21 Sep

Please find below a copy of the discussion of the SLAQ “resignation” from ASLA which was posted by me to the oztlnet list:

Posted by oztlnetlist August 18, 2012

Dear Colleagues,
Earlier today, the reasons below were provided in an email to oztl_net
by June Wall, Treasurer of ASLA, to explain why QLD was suspended from
ASLA. One would expect this decision to have been based on extremely
serious grounds, given that any further division weakens ASLA, and it
means that teacher-librarians in Australia have an even less
representative body in ASLA, with the State Library Association of
Victoria not a member. This further division of ASLA reflects
negatively on teacher-librarianship in Australia, as it brings into
question the profession in terms of skills of collaboration and

The reasons for suspension were stated in the email as follows:
“ASLA had sent a letter to SLAQ asking SLAQ to abide by the
constitution and its by-laws, namely to:

• Provide contact addresses for the distribution of ACCESS – SLAQ
members have had late delivery due to SLAQ not providing any address
to ASLA except the SLAQ PO Box. This has caused problems with
Australia Post and delivery times for SLAQ members.
• Restate their agreement to abide by the constitution
• Apologise to the ASLA Board for inaccurate and inflammatory remarks
or comments made by the SLAQ President in the 2011 Annual Report
published in the SLAQ newsletter.

SLAQ refused to agree to the above 3 requests and as a result and in
line with the ASLA constitution, SLAQ was sent a letter advising of
suspension until the 3 requests could be met. ASLA had advised SLAQ
that suspension would be enacted and as of 13th August was waiting for
due process to proceed – an appeal process according to the
constitution. The QLD Director had given no response in Board
meetings when asked what ASLA could do to satisfy any concerns nor had
there been any response when requested many times for feedback from
others in SLAQ.”

Thus, it seems that QLD was suspended because they wanted Access
copies sent to SLAQ who would post it to members themselves (no
mention here from ASLA as to whether this is how it has always been
done in QLD and it appears that SLAQ had indeed provided clear
feedback to ASLA – they wanted to post Access to SLAQ members
themselves!) There is no mention that SLAQ had breached the ASLA
constitution, apart from their mailing preferences above, so it is
unclear why there is a need to suspend them for failing to restate
that they abide by the constitution.

Thirdly, below is the section of the 2011 Annual Report that looks most likely to be the problem, but
again hard to see how this would justify suspension :
“Continuing changes within ASLA have made working relations more
challenging in a number of areas. A request from SLAQ to have a
written Memorandum of Understanding regarding our member lists was
denied. ASLA has also indicated their full minutes of meetings cannot
be distributed to SLAQ Council or members and that board conversations
and communications can also not be passed on unless prior approval is
obtained from all board members. It is my understanding these demands
are not enforceable. Compliance to such restrictions makes full
disclosure and communications to the members I represent unworkable.
There are currently only four member states left in ASLA, and in the
last year resignations of three state member board directors were
tendered. I attended four board meetings as the state member director
for Queensland throughout the year: two by teleconference and two
face-to-face weekend meetings in Sydney. As chairperson of the ASLA
Policy Advisory Project Team, I facilitated six meetings and have
continued to provide an article from Queensland for each edition of
Buzz/Access.” from Presidents Report to the 2012 Annual General

Thus, it is very difficult to understand, on the basis of the reasons
provided by ASLA, why such an extreme measure as suspension of a
member state was undertaken. If the ASLA constitution allows a member
organisation to be suspended on such minor grounds, it is not
surprising QLD would not restate its compliance.

These are my own personal reflections, in response to the fact that I
find the actions taken of ASLA quite incomprehensible, based on the
only reasons and explanations that have been provided. Now that I am
no longer a member, I trust that ASLA will proceed judiciously in
terms of the organisational issues of SLAQ’s resignation, that may
involve matters such as refunding QLD payments for ASLA membership;
(there are still 19 weeks left this year), in adjusting their
expenditure to deal with their decreased membership, and in resolving
the issue of cessation of the magazine, Access, to QLD members who
have already paid for this, in advance, in their membership.
I was under the impression that one of the goals of ASLA was advocacy
for the profession of teacher-librarianship in Australia (though I
cannot check this as the ASLA website is down). It is difficult to see
how this decision to suspend SLAQ was in keeping with this goal.
Anne Weaver
ex-member of ASLA
OZTL_NET mailing list

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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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