Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Council: Governing Body Adopts Preliminary FY 2009 Budget Ceiling, Approves Revisions of Library Bill of Rights Interpretation

Magazine article American Libraries

ALA Council: Governing Body Adopts Preliminary FY 2009 Budget Ceiling, Approves Revisions of Library Bill of Rights Interpretation

Article excerpt

ALA's governing body handily tackled the Association's business without much fanfare and with a two-hour early dismissal in the last of three sessions held June 29 and July 1-2 during Annual Conference in Anaheim.

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Council approved the preliminary FY2009 budgetary ceiling of $67.9 million passed along from the Executive Board (Council Document #13.3).

Treasurer Rod Hersberger said discussions are underway about the need to develop new revenue sources. "I think this is going to be a real challenge," he suggested. "Two of our revenues sources--conference and membership and dues--are very mature, with publishing going through a transition."

The primary FY 2009 focuses, according to Hersberger, will be key initiatives and investments, realignment of resources, and collaboration and partnerships as well as online and international opportunities.

Endowment Trustees Chair Robert Newlen reported that the value of the ALA Endowment declined by $667,000 as of May 31, from $31.2 million to $30.6 million (CD #16.).

Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Kenton L. Oliver presented six Library Bill of Rights interpretation revisions that received unanimous Council approval (CD #19.2-19.7). Oliver said the changes were necessary as IFC prepares for the upcoming release of the eighth edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual.

Corporate membership will be revised as of September 1. Council approved a restructuring of the corporate membership category presented by ALA Membership Committee Chair Dora Ho. The move reduces the number of corporate membership levels from four to two, with dues of $500 or $2,000 (CD#10).

A resolution from Councilors Al Kagan and Jonathan Betz-Zall calling for ALA, its divisions, round tables, and other units to purchase products from sweatshop-free producers passed as amended (CD #58).

Although, a resolution regarding Cuba was expected (AL, June/July, p. 100), it never materialized for Council action. But there was discussion about background information prepared by International Relations Office Director Michael Dowling that was apparently altered and distributed by supporters of Cuba's "independent librarians" to some councilors online. According to Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels, "It was done in such a fashion that it created the impression that it was the official document prepared by the International Relations Office."

Intellectual Freedom Round Table Councilor Sylvia Turchyn called the move "deplorable" and asked for strong action.

Councilor-at-Large Ling Hwey Jeng proposed that the Association consider legal action against the Cuban independent librarian supporters if they misrepresented Dowling's background piece, saying that ALA's detractors are at liberty to disseminate their information but that "ALA will not be harassed."

Councilor-at-Large Bernie Margol-is disagreed about the call for taking legal action. "We're possibly moving along the road where we crawl into a very deep hole," he explained, "and we're whipsawed in the public press for our inconsistency with regard to celebrating everyone's right to speak."

In other actions, Council:

* Passed a resolution calling for the Government Printing Office to improve the Federal Depository Library Program and Public access to government information (CD #53, revised).

* Approved a measure supporting funding for cataloging and bibliographic control at the Library of Congress (CD #56).

* Passed a resolution supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (CD #57). …

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