Wednesday, March 24, 2010

IFC's Spring Meeting: Report from the Liaison

submitted by J. Douglas Archer, University of Notre Dame

Action Items:

• The IFC discussed and decided to proceed with a request to COO (Committee on Organization) to increase the size of the IFC from 10 to 15 members.

• The IFC spent considerable time revising the latest draft of a new Interpretation of the Library Bill of rights, The Prisoners Right to Read. The "final" draft was approved unanimously. After copying editing for typos and omissions, it will be distributed to the IFC and then to the usual parties for review prior to Annual Conference. It's our intention to bring it to Council (with any last minute improvements) for approval in DC.


• The proposed Texas educational standards were discussed at length with a decision to investigate further and, in particular, to contact the Texas Library Association.

• Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom: Cost, recruitment, documentation, research, and expansion of the subscriber base were all included in the discussion which will continue. E-publication is certainly seen as the future. The questions are when and how. Carrie and Doug volunteered to work with OIF staff on options.

• Revised Privacy Q&A: It should be ready for final approval in DC.

• Privacy Subcommittee: After discussion of it current and potential future activity, it will continue.

• Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCE): Since no new document was ready for review (in fact, the new ALA Task Force has not yet been appointed), we discussed the general issues surrounding TCEs. My impression of the general consensus is that everyone would be happy if the doc is not revived, especially since the sense of urgency seemed to have passed. On the other hand, if it should reappear after having had time for more substantive input, most folks would expect it to have more explicit guarantees of the priority of intellectual freedom (e.g. open and equitable access to library materials). Barbara Stripling and Trina Magi were affirmed as our representatives to this new Task Force.
• Internet Tool Kit: Five Emerging Leaders have been working with the IFC and OIF to thoroughly revise the Internet Toolkit - by Internet standards a truly ancient document; it's over a decade old. The five brought "born digital" eyes to the project along with great enthusiasm. They all attended the Spring Meeting and worked together with IFC on the next stage of the project -- essentially reinventing the toolkit. They will report on their project on Friday afternoon at Annual Conference in DC and then continue to work with the committee on polishing the kit for distribution.

• Choose Privacy Week: The Soros Foundation is very pleased with the project and it looks as if additional funding will be forthcoming. Please report (send pictures and accounts)to the OIF your observance of CPW!

• Banned Books Week: There will be a single poster (visually striking and a little more edgy than the last few years - we saw it but it's always hard to describe art so I won't try) for use with all ages this year. In addition, a new edition of the resource guide is being prepared by Bob Doyle. This time it will not be specifically linked to this year's theme so that it will have multi-year appeal and a longer sales life.

• IF Manual: Content is with ALA Editions. Candy continues to work with them and to work on the supplemental materials that will be linked from the OIF website.

• OIF Website: Choose Privacy Week has its own website for easier design and access. OIF is working with the ALA tech folks to do something similar for the IF Manual. One major improvement should be shorter URLs.

• Director's Report: Barb has been networking outside and within ALA with folks concerned with intellectual freedom. She has been traveling regularly to New York and Washington for this purpose and specifically mentioned an extremely helpful event set up by Emily Sheketoff(Washington Office) with free speech and similar advocates in the DC area.