Annual Report (2004)
25, 2005, by:
Cara List, co-Chair
D. Vanessa Kam,
D. Vanessa Kam (Co-Chair), Cara List
(Co-Chair), James Mitchell, Barbara Rockenbach, Timothy Shipe, Rina Vecchiola,
Tony White, Cynthia Wolff.
Annual business meeting was held at the national conference in New York, NY on April 18, 2004.
Committee members Cynthia Wolfe and
Cara List moderated the session “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About
Licensing Agreements, But Were Afraid to Ask,” with Katherine Haskins, Director
of the Arts Library, Yale University; Gordon Tibbitts, President, Blackwell
Publishing, Inc.; and Helen Ronan, Independent Consultant speaking. Under the new conference session
proposal system this program was not sponsored by the committee though it was an
outgrowth of its concerns.
D. Vanessa Kam wrote the article, “Cultural Calamities: Damage to Iraq's Museums, Libraries, and Archaeological Sites During the United States-Led War on Iraq,” published in the Spring 2004 issue of Art Documentation.
At the recommendation of the Public
Policy Committee, the executive board of ARLIS/NA signed a letter from the
Digital Future Coalition (DFC), which was sent to members of the US House of
Representatives requesting that they support and so-sponsor H.R. 107, the
Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA). This Bill would undo some of the worst
excesses of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The bill was referred to the Committee
on Energy and Commerce and referred again to the sub-committee on Commerce,
Trade and Consumer Protection where hearings were held in May of 2004. The Public Policy Committee will
continue to monitor its progress.
At the request of ARLIS/NA president,
Jeanne Brown, the Public Policy Committee has drafted boilerplate statements to
be issued in response to the news that an art librarian has lost his/her job,
leaving a library without professional oversight. The statements, which were drafted by
committee member Cynthia Wolff, address museum directors and university
administrators. A third
statement, which will be directed to major research library administrators was
drafted and submitted to Jeanne Brown for review. These documents stress the
value of professional librarians as stewards of art library collections. We have emphasized the reference and
research skills that librarians provide to their patrons in our argument against
the elimination of these positions.
The Digital Future Coalition (DFC) had been inactive but was revived. It appeared not to require formal memberships or paid dues and the committee continued to monitor and actively support some of its activities (see above under “Activities).
At the annual business meeting,
out-going committee member and former NINCH liaison, Roger Lawson reported that
the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) appears to be
defunct. Further investigation
verified that the group is no longer active. The website is still available, but is
not updated. ARL is maintaining
information about NINCH’s past activities.
The Progressive Art Librarians’
Network (PrALiNe) has gone on hiatus though it may resume activity at an
undetermined time in the future.
Co-Chair, Vanessa Kam was the organizer of this group. She will continue to monitor the
activities of the Progressive Librarians’ Guild and share information as it
pertains to the activities of this group.
James Mitchell monitored ACRL
Scholarly Communication listserv and the Digital Copyright Digest.
Vanessa Kam monitored the Progressive
Librarian’s Guild and the American Library Association Washington Office
Newsline (ALAWON) listservs.
Cynthia Wolff monitored SOAF (SPARC
Open Access Forum) listserv.
The committee also monitors FOS (Free Online Scholarship), LIB-LICENSE; and LEH (Leslie Ellen Harris) Newsletter.
Public Policy Web Site
Legislative Updates and New Items to Watch
The ARLIS/NA Public Policy Committee has identified the following legislative items as relevant to our members and their constituents. It is the committee’s intention to closely monitor these items for their effects on the art library community, to communicate with the membership as they develop, and recommend appropriate action to the Executive Board as needed.
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
upheld by the Supreme Court in June of 2003. The law has gone into effect and public
libraries that accept Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants or
e-rate discounts for internet service or equipment must comply with the law by
using blocking technology on all public workstations where the internet can be
accessed. Because of the Court’s
plurality decision, libraries complying with the law are also required to be
able to turn off the filter in a timely fashion when an adult patron requests
access to blocked material for legitimate research purposes. The committee will continue to monitor
any developments relating to CIPA.
aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, John Ashcroft, US Attorney
General requested additional powers from Congress in the form of a bill titled
“The Uniting and Strengthening America
by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act
of 2001” (USA PATRIOT Act, in this document further shortened to UPA). Without hearings or any form of
investigation Congress overwhelmingly passed this legislation, and it was signed
into law on October 26, 2001. The
UPA amends over 15 federal statutes to expand the government’s ability to obtain
access to a variety of private records, data and communications. It enhances law enforcement’s
surveillance abilities in both traditional and digital communications. For libraries there are three sections
of the law that are of greatest concern: sections 214, 215 and 216. These sections extend existing telephone
monitoring laws to include internet communications and allow non-specific
warrants for “any tangible thing” which may include library circulation records
or computer hard drives among other confidential library records. The authority to grant these warrants is
seated in the secret FISA court with a standard lower than probably cause. Additionally, a gag order is applied to
those served with a warrant.
Since the President signed the law, a grass roots effort to overturn or amend the law has spread across the country from community groups to the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union. A number of library organizations have passed resolutions or written letters opposing the UPA including almost all of the state library associations, the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Librarians, the Association of Research Libraries and the Medical Library Association. (Committee member, Cara List investigated the responses of other library associations.)
The Public Policy Committee is monitoring a number of bills
proposed in both the House and the Senate that repeal sections of the UPA that
are of concern to libraries. Among
them are the following:
HR 1157 The Freedom to Read Protection Act: defeated in a 210 to 210 vote.
S 1158 The Library and Bookseller Protection Act: Referred to
the Committee on the Judiciary
Oversight Restoration Act: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
S 1709 and HR 3352 The Security and Freedom Enhanced Act (SAFE
HR 3171 The
Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act
Additionally the Public Policy Committee is monitoring several
bills that would strengthen or further extend the powers of the UPA. In February of 2003, a document
detailing a “PATRIOT Act II” was leaked from the Justice Department, despite
denials of its existence by the administration. The document was met with such
overwhelming opposition that its progress towards introduction as new
legislation was quashed. However
pieces of it have appeared in the following proposed legislation:
HR 3037 Antiterrorism Tools Enhancement Act of 2003 Referred
to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
HR3179 Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Tools Improvement Act of 2003 Referred to the House Intelligence
Vital Interdiction of Criminal Terrorist Organizations
(VICTORY) Act (Not yet introduced)
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
ARLIS/NA 2002-2005 Strategic Plan
1. Establish guidelines for kind and quantity of involvement in political action and lobbying allowable under IRS 501 tax status.
In her April 2003 report to the Public Policy Committee following the annual conference in Baltimore, Executive Board liaison Laura Schwartz noted that ALA has clearly established guidelines and that it was recommended that ARLIS/NA adopt these guidelines. At our April 18 business meeting in New York, executive liaison Laura Schwartz was asked to confirm our tax status. After researching this question, Laura stated that ARLIS/NA is considered a section 501c(3) Nonprofit Corporation. According to ALA’s guidelines, as a 501c(3) organization, ARLIS/NA may engage in lobbying up to $1 million, where lobbying is defined as support for or opposition to legislation. All political activity is prohibited, where political activity is defined as support for or opposition to candidates in public office.
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.
The committee’s website provides links to our affiliations and related organizations. See above for further information on changes in these affiliations.
The committee is investigating the
benefits of membership in the National Coalition Against Censorship.
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.
The committee posted announcements on the ARLIS-L and on the committee’s website. Urgent messages from ALAWON were also forwarded to ARLIS/NA’s listserv. Arlis Update and Art Documentation are used for more in depth articles about issues that have concerned the committee.
See above for letters, position
statements, and actions the committee has recommended to the ARLIS/NA executive
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.
See above for listservs
monitored. Relevant announcements
from other listservs are forwarded to ARLIS-L. Ongoing.
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.