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Valerie Glenn's picture

Minutes Placement

Hi all,

  It looks like we've settled on a solution for placement of agendas; the next task we have to tackle is to recommend a single location for the placement of meeting minutes. 

Unfortunately, the PPM is really unclear and does not really differentiate between meeting summaries (the reports given at  the Membership meeting) and minutes (a bit more detailed). 

Currently there is a minutes submission form, which contains fields for all of the elements stated in the PPM.  However, it's not clear if that should be used for draft or approved minutes (or both).

Would it be easiest to mirror the path we've chosen with the agendas, and have one jumping off point, based on conference schedules?  Do we need to specify draft vs. final minutes?  Should we continue to suggest a proper structure for minutes?

John Stevenson's picture

Because it has fields for all the elements listed in the PPM, it makes sense to require minutes to be captured in form to capture (draft) minutes ASAP and delivered to the Web Administrator for compilation.  When errors or omissions are discovered and corrected by the GODORT units reviewing minutes, I think it would be best to submit these in a way that works for the Web Administrator.

I like the idea of having a single point of entry for minutes, whether it be an online packet of all GODORT minutes or links from the schedule.  I've seen HTML links that took readers to a particular page in a PDF file but haven't been able to replicate it recently.  Links to specific pages would make the packet approach even more user-friendly.

Some GODORT units post meeting summaries and/or minutes to their pages while others link to the packet of compiled minutes.  To avoid multiple versions of minutes, I recommend having only one version of "minutes" for each unit. I prefer in the packet approach (linking to the packet and stating that "our minutes begin on page XX" seems to work.)

I believe the PPM-mandated structure for minutes serves members well but if it isn't working, it should be amended.  Recorders and secretaries tend to follow the lead of their immediate predecessors (who may not be following the PPM). Adherence to the basics should result in short, clear minutes which are easier to compile.

What do others think?

John A. Stevenson
Associate Librarian, Student Multimedia Design Center
University of Delaware Library
302 831-8671
john.a.stevenson@gmail.com

Valerie Glenn's picture

After thinking about this a bit, I don't think the problem is necessarily with the placement of minutes, but with the posting of them (and guidance as to what should be posted).  Should the GODORT Secretary simply take the meeting summaries submitted to them at conference, and post those as the packet of draft minutes, to be correct/approved at the following conference? 

John Stevenson's picture

The PPM refers to prepared meeting summaries vs. minutes to be distributed at the Membership Meeting.  In II F. GODORT Membership meeting it calls for "a written report of Committee and Task Force proceedings (these need not be the final version submitted as minutes)." The PPM notes that "All motions, resolutions, and action items of the Committee or Task Force should be included in this report."

My advice to chairs and secretaries has been to record meeting minutes (as complete as they like), to reduce these for publication as draft minutes, and to skim off only the highlights for the packet distributed at the Membership meeting.  I believe the current summary reports were a response to detailed transcripts of meetings and lengthy liaison reports being submitted.

Because the GODORT Secretary is currently charged with preparing minutes for three meetings, responsibility for compiling the packet fell to the GODORT Web Administrator who should receive draft minutes that are ready to publish.  If the chair backs up her Web Administrator regarding deadlines, etc., this seems a fair division of labor.

John A. Stevenson
Associate Librarian, Student Multimedia Design Center
University of Delaware Library
302 831-8671
john.a.stevenson@gmail.com