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O & B 2008 Annual Meeting Minutes

ALCTS Organization and Bylaws Committee

2008 ALA Annual Conference

Anaheim, CA

Sunday, June 29, 2008

1:30-4:00 p.m.



Members present:  Carolyn Coates (At large), Arlene Klair (CCS), Margaret Byrnes (PARS), Nancy Singleton (CRG), Stephen Smith (AS), Dale Swensen (Chair), Kate Harcourt (At large), Meg Mering (CR), Verna Urbanski (Intern)


Members absent:  John Vickery (CDMS)


Guests:  Charles Wilt (ALCTS Executive Director), Pamela Bluh (ALCTS President), Mary Case (ALCTS incoming President-elect), Christine A. DeZelar-Tiedman (ALCTS Education Committee Chair), Morag Boyd (incoming CRG representative), Art Miller (incoming AS representative)




Review and approval of minutes from January 2008 meeting 


Approval of the Midwinter minutes will take place via email following Annual meetings.


Comments by Charles Wilt


Dale distributed copies of the ALCTS bylaws which included Charles’ highlighted sections and comments.  Charles asked O&B to review the bylaws with a critical eye.  He is especially looking for anomalies between sections, poorly written sections and sections using difficult “bylaw-eze” language that can be improved.  Charles is interested in having more readable bylaws and on finding areas that are overly detailed or contain materials that should be in the ALCTS Manual rather than the bylaws.  Charles explained that a simple change in language which does not change the INTENT of the passage does not require a vote of the ALCTS membership.  A language change which affects the INTENT of the passage does require that the revised passage be voted on by the ALCTS membership.  Charles indicated that just because he made a note about something in the text of the current bylaws during his review does not mean that area must be changed.  O&B may not support changing all the specifics he identified. Above all, Charles wants a thoughtful, critical review to freshen up the content and readability of the bylaws.


Charles was asked about the status of the ALCTS website.  Committee members were especially concerned that the Interest Group/Discussion Group change has not yet posted.  Charles indicated that they are aware of the lag and are working on it. 




Comments by Dale regarding the ALCTS Board meeting


Dale reported that the ALA Board is going to require Divisions to get serious about space utilization for meeting rooms.  From the Board’s perspective, too many rooms are going unused for portions of the day.  ALA pays for each room for the whole day so space consolidation and effective use of each space is critically important. This may mean more meetings in large rooms with many committees meeting simultaneously if the divisions cannot utilize meeting space more efficient.  


At Dale’s request, Kate Harcourt provided a brief summary of the activities of the ALCTS group that has been preparing an ALCTS reaction to the LC Working Group report. 


General discussion was raised about the overall lack of readiness of the ALCTS website.  Members of the committee expressed their distress that information is not handled in a timely fashion and that links still do not provide expected results.  Dale will keep in touch with Charles on this issue. 


Interest Group/Discussion Group


Dale proposed that with the devolution of discussion groups to interest groups, it might be a good time to design a better workflow for O&B’s review process.  He suggested that the committee consider establishing a review routine so that a petition to establish, or to review or to dissolve an interest group would be received by O&B at Midwinter.  This would give the committee ample time to review the materials and be prepared to act on the applications at the Annual conference.  Dale suggested that it might not be necessary to assign review procedures to specific members of the O&B committee to act as coordinators with the chairs of interest groups.  He suggested that if we were able to design O&B review forms well, O&B might be able to streamline the process of review. Dale suggested that if O&B can determine that an Interest Group meets at least once a year, has an area of focus relevant to ALCTS, has continuous rotating leadership, and draws a reasonable number of people to its meetings that might be all that is needed.  Dale suggested that it might be possible for him to send an email to the chairs of the interest groups in the fall, pointing them to the forms needed for the review process.  When the forms have been filled out and returned, he (and subsequent chairs) could review the materials and if there are no red flags, the chair of O&B could recommend approval to the O&B committee. 


The committee discussed the draft review forms prepared by Carolyn Coates .  The committee suggested changing “charge” to “purpose” and provided input to Carolyn on other possible changes to the form.  Carolyn will revise the forms and distribute for committee review.  The goal will be to eventually refine the current forms into a single form flexible enough to provide check off by type of activity.  


Regarding the occasional overlapping of topics by interest groups, Dale read from the minutes of an O&B meeting held in San Antonio in 2006.  At that meeting it was clear that the ALCTS board was not concerned about overlapping of focus by interest groups.


Dale led a discussion regarding the level at which an interest group should function.   Dale asked the committee to consider if it might be better to have all interests groups be division level and to allow them greater autonomy?  Several committee members spoke in favor of leaving control of the section interest groups with the section rather than letting them “float” independently.   


Comments by Pamela Bluh and Mary Case


Pamela introduced Mary Case, the incoming ALCTS President-elect, to the committee and explained that Dina Giambi, ALCTS President-elect, who would usually be accompanying Pamela as she met with committees, was not able to attend the conference due to an injury.  Pamela congratulated the committee on its activities during the past six months.  She commented that O&B has some of the best give and take of all the committees. Dale shared with Pamela and Mary the general gist of the committee’s discussion with Charles regarding the bylaws review.


Review of the Education Committee


The committee heard from Nancy Singleton who had conducted the review of the ALCTS Education Committee and worked with its chair, Christine A. DeZelar-Tiedman.  Ms DeZelar-Tiedman was present and participated in the discussion. The Education Committee would like to alter its charge somewhat to eliminate recruitment from its charge.  After general discussion of the report, it was approved. Dale suggested that the Education Committee might route the change to their charge through him to take it to the Board.  Dale thanked Nancy for her efforts on the review.


Actions to be taken regarding ALCTS bylaws review


After some discussion regarding how to most effectively divide the work on the bylaws, it was decided that Meg would do a review/edit of the existing bylaws text to eliminate confusing use of the word “association” and regularize some other terms.  Meg will eliminate references to the “Association” except when that word is referring to the American Library Association.  “ALCTS” will be used as the appropriate substitute for occurrences of “association” which really mean ALCTS and not ALA.  After Meg completes her review/edit, the entire committee will review the document by section and come to a consensus on needed changes.  The committee’s goal will be to substantially complete the review by Midwinter.  Dale suggested that we might review the bylaws of other ALA sections to see how they are organized.    






Actions to be taken regarding Division vs. Section Interest Groups


Dale asked the committee’s section representatives to check with their respective section executive committees to see what the section leaders think in regards to adjusting the level of ALCTS interest groups, that is, to make all interest groups division level vs. keeping some at section level and some at division level.   


Wrap up


Dale announced that Julie Blake of Johns Hopkins Library will be joining the committee as a virtual member. 


Dale thanked Nancy and Stephen for their service on the committee and wished them well as they end their terms with the committee. 


The committee adjourned at 4:00 p.m.



Submitted by

Verna Urbanski