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Lindsay Bosch (staff)'s picture

March 15 – March 22 pre-vote discussion: Recommendations for Communities of Practice

Dear Board members

As the Board requested at Midwinter there will be a virtual vote to consider the attached recommendations from the Communities of Practice Implementation Task Force. The attached action form captures the history of Task Force work and past Board decisions on this process.  These current revised recommendations address the questions raised during the Board’s discussion at Midwinter 2013, asking for further clarification regarding group merger process and maximum group size.  Please review the recommendations and offer your comments and questions in Connect. If all of your comments/questions can adequately be addressed, the virtual vote will be held from March 25 – March 29, 2013.

Thank you

Lindsay Bosch

ACRL Program Officer

Mary Ellen Davis's picture

Dear Board members,

It has come to my attention that I inadvertently introduced a "pro" to recommendation #3 that did not accurately reflect the recommendation. I am attaching the revised Board Action form. Please note that none of the actions changed. I simply removed the inaccurate pro that said:

"The proposed policy eliminates the requirement for the Interest Group members to again sign a petition. The vitality of the IG will be demonstrated by its six years of continuous membership with the most recent three years at the 400+ level."

The proposed policy will require a petition.

Lindsay will launch the votes on these actions tomorrow. Please note that there will be three separate votes, one for each of the recommendations, and that one vote will require that you choose between two options. Please post any questions/comments in Connect.


Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Davis Executive Director Association of College & Research Libraries mdavis@ala.org

Julie Garrison's picture

I realize I missed the official comment period, but as I read this again, I find myself leaning toward liking Recommendation #2, Option #1 which does not require an e-petition, as it seems like a simple and direct solution to mergers. I am just wondering where others are falling with this recommendation. If you are leaning toward the e-petition being a good idea, would you mind sharing your thinking so I can have the benefit of another perspective before casting my vote.



Irene Herold's picture

I think Recommendation 2 Option 1 makes sense, and does not prohibit the section leaders from surveying their members for feedback on the transition, but in not requiring it avoids the tactic described in the pro/con section.

I just want to say after reading all this (I too missed the comment period), great job Lis!

Irene Herold

ACRL Board, Past President 2017-2018

Steven Bell's picture

Given what's been happening with the ALA dues proposal (to move to a system like that used by ACRL to consider dues increases), it appears the opposing members are less concerned about dues increases in general than the fact that they would not be consulted prior to the change. That might also be a factor for section members if there is no e-petition requirement. Members may resent that they there is no direct opportunity to vote on the merger.

But given the cons, where there could be some issues, I agree with Irene that the section leadership could provide other opportunities to obtain member feedback on a merger proposal. For example, they could offer a virtual town hall meeting at which members could share their views. They could certainly gather feedback during an open comment period on ALA Connect. So I think there could still be ways to offer member engagement on the issue if we go with Option 1.


Steven Bell Associate University Librarian Temple University bells@temple.edu http://stevenbell.info

Steven Bell's picture

Thanks Mary Ellen for making this clarification. I hope it helps to give a clear picture of the recommendations - and options where appropriate.

Many thanks to our fellow Board member Lis Chabot for all the great work she has done - for many months now - to take us through the changes to CoPA. Having participated on this Task Force since I joined the Board, I can attest to the significant amount of time and effort that Lis has put into this project - and with great support from Mary Jane Petrowski. We really appreciate your great effort in working through this long process to update the CoPA.

I believe the changes we've already made, along with these additional recommendations we'll be voting on, will strengthen CoPA in the long run. It is hard to say if they are the exact right changes - there may still be some tweaking down the road - but I think what we have fashioned is a better reflection of our  members' desire for engagement opportunities - while being sensitive to  ACRL staff's ability to provide the necessary support for our member communities.


Steven Bell Associate University Librarian Temple University bells@temple.edu http://stevenbell.info

Trevor Dawes's picture

Let me add my thanks to Lis and the T.F. members for their work on pulling this report and recommendations together.  We've been grappling with the structure and policies surrounding Communities of Practice for a while now and i think the recommendations here will are well thought out and, if approved, will be received well by the membership. 



Trevor A. Dawes