Vermont Chapter Councilor Report – LibLearnX 2023

American Library Association (ALA) Library War Service camp library at Camp Greene, N.C

This is not my usual ALA report because the Council meetings at LibLearnX were brief and I was occupied with some legislation I’d been working on. Here are some important notes for those who are interested in ALA topics.

1. American Library Association Updates Core Values

This was a 2.5 year process culminating in massaging the existing lengthy list of core values into five: access, equity, intellectual freedom and privacy, the public good, and sustainability. There was some healthy debate about this process with many groups within ALA having mild concerns but the committee who put this together, I think, worked very hard to try to wrap those concerns into the final document. This is the Core Values press release.

2. Bylaws change ensuring access to governance opportunities for ALA members

This was the big project I was working on. A resolution turned into an ALA Bylaws change. This still needs to get voted on by membership at ALA but should pass. It basically ensures that, moving forward, people can participate in ALA governance (not just attend conference and membership meetings) remotely. It was a lot of work which I did with SRRT Councilor Tara Brady and the Bylaws Committee and I am proud of it. Small update about this at the end of the post.

3. Discussion of resolutions about Gaza. These were, as you might imagine, fraught. There were two major resolutions, one of which passed and one of which didn’t.

There are two very capable people running for ALA President: Ray Pun and Sam Helmick. I’ll be supporting Ray Pun but I think you cant go wrong with either of them.

This is my last report as Chapter Councilor. I’ll be moving on from this role so I can concentrate more on VLA things and a little less on ALA things. It’s been my honor to serve for four years representing the libraries of Vermont to the American Library Association.


Yesterday we got an update from ALA President Emily Drabinski that ALA will no longer be offering “the digital experience” (i.e. specific online access to the conference) but Councilors may still attend Council meetings virtually and, mostly importantly, without having to pay for the entire conference. This is a big deal both in decrease of access but also improvement of the situation for Councilors. Folks may remember that in the summer of 2022, I tried to participate on governance without registering for the conference which was something that should have been allowed by ALA’s bylaws at the time, and was specifically refused voting credentials because of a disagreement about interpretation of the bylaws.So the past few events, I’ve paid several hundreds of dollars to attend a handful of Council meetings. Don’t love it.

I have been a bit of a pill about it, and I don’t know if that was part of what resulted in this change or not. I understand that tough choices have to be made including not investing money in a virtual conference with dwindling membership. I do hope that ALA can find a way forward being inclusive and accessible. Below is the announcement which we got.

The ALA Executive Board has determined that it is no longer fiscally responsible to offer this parallel online conference opportunity. The digital experience will not be offered at the 2024 Annual Conference.

Council has affirmed an ongoing online participation option for Councilors. Given that the digital experience will no longer be offered and incorporating Councilor feedback around the virtual council experience over the last few years, Councilors will no longer be required to pay for conference registration in order to participate in Council meetings virtually.


Councilors may participate in Council meetings virtually or attend 2024 Annual Conference at a discount.

  • Councilors who choose to participate only in the virtual Council meetings will receive instructions on how to join the meetings virtually closer to Annual Conference.
  • Councilors who choose to attend the 2024 Annual Conference in person may register at a discounted rate of $350. During registration, ALA Councilors will use the code that was sent via the ALA Council Private Connect Community to take advantage of the discount. This code cannot be combined with other discounts. Only official ALA Council members may use the code.