I'm trying to ease myself back into conference blogging. I got a lot out of it for the conferences I managed to do it for, so here's the first one from Midwinter 07.
I'm on two committees for ALA and have one elected office so I'm pretty busy going to meetings. This first report will be about the ALA Council Committee for which I am an intern--the Intellectual Freedom Committee.
This is an exciting, dynamic committee and I always learn the most from these meetings. It is also a contentious committee among some members of ALA--obviously any committee that discusses intellectual freedom will have its share of controversy and debate both within and outside the meetings. I know that Greg was in attendance at our first meeting and blogged about it here and here. The topic of that particular meeting was primarily Cuban librarians. I have no particular position on the issue personally, but I did support the committee's agreement that it was not our fight. Our charge and our focus is on US intellectual freedom issues, and I think Greg did a good job pointing that out.
Other issues that we discussed at Midwinter include:
- The National Discussion on Privacy. To fulfill a resolution adopted by Council at ALA Annual 06, the IFC will assemble and present a national conference on privacy, tentatively titled "Taking Back American Values." This conference will work to be collaborative across the library world and the US at large. Topics to be discussed include sniffer software, ISP user tracking, NSA surveillance of citizens, CALEA, Council of Europe treaty on cybercrime, DHS surveillance of citizens, and Justice Department surveillance of citizens.
- Discussion on the core values and priorities of ALA. How can these fit in with accreditation processes and Leslie Burger's National Library Agenda?
- Intellectual Freedom programs to be presented at ALA Annual 07: A preconference on the Library Bill of Rights sponsored by IFRT; programs on Bush Administration policies and IF, the need for information ethics training, RFID, whistleblowing (should be very exciting!) and a discussion between a judge from US Ct of Appeals 7th Circuit and a law professor on liberty vs national security (also should be very interesting!).
This is just a very brief summary of the 12 hours(!) we spent together as a committee--if you have any questions about specifics or want more information on any point just let me know. More to come soon!