It is no secret that Nominating has been having difficulties filling the slate. The most common reason for refusal (by a wide margin) has been that institutions are no longer funding two conferences a year.
I received this message from another ALA unit a few days ago:
The Instruction Section is looking for volunteers to serve as committee members and interns. You can see a list of all Instruction Committees at: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/about/sections/is/committees/commiteecharges.cfm. Please choose several committees that would be of interest, then submit the Committee Volunteer form (http://www.ala.org/template.cfm?template=//cfapps/committee/volunteerform/volunteerform2.cfm&group1=acrl) by Tuesday, February 15.
Committee members are expected to attend meetings at ALA Annual Conference (Midwinter conference is now a virtual conference for all IS committees, so attendance is optional). Alternatively, you can volunteer to serve as a virtual member; virtual members participate fully in the work of the committee online and via telephone but are not expected to attend in-person meetings at conferences. You may indicate your preference to serve as a virtual member on the Committee Volunteer Form.
The Instruction Section also seeks interns to serve on all IS committees. Volunteering to serve as an intern is a great way to start getting involved with the Instruction Section. Interns participate fully in the work of the committee, and also have the following responsibilities:
- Take minutes of committee meetings and submit to committee chair and other committee members for review and approval.
- Submit final approved minutes to the IS Secretary.
- Update the committee web page with content from the committee chair.
- Participate in other assignments with the committee.
Interns are expected to attend committee meetings at ALA Annual conference. To volunteer to serve as an intern, please complete the Committee Volunteer Form, and also send an email to me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express your interest in serving as an intern.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about serving on an IS committee. I look forward to hearing from you!
ACRL IS Vice-Chair, 2010-2011
This message struck me, because I believe that the Nominating committee is the canary in the coal mine. I think that we have passed the point where many members cannot attend two meetings a year and that we have failed to make clear provision for members who wish to be involved but do not have the disposable income or the institutional support to come to two conferences a year.
I believe that we need to create a way to have at least some of our MidWinter meeting virtually. I proposed one model for Task Forces. (A meeting via Connect a week prior to conference, with people in the group being deputized to move proposals forward at the Business Meeting at the physical conference) but if that is unworkable, or if it is deemed to fall short of what is needed, I think that we should come up with some plan to make virtual participation, not just an option (which would always be treated as a secondary option) but as the norm for most of the MidWinter meeting.