Art Libraries Society
Public Policy Committee Meeting
Committee Members for 2004:
D. Vanessa Kam, Cara List, James Mitchell, Barbara Rockenbach, Tim Shipe, Rina Vecchiola, Tony White, Cynthia Wolff.
Co-chairs: D. Vanessa Kam and Cara List
Executive Board Liaison: Laura Schwartz
D. Vanessa Kam, Roger Lawson (Outgoing member), Cara List, James Mitchell, Tim Shipe, Rina Vecchiola, Tony White, and Cynthia Wolff (recorder).
Introduction of members, co-chairs, and Board liaison; recognition of outgoing members Roger Lawson (present) and Roberta Geier (not present).
Review of 2003 (facilitated by D. Vanessa Kam)
See the committee’s annual
report, submitted to the Executive Board on
Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act (DCIM). The Committee will follow up on the development of the DCIM Act. Cindy Wolff will follow up on news regarding this legislation and monitor the progress of a competing bill, the Consumer Access to Information Act of 2004. The Committee will make suggestions for action to the Board based on these pieces of legislation as they develop. The American Library Association lists points of criticism about the DCIM Act and finds that database proprietors are already covered adequately under existing legislation without it.
UCITA. The Committee will continue to monitor UCITA, although it does not appear that new developments will appear on the horizon.
Several issues that were also discussed briefly at the meeting included:
NINCH and the Digital Future Coalition (DFC). Outgoing Public Policy Committee member and former NINCH liaison Roger Lawson will investigate whom the Committee can contact regarding the status of NINCH. NINCH appears to be defunct, as its members are no longer asking for new members and no one is updating their website. Roger will investigate these NINCH issues as a favor to the Committee since he is an out-going member.
The DFC until recently had been inactive, but has recently revived. It seems not to currently require formal membership or paid dues, but public policy committee members will continue to monitor it.
We really appreciated how
Roger kept us abreast of what was going on in
The Public Policy Committee also reviewed the various organizations it monitors and discussed which ones we should continue to monitor.
Vanessa Kam, the organizer of PrALiNe (Progressive Art Librarians' Network), announced that PrALiNe is going on hiatus and may resume at a yet-to-be-determined date. She will continue to monitor activities of the Progressive Librarians’ Guild as they pertain to activities of the Public Policy Committee.
Laura Schwartz, our liaison to the Board, suggested we look into the National Coalition Against Censorship since other organizations such as the College Art Association and the American Library Association are members. Cara List will investigate.
The Public Policy Committee members also monitor a number of listservs for discussion of relevant topics. We monitor the following listservs:
SOAF (SPARC Open Access Forum)
FOS (Free Online Scholarship)
LEH (Lesley Ellen Harris Newsletter)
DIGITAL COPYRIGHT DIGEST- this was monitored by Roger Lawson; James Mitchell has volunteered to monitor it.
Progressive Librarians’ Guild
ARLIS/NA 2002-2005 Strategic Plan Action Items:
1. Establish guidelines for kind and quantity of involvement in political action and lobbying allowable under IRS 501 tax status.
Vanessa asked Laura to clarify ARLIS/NA’s tax status as this will determine the kind and quantity of involvement that the committee may choose to be involved in.
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.
3. Create, disseminate, and update regularly a list of legislative topics and issues of a 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 Web Site and Society publications.
We discussed the methods by which the Committee communicates with the Society's members. We feel that the time-sensitive nature of much of our information generally makes the ARLIS-L listserv a better forum than the ARLIS Update newsletter. We hope to still occasionally use Update and Art Documentation for articles that provide an outline of various issues that the Public Policy Committee covers and for reporting on any workshops and seminars attended by Committee members.
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.
5. Create a “recommended reading” list on topics such as intellectual property, telecommunications, censorship and make available via the ARLIS/NA Web Site.
In progress on the web site.
6. Create communication links and define responsibilities shared among Public Policy Committee and ARLIS/NA Chapters to identify issues and topics with legislative agendas.
We are in regular contact with other committees, liaisons, and chapters, as needed.
Conference Session Proposals
Laura Schwartz suggested we start thinking about a session topic for next year’s conference. After some brainstorming the following items came up:
Censorship. We discussed censorship as an appropriate area for the Committee's work. Though not strictly a "public policy" issue, we identified various areas that could be explored in future publications and conference session proposals, including:
Point/counterpoint format? (Last year’s session monitored by Barbara Rockenbach had this format and it was very successful)
A panel discussion?
The TEACH Act – does it protect fair use of material in order to promote creativity?
The stifling of expression and criticism?
Stifling creativity by denying financial support?
Librarians and collections being challenged?
Self-censoring on the part of Collection Development librarians for fear of being publicly challenged or fired for their choices?
Who can we invite to
speak? The NEA 4? Siva Vaidhyanathan? Laura Bush for cancelling
her poetry reading after hearing one of the poets criticize
the war in
James Mitchell and Cara List offered to write a proposal for next year’s session.