A Letter from your GLBTRT Chair

With Midwinter behind us and the ALA elections rapidly approaching, I wanted to update you on a few things the board has been working on and what’s coming up in the next few weeks and at Annual.

The GLBTRT has been very fortunate to have two dedicated teams of Emerging Leaders work on what’s become known as the GLBTRT Archive Project in 2017 and 2018. They worked closely with the ALA Archives, establishing what the GLBTRT’s collection consists of already, reaching out to members and supporters to donate what they have, conducting and recording oral histories, and more. The board had been hoping to have a third team of Emerging Leaders continue this 3-4 year project in the lead-up to our fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 2020, but not enough Emerging Leaders in the current cohort selected the project. So, I proposed, and the board voted in favor of the creation of a GLBTRT Archive Project Ad hoc Committee. If you’re passionate about documenting, preserving, and presenting history, marketing, or creative web design and presentation, consider volunteering for this committee. More details can be found in the committee’s page. Volunteers will serve a term of two years in this virtual committee, though we hope to see at least some committee members at the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago for our festivities. If you’re interested, fill out the committee volunteer form and expect to hear from me in the next couple of weeks.

A second ad hoc committee that was formed back in the fall of 2018 is our GLBTRT 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Ad hoc Committee. The roster hasn’t been updated, but this committee is currently co-chaired by past chairs Deb Sica and Roland Hansen, and includes Incoming Chair Megan Drake, past chair and current GLBTRT Councilor Ann Symons, Director at-
large David Isaac, and longtime member Bill Bergfalk. The committee is currently researching and drafting two or three options for both, the ticketed gala and the social that will be taking place during the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago. As the committee’s charge reflects, there are quite a lot of moving parts to these projects. Once these options are finalized, the committee will be working with several other GLBTRT committees to make the gala and social a success. We’re incredibly fortunate to have Bill and Roland in this committee; they’ve helped plan past GLBTRT anniversary celebrations and are clearly very good at party planning, based on the committee drafts I’ve seen. But they would love some company. If you’re a wiz at party planning and love attention to details, then keep an eye out for a second call for volunteers sometime this year, we’d love to have you in this committee, including folks who live in or close to Chicago as we would like one or two more locals in the committee for logistical purposes.

One last item regarding committees. The Executive Board voted at its January meeting in Seattle a second time to merge some standing committees. According to our bylaws, standing committees may be created or dissolved by a majority vote of the executive board during two different fiscal years in order to allow the votes to occur under two leadership terms. The board voted in New Orleans and again in Seattle to merge Advocacy with Resources, News with Reviews, and to make Bylaws an Ad hoc committee. The decision to merge the first four committees into two was based on the very complementary nature of their work. The decision to make Bylaws an ad hoc committee is a result of the seasonal nature of its work. Please know these changes to committees will not impact the current cohort of committee members, but you will see these changes reflected in the next call for standing committee volunteers, which will occur in the next couple of months.

The ALA elections are coming! Be sure to vote in the GLBTRT elections for Incoming Chair, Treasurer, GLBTRT Councilor, and Directors-at-large March 11-April 3. Remember, you must be an active ALA and GLBTRT member to vote.

The Bylaws Committee and Executive Board submitted the final draft of our proposed bylaws changes on February 1st. Briana Jarnagin, our ALA Staff Liaison in ODLOS, submitted it to ALA Governance, which in turn sent it to the vendor that formats all of the ALA ballots. Members will be able to see both, a document with the track changes as well as a clean copy of the
proposed bylaws when they vote. Proposed changes to the bylaws can be broadly described as a conscious effort to break down existing and potential barriers to how the GLBTRT goes about its business. They include: a broader definition of the people we serve and advocate for, removing the names and number of book committees in case these need to be expanded to accommodate demand in future, re-establishing book committee terms as being two years so they are the same as standing committee terms, and changing when the Executive Board and membership may propose bylaws amendments so they may be proposed at any time, as opposed to only at membership meetings. Many thanks to Bylaws Committee members Ashley
Cornell Hulser, Scotty M. Zollars, and especially G. W. Swicord, Chair of the Bylaws Committee, for working so hard on the many changes in time for the early deadline.

The Bylaws Committee already has at least one assignment after elections because the GLBTRT’s Bylaws will need to be edited yet again for next year’s ballot to amend any mention of our current name! As mentioned in my previous letter in December, the other big item we’ll be asking membership to vote on is our name change. GLBTRT members will be asked to vote
for either Rainbow Round Table (R RT), the name that emerged as the top choice of members when polled, or the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Round Table (LGBTQ RT), the board’s suggestion.

Looking ahead to Annual in DC, the GLBTRT will, of course, be hosting a social the Sunday evening of conference beginning at 6 p.m., as well as the Stonewall Book Award Celebration, which in recent years has also celebrated the GLBTRT’s awards, the Monday of conference. After hearing from some members, and even one of our award recipients, the board elected to move the celebration from its usual 10 a.m. start to 1 p.m. so that members would be able to go and hear George Takei’s Auditorium Speaker Series talk at 10:30 a.m. AND attend our celebration. Mr. Takei’s talk was scheduled that morning according to his availability so we decided to move our program to accommodate our members.

The GLBTRT is also co-hosting with the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) a panel discussion called Intersectionality and the Experience of LGBTQ+ Folks. APALA Vice-President/President-Elect and GLBTRT member Alana Aiko Moore will present on intersectionality and the future of libraries and facilitate a discussion with confirmed panelists
David Lopez, Paige Flanagan, Tracey Drake, and Michael Mungin. Dates, times, and locations of programs are currently being assigned; we’ll send out that information when we have it.

Finally, I’ve been working closely with Web Committee Chair Amelia Vander Heide to make sure the links at the bottom of our pages with historic information are live and leading to where they should. Some of these links may have been disrupted when ALA Connect was updated. Or
not. But we’re working on it. Web has also posted the updated policies and procedures for Over the Rainbow and Rainbow on their pages, and cleaned up the ad hoc committee pages. Thank you!

As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or the rest of the board if you have any questions or would like to volunteer and you want to know more about the work of specific committees or positions. I’m always happy to help clarify or answer any questions.

In Service,
Ana Elisa de Campos Salles
February 2019


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *