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Discussion ALA Constitution & Bylaws Committee Report--Midwinter 2018

by James Rettig on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 02:32 pm

Council members,

Attached is the report of the ALA Constitution and Bylaws Committee from its meeting at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver.

It has taken a while to assure the accuracy of the information in the appended table listing Executive Board members from 1995 on.  It has been through several revisions.  In her role as Director of ALA Governance JoAnne Kempf has provided her invaluable expertise in this effort.

The members of the C&B Committee have had an opportunity to review this before its distribution to Council at this time.

Discussion ALA Constitution & Bylaws Committee Report--Midwinter 2018

by James Rettig on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 02:32 pm

Council members,

Attached is the report of the ALA Constitution and Bylaws Committee from its meeting at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in Denver.

It has taken a while to assure the accuracy of the information in the appended table listing Executive Board members from 1995 on.  It has been through several revisions.  In her role as Director of ALA Governance JoAnne Kempf has provided her invaluable expertise in this effort.

The members of the C&B Committee have had an opportunity to review this before its distribution to Council at this time.

Discussion How Time During Council Sessions Is Used

by Jenna Nemec-Loise on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 11:47 am

​Good afternoon, Council colleagues and ALA members:
 
Here's the text of the entire statement I'd hoped to read during Council III at Midwinter had time permitted. (I had to abbreviate since three minutes goes by very quickly!)

​Good afternoon, Council colleagues and ALA members:
 
Here's the text of the entire statement I'd hoped to read during Council III at Midwinter had time permitted. (I had to abbreviate since three minutes goes by very quickly!)
 
I hope we can use this statement and the brief discussion we began in Denver to keep the conversation moving forward. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, and comments.
 
Warmest regards,
 
Jenna Nemec-Loise, ALSC Division Councilor
 


 

How Time During Council Sessions Is Used
 
This issue was raised at both Council Forum I and Council Forum II, but I want to recap the discussion for councilors and members of the audience who were unable to join us for those sessions.
 
I’m ever grateful for the rich discussions we have at conferences. I look forward to both Council meetings and Council forums so we can do our utmost to move the work of the association forward on behalf of our colleagues who elected us. However, I have significant concerns about the current structure of Council meetings and the way we use our time together: We may not be conducting our business in ways that are as effective, transparent, or inclusive as we believe them to be.
 
Council I here in Denver is a prime example. Perhaps due to rich discussion at Council Forum I on the previous evening, we concluded Council business quickly and bumped up our ALA-APA session by a full hour. Rather than waiting until the scheduled ALA-APA time of 10:30 a.m.—a time posted in the scheduler for all Midwinter attendees should they choose to join us—we began at 9:30 a.m. and finished before 10. That’s one full hour earlier than we were scheduled to conclude.
 
On one hand, this seems like a nice problem to have. Concluding business early means we can move on to other things, like visiting the Exhibits floor, networking with colleagues informally, getting coffee and a much-needed break, or running off to that other meeting because you can’t be two places at once. And after all, who wants to extend meetings just to fill up time and say we did?
 
But what else can concluding our business early and outside of scheduled times mean for our membership at large? How does that look, and how may it be perceived by our ALA peers? Here are a few actual perceptions I’ve heard from non-Council members:

  • "Council is a 'rubber stamp' body that operates at the pleasure of the Executive Board."
  • "Council brings up issues and votes on them without discussion that justifies decisions."
  • "Council discussions are secret and don’t actually take place during meetings."
  • "Council is for councilors."
  • "After being invited by a councilor, I went to sit in on a Council session and walked into an empty room."

What does this tell us? Two things, I think: (1) That what is perceived, is; and (2) we can and should do better.
 
We owe it to the members we serve and to ourselves as councilors to examine our current practices and find new ways to demonstrate the purpose, value, and substance of what we do. That starts with making the most of Council meetings and creating opportunities for ALL members—councilors and non-councilors alike—to work, learn, and serve more efficiently, transparently, and inclusively.
 
Here are a few ideas about how to do so generated at Council Forum I, Council Forum II, and in conversations I’ve had with many councilors:

  • Stick to scheduled time slots. If Council business concludes early, don’t bump other sessions up. This would allow interested members to find us and engage with us as they would expect to do per the online scheduler.
  • Conduct the ALA-APA meeting prior to Council I. If Council I ends early, there is no time gap.
  • Make the most of Council meeting time slots. If Council business is concluded early, conduct break-out discussions on pre-arranged or spontaneous topics of relevance to ALA membership. These activities would engage Council and audience members in conversation and demonstrate councilors’ commitment to maximizing our scheduled time working for the benefit of ALA and our membership.
  • Build on the success of yesterday’s Council II meeting. Rather than making time for break-out sessions only if Council ends early, be intentional about creating member engagement opportunities, adding at least one conversation to the Council agenda at each conference.
  • Move to suspend Roberts Rules of Order for discussion items. Parliamentary procedure is vital when it comes to making motions, putting forward resolutions, and taking votes, and I’m grateful for that process. However, agreeing to speak more informally during discussion may help conversation evolve more naturally and provide broader entry points for those who are reluctant to speak under more formal constraints.
  • Move one Council forum to a morning time slot. This slot could fill the time that remains if a Council session ends early, or it could be scheduled as a separate time slot immediately following a Council session. Since not all councilors are able to attend evening forums, having a morning option may increase forum attendance, engage a broader community, and minimize the perception that Council conducts business or conversation in secret.
  • Duplicate Council Forum discussions on the Council floor. This is perhaps the most critical area where each and every one of us can improve immediately. Let’s say what we say in forum during Council I, II, and III. Not only will duplicating our discussions on the Council floor make them a matter of record, we could also minimize the feelings of disenfranchisement many of our councilors and non-councilors feel when they are unable to attend forum sessions. (And I echo the thanks to LITA Councilor Aaron Dobbs for recording our forum notes and making sure they’re posted for everyone.)

If we are to evolve ALA and improve our organizational effectiveness, we as Council must model what that looks like—now. If time allows this morning, I ask our Council colleagues to join me in discussing the issue of how Council uses time during conference meetings. Please repeat all the feedback, ideas, and questions you shared during Council Forum I and Council Forum II here in Denver. If time does not allow, let’s continue the conversation on the Council listserv.
 
Lastly, I extend my deep thanks to ALA President Jim Neal for his immediate attention to the issues I’ve raised here when I expressed them after Council I and for taking swift action at this Midwinter Meeting to make Council sessions more effective, transparent, and inclusive.
 
Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue.

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Discussion Executive Director Search

by JoAnne M. Kempf (staff) on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 08:22 am

Posting on behalf of Jim Neal --
 
Council Colleagues:

Posting on behalf of Jim Neal --
 
Council Colleagues:


In November, Council voted, in accordance with the ALA Bylaws, to change the educational requirement for the ALA Executive Director position from requiring to preferring an ALA-accredited Master’s degree or CAEP-accredited Master’s degree with a specialty in School Library Media.  


Following the announcement of the vote, a petition was posted to put a measure on ALA’s spring 2018 ballot to overturn the Council action. In order to place the measure on the spring 2018 ballot, 1% of ALA’s voting membership must sign the petition.  The petition closes on February 13 and requires  479 signatures based on the August 31, 2017 membership count. As of December 19, 2017, the required number of signatures had been received.    


To overturn a Council action, 25% (approximately 11,975) of ALA’s voting membership must vote; a simple majority of those voting then determines the outcome. For purposes of determining the 25%, paid membership as of January 31, 2018 will be used.  Note that ALA’s “voting membership” includes those who are members in good standing, i.e., have paid their dues by January 31, 2018. The ballot opens on Monday, March 12 and closes Wednesday, April 4. Results will be announced on Wednesday, April 11.


At this time, the ALA Executive Board has made a decision to place the search on hold pending the outcome of the spring 2018 vote process.  Because of this, the job ad has been removed from the ALA and the Isaacson Miller (search firm) web sites.  The Board’s concern, given the somewhat uncharted territory, was to ensure due process.  The earliest the search would begin again would be May 2018. Mary Ghikas continues to serve as Interim Executive Director.


 A full report on the work of the search committee, on the search process, and on the member process to determine the educational requirements for the executive director position will be provided at the Council/Membership Information Session at Midwinter in Denver.                                                      


With best wishes for the new year, Jim Neal.

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Discussion Educational Requirements for Executive Director

by Peter Hepburn on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 09:28 am

Council:

 

As you know, ALA Executive Director (ED) Keith Fiels is retiring in July 2017, and the Executive Board is developing a selection process for the ED search.  This review involves, among other things, an assessment of the organizational information related to ALA recruitment and hiring, a discussion of position requirements, and preferences for education and experience with Board as well as a scan of ALA’s contemporary hiring practices.

 

Council:

 

As you know, ALA Executive Director (ED) Keith Fiels is retiring in July 2017, and the Executive Board is developing a selection process for the ED search.  This review involves, among other things, an assessment of the organizational information related to ALA recruitment and hiring, a discussion of position requirements, and preferences for education and experience with Board as well as a scan of ALA’s contemporary hiring practices.

 

Recognizing that Council is the governing body of ALA and recognizing that there is a variety of opinion about the ALA-accredited degree requirement, the Executive Board would like to expand the conversation of whether or not the degree should be required for the Executive Director position.  Attached is a draft resolution, presented without prejudice, to open the conversation.  The draft resolution presents a single resolved clause that amends existing policy, making the degree preferred.  The test of the draft resolution is pasted below as well.

 

A second document is attached titled “Educational Requirements for Future ALA Executive Directors Required ALA-Masters -Pros and Cons”.  This document is a collection of notes regarding input to date on the question of requiring or preferring the ALA-accredited degree.  It is provided as information for those who prefer to contemplate decisions in such a way.

 

The Executive Board welcomes the input of Council in the time before we convene at Midwinter to discuss and refine the resolution that we will ultimately present to Council next month.  Council is invited to post comments to this list and through ALA Connect.

 

Thank you,

Peter Hepburn, on behalf of the ALA Executive Board

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Discussion Appreciation of Mary Ghikas and ALA staff

by Larry Neal on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 10:06 am

Hi Mary,

I just wanted to express my sincere appreciation for your continued support and hard work on behalf of the membership of ALA. The delay in searching for a new Executive Director has to be difficult for you and the staff. Your handling two positions simultaneously and the uncertainty for the unit EDs and staff must be difficult. That said, I hope you have a chance to get some rest and relaxation over the holidays before things ramp up for Midwinter, and look forward to great things ahead for ALA in 2018.

Sincerely,

Larry Neal
ALA Councilor-at-large

Hi Mary,

I just wanted to express my sincere appreciation for your continued support and hard work on behalf of the membership of ALA. The delay in searching for a new Executive Director has to be difficult for you and the staff. Your handling two positions simultaneously and the uncertainty for the unit EDs and staff must be difficult. That said, I hope you have a chance to get some rest and relaxation over the holidays before things ramp up for Midwinter, and look forward to great things ahead for ALA in 2018.

Sincerely,

Larry Neal
ALA Councilor-at-large

-----------------------------------------------

Larry P. Neal, Library Director
Clinton-Macomb Public Library
40900 Romeo Plank Road
Clinton Township,  MI 48038-2955  USA
(586) 226-5011    |   (586) 226-5008 – fax  |  lneal@cmpl.org

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Discussion Ethic Statments

by Sara Dallas on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Good afternoon to all of my colleagues, I am sending this from snowy Saratoga Springs, NY. 

Good afternoon to all of my colleagues, I am sending this from snowy Saratoga Springs, NY. 

I would like to remind you that ALA Council has a Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE).   COPE’s charge:   The council committee on professional ethics shall augment the Code of Ethics by explanatory interpretations and additional statements, prepared by this committee or elicited from other units of ALA. When units of the association develop statements dealing with ethical issues, a copy will be sent to the committee on professional ethics for review so that it may be compared to the existing ALA code of ethics in order to determine whether or not conflicts occur.

 If your unit is developing a statement dealing with ethical issues, please remember to send a copy to the Committee on Professional Ethics for review.  We are also available to lend a hand.  Thanks and please feel free to share this message with your units. 

 For more information about COPE, please visit http://www.ala.org/aboutala/committees/ala/ala-profethic  

 

Sara Dallas

 

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Discussion Executive Director Education Requirements (updated to correct typo in title)

by JoAnne M. Kempf (staff) on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 02:35 pm

From Jim Neal:

Council Colleagues, thanks to everyone who participated in the Connect discussion and voted in the poll on the resolution concerning the executive director educational requirements. 

Please find below the verification from Eli Mina of the results of the Council ballot on the resolution. Please note that two individuals submitted their “no” votes orally and not on Connect. Lois Ann will send out a follow up message explaining the total number of 180 for Councilors eligible to vote. Jim. 

 

From Jim Neal:

Council Colleagues, thanks to everyone who participated in the Connect discussion and voted in the poll on the resolution concerning the executive director educational requirements. 

Please find below the verification from Eli Mina of the results of the Council ballot on the resolution. Please note that two individuals submitted their “no” votes orally and not on Connect. Lois Ann will send out a follow up message explaining the total number of 180 for Councilors eligible to vote. Jim. 

 

Thank you Lois Ann for submitting the poll numbers for verification.  Below is my verification.

Quorum requirement:

As per ALA Bylaws, the quorum requirement for the poll was 50% of the voting membership of Council. 

Council currently has 180 voting members in office, and 50% of this number is 90 Council members. 

A total of 151 of 180 Council members participated in the poll, making 83.889% of the voting membership of Council, substantially above the 50% mark. 

Therefore, the quorum requirement for the poll was met.

 

Voting threshold:

As per ALA Bylaws: To be adopted, the proposal required a 75% majority vote (75% of the total number of the votes cast, excluding abstentions).

The total number of votes cast in the affirmative (115) plus the total number of votes cast in the negative (34) was 149.

The number of positive votes (115) divided by the total number of votes cast, excluding abstentions (149) is 0.7718

This means that the percentage of votes in the affirmative exceeded the required 75% threshold.

Therefore, the motion was duly adopted by Council by 77.18% of the total votes cast, excluding abstentions.

 

Please let me know whether you require any further input.

 

Eli Mina, Board Effectiveness Consultant &
Registered Parliamentarian
604-730-0377
Free articles at www.elimina.com/insights

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Discussion Executive Director Search - Poll is Open!

by JoAnne M. Kempf (staff) on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Dear Councilors,

The ALA Connect poll is now open. Go to http://connect.ala.org/node/270967, login, and cast your vote. The poll will remain open until 12:00 noon Central time on Monday, November 20. Voting will only take place on ALA Connect.

As with all Council votes, this will not be an anonymous poll; individuals’ names will be associated with their votes just as they are in open Council meetings.

Dear Councilors,

The ALA Connect poll is now open. Go to http://connect.ala.org/node/270967, login, and cast your vote. The poll will remain open until 12:00 noon Central time on Monday, November 20. Voting will only take place on ALA Connect.

As with all Council votes, this will not be an anonymous poll; individuals’ names will be associated with their votes just as they are in open Council meetings.

You may vote Yes, No, or Abstain. As noted by ALA President Jim Neal, for the vote to be valid, at least 50 percent of Councilors must participate. According to the ALA Bylaws, approval of the resolution in an electronic vote requires a 75 percent majority of those voting Yes or No. These requirements have been confirmed by ALA Parliamentarian Eli Mina.

Once the poll closes, Council Secretariat Lois Ann Gregory-Wood will tally the votes and Eli Mina will verify the results. Results will be announced no later than 4:30 p.m. (Central) on Tuesday, November 21. Results will be posted both on ALA Connect as well as this Council list.

ALA Treasurer Susan Hildreth posted the Resolved clause you will be considering on ALA Connect this morning (http://connect.ala.org/node/270959):

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

1. amends the educational qualification for the ALA Executive Director to make an ALA-accredited Master's Degree or a CAEP-accredited Master's Degree with a specialty in school library media a preferred but not required educational qualification.

Mover: Susan H. Hildreth, on behalf of the Executive Board

NOTE:  Background documents presented to the 2017 Midwinter Council are available at: http://connect.ala.org/node/270833

Thank you.

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Discussion Resolution re education requirements for ALA Executive Director

by Susan Hildreth on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:01 am

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

1. amends the educational qualification for the ALA Executive Director to make an ALA-accredited Master's Degree or a CAEP-accredited Master's Degree with a specialty in school library media a preferred but not required educational qualification.

Mover: Susan H. Hildreth, on behalf of the Executive Board

NOTE:  Background documents presented to the 2017 Midwinter Council are available at: http://connect.ala.org/node/270833

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA), on behalf of its members:

1. amends the educational qualification for the ALA Executive Director to make an ALA-accredited Master's Degree or a CAEP-accredited Master's Degree with a specialty in school library media a preferred but not required educational qualification.

Mover: Susan H. Hildreth, on behalf of the Executive Board

NOTE:  Background documents presented to the 2017 Midwinter Council are available at: http://connect.ala.org/node/270833

The ballot will open at 12 noon CST today and close at 12 noon CST on Monday, November 20th.  

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