Letter on Socially Responsible Investing

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 22:52:11 -0400

To: "Progressive Librarians Around the World"

From: mark rosenzweig

Subject: Socially Responsible Investment

Dear International Colleagues,

The progressives involved on the Council of the American Library Association (ALA) have been trying for some time to get the ALA to agree to practice a systematic policy of socially responsible investment with the Association's endowment funds.

This initiative of ours, coming out of SRRT, has been fended off by the ALA Executive Board for several years now, for supposedly technical financial reasons which have proven to be spurious. Finally, they have been compelled to release information on their (our!) portfolio which they claim is "already" invested in a socially responsible manner.

They refused to publicly post it, but only to make it available to individuals on request. We are, nonetheless, widely distributing it for comment. I would appreciate your examining it. We continue to maintain that only a systematic policy of consistent socially responsible investment (not one supposedly based exclusively on maximization of returns - which they haven't succeeded in anyway!) is in keeping with the values of librarianship as embodied in the various policies of the Association.

I look forward to your comments on the social record of firms with which you may be familiar. The list follows.

Mark Rosenzweig
ALA Councilor at large
(ID purposes only)