are the main focus of the Washington Office’s activities as lobbyists.)
It is important to understand that the Washington Office operates with a lot of independence from ALA. ALA President Julie Todaro was quoted in their press releases with statements that reflect their cooperative and supportive attitude toward the Trump administration, but if you know about how press releases are produced you know that you can’t assume she came up with those words herself or that they represent her own personal views. Her role as ALA’s spokesperson is necessarily an impersonal role. So I don’t believe it is appropriate to put the heat on President Todaro as though the press releases represent her views. However, I consider her apology for the Friday’s retracted press release to be a bit of a misdirection, because in apologizing she was tacitly taking responsibility for it. In taking responsibility for it she deflected attention from the fact that the press release was a statement by the Washington Office with the government as its primary intended audience.
This morning, President Todaro issued a statement that was intended to cool off the weekend’s firestorm. In it, she reassures members that ALA stands for all things good, just like we want it to. It is important to keep in mind the fact that it does not retract last Tuesday’s press release, which is still sitting on the website as the Washington Office’s official statement of its posture toward the Trump administration. That makes it a misdirection. I want to try to put the focus where it belongs, on the Washington Office. So enough about Julie Todaro.
A few words about the Washington Office, because people should understand its role and its relation to the rest of ALA. ALA of course is an odd beast, an organization of 60 thousand members, a governance structure that is member-based, and lots and lots of employees, who have their own governance structure and call the shots in many ways. So there is tension between member governance and executive governance. Washington Office staff are employees of ALA, and they operate with a lot of independence, owing in part to the fact that other people can only understand their work with Congress and government offices so well. (The fact that their website has its own domain name for staff email addresses underscores their independence.) It is a rather arcane business, inside-the-beltway politics. But officially, the Washington Office is not supposed to set its own policies. It’s policies are supposed to be set by ALA’s Committee on Legislation, which is composed of ALA members and reports to ALA Council, which is ALA’s main governing body and is elected by membership. So through a supposedly democratic process, the membership, you and I, are supposed to determine the policies of the Washington Office, through the Committee on Legislation. In reality, it works that way only to a minimal extent (although arguably the potential exists for members to exert more control, which is the reason I am posting this). I served a term on ALA Council, and used to attend Council sessions for several years prior to that, and I can tell you that Council seldom if ever directed the Committee on Legislation in terms of what the Washington Office policies toward government would be. There were occasions when Council would make a political statement on an important issue through the resolution process, with instructions for the Washington Office to relay this message to Congress. This can be very significant, as it was with ALA’s statement against the USA PATRIOT Act. But more often than not, when ALA Councilors with connections to SRRT (ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table) made an effort to get a politically oriented resolution passed, the Committee on Legislation would push back, saying, “The Washington Office says this would make their work with Congress more difficult in terms of getting LSTA funding.” A valid point with some degree of truth that we can’t know without being a lobbyist ourselves, but two points come to mind in response. First, there are plenty of examples of precedents for taking a strong stand politically where no negative impact on LSTA funding was felt, for example, the Resolution on the USA PATRIOT Act. ALA took a risk, against the general guidance of the Washington Office that it does not pay to ruffle feathers, and the result was a statement that members are still proud of. And LSTA funding survived. Second, it is worth highlighting that the COL’s role on Council has primarily been to relay policy advice from the Washington Office, a staff organization, to Council, which is supposed to be the body that sets its policy. This is a reversal of the way the relationship is formally designed. (If you want to do some reading about the history of attempts to get ALA Council to make political statements and the politics surrounding those efforts, I highly recommend Elaine Harger’s book, Which Side Are You On: Seven Social Responsibilities Debates in American Librarianship, 1990-2015, published by McFarland earlier this year.)
So it is in the context of these relationships that you should read the press releases.
(Parenthetically, I do have a couple of questions about these press releases that maybe someone can answer in the comments. I wonder why last Tuesday’s press release didn’t attract any attention, and why it was not acknowledged by Todaro in her apology for Friday’s press release, which was practically identical to it. For that matter, why were there two nearly identical press releases in the first place? Why was Friday’s press release released at all?)
To reiterate, the Washington Office press release from last Tuesday still stands and still has to be taken as their official position on how they will relate to the incoming presidential administration and Congress, and to that extent it remains extremely disappointing and remains a problem that we have to deal with. We should shift the focus away from questions of the way the press releases were worded, and we should be careful to understand that a message from the ALA President about what the association stands for has no impact, in itself, on the Washington Office.
What we should do is this. We should communicate, through Council, that the Committee on Legislation has an important task – to review the overall policies of the Washington Office to ensure that those policies are well-aligned with the priorities of the association, as expressed in statement’s like President Todaro’s statement from this morning. And we should ask for a retraction of Tuesday’s press release and the crafting of a new one that puts ALA’s positive priorities front and center, as goals of its lobbying efforts. Statements of how ALA wants to cooperate with a few of the Trump administration’s goals can be secondary. (There are other associations to look to as examples. Lisa Hinchliffe brought this statement from the National Association of Social Workers to my attention as an exemplar we should look to, and also pointed out a similar situation that the American Institute of Architects are dealing with.)
It is also important to keep in mind through all of this that the context of the Washington Office’s work is changing radically. It is changing to the extent that what they have learned about lobbying in previous sessions of Congress may no longer be valid. Maximizing funding through LSTA and the IMLS may no longer be a concern if the LSTA and IMLS don’t exist anymore (and there is a very good chance that they will go away completely, as the 115th Congress promises to be an orgy of destruction). That might make it paradoxically easier for them to take a strong stand against the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, or at least give them less of a reason to try to block political statements by Council. We don’t know what will happen yet, but we do know that Republicans in Congress have educational institutions in their crosshairs and they have expressed every intention to cut government activities radically. I do not envy Washington Office staff in this situation, and I feel for them. I wish I had a better understanding of how they do what they do, and how they look at all of this. Judging from the tone of the press releases from last week though, it is pretty evident that they are feeling afraid. I hope we can give them a sense of strength in having the association behind them, and that knowing we are behind them they can craft a stronger statement. But in offering them strength, we should also be assertive about the need for a new statement from the Washington Office, laying out ALA’s values and letting the contrast between those values and the Trump administration speak for itself.
Regarding the argument we are beginning to hear that ALA should indeed cooperate with the Trump administration where possible, if it means being better able to achieve some of our goals. I do not dispute this, but it shouldn’t be the sole message of ALA’s statement of its position with respect to the new government. The Washington Office should make it clear at the same time what ALA stands for. Personally, I don’t think we need to say that “ALA refuses to cooperate with the Trump administration and repudiates its fascist ideology,” but we can say what we stand for, and we can register what we are concerned about specifically, before mentioning possible areas of collaboration.
I am terrible at concluding blog posts, so I will just repeat my central point. Julie Todaro’s inspiring statement from this morning has no effect on Washington Office policy, and it is Washington Office policy that their press releases from last week have revealed to us and that we should be concerned about. And there are ways that we can influence that policy. To that end, I have to share Diedre Conklin’s wonderful list of relevant contact information. Use it to write your letters.
November 19, 2016
And this is the press release that was taken down, retrieved from a Google cache:
For Immediate Release
ALA Washington Office
WASHINGTON, DC — Today the American Library Association (ALA) released three briefs highlighting how libraries can advance specific policy priorities of the incoming Trump administration in the areas of entrepreneurship, services to veterans and broadband adoption and use.
“ALA is dedicated to helping all our nation’s elected leaders identify solutions to the challenges our country faces,” ALA President Julie Todaro said. “The briefs released today demonstrate the diverse range of programs and services provided by our nation’s 120,000 libraries, which together constitute a national infrastructure that can address some of the challenges identified by President-elect Trump.
“Libraries are hubs of entrepreneurship and small business development,” she continued. “We help veterans and others access valuable benefits and services they are eligible for. And libraries spur broadband adoption by increasing awareness and confidence in using online resources and services.”
Each paper features numerous snapshots of programs around the country illustrating libraries’ contributions to vibrant communities, as well as “takeaway” points for decision-makers:
One Small Business at a Time: Building Entrepreneurial Opportunity in America’s Communities (PDF)
Snapshot: A Maryland ice cream entrepreneur used library resources to write an award-winning business plan that led to $50,000 in seed money and the launch of her shop.
Takeaway: Leverage libraries in new policy initiatives to grow entrepreneurship and small businesses.
Libraries Help and Honor Our Veterans: Employment, Education and Community Connection (PDF)
Snapshot: A California veteran said the referral he received at the library led to him receiving medical benefits and back pay he was unaware he earned.
Takeaway: Libraries represent a proactive, cost-effective solution for extending outreach and services to veterans and their families.
America’s Libraries: Powering Broadband Access, Adoption and Use (PDF)
Snapshot: Families in public housing with school-aged children receive digital literacy training and access to online homework resources and other digital services at libraries.
Takeaway: Libraries bring a wealth of resources and expertise to partnerships like ConnectHome with the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development
Release of the snapshots coincides with a major policy event (Here Comes Everybody) on the same day held jointly by ALA and the Internet Association, which represents America’s leading internet companies and their global community of users. Focused on how to harness the internet and U.S. libraries to increase economic opportunity for all, the event features speakers from Yelp, Google and the two associations, followed by a policy hackathon.
“Virtually every community across the country is served by libraries,” said Todaro. “Given adequate resources and support, we can expand the scope and reach of the resources we offer.”
And here is the press release from a few days earlier, which is still (at this date) still on the ala website: http://libraryjuicepress.com/blog/?p=5418. As you can see, it’s not much different.
ALA’s Washington Office press release from yesterday has already been removed from the web – That’s the one that sane people found horribly craven for its eagerness in declaring ALA wants to collaborate with Trump’s government. An earlier press release that says essentially the same thing, also from the ALA Washington Office, is still on the web. Since it is logical to expect that it might also end up getting taken down, here it is for posterity, followed by a comment from me:
For Immediate Release
ALA Washington Office
WASHINGTON, DC — The American Library Association offers its expertise and resources to the incoming administration and the new and returning members of Congress from all parties elected on Nov. 8.
“The American Library Association is dedicated to helping all our nation’s elected leaders identify solutions to the challenges our country faces,” ALA President Julie Todaro said. “We are ready to work with President-elect Trump, his transition team, incoming administration and members of Congress to bring more economic opportunity to all Americans and advance other goals we have in common.”
Libraries themselves – 120,000 strong and embedded in the largest urban centers, small farming communities and school and university campuses – make up a robust national infrastructure immediately available to advance several policy priorities identified by the President-elect. As hubs of learning, literacy, job skills development and access to public services in virtually every community across the country, our nation’s libraries are ready and able now to expand the nationwide reach of these valuable services.
Some of these services are described in detail in a series of papers being released this week by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, including:
* One Small Business at a Time: Building Entrepreneurial Opportunity in America’s Communities
* America’s Libraries: Powering Broadband Adoption, Access and use
* Libraries Help and Honor Our Veterans: Employment, Education and Community Connection
We trust that these resources will assist the new administration and Congress in addressing several areas of national interest announced on the website for the White House Transition Team, specifically in:
Infrastructure: As many as 33 percent of American households lack home broadband connections. Libraries use broadband technologies to help citizens, especially in the most disadvantaged and rural areas, improve their education, find a job and start a business. Investments and public policies are needed to advance the deployment of widespread high-speed broadband capabilities to libraries and other community anchor institutions, as well as to the general population.
Education: Libraries provide opportunities for digital and traditional literacy training. From hosting technology camps to teaching coding skills to offering 3D printers, libraries foster the kind of computational thinking necessary for success in today’s world. Ensuring funding for federal block grants to states for the work of libraries will enable local governments to determine how to best meet the greatest needs in their own communities and make wise investments in education.
Serving veterans: Libraries help address many of the challenges experienced by members of the military when they return to civilian life. Libraries help veterans (and their families) search for a job, improve and translate job skills to the civilian context and navigate bureaucracies to receive the benefits to which they are entitled. Further collaboration with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense will allow libraries to efficiently address the issues facing our returning veterans.
“Through new and strengthened collaborations, libraries are well-positioned to serve as an ever-stronger and flexible resource to advance critical national goals,” continued Todaro. “The U.S. library community looks forward to strengthening our partnerships with federal agencies, the new administration and other key stakeholders at all levels of government.”
That’s the press release. A few brief comments of my own for now. I hope to take this up soon, perhaps with an interview with someone on the ALA Committee on Legislation, which is charged with directing the Washington Office in matters of policy. First, it seems obvious that the “goals in common” that ALA shares with a Trump administration are vastly overshadowed by incompatibilities. To name two: Libraries are committed to inclusivity, and Trump and his team believe that the real America is white, male, heterosexual, and Christian. Second, libraries are committed to an enlightenment idea of intellectual freedom, understood as a process where the play of ideas in rational discourse leads to a democratic society governed by a collective wisdom and honest efforts toward truth, while Trump and his supporters have no respect for facts and view the public sphere as an arena where only fools observe the norms of adherence to reason and where might is right. Honest observers recognize that we are dealing with fascists, and we should be vocal in highlighting these incompatibilities, rather than for scurrying to find little areas where we can collaborate. I do not want my association to go down in history as collaborating with a fascist regime, not when we have such strong precedents for standing up to power. I think this issue is going to be front and center for ALA members for the next four years at least. I am hopeful that the Washington Office can be directed to change course and can be assigned a more oppositional stance. I think the response from members will be strong enough to do that.
And recovered now: the press release that was taken down: http://libraryjuicepress.com/blog/?p=5421
And incidentally, this press release, the earlier one that is still up, is open for comments from ALA members on the ALA website.
November 14, 2016
Message from Al Kagan to the SRRTAC-L list:
We are excited to announce that Bill McKibben will be a featured speaker at ALA Annual 2017!
Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. His books have been published worldwide in over 20 languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, which is sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” The same year he was recognized by biologists who named a new species of woodland gnat (Megophthalmidia mckibbeni) in his honor. McKibben is co-founder and Senior Advisor at 350.org, an international, grassroots climate movement that works in 188 countries around the globe to organize rallies and spearhead resistance to the Keystone Pipeline. This organization is also credited with beginning the fossil fuel divestment movement.
McKibben suggests that we conceptualize climate change as a threat on the order of World War III and respond accordingly. With this mindset we can make societal shifts similar to those experienced in the 1940’s wartime era and move to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage.
There is urgency to his message as climate change is happening more quickly than scientists anticipated. McKibben argues that the status quo and doubt are luxuries we cannot afford. The nonviolent war that McKibben proposes will save lives and has the potential to produce millions of jobs.
Sponsored by: ALA’s Social Responsibilities Round Table and Sustainability Round Table as well as the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association and the American Indian Library Association
Date, time, and location of McKibben’s featured address at ALA annual in Chicago are forthcoming.
October 14, 2016
Library Juice Press and Library Juice Academy are looking for someone, or maybe a couple of people, to help us out with our presence in the exhibits hall during ALA Midwinter in Atlanta, January 20th to 23rd. Compensation is $20/hr, with likely 20 hours of work over the four days (flexible). Transportation to Atlanta and lodging are your responsibility. The primary responsibility is to talk to attendees of the conference about our books and online classes. The main qualification is familiarity with our work. Please send a cover letter and resume to Rory Litwin, at email@example.com.
September 20, 2016
CHICAGO – The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services (ODLOS)is launching Intersections, a new blog that highlights the everyday work of library and information science workers as they advocate for equity and inclusion as they relate to diversity, literacy and access among membership, the field of librarianship and the communities they serve.
The blog invites submissions from across the library profession that feature support for those from historically and disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups; those who experience socioeconomic barriers, people experiencing hunger, homelessness and poverty; immigrants, refugees and new Americans; those discriminated against based on nationality or language; those who are geographically isolated; those experiencing barriers in regards to access to literacy; and new and non-readers.
“We envision Intersections to be a vibrant and thriving place for our members to share their stories,” said ODLOS Director Jody Gray. “We’ll also be sharing exciting news from ODLOS and our many constituencies, including information on conferences, initiatives, grants, and much more.”
For more information, including submission information, please visit www.ala.org/intersections.
The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services supports library and information science workers in creating safe, responsible, and all-inclusive spaces that serve and represent the entire community. To accomplish this, we decenter power and privilege by facilitating conversations around access and identity as they impact the profession and those we serve. We use a social justice framework to inform library and information science workers’ development of resources. We strive to create an association culture where these concerns are incorporated into everybody’s everyday work.
John L. Amundsen, MLIS
Program Officer, Outreach and Communications
Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services
American Library Association
50 East Huron Street
Chicago, IL 60611
T 312.280.2140 | F 312.280.3256
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ala.org/diversity
August 11, 2016
From: Mary Ghikas
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 3:14 PM
Subject: FW: ALA Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation Webinars
On behalf of Peter Hepburn, chair of the ALA Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation, I am sending this out with a request to forward to the groups with which you work. Thanks go to Danielle Alderson for setting up these sessions. Thank you all for forwarding the announcement. mg
The ALA Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation is charged to develop a white paper that describes the fields and context for which we will be accrediting in the future and to make such recommendations as may arise in the process of that development to the ALA Executive Board.
Within its purview are
Accreditation of information programs — who is doing what, how do or might they relate to LIS programs; disconnect (or perceived disconnect) between skills increasingly needed (e.g., information architecture), the current curricula of LIS programs, and standards/statements of core competencies currently in place;
Values — e.g. public access, privacy, intellectual freedom — as common threads binding together LIS and related fields and a core element in curricula; and,
The changing institutional context for accreditation, including factors such as pedagogical innovation, assessment and resources.
The discussion/white paper should result in a conceptual statement as a framework for the development (by the ALA Committee on Accreditation) of future standards.
The Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation seeks broad input from the LIS community. To this end, the Task Force will be staging a series of online forums targeting certain populations and capped with a general forum for those who have not otherwise had an opportunity to contribute.
The four sessions are as follows:
Thursday, August 18 10:00 am PDT/12:00 pm CDT LIS faculty (other than deans and directors).
To attend this event please register at:
Thursday, August 25 10:00 am PDT/12:00 pm CDT Librarians and LIS graduates in Canada
To attend this event please register at:
Wednesday, August 31 10:00 am PDT/12:00 pm CDT Current LIS students and recent LIS graduates
To attend this event please register at:
Friday, September 2 10:00 am PDT/12:00 pm CDT General forum
To attend this event please register at:
Each forum will be hosted by a facilitator from the Task Force. Attendance at each forum will be capped at 100. The facilitator will have a set of guiding questions, but discussion is otherwise open. The conversation will be recorded.
Please contact Task Force chair Peter Hepburn at email@example.com should you have questions.
We look forward to the conversations.
Peter Hepburn, chair, Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation
Head Librarian, College of the Canyons
Santa Clarita, CA
August 4, 2016
Message from Diedre Conkling…
Believe it or not it is now time to start thinking about whether or not you would like to run for a position on SRRT Action Council. The terms are 3 year terms so would be from summer 2017 through summer 2020.
For information about SRRT Action Council just go to http://libr.org/srrt/council.php. There are 4 terms expiring, those of Laura Koltutsky, Charles Kratz, Nikki Winslow and me.
To run for a position you need to fill out the form at https://www.directvote.net/alanomination/2017users.html. The more complete the information you provide the better it is for all of us when we are voting.
All candidates running for round table positions must complete the biographical information form no later than 11:59 pm CST on January 26, 2017, after which point the form will go down and new candidates will not be accepted for the ballot.
Here are the instructions for candidates to register on the system:
1.) You will see a Self-Register link on the first page within the bolded text at the top of the page.
2.) Click on the Register link to fill out the registration information and to set your passcode for the Nominee/Candidate process.
3.) Once in the Nomination site you will need to select your ballot. Once you have made your selection, click on “GO”.
4.) Next you will select the office you wish to run for and then click on “GO”.
5.) The first entry, Display Name, is how you would like your name displayed on the ballot. Once you have filled in your name, click on “Next”.
6.) When you go to the page with all of the question/categories to fill in, you will notice the word count monitor. Once you reach the limit, the word count monitor turns RED. Please remember to save your work often.
7.) If you try and submit your work with one or more required questions/categories not completed properly, the system will not let you submit. If this is the case, you will notice the word “Required” by each required category or field that was missed.
8.) If you hit logout, the page will turn grey, provide a notification that your work must be saved before logging out.
9.) When you hit finish you will be able to view your work.
10.) Once you have reviewed your work, if you would like to make any changes, click the “Previous” button and if what you have entered meets with your approval, please hit the “Submit” button and then the “Finish” button.
11.) If at any time during the process, you run into technical difficulties or have a question, please click on the “Support” button located at the bottom of the page. Individuals at ALA cannot troubleshoot problems with the form.
Candidates must click the SUBMIT button, and then the FINISH button to successfully submit their info. Candidates who do not complete their bio form by January 26 will not be included on the ballot. Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns with use of the form.
All candidates must be a current member of the roundtable (ALA/SRRT) as of January 31, 2017 in order to stand for election. Those who are not members of the roundtable by that date will be removed from the ballot, including write-in candidates.
July 5, 2016
From Bernadette Lear and Eric Novotny:
Libraries: Culture, History, and Society
We are delighted to announce that Libraries: Culture, History, and Society is now accepting submissions for our premiere issue to be published in Spring 2017.
A semiannual peer-reviewed publication from the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association and the Penn State University Press, LCHS will be available in print and online via JSTOR and Project Muse.
The only journal in the United States devoted to library history, LCHS positions library history as its own field of scholarship, while promoting innovative cross-disciplinary research on libraries’ relationships with their unique environments. LCHS brings together scholars from many disciplines to examine the history of libraries as institutions, collections, and services, as well as the experiences of library workers and users. There are no limits of time and space, and libraries of every type are included (private, public, corporate, and academic libraries, special collections and manuscripts). In addition to Library Science, the journal welcomes contributors from History, English, Literary Studies, Sociology, Education, Gender/Women’s Studies, Race/Ethnic Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Architecture, Anthropology, Geography, Economics, and other disciplines.
Submissions for volume 1, issue 1, are due August 29, 2016.
Manuscripts may be submitted electronically through LCHS’s Editorial Manager system at http://www.editorialmanager.com/LCHS/default.aspx. They must also conform to the instructions for authors at http://bit.ly/LCHScfp1.
We are excited to see this journal become a reality and welcome your thoughts (and submissions!) as we create a new platform for studying libraries within their broader humanistic and social contexts.
For further questions, please contact the editors:
Bernadette Lear, BAL19@psu.edu
Eric Novotny, ECN1@psu.edu
June 8, 2016
ALA’s OIF has begun publication of a new journal, the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP). It replaces and expands the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom (NIF).
The table of contents is here.
You will notice an article by yours truly, which is about SRRT’s Alternatives in Print Task Force, the attention to media monopoly issues in the 80s and 90s, and a related 2007 report from the IFC “Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries.”
Additionally, in the review section there is a review of the recent Library Juice Press publication, Where are all the Librarians of Color? The Experiences of People of Color in Academia.
We’re proud to be a part of this first issue of JIFP, and we look forward to seeing future issues.
March 8, 2016
“The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom” named 2016 Eli M. Oboler Award winner
Office for Intellectual Freedom
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table has announced the winner of the 2016 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, which recognizes the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. The 2016 award goes to The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom, edited by Mark Alfino and Laura Koltutsky. The publisher is the Library Juice Press.
In recognizing The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom, the Oboler Award selection committee said it believed that the book was an enormous contribution to the existing literature and indispensable to a thorough discussion of the subject of intellectual freedom. The book looks at intellectual freedom from a wider range of theoretical perspectives and in connection with a wider range of cultural topics, under the premise that “thought and action about intellectual freedom needs to be informed by a broader and more complex range of topics and theoretical reflection than it typically has been.” The 21 articles focus on topics including threats to intellectual freedom, academic freedom, the arts, the internet, censorship along with connections to contemporary social issues and institutions, and historical and cultural theories.
The Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award, which consists of $500 and a certificate, is presented for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom. The award was named for Eli M. Oboler, the extensively published Idaho State University librarian known as a champion of intellectual freedom who demanded the dismantling of all barriers to freedom of expression. The award has been offered biennially since 1986.
The award will be presented at the IFRT Award Reception & Member Social at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando in June.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.
December 5, 2015
Catch us at table number 2225 in the exhibits hall at ALA in Boston, January 8th through the 11th. We will have books published by Library Juice Press, as well as brochures and other goodies to give away. It is a good opportunity to ask us any questions about our books or our classes. Hope to see you!
November 20, 2015
Library Juice Academy/Library Juice Press is seeking one or more assistants to help us with our presence with our exhibit at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 8th through 12th, 2016. This will involve helping us set up and break down the booth and assisting us in staffing it. Compensation will be free admission to the exhibits hall, plus payment of $20 per hour, with the number of hours negotiable and based on how many helpers we enlist and what else you want to do during the conference.
The ideal person will have prior familiarity with our publications, so that we can feel confident in your ability to represent them well at the booth and show enthusiasm. We will have all of our books on display, and will also be promoting our online professional development courses.
If this opportunity interests you, please contact Rory Litwin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 18, 2015
ACRL’s University Library Section has a new award, the Outstanding Professional Development Award, which is going to be sponsored annually by Library Juice Academy. Leslie Sult was one of the people involved in creating the award, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to interview her about it for this blog.
Leslie, thanks for agreeing to do the interview.
Hi! Thanks for interviewing me!
I’d like to start by asking you to describe what the award is.
The ACRL ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award was created to recognize librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession. People can also be recognized for their active, innovative or collaborative work in the realm of professional development.
Very nice. I think there is a need for something like that. It will be nice to highlight this kind of work. I understand that you were involved in it from the start. Do you want to describe how it began? How does something like that get created?
Wow – Let me think about that. I was involved in it form the start. In 2011, the then chair of ULS, Kim Leeder, contacted me to ask me if I’d be willing to chair an ad-hoc award committee for ULS. The committee was charged with “exploring the possibilities for creating a ULS award and hopefully making it happen!”. Kim Leeder (now Kim Reed) is awesome, so I told her I’d be happy to. The committee got underway and came up with a few different ideas for awards, but the idea that had the most interest and traction was the one that focused on recognizing people for contributing to the professional development of librarians. Once the focus of the award was determined, a small implementation committee was appointed and we worked with ACRL to draft and vet the award and get it approved. Beth Filar Williams and Jason Martin did a great job keeping the committee moving and getting the award through the ACRL approval process, and my department head, Michael Brewer, helped a ton with the drafting of the actual award – it was a big group effort and a lot of fun to see so many people get involved and help out.
Thanks for that summary of the process. So now I assume a committee has been formed to actually look at nominations and select a winner. Is that right?
Yes – this is the first year that the award will be made – thanks a big bunch to Library Juice Academy for the sponsorship!. The vice-chair of ULS, Rebecca Blakiston, has appointed an award committee and I think submissions are due by December 4th. It will be exciting to see who will be recognized once the committee reviews the nominees.
What kind of professional development projects do you expect to see from nominees?
That is what I think makes the award so exciting – I think it can span a number of things from people providing training within their own institutions, to people that are offering great online courses, or that are trying things with online chat discussions or a combination of a number of different approaches. I could see book or journal editors being nominated for the one-on-one mentoring and professional development that they provide to authors just like I can imagine instructors in Library Juice Academy or instructors in the various courses that ALA and ACRL offer being recognized.
People are expected to nominate their peers. Have many nominations come in yet? What are you doing to get the word out about the award?
Since I am not actually on the selection committee, I am not sure – the ULS Vice-Chair is the person that is running the award committee. I know that ULS has sent out a number of emails to encourage people to nominate their peers – I hope we get a big response!
I hope so too. I’m excited about the award. Neither of us has mentioned, it’s for $1,000, so it’s a nice chunk of change for the winner. I hope that motivates people to nominate. So to wrap up, I should ask how people can get more details about the award, things like criteria and such.
It is a great chunk of cash, the recipient will also get a certificate, which is nice to have as well! If people are interested in nominating a colleagues they can go to this URL for additional information and to access the nomination form. Thanks for taking the time to highlight ACRL ULS Outstanding Professional Development Award!
And congratulations to you for getting the award off the ground. Thanks again for the interview.
Thanks for the opportunity.
November 17, 2015
Established in 2015, this award is intended to recognize librarians, archivists or curators whose contributions to providing professional development opportunities for librarians have been especially noteworthy or influential. The effect of these contributions may be the result of continuous or distinguished service to the profession, but may also be the result of extraordinarily active, innovative or collaborative work that deserves national recognition.
$1,000 cash plus a certificate for the award winner, sponsored by Library Juice Academy.
Any individual who holds, or has recently held an appointment as a librarian, archivist or curator at a public, academic or national library, archive or museum. Award winners must be members of ACRL and ULS, or join ACRL and ULS upon receiving the award.
At least two of the following four criteria need to be met:
- Implementing innovative or creative professional development ideas or activities that have measurably impacted library users and / or the profession.
- Active participation in special projects, efforts or initiatives related to providing professional development opportunities that have measurably impacted library users and / or the profession.
- Evidence of service and/or collaboration over time related to providing professional development activities that clearly benefited a number of library professionals and library users.
- Exemplary and influential research and/or scholarship pertaining to professional development for librarians.
All nominations should be accompanied by a completed nomination form. Completed forms should be emailed to Rebecca Blakiston, University of Arizona Libraries, E-mail: email@example.com.
Supporting documents to accompany the nomination form include:
- A full and clear description in two (2) pages or less of the nominee(s)’ work as it pertains to the development and provision of high quality continuing education opportunities for librarians
- One (1) letter of support from a beneficiary (may be a library professional or a library user) of the professional development opportunities detailing how the professional development has benefited the library profession
- If applicable, a list of publications or research conducted by the candidate(s), with an explanation of how the research pertains to providing high quality professional development activities for librarians.
- If possible, please submit a high resolution photo of the nominee (at least 300 dpi). The photo will be used to make the official winner announcement immediately after the ALA Midwinter Meeting.
View the full awards committee roster here.
Submission Deadline: December 4, 2015