Library Juice 4:23 - June 27, 2001
- Supreme Court verdict in Tasini vs. New York Times, et al
- Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large
- Great photos of the Marriott protest Tuesday afternoon
- Andrea Grimes' report from the frontlines of the Marriott Boycott
- Two reports from ALA Council
- Funny searches from June
- Mildly amusing game played at Chinese restaurants during the conference
Quote for the week:
"Private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the
main sources of information. It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed
in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to
objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political
- Albert Einstein
Personal Homepage of the week: Robert Teeter
1. Supreme Court verdict in Tasini vs. New York Times, et al
The Supreme Court ruled, and Tasini won. Freelance writers have a
right to control (or get paid for) republication of their articles in
other media, such as electronic databases. These databases are new
publications rather than the same as the original publication, for
copyright purposes. (Tasini is the President of the National Writers'
The Supreme Court ruling is at:
"Supreme Court Ruling To Create More Freelancer Wrangling"
(An article from Newsbytes about the NWU's attempts, after the ruling,
to negotiate with the NY Times on behalf of freelance writers, and NY
Times' rejection of the offer.)
The New York Times' report on the ruling:
Slashdot discussion on the Tasini verdict, if you're into that:
ALA Washington Office "ALAWON" report on Tasini verdict:
Finger is the snazzy new webzine put out by students in the UMICH
School of Information (namely, Sharon Richter, Chassy Cleland, Laura
Tatum, Kelsey Libner, Abigail Leah Plumb, Tom Allison, Anthony Davis,
Zack Haberer, Andrew Larrick, Adina Lipsitz, Chris Monroe, Erica
Olsen, Laurel Sandor, Jenny Smith, and Joel Santodomingo for good
measure). It's got articles on their school; on Questia; on LIS
jargon; intellectual property law; an internet bio of an apparently
composite, or just incredible, David Wallace; an article on
information policy heroes; an interview with open source dude Eric
Raymond; and articles on various other fascinating subjects. The
UMICH SI program is heavy on the information policy and information
science, and light on the library science, but this zine should be
interesting to librarians just the same. Recommended.
3. Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large v. 1 no. 7 (July 2001)
is now available, ready to be retrieved from the CI:CAL home page:
This issue is 18 pages and includes:
- ALA in San Francisco: A Few Quick Notes
- PC Values: July 2001
- Where I Stand: For the Children
- Trends and Quick Takes: five items
- Press Watch I: 17 items!
- Feedback and Following Up
- Ebook Watch: Catching Up, Part Two
- Bibs & Blather
- Press Watch II: four items.
Review Watch will definitely appear in the next issue...
4. Great photos of the Marriott protest Tuesday afternoon
The protest at the Marriott on Tuesday afternoon was a joyous event. It
felt good to be there on the picket lines with the union members,
supporting them. The words by President-elect Mitch Freedman, Michael
Gorman, Pat Schuman and others were inspiring and made me very glad to be
a part of it (rather than on the other side of the picket line, at the
I put some photos on the web which I think capture the spirit of that
afternoon. There are thirteen photos in all. They may take while to load
if you have a dial-up connection. You can view them at:
- Rory Litwin
5. Andrea Grimes' report from the frontlines of the Marriott Boycott
23 June 2001
This is a report from the frontlines of the ALA Conference/Marriott Boycott.
Part of this report first appeared in lisnews.com. Please see that site for
protest button and sticker. This report was compiled by the Local 790
Librarians' Caucus Liaison, Andrea Grimes.
Friday, June 15: THE CONFERENCE BEGINS
6:00 Day One of Local 2's Siege: protest/picket line begins, at SF
Marriott Hotel. Local 2 has scheduled two all-day actions at the Marriott,
for Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, from 6:00am-10:00pm. ALL LIBRARY
WORKERS AND CONFERENCE ATTENDEES INVITED TO JOIN WITH LOCAL 2 IN PROTESTING
THE MARRIOTT AND ALA. (This is the fifth siege within six months.)
Here's the text of the message that went out earlier this week:
ALA/MARRIOTT PROTESTS: SPREAD THE WORD
All librarians, library workers, conference attendees, and
everyone else who supports Local 2 are invited to join San
Francisco Bay Area library workers in three days of protests at
the San Francisco Marriott. >These actions are scheduled for the
following days: SIEGE V: TWO ALL-DAY PROTESTS: Friday and Saturday,
June 15 & 16, 6:00am - 10:00pm
SPECIAL ACTION: ALA AWARDS RECEPTION/INAUGURAL BANQUET: Tuesday,
June 19, 4:30pm - 7:30pm>THE INAUGURAL BANQUET ACTION IS A VERY
SPECIAL PROTEST AGAINST THE ACTIONS OF ALA LEADERSHIP, WHO HAVE
IGNORED THE PLEAS OF MEMBERS AND MARRIOTT WORKERS TO MOVE ALA
EVENTS OUT OF THE MARRIOTT.
Don't let Marriott and ALA think it's just business as usual.
Let's stand up for the Marriott workers, and all workers, who
struggle for a better life. We can do it! Come and join us on
these days of protest.
For more information on the SF Marriott labor troubles, see Local
2's boycott website at www.sfmarriottboycott.org>
9:00 Caucus liaison receives forwarded letter from Mitch Freedman,
ALA President-Elect, in which he gives his full support of the boycott
against Marriott, and protests directed against Marriott and ALA.
Mitch Freedman writes:
"I am writing this message to those 4,300+ people that voted for
me, as well as all other ALA members. I will not be attending the
ALA Inaugural Banquet, at which I was scheduled to be inaugurated
as President-Elect, 2001-2002. I will not be attending
the 3rd Executive Board meeting, the one I should attend as ALA
"Although I was going to attend the ALA Awards presentations so
that I could be there for the presentation of the Lippincott Award
to one of my dearest friends, Patricia Glass Schuman, I will
not. Ms. Schuman is honoring the boycott and will not attend the
Awards ceremony, as are the recipient of the Equality Award, and
its donor, Scarecrow Press, who also will not attend. I have
been told by others scheduled to be inaugurated or receive awards that
they will not attend those events.
"I chose not to attend all three of these events, plus other
meetings to which I was invited or would have liked to attend,
because they are all being held in the Marriott Hotel.
"I am supporting the Hotel Employees and Restaurant
Employees (HERE), Local 2, call for a boycott of the Marriott
Hotel. For the following reasons, I made this decision:
"1. I chose to support the boycott request made by the San
Francisco Public Library Commission (the host library for
the convention), the mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown,
and 9 of the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors. This
extraordinary confluence of support by public officials of the labor
side in this kind of dispute is unprecedented in my memory..."
The full text of Mitch Freedman's letter may be read on
9:20-14:30(approximate time) Local 790 Caucus members begin
leafletting incoming librarians at Moscone Center(outside
Registration). Stickers, reading "LIBRARIANS SUPPORT HOTEL
WORKERS! BOYCOTT MARRIOTT" are given to librarians. During this
time, some caucus members join the picket line at the Marriott.
Overall reception from librarians is very supportive.
16:30 Caucus members leaflet at Moscone Registration area.
17:00 ALA Staff, assisted by Moscone Security, force Caucus
members off the Moscone Center entrance way(sidewalk outside
Registration), and onto the "Free Speech Island," the outer
sidewalk away from Registration(citing Private Property ordinance).
Protests by Caucus members to ALA staff that this is city
property, that the Mayor of San Francisco has called this
boycott, fall on deaf ears. ALA itself seems to be deaf to the
principles of free speech!! The second irony of the conference
(the first being this year's theme: LIBRARIES: CORNERSTONE OF
17:00-18:30 Caucus members continue to leaflet and pass out
boycott stickers to librarians registering for conference, this
time on "Free Speech Island."
18:35-19:35 Caucus members join the picket line, along with West
Virginia librarian, Yvonne Farley, this year's Intellectual
Freedom Award winner, and other librarians.
"Don't check in-Check out!"
"San Francisco should beware:
Marriott Hotel is unfair!"
"Marriott Hotel-look around
San Francisco's a union town!"
(Local 2 chants)
22:00 Local 2 picket line stops for the evening. To be resumed
Saturday, June 16, at 6:00AM.
Later that evening: Local 790 Librarians' Caucus members receive
word that some ALA leaders have visited the editorial offices of
the San Francisco Chronicle. As yet, no newspaper reports from
that paper about the labor unrest at the Marriott.
That same evening, caucus members receive word that ALA conference
staff attempted to prevent Mayor Brown from speaking out in support
of the hotel workers. The Mayor is scheduled to speak at the Opening
General Session Saturday (Moscone Center).
Saturday, June 16
6:00-22:00 Day Two of Local 2's siege continues, at the Marriott.
This email message went out to library workers, conference
attendees, and supporters of the hotel workers:
PLEASE JOIN US IN ANOTHER DAY OF PROTEST. MANY OF YOUR COLLEAGUES
WILL PARTICIPATE IN THE PICKET LINE AFTER WORK TONIGHT, SO YOU'LL
HAVE THE SOLIDARITY OF LIBRARY WORKERS AND HOTEL WORKERS
For more information on the Marriott struggle see Library Juice
at <http://www.libr.org/Juice/> In particular, vol 4, 6/6 & 6/14.
P.S. JOIN LIBRARIANS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, ALONG WITH LOCAL
2 HOTEL WORKERS, FOR A VERY SPECIAL ACTION, JUST FOR ALA
LEADERSHIP, WHEN WE PROTEST ALA'S DISREGARD FOR WORKERS' RIGHTS,
ON THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING OF TUESDAY, JUNE 19. THIS IS THE
EVENING OF THE ALA AWARDS RECEPTION AND INAUGURAL BANQUET.
THE PROTEST IS SCHEDULED FOR 4:30PM -7:30PM, AT THE MARRIOTT.
THIS IS A GREAT TIME TO TELL ALL THOSE BIGSHOTS AT ALA THAT THEY
MADE A SERIOUS MISTAKE IN HEADQUARTERING AT THE MARRIOTT. THEIR
'LET THEM EAT CAKE' ATTITUDE IS ALREADY HAVING SERIOUS
ALA conference continues.
All through the day and into the evening: librarians from San
Francisco Bay Area and all over the U.S. join the picket line.
"Stop the threats, stop the lies
It's our right to organize!"
"Talking Union is our right!
We are here and ready to fight!"
"Marriott Hotel, rolling in the dough
Union bashing's got to go!"
(Local 2 chants)
No newspaper reports on the labor situation.
Sunday, June 17
ALA conference continues.
Protest flyer is made; goes out on email, calling on all library
workers and supporters of hotel workers to attend rally Tuesday,
June 19, 4:30 - 7:30PM
WE NEED YOU AT THE RALLY!
TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 4:30PM - 7:30PM
Please join President-Elect Mitch Freedman and library luminaries
for a very special action, at the San Francisco Marriott. This
protest, organized by librarians with the support of Local 2, is
in support of the hotel workers. We stand by Local 2 hotel
workers until they win a contract that guarantees fair working
conditions, family friendly benefits, and a real voice on the
Despite pleas from ALA leaders, members, and Local 2, ALA refused
to move many events and meetings out of the Marriott. ALA refused
to accept free space at the San Francisco Public Library for the
last Executive Board meeting; and refused the President-Elect's
offer of an alternative (and less expensive) venue for the
P R O T E S T A G A I N S T A L A A N D M A R R I O T T
WHAT: ALA Awards Reception/Inaugural Banquet
WHERE: San Francisco Marriott, 4th Street, (between Market and
WHEN: Tuesday, June 19, 4:30pm - 7:30pm
Here's a partial list of librarians, library groups, community
and religious leaders, who support the boycott against the SF Marriott:
Mitch Freedman, ALA President-Elect
Local 790 Librarians' Caucus
Progressive Librarians Guild
Elaine Harger, ALA Council, SRRT Action Council*
Virginia B. Moore, Martin Luther King Task Force, SRRT*
Social Responsibilities Round Table, Action Council Members:
Fred Stoss*, Al Kagan (SRRT Rept to ALA Council)*, Nel Ward*
Mark C. Rosenzweig, ALA Councilor-at-Large; SRRT Action Council*
University Council, American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT)
Susan Hildreth, City Librarian, San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco Public Library Commission
Yvonne Farley, Librarian, Kanawha County Library, Virginia
(winner, ALA Intellectual Freedom Award)
Patricia Glass-Schuman (winner, Lippincott Award)
Michael Gorman, Director, Fresno State University Library
(winner, Highsmith Award)
Reverend Jesse Jackson, President, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Coretta Scott King, The King Center
Honorable Willie L. Brown, Mayor of San Francisco
Honorable Susan Leal, SF City Treasurer
Nine of eleven San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Honorable Jerry Brown, Mayor of Oakland
Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Member, US Congress
Honorable Barbara Lee, Member, US Congress
Honorable John Burton, President Pro-Temporare of CA State Senate
Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder, United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO
Arturo Rodriguez, United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO
Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, CA Labor Federation
Reverend Cecil Williams, Glide United Methodist Chruch, SF
Walter Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer, SF Labor Council
Josie Mooney, Executive Director, SEIU Local 790; President SF Labor Council
Shirley Breyer Black, Consultant, SEIU Local 790
Father Bill O'Donnell, St. Joseph the Worker Church
Father Peter Sammon, St. Theresa's Catholic Church
Susan Sachen, Western Regional Director, AFL-CIO Organizing Institute
A. Philip Randolph Institute
Senior Action Network
Northern CA Coalition for Immigrant Rights
SF Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Harvey Milk Democratic Club
Chinese Progressive Association
Nihomachi Legal Outreach
Labor Project for Working Families
Instituto Familia de la Raza
*Affiliation listed for identification purposes only and not for
organizational endorsement purposes.
18:30 Nicholson Baker lecture at the Weston St. Francis. Mr.
Baker is introduced by Progressive Librarians' Guild member,
Melissa Riley, and President-Elect Mitch Freedman. In a side note
to audience, Mitch Freedman reiterates his support of the hotel
workers, and explains why he is unable to attend ALA Awards
Reception /Inauguration Banquet and last Executive Board meeting.
He also tells audience that serious attempts were made by the
President-Elect and SFPL City Librarian, Susan Hildreth to help
ALA move these events out of the Marriott. ALA has never fully
explained its reasoning for refusing these requests. The
Inauguration was offered a less expensive venue, and the
Executive Board was offered free space at the San Francisco
No newspaper reports on the labor situation.
Monday, June 18
ALA conference continues.
Local 790 Librarians' Caucus are alerted to ALA cheet sheet,
which was put together for leadership. This cheet sheet covers a
number of issues, where talking points for reporters' questions
are outlined. Two talking points are of particular interest: ALA
administration attempts to discredit Nicholson Baker; the other
talking point tries to reduce the Marriott labor troubles to a
minor annoyance, not worthy of serious attention.
No newspaper reports on the labor situation.
Tuesday, June 19
ALA conference continues.
9:00-10:00 ALA President Nancy Kranich appears as guest of
Michael Krasny on his radio show, Forum. KQED 88.5 FM. First
caller of the morning expresses dismay at ALA's use of Marriott
as conference headquarters. Kranich says "we're deeply concerned,
but we've had the contract since 1997, and it would have been too
expensive to move elsewhere." On Nicholson Baker (I'm
paraphrasing, but this the essence): "The technology is different
than fifty years ago...Librarians have always been interested
in access, so give them a break....Anybody knows that if you
take a newspaper to the beach it will fall apart." Yawn.
16:00 Special protest organized by librarians and Local 2 begins
at Marriott's front door. Close to one hundred protestors
chanting, shouting, banging drums, lots of whistles, waving
signs: "NO CONTRACT NO PEACE;" "LIBRARIANS SUPPORT HOTEL
WORKERS/BOYCOTT MARRIOTT." SF Police presence for the first time
17:45 (approximate time) Speeches of support for the hotel
workers, by Michael Gorman, Patricia Glass Schuman, Doris Seale,
and Mitch Freedman.
18:00 Protest continues.
"Ain't no power like the power of the people and
the power of the people won't stop, SAY WHAT!"
Estamos en la lucha!"
Union bashing's got to go!
"Marriott Hotel-You're no good!
Sign a contract like you should!"
(Local 2 chants)
18:15 (approximate time) Seven protestors enter the Marriott
carrying protest signs (mostly hidden from view of Marriott
management). After being directed to the wrong floor, the
protestors find their way to the sub-basement, where they are
helpfully directed by a party-goer to the banquet hall. On the
way, one of Marriott's managers spots protesters and follows them
to the salon where Marie Antoinette's friends are congratulating
themselves and whooping it up. Now confronted by seven mute
protestors holding signs (LIBRARIANS SUPPORT HOTEL WORKERS!
BOYCOTT MARRIOTT!) in full view of these ALA "leaders,"
Marriott's managers hit the panic button, and call on Local 2's
lead organizer to reason with protestors, to get them out of the
building. Protestors refuse to leave, and (now six) continue to
stand outside of salon. Protestors silently spoil what would have
been a perfect evening, being a reminder to ALA "leaders" of ALA's
shame in contracting with the Marriott. Protestors have made
Marriott management so nervous, that a server tells them ALL of
Marriott management is down there keeping an eye on things,
guarding the party people, and generally scurrying back and
forth, using their cell phones, constantly in touch with guards
and other managers. Marriott management shuts doors to party (it
must be getting a bit hot inside; some revelers step outside the
room...for air?). Protestors continue to stand outside salon.
The same server tells protesters that party people will leave
salon to go into the banquet salon around the corner and down the
hall. ALA VIPs file out of salon (Awards Reception), met by
sign-holding protestors: party people look embarrassed and
uncomfortable, sometimes blank-faced, as they are escorted by
Marriott security into the next banquet salon. Protestors change
locations as party people go in and out of a series of doors, to
final banquet salon. Marriott management lock party people into
this last salon...for protection? Hundreds of people have now
been locked away from six protestors! Protestors leave, but not
before they flash protest signs to ALA staff, while riding up
escalator to the lobby, and out to a boisterous crowd of
librarians and Local 2 supporters, all of whom are chanting loudly.
Among the celebrated partygoers inside the Marriott:
Nancy Kranich, President of ALA, 2000-2001
John W. Berry, 2001-2002
William Gordon, Executive Director, ALA
Barbara Ford, Past President, ALA
Karen Schneider, Director of Technology, Shenendehowa PL, Clifton Park, NY
Kenneth Dowlin, Former Director, San Francisco Public Library
Blanche Wools, Dean, San Jose University Library School and Don Fadden,
formerly Director, Friends of the Scranton Public Library
No newspaper reports on the labor situation.
Wednesday, June 20
No newspaper reports on the labor situation.
Thursday, June 21
No newspaper reports on the labor situation.
Friday, June 22
This article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Riding out
the lean times: tourism industry brainstorms on ways to fill San
Francisco's suddenly quiet hotels."
"San Francisco has thousands of empty hotel rooms..."
See the story online at:
Otherwise, no newspaper reports on the labor situation.
For more documents of the Marriott struggle see these sites:
Library Juice <http://www.libr.org/Juice>
Our grateful appreciation for the help of members of the
Progressive Librarians Guild; Social Responsibilities Round
Table; the real ALA leaders; Local 790 members; and librarians
from everywhere, who worked in solidarity with the Marriott Hotel
workers of Local 2. Special thanks to the following people:
Virginia B. Moore
Patricia Glass Schuman
Herb and Mary Biblow
ALA-YOU STARTED A FIRE YOU CAN'T PUT OUT!
6. Two reports from ALA Council
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 16:16:31 -0500
From: Mark Rosenzweig <iskra[at]earthlink.net>
I'm forwarding below this summary by the SRRT rep to ALA Council, Councilor
AL Kagan (also a charter PLG member) of the main developments at Council
Meetings I-III at the San Francisco Annual last week.
It is very concise and accurate, although it doesn't (wasn't meant to)
capture the flavor of the proceedings. Al's report is kind of up-beat,
emphasizing the positive. You know, he's kind of a
glass-is-half-full-rather-than-half-empty guy. I'm more of the
glass-is-full-but-its-full -of-a mixture which-is-not-very palatable. WHich
is not to say good things didn't happen and SOME bad things weren't
avoided. But the mix overall was toxic.
So here's my tales-from-the-dark side perspective of what it was like...
The Council meetings were run undemocratically and were stage-managed,
more so than usual although there have been worse cases in my recent
memory.. This is accomplished in part through the tactical planning of the
insidious "Council Caucus" and the Executive Board, The Council Caucus is a
group which informally decides what happens at Council Meetings, what
strategies are to be taken to "deal with" an issue like the hotel boycott
or the quorum or Nicholson Baker's critique and so on, and where people are
assigned roles and scipts and amendments and parliamentary ugly-dog-tricks
which are then executed "for the public". It also a place where who's
sanctified and who is anathematized is determined (if anyone has any
doubts. I actually boycott the Council Caucus meetings).
When speaking to the issue of the Membership meetings and the quorum, I
(and I alone) was cut off in mid-sentence by President Nancy Kranich under
the so-called "three minute rule" -- a rule that has, in my more than ten
years of Council-going only been invoked once or twice. Then the 'good'
people were allowed to go on at whetever length they chose! When I arose to
speak to another, different, aspect of the Membership issue I was told that
I 'had already used up all my time i.e. exactly 3 minutes.' This, too, is
President-elect Mitch Freedman, himself, had to fight with the chair Nancy
Kranich, President of ALA, just to be allowed to make a "point of personal
privilege." She tried to prevent him and then to cut him off. This too is
highly unusual, and was done with animus and in a disrespectful,partisan
By arrangement, during the discussion on the"Marriott resolution" someone
proposed that the body move into an informational discussion mode (no vote
on this), which meant that ExecutiveDirector Bill Gordon was able to take
the podium and go on at whatever length to make the big shots' case that
the reasons for not respecting the boycott or favoring a boycott provision
as proposed by SSRT & GODORT, was the profound and varied financial impacts
and fiscal implications and --- my favorote -- how DIFFICULT it makes the
already difficult job of finding venues for ALA conferences. How it would
make ALA even MORE undesirable we are to finicky cities and picky hotel
chains! Well, we don't want to make ALA headquarter's job any harder, do
we, no matter WHAT principle may be involved.
This ask-Bill-Gordon-a-question mode was goinng on and on. He would speak
5, 10 minutes in response to questions. People were allowed to ask set-up
question ad nauseum. When I inquired whether this was the propper mode for
debate of a question like this (i.e. one which gave an extraordinary,
prejudicial advantage to opponents of our resolition I was derisely told,
by the parliamentarian, a curt "Yes" . When I asked her under what
parliamentary provision this was being done she refused to even acknowledge
the question. When I asked if there were ant time limits on Executive
Director Gordon, adozen or more Councilors shouted NO!! When I asked if I
was to be held to exactly 3 minutes and he could go on a whatever length,
they said "THAT'S RIGHT". That's accontability ALA-style, the Executive
--which is clearly meant by constituion to represent the Council , to be
its instrument (and through them tofthe Membership),is allowed "out of
respect" deferentially and politically coveniently to have 'carte blanche".
For ALL of this discussion with the Excecutive Director, there was NO
acknowledgement that a mistake had been made, an unfortunate decision, that
if they could have they would have withdrawn from the Marriottt -- No,
there was only rationalization, justification and haughty disdain for any
Councilor's who dared to invoke principles other than the"bottom line".
I.e, the referrals of the matter Al Kagan mentions to two committees,
which, true would allow Council not to just take an unpopular vote in a
heated situation, is a well known technique to actually get rid of
reasonable but unlikeable resolutions. Al Kagan proposed that SRRT at least
be on the committess but no one responded formally or informally that we
would be. I tried to amend the resolution to say that "no further contracts
would be signed until we hear back from the committees". That was defeated.
There were re-counts of votes which were as clear as could be, and votes
which really were close on contested issues were just declared by the chair
and not re-counted. Par for the course.
Then there was the slate from the Nominations Committee, led by the
President Elect ,John W Berry distributed for Councilors to vote on, which
one member of the committee went to the microphoone to demand to have her
name withdrawn as a committee member because she was never ONCE consulted
by Berry, leading later to finding out that virtually no one was consulted.
When we asked if this didn't invalidate the slate, Berry said he was sorry
if there were some people who, by error, had been left out of the loop. The
election proceed as planned. Democracy in action?
When we Progresiive Council Caucus members were surprised to see, for the
first time, a re-written Preservation Policy for adoption, clearly a
response (or "reaction") to Nicholson Baker, and I tried to amend two of
the provision to reflect Baker's main concerns, it unleashed a storm of
denunciations of Baker, of his sanity, his authority, his eccentricity, his
sticking his nose in where it didn't belong, the charge led by the
indefatigable seer0-sucker-suited Councilor Peter Graham of Syracuse
University, who not having read Baker's book and not having attended the
presentation set up for Baker at the conference by the Progressive
Librarians Guild (attended by hundreds!). NO proble: he knew Baker was a
nutcase and his concerns pathologocial libels ahgainst all librarians.
My proposed language changes to the Preservation document was : Substitute
in the list of what librarians are committed to in the way of preservation,
"non-destructive reforrmatting of carefully maintained deteriorated
materials" for the document's phrase "replacement or reformatting of
deterorated materials". I also asked them to eliminate the term "ephemeral
nature of primary sources" because the term ephemeral means
"here-today-gone-tomorrow" and not whatever they seemed to think. Finally ,
Elaine Harger, suggested a friendly change in the section on Federal
Legislative Policy, changing "The federal government must provide
leadership" to "The federal government must provide support" ["in
developing an expansive and inclusive national preservation plan]) Her
suggestion was, of course, ignored.
I could go on...
But PLEASE don't get the impression that their was anything but a hostile
atmosphere on Council and one in which is is difficult to make any but the
most incremental progress. In order to affect the situation -- which,
despite everything, IS possible --we NEED MORE CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR
COUNCIL WHO ARE PROGRESSIVES WILLING AND ABLE TO GET UP THERE AND PUT THEIR
MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH'S ARE, TO RISK OPPROBRIUM, DERISION, BAD VIBES,
ESCHEW THE PATS ON THE BACK AND SMILES OF FELLOW COUNCILORS.
Councilor at large
>Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 16:18:28 +0200
>To: SRRT Action Council <srrtac-l[at]ala.org>
>From: Al Kagan <akagan[at]uiuc.edu>
>Subject: [SRRTAC-L:6433] ALA Council
Report to SRRT on ALA Council, June 2001
> Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor
> Here is my report on the activities of the ALA Council in San Francisco.
>I would be happy to try to answer any questions that you may have. SRRT
>endorsed two resolutions for ALA Council, the first was on adding a
>boycott clause for ALA hotel contracts, and the second was on reducing the
>quorum for ALA Membership Meetings. The Government Documents Round Table
>also endorsed our hotel contracts resolution. Although neither resolution
>was adopted, they are both still under consideration. The hotel contracts
>resolution would make it possible to nullify contracts in situations such
>as we faced with the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco. The Resolutions
>Committee sent the proposed resolution for review by the Budget Analysis
>and Review Committee (BARC), and BARC supplied a Q & A response. That
>Committee recommended a full review and a report back at the next meeting.
>Council agreed with BARC's recommendation but also sent the resolution to
>the ALA Conference Committee for review. At least we were able to put
>expressions of union solidarity on the Council floor.
> The quorum resolution addressed an excessively high quorum, which
>currently makes it nearly impossible to hold official Membership Meetings.
>That means that membership resolutions are no longer sent to Council. It
>would have put a question on the election ballot to change the bylaws.
>Membership Meeting quorums would be reduced from 1% of the personal
>membership to 1% of personal members attending any particular meeting.
>However, we were challenged by another resolution to instead set up a
>special study committee. The Council voted to establish the Special
>Committee, and I made the point that SRRT wants a representative there.
> The International Relations Committee (IRC) and then Council took further
>positive action on Cuba as a result of SRRT lobbying at the Midwinter
>meeting. President-elect John W. Berry led a US delegation to the ACURIL
>meeting in Havana at the end of May 2001. (ACURIL is the Association of
>Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries.) They were
>joined by the IFLA Secretary-General and the new Director of the IFLA
>FAIFE Office. (FAIFE is Free Access to Information and Freedom of
>Expression.) President-elect Berry issued a very positive report drafted
>by the delegation members. The IRC endorsed the report's recommendations,
>which include cooperation with Cuba's library associations, preparing a
>joint IFLA resolution with the Cuban Library Association (ASCUBI) opposing
>the US blockade, promoting legal travel to Cuba, and encouraging donation
>of books and journals. The
> Council then passed an IRC resolution opposing all efforts including
>those of the US Government to limit access to information by Cuba's
>libraries and library users, urging US Government book aid to Cuba's
>public libraries, urging fair US postal rates for sending materials to
>Cuba, and urging IFLA support for improving access to information through
>Cuba's libraries. The IRC even drafted a protocol of cooperation between
>ALA and ASCUBI. Furthermore, it appears that the joint delegation has had
>a salutary effect on the IFLA officials, which may result in a more
>reasonable IFLA policy (which currently reads like a Cold War propaganda
> Following up on SRRT's and other groups' successful battle to defeat the
>Core Values document last year, the Core Values Task Force II presented
>its first report. They plan on promoting a wide dialogue with a final
>report at the Annual Meeting in 2003. So far, the TF has identified ten
>value domains: "Access, Collaboration, Diversity, Education, Intellectual
>Freedom, Preservation, Privacy, Professionalism, Public Good, and Service."
> Following-up on the privatization debate, the Executive Board recommended
>a definition and policy that proved acceptable (with a slight amendment)
>to the Council. As approved it states that "ALA affirms that publicly
>funded libraries should remain directly accountable to the publics they
>serve. Therefore, the American Library Association opposes the shifting
>of policy-making and management oversight of library services for the
>public to the private, for-profit, sector." Given previous reports and
>debate, this is great progress.
> Without discussion, the Council approved a resolution from the
>Legislation Committee concerning the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction and
>Enforcement of Judgements in Civil and Commercial Cases. It urges the US
>Department of State to include a representative from the library and
>education community on the official US delegation that will negotiate the
>Convention. The resolution also urges the negotiators to refrain from
>establishing Internet rules against the public interest, and most
>importantly it urges the removal of intellectual property cases including
>copyright from the Convention to assure continued library access to
> Following on Nicholson Baker's convincing talk on the need to preserve
>materials in their original format, the Council passed a very weak revised
>Preservation Policy. It makes one wonder how many Councilors were in
>Baker's large audience. The policy even states that libraries have an
>obligation to advise donors and others of the "ephemeral nature of primary
>source materials." In sponsoring Baker, I think the Progressive Librarians
>Guild and SRRT are again leading the profession, and we will need to
>follow-up at the Midwinter meeting.
> External accreditation was again before the Council, and the end of the
>Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session was given over to
>small group discussions of the issues. New President-elect Mitch Freedman
>and others were eloquent at my table in asking how we will retain our
>shared values in a broad federation. School librarians noted the omission
>of their accrediting body from the proposed document. I spoke against the
>idea of accrediting BA degrees in librarianship. This would devalue the
>M.L.S., and provide an opportunity for profit-making institutions to hire
>us at low salaries with little status. As a result of these discussions,
>the External Accreditation Task Force decided to revise the proposal and
>bring it back at the Annual Meeting in 2002.
> The Committee on Education again brought forward a document on
>establishing a new allied professional association to provide
>post-master's specialization certification. This can't be done by ALA
>under its existing tax status. Council had previously expressed general
>support for the concept at the 2001 Midwinter meeting, and now gave
>approval. Although these programs are supposed to be voluntary, it seems
>likely to me that employers will soon demand such credentials in job
>postings. And such a system may also devalue the M.L.S., as well as focus
>more on training than on education. We should watch future developments
> Of two resolutions proposing meeting schedule changes, Council passed one
>and rejected one. Council approved trying to avoid meetings on the Martin
>Luther King Jr. National Holiday so that librarians can celebrate in their
>local communities. Although I supported this resolution, I reminded
>Council that we have had some of our most important and inspiring programs
>on January 15th, and that we should continue programs honoring Dr. Martin
>Luther King even if they are not on the exact holiday. Council defeated a
>similar resolution regarding Father's Day. Several school librarians
>spoke in favor of the resolution because this holiday falls at the end of
>the school year. It is quite possible that they will bring another
>resolution to Council regarding this timing.
> Finally Council received two reports of interest that were not
>discussed. Following on a public hearing, the Committee on Organization
>(COO) reported that electronic meetings violate ALA's open meeting
>policy. COO will continue to investigate the issues and report at the
>2002 Midwinter Meeting. The ALA Conference Committee has proposed
>shortening Midwinter Meetings and called for feedback before September
>1st. Since the SRRT Action Council voted against this proposal, I have
>already notified the Committee of SRRT's position through its web form. I
>note that the Intellectual Freedom Committee is also against this change.
> On a personal note, let me again thank SRRT members for their confidence
>in electing me to represent them at the ALA Council. --
> Sabbatical Address for January to August, 15, 2001
> Al Kagan
> African Studies Bibliographer and Professor of Library Administration
> University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, USA
> All Africa House
> Flat D (Ddembe)
> University of Cape Town
> 43 Stanley Road
> Rondebosch 7701
> South Africa
> tel. 27-21-650-4181
> tel. 27-21-650-4181
> (Ddembe means Peace in the Luganda language.)
7. Funny searches from June
The following are some amusing searches that led to pages on libr.org
during the month of June:
kellogs cereal market competitors
glory buffy quotes
how to make mask bongs
gas mask bongs (several times)
librarian mental barrier
handsome hindu men
I need a job in San Jose that pays very well with no experience
8. Mildly amusing game played at Chinese restaurants during the conference
When you open your fortune cookie and read your fortune, instead of
adding "in bed" to the end of your fortune, add "@ your library," as in
"People appreciate your sense of humor ... @ your library." Ha ha!
L I B R A R Y J U I C E
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