ALA Chapter Councilor Annual Conference Update 2012
The American Library Association Annual Conference (http://alaannual.org/) was held June 21-26, 2012 in Anaheim, CA. This was the 131st Annual Conference and Exhibition included over 500 programs, pre-conferences, General Sessions, Auditorium Speakers, Author Stage presentations and special events.
Attendance numbers were somewhat below those of last year’s conference in New Orleans. Anaheim registration included 11, 655 attendees and 5,045 exhibitors for a total attendance of 16,700. This compares with 20,000 in New Orleans. Some discussion about attendance indicated that attendance numbers improve vastly when Annual is held in Chicago, as it will be in 2013. Although attendance numbers were down, the conference did not lose money.
ALA Council passed the following resolutions:
“Resolution that School Libraries and Librarians are Critical to Educational Success”
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. Directs the ALA Presidential Task Force on School Librarians to lead the Association in its continued mission to address the urgent need for advocacy for school libraries and school librarians; and to address the impact of the de-professionalization and curtailment of school library instructional programs on students and student achievement, continuing to engage librarians of all types from across the association to advocate for school libraries, which are imperative to the survival and success of all libraries;
2. Encourages state associations and affiliates to influence legislation requiring adequate funding and appropriate staffing of school libraries in schools at all levels;
3. Places a high priority on seeing that upcoming ESEA legislation recognizes and specifically supports the necessity for effective school library programs and credentialed school librarians;
4. Works to encourage federal lobbying efforts to include school libraries in legislation and regulations, including areas such as digital literacy and broadband; and
5. Actively seeks partnerships with national organizations to reach mutual goals of sustaining school libraries.
“Resolution on Voter Suppression in America”
Resolved that the ALA:
Opposes voter ID laws restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting and any other laws resulting in the restriction of lawful access to voting; and
1. Encourages libraries, librarians and library support staff to provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.
Changes to scheduling and number of programs at Annual were discussed at length. Because of declining net revenue, the cost of space and supportive technology, the size and scope of annual conference may be altered. Caps on the number of programs from divisions and roundtables as well as reduction in amount of reserved space will be considered by Executive Board for each conference based on attendance. Since the Executive Board administers conference content, this was not a Council action item but a point of information.
Maureen Sullivan was inaugurated as the President of the American Library Association and Barbara Stripling as President-Elect. Four Council members were elected to serve on the Committee on Committees and five to serve on the Planning and Budget Assembly. Retiring President Molly Raphael and Councilors were recognized for their service, including the South Dakota Chapter Councilor whose term ended at the Annual Conference.
Vickie Mix, SDLA
ALA Chapter Councilor