2009 ALA Midwinter Conference – Loida’s report

I am finally decompressing from the successful American Library Association Midwinter Conference. This year we all went to Denver, Colorado to enjoy cold weather and snow.  Unlike the past two years, I didn’t blog every day. Actually, I didn’t blog during the conference at all. Instead I summarized the highlights of the conference based on the meetings I attended.  As the President Elect of REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, I attended all their Executive Board and Board meetings. I also attended meetings from the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) of which I am a member, IFRT activities, and the Advocacy Committee.

  • On Friday, January 23, I gave a report about IFLA/ FAIFE activities at the International Relations Committee. Mentioned the workshops other committee members and I have done in developing countries as well as the workshop materials about the Internet Manifesto Guidelines and HIV/AIDS – which you can find here. The committee also discussed a “’Resolution on the Connection between the Recent Gaza Conflict and Libraries” which was approved by the ALA Council on Wednesday, January 28.
  • On Saturday, January 24, I attended my first IFC committee meeting and it was great because I got to seat with many of the people from the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of which I was a Director from 2006-2008. The IFC had four meetings. (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday)
  •  The Advocacy Committee discussed ways of training librarians via the Advocacy Institute, and presented Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit– great resource to help librarians make the case for libraries in these difficult times.
  • Building Statewide Coalitions for all libraries was a program coordinated by ALA Office for Library Advocacy, the Advocacy Committee, and Jim Rettig, President of ALA. The panelists, librarians from Colorado, Nebraska and Arizona, shared their experiences about working with librarians from their states to built statewide coalitions to advocate for libraries. It was a truly good program- much needed.
  • On Sunday, January 25, I attended the 70th Anniversary Celebration for the Code of Ethics which was brilliant. Dr. Rushworth M. Kidder, author and founder of the Institute for Global Ethics shared insightful stories about difficult situations when people have seen ‘the right thing to do’ from different points of view. Dr. Kidder introduced four dilemmas present whenever someone ponders the right thing to do: (1) truth vs. loyalty; (2) individual vs. community; (3) short vs. long term; (4) justice vs. mercy.  These are very intense and delicate dilemmas included on his books  Moral Courage and How Good People Make Tough Choices.
  • The IFC spent a good deal of time discussing and reviewing three new interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights: Challenged materials, Restricted Access to Library Materials, and Service to Persons with Disabilities. These were approved by the ALA Council!
  • REFORMA hosted four meeting sessions: two Executive Board meetings, one Board meeting and an all Committee meetings session. REFORMA National Conference IV was discussed and initial plans look positive. Stay tuned.  
  • The Mora Award was given to the Charlotte Mecklenburg County Public Library from Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Riverside County Public Library from California.
  • For the first time ever, a Newbury Honor Awards was given to a Latina: Margarita Ingle, author of The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom. Ms. Ingle also received the Pura Belpre Author Award for the same title.
  • 2009 Pura Belpre Awards were given to:  
    • Belpre Illustrator Award: Yuyi Morales illustrator of  “Just in Case”
    • Belpre Illustrator Honor Books:  “Papá and Me” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Dorros, published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “The Storyteller’s Candle / La velita de los cuentos” illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucía González, published by Children’s Book Press; and “What Can You Do with a Rebozo?” illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla, published by Tricycle Press, an imprint of Ten Speed Press.

Also:

  • REFORMA hosted its traditional midwinter reception at El Centro Su Teatro. There was live music, food, dance and lots of wonderful people. It was a huge success.
  • The Facebook Librarians After-Hours Social was fun and now I have even more FB friends (whom I actually know!).  So many people to talk to, so little time!
  • My pretty and coolest friend Robin and I attended a party to celebrate Karen Dowling’s Ph.D. There were many nice people there and there was a cake! We loved to hang out with you all.
  • Queens Library seat down dinner was yummy and much appreciated. It was nice to see library colleagues outside the usual setting. 
  • The Colorado Association of Libraries Board hosted a fabulous reception for Camila Alire, ALA President-Elect at the Blair-Caldwell branch of Denver Public Library

ALA midwinter pictures should be posted soon.

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