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  Title Values Dominate ALA's Chicago Conference Type Journal Article
  Year 2000 Publication American Libraries Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 31 Issue 7, p10 Pages  
  Abstract Focuses on the 119th Annual Conference of the American Library Association. Development of a core values statement which would identify the main values of the library profession; Details of a study on the effect of outsourcing and privatization on libraries; Focus of program sessions on issues such as intellectual freedom and support of lifelong learning  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0002-9769 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Notes: ------------------------------------------ Magazine: American Libraries; August 1, 2000 Section: News Fronts ALA VALUES DOMINATE ALA'S CHICAGO CONFERENCE LIBRARIANS GATHER IN THE WINDY CITY TO DEBATE THE TENETS OF THE PROFESSION Appropriate to the meeting's heartland setting, values dominated the agenda at ALA's 119th Annual Conference, held July 6-12 in Chicago, most notably in the form of the long-awaited, much-debated core values statement. The document, intended to identify and clarify the core values of the profession, was the main topic at the best-attended Membership Meeting in recent memory. Later ALA Council voted to launch an Association-wide discussion on the need for such a statement, effectively sending the process back to square one after two years of effort by the committee charged with the document's development The other major item on Council's agenda was a study commissioned by ALA on the impact on libraries of outsourcing and privatization. The report, which found no evidence that outsourcing per se has had a negative effect on library services and management, was roundly attacked by councilors, who viewed such activities as a threat to such values as professional service and free access Other cherished values of the profession, such as intellectual freedom, equity of access, and the support of lifelong learning, were the focus of the conference's program sessions, many of which will be recounted in depth in the September American Libraries PHOTO (COLOR): Koko Taylor The values discussion predominated at Membership Meeting I, where the Presidential Task Force on Membership Meetings came closer to establishing a quorum than anyone has since 1994, when membership established the minimum to be 1% of the previous year's personal membership; the requirement amounted to 547 people this year. A carrot that may have driven some of the 2.51 members to Membership I was a drawing for free 2001 ALA Annual Conference registrations, three of which were awarded. Once in the room, people stayed to watch the fireworks as Core Values Task Force member Carolyn Caywood took flak over the fifth draft of her committee's statement because, some said, it didn't emphasize such professional priorities as intellectual freedom or offer guidance on such dilemmas as when--or whether--to outsource library services PHOTO (COLOR): Chicago blues star Koko Taylor exhorts a sellout crowds to do the “wang dang doodle” at the Blues Bash on Navy Pier Although the second scheduled Membership Meeting drew significantly fewer people than the first, the topic--ALA's opposition to filters in libraries-proved equally lively. “We've invited a continual backlash against libraries,” Jim Dwyer of California State University/ Chico cautioned, recommending that librarians “need some other options to make sure parents' valid concerns are being addressed.” Underscoring the Association's position that “decisions made for local libraries are made at the local level,” Intellectual Freedom Committee Chair Steven Herb explained that IFC members continue to see no need to “reopen the discussion'' until software makers develop a filter that can accurately identify only offensive material. Herb also emphasized, in answer to a question posed by Johnson County (Kans.) Library Director Kent Oliver, that no institutions have dropped their memberships as a result of ALA's filter opposition ”that I know of.“ Continuing an ALA tradition, the Opening General Session demonstrated the value ALA places on advocacy by bestowing two honorary memberships on library champions. In a poignant moment, former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon accepted one of the memberships on behalf of his wife, Jeanne Hurley Simon, chair of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, who died February 20 (AL, Apr., p. 77). ”Thank you for all you're doing to enrich this nation and this world,“ a visibly moved Simon stated. Carnegie Corporation President and former New York Public Library President Vartan Gregorian, who was not in attendance, also received an honorary ALA membership Injecting local pride, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley appeared at the Opening General Session to proclaim enthusiastically that the city's libraries ”are the anchors improving the quality of life in our communities.“ Boasting that his administration has built or renovated 36 branch libraries, he promised that by 200! Chicago Public Library would unveil 13 more ”new projects.“ Daley also announced that the city would launch a weeklong literary festival October 9-15 Also avowing his love for CPL was celebrated author Studs Terkel, who gave the keynote address in a meandering manner that evoked the introspective journalistic style for which he is renowned. ”You-the librarians--and the book have been the primary influence in my life,“ Terkel asserted, noting that friends gave him the nickname Studs because he was so enamored of Studs Lonigan, which he borrowed from CPL as a boy. ”Anybody under certain circumstances can change,“ Terkel avowed, especially ”those who read books.“ Later that evening, Terkel also headlined the annual gala of ALA's Video Round Table After Terkel's keynote, ALA President Sarah Ann Long unveiled a national multimedia publicity blitz extolling the value of libraries that ”combines all our voices into one loud voice sustained over time and communicated by consistent messages over a common banner.“ Attendees applauded enthusiastically after viewing a video teaser of the Campaign for America's Libraries, which featured the ”@ your library“ brand tagline and messages such as ”The librarian: the ultimate search engine“ and ”The library: where cyberspace meets human space“ (AL, June/July, p. 112) Kozol's community Sometimes it takes someone from outside the profession to reinforce our values, and that was the effect of Jonathan Kozol's emotional speech at the President's Program, which addressed President Long's theme of ”Libraries Build Community.'' Bringing his audience to tears with accounts of his work with children in the poorest section of the South Bronx, Kozol decried the “virtual abandonment by New York City of school libraries staffed by real librarians.” Following Kozol's impassioned presentation, Kathleen de la Pena McCook offered a professional perspective on “ways librarians can transform broken and violated communities” such as the South Bronx. Warning that the last 'decade's emphasis on technology “pulls us away from the personal work that has made people use libraries,” McCook said, “We have let the computer in, and it is not sharing.” ALA's first-ever Closing General Session attracted an ample crowd for rousing remarks by Stephen R. Covey, human-potential guru and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey said he got the idea for his philosophy of self-knowledge--now a multimillion-dollar business--from three sentences in a book (author and title forgotten) he found in a library in Hawaii years ago: “Between every stimulus and response is a space. In this space lies freedom and the power to choose a response. In responses, those choices, lie our happiness and growth.” As Covey went on to describe some of his seven habits-be proactive, put first things first, think win-win-one wag was overheard mumbling that it was too bad that an ALA Council session was running concurrently, since some councilors might have benefited from his insights Several thousand music-loving info professionals got the chance to dance to the rhythm of Chicago blues legend Koko Taylor at ALA's second annual scholarship fundraiser. The crowd happily complied as Taylor urged them to do the “wang dang doodle” all night long in Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom. After a short break for a splendid display of fireworks over Lake Michigan, the stage was taken over by Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials, whose wild-and-greasy houserocking style kept the pier pumped past midnight. Hosted by President Long and sponsored by ProQuest (formerly Bell and Howell Information and Learning), the soldout “Blues Bash” raised thousands of dollars for the Spectrum Initiative and other ALA scholarships. Ten other vendors cosponsored the event Far-flung functions Though the facilities at Chicago's McCormick Place easily handled ALA's massive meeting and exhibition requirements, its distance from most of the conference hotels meant that attendees had to spend much time on the Gale Group's shuttle buses or in the taxi lines. Even getting in and out of town proved daunting for those who had to wait as long as 45 minutes for the Airport Express vans or who faced flight delays and cancellations caused by Monday showers ALA's Conference Services office eased some of the travel trauma by arranging for satellite registration counters at two of the hotels, where anyone who pre-registered could pick up a conference program and badge holder. Attendees also made use of complimentary farecards for the Metra commuter train that took them from inside McCormick to two stops that were only a few blocks from the hotels Vendor receptions were popular, despite the vast Chicago distances. The Denver-based CARL Corporation hosted a cozy event at Mrs. Levy's Delicatessen in the Sears Tower to celebrate its July acquisition by The Library Corporation, also a well-established library-automation company. Innovative Interfaces chose the Museum of Contemporary Art for its reception, where guests could wander through several open galleries or the terraced sculpture garden, sipping wine and sharing metadata That Chicago remains a favorite conference locale for ALA members was borne out by the attendance figures: The preliminary total registration figure of 24,427 approached 1998's record-breaking 24,884, and the regular paid figure of 11,909 almost beat last year's 11,915 PHOTO (COLOR): Former Senator Paul Simon and author Studs Terkel appeared at the Opening General Session The Inaugural Banquet lived up to its billing as an “elegant evening of celebration.” Outgoing President Long passed the torch to Nancy Kranich, who outlined her presidential initiative: to strengthen libraries' position as the cornerstone of democracy. Then, with the formalities finished, Kranich, an avid dancer, literally waltzed into her presidency and led her 300-plus co-celebrants in an evening of dancing PHOTO (COLOR): ALA President Sarah Ann Long greets Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Attendees who packed the Booklets Books for Youth Forum seemed to get a special charge out of witnessing ALA history in the making--namely, presentations by the winner and two out of three honorees of the Young Adult Library Services Association's first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Literature for Young Adults, which was announced at Midwinter (AL, Mar., p. 56). Calling for the new award to get “the same visibility as the Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King awards,” Committee Chair Frances B. Bradburn bubbled that the Printz award is “making a difference in young-aduh publishing already.” Printz winner Walter Dean Myers agreed, noting that the award's existence “is changing my writing already” because his editor is “asking me to make my characters younger” and encouraging him to “deal with difficult subjects.” Another first was the presentation of the initial Access to Learning Award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Helsinki City Library in Finland for its Cable Book Library and other groundbreaking Internet initiatives. The $1-million award will go each year to a library that provides computer and Internet access in innovative and useful ways A record 1,300 guests attended the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet, where the coveted children's-book medals were presented to author Christopher Paul Curtis and illustrator Simms Taback. Curtis was also honored, along with illustrator Brian Pinkney, at the Coretta Scott King Award breakfast An addition to this year's banquet roster was a dinner honoring the National Advocacy Honor Roll, celebrating individuals and groups from all 50 states who have supported and strengthened library services at the local, state, or national levels over the last 100 years. Pleasantville writer and director Gary Ross was the keynote speaker Exhibitors seemed to be happy with the traffic at McCormick Place. Attendees flocking to the exhibit hall were treated to free massages by professional therapists and free makeovers done by makeup artists from Saks Fifth Avenue. The Live at the Library Poets House Showcase was also a hit, featuring readings by poets Stuart Dybek, Luis Rodriguez, Diane Glancy, and others PHOTO (COLOR): At the President's Program, author Jonathan Kozol spoke movingly of his work with poor children in the South Bronx Of course, the exhibits maintained their own frenzied levels of excitement with drawings for e-book readers (the, Palm Pilots (Ingram, H.W. Wilson, and LearningExpress), airline tickets, and other products. Author signings were ubiquitous. Grolier Publishing-Company won first prize for the “friendliest booth,” an award presented at each conference by the New Members Round Table and the Exhibits Round Table Council concerns Although the core values and outsourcing controversies were the most prominent of the issues tackled by Council, the body also addressed other topics ranging from online privacy and confidentiality to electronic meeting participation. By a narrow vote, a resolution on library services for people with disabilities was returned to the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies over concerns that its language was overly restrictive. As they had at their Midwinter session last January (AL, Mar., p. 78), Council members rejected an attempt to reopen the issue of socially responsible investment of the ALA endowment As passionate as the debates over the core values statement and outsourcing were, Council's most emotional moment was its farewell to pioneering librarian and social activist E. J. Josey, who is leaving Council after 29 years of service. Councilor Mitch Freedman clearly spoke for the entire body when he called Josey “one of the greatest librarians of the last century,” adding that he provided “an incredible example for this century.” Full reports on conference programs, Council, and the Executive Board, plus David Dorman's special “Technically Speaking” column on the ALA Exhibits, will appear in the September American Libraries, as well as on the American Libraries Online Web site ( Copyright of American Library Association American Libraries is the property of American Library Association and text may not be copied without the express written permission of except for the imprint of the video screen content or via the print options of the EBSCO-CD software. Text is intended solely for the use of the individual user Source: American Libraries, Aug2000, Vol. 31 Issue 7, p10, 3p, 5c Accession Number: 3448710; Call Number: 3448710 Approved no  
  Call Number refbase @ admin @ Serial 13368  
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