News - MLA
Written by Tashia Miller, ALA Councilor, MLA Board of Directors   
Monday, June 26, 2023 12:00 AM

ALA Councilor's Report - June 2023

Below is a report of Council meetings and activities during the 2023 Annual conference. Agendas and council documents including committee reports are available online through the ALA website: Recordings and minutes will subsequently be available on their respective pages of the ALA website.

Annual Council sessions consisted of:

ALA Council Session I - Saturday, June 24, 2023


Summary: The first council session consisted of reports from ALA Officers, reports from council committees and introduction of resolutions.

In the officer’s report Executive Director Tracie D. Hall reported on the actions taken by the Executive Board since the LibLearnX meeting in January. This includes implementing changes to the composition of ALA Council and the Executive Board. Full information on council actions and implementation can be found on the Implementation of the 2023 LLX Council Session Actions document.


Standards for Incarcerated or Detained People

The ALA Committee on Diversity has created the Standards Oversight subcommittee to update standards for those within carceral settings. This work is the first update in decades and includes the following changes:

  • An explicit acknowledgement of system racism in the standards preface
  • Increased bibliography of orgs including several mentions of a thorough database developed by the San Francisco Public Library
  • Links to free professional development courses for librarians/library workers in carceral settings co-developed with SFPL with certification upon completion

The committee is also working on updating standards for the Blind and Print Disabled and that work is in the early stages.


Equity in Council Voting Resolution

One item that was highly discussed was a resolution on equity for councilor participation. ALA document CD#56 addressed an unforeseen complication with the newly adopted hybrid council sessions. To receive voting credentials, all councilors had to register via zoom for the sessions. This requirement was developed to allow all councilors to vote using the same system whether they were virtual or physically present. Several in-person attendees were not aware of this requirement and there was no way to register on-site to remedy this.

This resolution was submitted to urge the Association to develop a workflow to allow any in-person attendee the ability to register on-site and receive same day credentials by the 2024 Conference.


Bylaw Updates

The bylaws were updated to address concerns on the list of ALA standing committees, in which some committees were omitted from previous versions. The new language simplifies the information on standing committees by eliminating all named committees as they do not need to be named in order to have standing status.


ALA Reaffirming on the Freedom to Read

ALA CD#55 reaffirms the work of Unite Against Book Bans work to preserve the freedom to read for every individual and ALA’s support for this national campaign. 

ALA Council Session II - Sunday, June 25, 2023 


Summary: Reports and updates from Committees such as the Committee on Organization, Policy Monitoring Committee and the Core Values Taskforce.


ALA Professional Core Values

The charge of the Core Values Taskforce was expanded during 2023 LLX, and their report highlights actions they have taken to investigate the core values held by ALA membership and have develop the following standard definitions:

VALUES: Guiding principles or ideals that serve as aspirations for the profession.
ETHICS: The practical application of guiding principles in professional conduct.
RIGHTS: Entitlements granted to individuals within a system or social convention.

These baseline definitions have been included in an outreach and engagement survey which returned over 200 responses. From this information the chosen core values that the taskforce has identified and will work to define and include in the professional core values are:

  • Access
  • Equity
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Public Good
  • Sustainability

ALA Council Session III - Monday, June 26, 2023 


Summary: Discussion and call for action by council on the IFLA 2024 WLIC selection of Dubai as host country, Resolutions on Condemning Discrimination against LBGTQIA+ Library Workers, Investigating alternative dates for future Annual Conferences, and Virtual Participation in ALA Governance


2024 WLIC conference

The host country for the 2024 IFLA World Library and Information Congress has been selected as Dubai.  There is much dissent about this selection as Dubai has added a clause after accepting the agreement to host, to restrict the freedom of expression to LBGT delegates. This and the country’s punitive action against the LBGTQIA+ community has left many feeling fearful that their safety would be in jeopardy if they attended the conference. An alternative voice on the subject were IFLA librarians from the Middle East region who would benefit from a conference closer to home, and not based in the United States or other eurocentric locations as has been the case in the past. 

Representatives from International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and MENA (Middle East and North African) Regional Division of IFLA gave context to much of the discussion around the choice in location and other concerns. In discussion it was explained that out of three host countries, the other two locations pulled out of consideration leaving Dubai as the default selection. Additionally, while MENA members understood the hesitancy for some to agree to this location they felt previous locations put them at a disadvantage by not being located in areas that were regional enough for them to travel to easily. Several other associations have already voiced their dissent for this choice and are waiting to hear ALA’s official position. This has been taken up by the Executive Council, but council strongly objects to the agreement as has been presented.


Resolutions in Support of LBGTQIA+ Community

Two resolutions in support of the LBGTQIA+ community were also discussed. ALA CD#58 calls for ALA to condemn the increased discrimination against LGBTQIA+ library workers and continued support for the LGBTQIA+ community. With the rise of homophobic rhetoric and laws going into effect across the country, ALA was asked to reaffirm its support of library workers, the communities they belong to and the community members they serve against bigotry.

ALA CD#59 asks the annual conference committee to investigate alternative dates for future annual conferences. As the annual conference takes place during June, it often coincides with Pride celebrations. In the past this has allowed LGBTQIA+ members to travel to locations to attend pride celebrations. This was important as many local communities did not have Pride celebrations or the threat of harm was still too great for communities to openly celebrate. This resolution was put forth by members who feel that time has changed this for a lot of communities, and while some may still enjoy traveling for Pride, others are missing out on being a part of their local celebrations with family and friends.

This resolution also found support with Youth and School Librarians who also face challenges in attending annual conferences as many youth librarians are kicking off Summer Reading programming. School librarians also face challenges to the timing of annual conferences as the final weeks of school vary for each school district from late May to early June. Another consideration that was highlighted was the fact that for some institutions the fiscal year cut off in June or December presented challenges to participation.

The resolution itself does not demand council approve any change, but that the annual conference committee investigate considerations for dates outside of the traditional dates in June for future conferences in consideration of all communities that may be affected.

Tashia Miller headshot

By Tashia Miller
ALA Councilor, MLA Board of Directors


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