Annual Report (2001)
Public Policy Committee, ARLIS/NA
Barbara Rockenbach, Chair (Yale University Arts Library); Jonathan Franklin (National Gallery of Canada); Roberta Geier (National Gallery of Art Library); James Mitchell (American Folk Art Museum); Margaret Webster (Cornell University); Maureen Burns (University of California, Irvine); Cara List (University of Oregon)
Executive Board Liaison: Ursula Kolmstetter (Indianapolis Museum of Art)
The committee continued to monitor relevant legislative and copyright issues in 2001, although there was very little in the area of pubic policy this year. ARLIS/NA's maintained membership in the Digital Future Coalition (DFC). Information from the DFC listserv was forwarded to ARLIS-L on a regular basis, as were listserv postings from the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) list. The committee has also tracked the work of Copyright and New Media Lawyer, Lesley Ellen Harris, and passed along pertinent information to the organization.
The committee re-designed and updated the Public Policy website, which is now hosted at Yale University, http://www.library.yale.edu/~brockenb/Pubpol.htm. New areas and bibliographies were added to the site on issues such as censorship and distance education. Additionally, the affiliations and related organizations was updated and expanded.
In November the committee wrote a letter in response to President Bush's Executive Order 13233 on Presidential Papers. The letter was sent to Washington signed for the society by President Ted Goodman. The committee expressed that ARLIS-NA firmly believes Executive Order 13233 threatens to undermine the concept of free and open access to information that is at the heart of our democratic society. To restrict such access by an executive process without proper public or legislative review or scrutiny is a clear violation of the principles upon which our nation was founded.
The major project for the Public Policy Committee this year was planning, along with the VRA's Intellectural Property Rights committee and NINCH, the Copyright Town Meeting to be held at the joint ARLIS/VRA conference March 23, 2002. The title of this 3-hour meeting is "The Changing Research and Collections Environment: The Information Commons Today." The meeting will be organized into two broad, related themes: the concept of the information commons and the licensing of cultural heritage resources online. Public Policy Committee member Roger Lawson will be introducing and moderating the NINCH meeting. More information about the meeting can be found at http://www.ninch.org/copyright/townmeetings02/stlouis.html
2000-2005 Strategic Plan action items:
1. Establish guidelines for kind and quantity of involvement in political action and lobbying allowable under IRS 501(c)(3)-tax status.
Status: On-going: DFC membership and annual contribution.
2. Identify other agencies and associations with shared interests in legislative / policy matters; link with groups, as appropriate, to co-author and/or co-sign position statements; provide descriptive annotations on other groups' committees, working groups, etc.
Status: On-going. The redesigned Public Policy website lists new organizations and committees for possible collaboration.
3. Create, disseminate, and update regularly a list of legislative topics and issues of particular concern to arts and image professionals; draft position statements consistent with ARLIS/NA interests; publicize endorsed statements or other documents describing the Society's position on legal issues and legislation via the ARLIS/NA website and Society publications.
Status: On-going. The Public Policy website, listserv, and society publications could become a forum for this type of information, encouraging intra-society communication.
4. Assign individual committee members to monitor specific web sites and listservs and report activities to membership via the ARLIS/NA Web site and ARLIS-L; refer items requiring action/responses to Executive Board.
Status: On-going. In addition to membership in the DFC, committee members monitor Web sites and publications of affinity organizations (such as ALA, SLA, AAM, CAA) and report to membership via ARLIS-L.
January 30, 2002