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Scott Spicer's picture

Proposed Amendments to the VRT Bylaws (Soliciting Feedback!!)

Hi Everyone,

Listed below is my first go on revising the VRT Bylaws.  My goal with these proposed amendments was to update the document to reflect both the emerging vitality and diverse interests of the group, with some of the challenges faced in recent years of finding active participants to administer operations. 

Please add your comments to the open VRT Bylaws Google document!  We will be discussing this at the VRT Midwinter Board Meeting on Monday.


I do not believe there are many controversial items here, but I could be wrong.  2 comments were received on one proposed amendment:

  1. (Article V, sec. 2) providing voting rights to students (who are now technically non-paying members).

Additional items of note may include:

  1. Explicitly stating that the VRT covers both fixed media collections as well as media creation.
  2. Number of members required for various committees, number of Executive posts held simultaneously, number of members required for quorum
  3. Clarification on the Bylaws voting procedures


List of Proposed Amendments to the VRT Bylaws (Midwinter 2014)

1. (Article II) Language: (1) to provide a forum for the discussion of video and other audiovisual collections, services, and technologies in libraries of all types;

Amendment: Do we make more explicit the role of media creation in addition to fixed collections?


2.  (Article III) Language: Section 2. Any institutional member of ALA may become an institutional member of the VRT upon payment of annual dues. Institutional members shall be nonvoting members.

Amendment: Do we extend voting privileges to (non-paying) students?


3.  (Article IV sec. 7) Language: Section 7. At the Midwinter Business Meeting, the Nominating Committee shall present the Executive Committee with a slate of officers for the upcoming year. This slate shall contain either at least one nominee for every office to be filled at the annual election. Further nominations can be made from the floor and subsequently via written nomination by voting members in good standing. Nominations shall be closed two weeks after the official end of the Midwinter Conference or comparable date determined and announced by the VRT Executive Board. In the case of only one nominee for any position their will be a provision for a write-in candidate. The slate shall be posted on the VRT web site and ballots shall be sent through standard ALA procedures to all VRT members in good standing prior to the ALA Annual Conference and must be returned on or before the date posted and provide for write-in candidates.

Amendments: Clarified as email?; Their should be spelled there; Should we codify ALA Connect as the VRT web site for candidates?


4.  (Article IV sec. 8(B)) Language: Nominating Committee shall propose at least two (2) candidates to fill the unexpired term of the vacant office(s).

Amendment: Should we change this to one candidate with the possibility of a write-in should there not be at least 2 candidates submitted?


5.  (Article IV sec. 9) Language: Section 9. No member shall hold more than one office on the Executive Committee at any time.

Amendment: Should we change this to except under extenuating circumstances where not enough candidates have been submitted to fill all Executive Committee seats?


6.  (Article V, sec. 4) Language: Section 4. Ten (10) members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at any Membership meeting of the Round Table.

Amendment: We have come dangerously close to not having a quorum at some meetings in recent years. Should we lower the number required for quorum?


7.  (Article VI, sec. 1) Language: Section 1. The Officers of VRT, the Chairs of the Membership, Communications, Nominating, Gala, Bylaws and Program Committees and the Webmaster shall constitute the Executive Committee and have voting privileges. Chairs of other Standing Committees and liaisons shall be non-voting members of the Executive Committee.

Amendment: Do we want to add the Chair of the Notables Committee and the Media Production Group to the Executive Committee?


8.  (Article VII, sec. 2) Language: A Standing Committee member may be appointed for only one additional two-year (2) term.

Amendment: I propose we take this out or amend to the effect "except under extenuating circumstances in which another candidate can not be identified." These are committee memberships (2 year appointments) not Chairs (1 year appointments).


9.  (Article VII, sec. 3 (B)) Language: least three (3) members

Amendment: I propose "except under extenuating circumstances in which 2 additional VRT members can not be identified"


10.  (Article VII, sec. 3 (D)) Language: The Program Committee shall consist of at least four (4) members.

Amendment: Again, I propose the language "except under extenuating circumstances"


11.  (Article VII, sec. 4 (E)) Language: The Gala Program shall consist of at least five (5) members

Amendment: Again, I propose the language "except under extenuating circumstances"


12.  (Article VII, sec. 4 (E)) Language: The Gala is an annual professionally oriented event held as a fund raiser, membership recruitment, and social event and the Committee shall oversee all activities relating to executing the programs for the Annual Conferences.

Amendment: Do we want to spell out the role of the Vice-Chair/Chair Elect as the key contact point for potential Gala sponsors?


13.  (Article VII, sec. 4 (F)) Language: least two (2) members, including a Past VRT Chair or Executive Committee member.

Amendment: Again, I propose the language "except under extenuating circumstances"


14.  (Article VII, sec. 4 (F)) Language: Special or Ad Hoc Committee may be appointed by the Chair of the Round Table in order to execute occasional or short term VRT business. All such Committees shall be appointed for a designated purpose and/or a specified period of time.

Amendment: If Ad Hoc Committee's include the (online) Media Production Group, I propose we formally call it a Standing Committee and the Chair be a member of the Executive Committee.


15.  (Article VIII, sec. 4 (F)) Language: The VRT Chair shall appoint VRT Liaisons with other ALA Divisions, Sections and Round Tables when/where appropriate. Liaisons to other organizations may also be appointed at the Chair's discretion. Liaisons from other organizations may also be received by the VRT Chair but will have no voting rights.

Amendment: There appears to be a special relationship with the IFLA Audio Visual group as VRT serves in some kind of nominating capacity for membership of that group. Do we want to explicitly call this out?


16.  (Article X, sec. 3) Language: The Treasurer shall monitor all VRT finances and report the status to the Executive Committee and membership on a semi-annual basis.

Clarification Sought:  I was under the impression this monitoring was required annually.  If it is not, then is it imperative the Treasurer be present at every meeting?  Do we need to amend the Treasurer responsibilities (either for monitoring or required conference attendance)?


17.  (Article XI, sec. 1) Language: These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of members voting at any Annual Meeting or by ballot, provided the amendment has been proposed by the Executive Committee, a committee authorized by the Executive Committee, or a personal member of the Round Table, and has been sent in writing to the Secretary and mailed to each member at least thirty (30) days before the Annual meeting or by the counting of the vote. Amendments to these Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon certification of the election results.

Amendments: "by ballot" should perhaps be clarified to mean electronic voting?; “mailed to each member” - I propose we allow for an online election system of some type to ratify Bylaw changes. It is not clear if we would actually have to mail out the vote to request this switch to online voting!!  Conversely, mail could be interpreted as e-mail.


18.  (Article XI, sec. 2) Language: These Bylaws shall be consistent with the Bylaws of the ALA (Article VII) and require amendments whenever the ALA Bylaws are changed.

Clarification Sought: What is the protocol to insure they are consistent with ALA? --Contact Danielle.


19.  (Article XIII, sec. 1) Language: Publications shall be free to all VRT members in good standing.

Amendment: "and/or open to the public as determined by the Executive Committee."


20.  (Article XIII, sec. 2) Language: The Committee shall seek out and use established as well as new and emerging forms of communication to reach current and future VRT members.

Amendment: Do we want codify any of these forms of communications?




LaRoi Lawton's picture

In each of the roundtable meetings that require a quorem, is there a venue whereby those not in attendance physically can participate via telephone conferencing. If this is acceptable, and has been done in the past, then a sufficient quorem can be met. So while it is my intent to be in Philly tomorrow, a family matter may hamper my anticpated trip. In this instant case, there should be no need to lower the quorem unless by majority consensus. But of course, other members may want to weigh in on this as well.

LaRoi Lawton's picture

(Article III) Language: Section 2. Any institutional member of ALA may become an institutional member of the VRT upon payment of annual dues. Institutional members shall be nonvoting members.

Regarding the above for clarification, I am a personal member of ALA but an institutional member of VRT; Am I correct in assuming I am a 'nonvoting member.' if such is the case, voting privileges should not be extended to non-paying students.