Board Meeting, Minutes - July 26th, 2009

Chippewa Valley Civil Liberties Union

Board Meeting Minutes for 7.26.09

David Rice office, Eau Claire

Present: Myron Buchholz, , Ann Heywood, Mildred Larson, Nicholas Passell, David Rice.

Absent: Tom Ahrens, Shu Cheng, Eleanor Wolf

1. David called the meeting to order at 6:45 p.m.

2. The minutes were accepted as previously distributed by email. Ann has not yet posted to our website.

3. Nick distributed the treasurer’s report with a balance of $236.32 in checking and $5.01 in savings at RCU: no change since last meeting. Nick has submitted the annual financial report to state. Nick will contact Angie to ask about membership rebates we think we have earned.

4. State report: Mildred recently met with Laura Emir and Stacey Harbaugh in Madison. They expressed interest in coming to Eau Claire during Banned Books Week (the end of September) to meet with CVCLU members and other guests interested in our cause. ACLU-WI has been watching closely a situation in West Bend, WI, where one and later more parents have complained about books that they say have homosexually explicit content in the young adult section of the library. The parents ask that these books be labeled for their content and moved to the adult reading shelves. Four library board members have been denied reappointment by the West Bend City Council for their handling of the controversy. Another group in West Bend has asked for a public book burning. The situation has become a hot topic for national media and bloggers.

5. Ann reported that the state board put the “Other America Tour” on hold for a year and one staff member has been laid off in response to budget concerns. All staff members are employing a variety of strategies to best use resources and keep our carefully developed programs. All board members are urged to step up efforts to make up the shortfall. Ann distributed contribution envelopes for the ACLU-WI Foundation and asks that CVCLU board members make a contribution if they can or find a supporter who might do the same. Contributions also can be made online.

6. NWEA – We were not able to get speakers for a program in time for the May deadline this year. Mildred reported that Kaia Simon Powers has expressed interest in being a part of a panel on handling controversy in schools next year. David will put a discussion on planning the event on the agenda for January.

7. Annual meeting/Banned Books Week – We explored the topic of challenged books for our annual meeting program and as one means of celebrating Banned Books Week. A panel of experts could discuss questions such as the following: How do librarians decide what books are appropriate for what age? Is there prepurchase “censorship”?] What happens when a book is challenged? How should libraries deal with requests to include certain books (such as those on Creation, “reformed” homosexuals, etc.)? How do libraries decide where to shelve books? What about language and disabilities issues? People we might contact as panelists include Dana Myers, new LEPMPL young adult librarian; Pam Gardow, Memorial High School librarian; Leah Langby, children’s/young adult librarian at the Indianhead Federated Library System; and Mary Vernau, Altoona Public Library librarian. David will first contact Vernau about holding our meeting at the Altoona Library. (The Eau Claire library will be unavailable due to construction.)

– A proposed title for our program is “The First Amendment vs. Parental Discretion.”

– Our board will have another planning meeting to prepare for the annual meeting on Monday, August 10, at the Acoustic Café at noon.

– Nick will contact Dragonetti’s about feasibility of holding our annual meeting/fundraiser there.

– Ann will contact Bess Arneson about plans to hold our traditional or revised banned books reading event.

-The board discussed the idea of having a program on the diminishment of the press and its watchdog function in the current climate of financial challenges and ever expanding internet communications. The banned books topic seemed more viable at this time.

8. Ann asked for suggestions per request from Walt Zuliani in Hudson for a speaker who could discuss a topic of interest to ACLU. Possibilities include felon re-enfranchisement with Gregg Shiver and the new domestic partner registry law with Virginia Wolf and Carol Schumacher.

9. Meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

To Do:

All members:

1. Review minutes and report suggestions or approval to Ann.

2. Come August 10, noon, to Acoustic Café for annual meeting planning.


1. Contact Mary Vernau at Altoona library about holding annual meeting there, picking a date, and participating in panel.

2. Schedule NWEA planning on January agenda.


1. Update website. Post minutes.

2. Contact Bess Arneson about Banned Books event.


Contact Dragonetti’s about holding meeting/fundraiser there.


Contact Pam Gardow about participating in panel.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Heywood, secretary