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Mission and Bylaws Revision - March 2010

GLBTRT Mission Statement and Bylaws

Mission Statement

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association is committed to serving the information needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered professional library community, and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered information and access needs of individuals at large. We are committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association and democratic institutions.

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table provides its members, other American Library Association divisions, members, and affiliates, and the library and information science field as a whole with a forum for discussion and an environment for education and learning regarding the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered professional community and population at large.

I. PURPOSE

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association shall:

  • promote the improved quality, quantity, and accessibility of library materials and service of particular interest or usefulness to lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered people of all ages;
  • promote awareness of and develop funding sources outside of ALA for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table Book Awards, and programs;
  • develop, promote and defend unrestricted access of all library users to information by or about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people;
  • provide bibliographic services to librarians, archivists, other information professionals, and library users;
  • work toward eliminating job discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees of libraries, archives, and information centers;
  • advocate revising classification schemes, subject heading lists, indices, etc., in order to remove terms derogatory to the lives, activities, and contributions to culture and society of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people;
  • remind the membership and leadership of ALA as often as necessary that many librarians, archivists, other information specialists, and library users are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered people; support other minority groups working for adequate representation and equal opportunity within ALA;
  • work with groups outside ALA interested in achieving equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people;
  • provide opportunities for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered librarians, archivists, and other information specialists attending ALA conferences to meet and socialize with one another; and
  • promote the ALA Library Bill of Rights and its Code of Ethics.

II. VOTING STATUS AND CANDIDACY FOR OFFICE

Voting Status

Members of the American Library Association Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table are eligible to vote in Round Table elections.

Candidates for Office

At the Membership Meeting during the Annual Conference, the Membership Promotion Committee will announce a slate of candidates for the next ballot. At that Membership Meeting, other individuals may also announce their candidacy for vacant offices. Nominated candidate names will be submitted to ALA for inclusion on the Spring Ballot. Newly elected officers will take office the last day of Annual Conference during which they were elected.

Qualifications

Candidates for elected offices must be members of ALA, must be members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table, and must agree to attend the Membership and Steering Committee meetings scheduled for the Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings during his/her term of office.

III. MEETINGS

The Round Table must conduct at least one Membership Meeting at the Association's Annual Conference. The Round Table Steering Committee shall meet at least twice at both Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Membership and Steering Committee meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend them.

IV. OFFICERS

Titles and Terms of Office

The Round Table shall elect Co-Chairs of differing gender identity, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, each serving a term of two years. One Co-Chair and a Secretary shall be elected during even numbered years. One Co-Chair and a Treasurer shall be elected during odd numbered years. Officers may not hold the same office for more than two consecutive terms without approval of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will select a person to serve for the remainder of the term of any office that becomes unexpectedly vacant.

Duties of the Co-Chairs

The duties of the Co-Chairs include:

  • ·         presiding at all membership and Steering Committee meetings;
  • ·         coordinating the meeting schedule for all Annual and Midwinter meetings and submitting the proper ALA forms to the various Round Table Chairs as well as the Office of Conference Services on a timely basis;
  • ·         appointing the chairs of standing and Ad hoc committees and delegating tasks as appropriate to those chairpersons;
  • ·         acting as spokespersons for the Round Table;
  • ·         acting as liaisons to the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services;
  • ·         appointing two Round Table members on a two-year staggered schedule as the representatives of the Round Table to the ALA Diversity Council; and
  • responding promptly to correspondence addressed to the Round Table.

No decision or instruction made by a Co-Chair shall conflict with a decision or instruction made by the Round Table membership or the Steering Committee.

Duties of the Secretary

The duties of the Secretary include:

  • ·         attending all Steering Committee and Membership meetings at both Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings during their term of office;
  • ·         preparing and distributing an agenda for each of the Steering Committee and Membership meetings;
  • ·         taking attendance and recording minutes of these meetings and promptly distributing copies of them to Steering Committee members and to other individuals or organizations mentioned in the minutes;
  • ·         maintaining a file of Round Table minutes, the Steering Committee roster, and the bylaws;
  • ·         maintaining the GLBTRT committee listservs, adding and deleting subscriptions as directed by the Co-Chairs and committee chairs, responding to requests for subscription, and working with the ALA Internet Coordinator, who is the Round Table list co-owner.

Duties of the Treasurer

The duties of the Treasurer include:

  • ·         attending all Steering Committee and Membership meetings at both Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings during their term of office;
  • ·         participate as an ex-officio member of the Fundraising Committee;
  • ·         recruiting and maintaining a committee to aid/advise in his/her efforts;
  • ·         representing the Round Table on the Planning and Budget Assembly;
  • ·         preparing annual budget of the Round Table for approval by the Steering Committee;
  • ·         collecting and archiving expense and receipt reports from the various Round Table Committee Chairs;
  • ·         handling reimbursement requests for authorized expenses incurred by Round Table members in connection with Round Table activities; and
  • ·         managing relations with external organizations in efforts to produce funds to support the Stonewall Book Awards and other programs and projects approved by the Steering Committee and/or the membership at large.

V. COMMITTEES

The Round Table shall pursue its goals primarily through the work of its committees. A voting Round Table member as designated by the Round Table Co-Chairs shall chair each committee. Whenever possible, a committee chair will be selected after s/he has served in an apprentice capacity during the preceding year, and after consultation with other committee members. Any member interested in serving on a committee must fill out the GLBTRT Committee Volunteer web form.

Steering Committee

The elected officers and appointed chairs of the standing committees shall constitute the Round Table Steering Committee. The Steering Committee may not make a decision inconsistent with a decision made by Round Table members at a membership meeting. The Steering Committee shall:

  • ·         have general supervision of the affairs of the Round Table between its membership meetings;
  • ·         determine the times and places of the membership meetings;
  • ·         review and approve an annual budget;
  • ·         authorize Round Table projects, activities, and publications that are not authorized at membership meetings;
  • ·         review new Round Table publication and determine price (if any) before it is published or distributed;
  • ·         make recommendations to the membership;
  • ·         provide guidance to the Co-Chairs; and
  • ·         set annual or longer-term goals for the Round Table.

Standing Committees

The ongoing work of the Round Table shall be carried out by its Standing Committees. A new Standing Committee must be authorized by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a membership meeting of the Round Table.

Standing Committee chairs shall serve two-year terms, and will be appointed by the C-Chairs. Any chair of a Standing Committee who cannot attend a Steering Committee meeting due to unforeseeable events shall communicate committee activities, concerns, or needs to the Co-Chairs and/or the Steering Committee in advance of the meeting.

Ad hoc Committees and Projects

Special projects shall be authorized by the Co-Chairs as the Round Table membership, its Steering Committee, or the Co-Chairs shall deem necessary to carry out specific activities.

Any member of the Round Table may propose a special project at a Steering Committee, Membership Meeting, through an announcement in the newsletter, or via the listserv. Upon endorsement of the project by the membership or by the Steering Committee, the Co-Chairs shall appoint an individual to coordinate the project or to direct those interested to designate a chair.

Ad hoc Committees shall be formed as necessary to complete the business of the Round Table for projects of limited length. Formation of Ad hoc Committees will require a majority vote of the Steering Committee

Duties of Committee Chairs

The chair of any Round Table committee is responsible for:

  • ·         attending all Steering Committee and Membership meetings at both Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings during their term of office;
  • ·         contacting and remaining in adequate communication with members who have expressed an interest in serving on a committee;
  • ·         recruiting and appointing members for their committee;
  • ·         sending letters of appointment to new committee members for their professional portfolios;
  • ·         mentoring an "apprentice" from within the ranks of that committee who will be recommended to the Co-Chairs as a future Chair of that committee;
  • ·         sending requests for committee member listserv additions and deletions to the Secretary of the Round Table;
  • ·         Submitting committee member names and contact information to the Co-Chairs, Secretary and the Web Committee, sending updated information as needed;
  • ·         keeping the Round Table Co-Chairs informed of committee plans, needs, activities, and issues;
  • ·         submitting budget requests to the Treasurer before the beginning of Steering Committee II meeting during the Midwinter Meeting;
  • ·         submitting expense reports, receipts and refund requests to the Treasurer in a timely manner;
  • ·         reporting committee activities to the Round Table at all Steering Committee and membership meetings;
  • ·         submitting progress reports and committee announcements to the Newsletter Editor according to the publishing schedule;
  • ·         submitting publicity and website content and information to the Newsletter Editor and/or to the Website Committee Chair as appropriate;
  • ·         maintaining that committee's portion of the Round Table Handbook, updating whenever appropriate with changes approved by the Steering Committee; and
  • ·         convening at least one committee meeting at Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings prior to the second Steering Committee meeting.

CURRENT STANDING COMMITTEES

External Relations Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the External Relations Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         publicizing the programs, activities and publications of the Round Table to individuals and organizations outside ALA;
  • ·         monitoring ALA units, affiliates, and external library organizations on issues that need the attention/participation of the Round Table (e.g. Council, Diversity Council, internet filtering, Family Friendly Libraries, etc.);
  • ·         preparing letters or resolutions for supportive and educational external communications to be approved and signed by the Round Table Co-chairs;
  • ·         preparing press releases in a timely manner to announce the Book Awards; and
  • ·         seeking and working with outside organizations who would like to partner with the Round Table to share information and conduct programs.

Fundraising Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the Fundraising Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         organizing and overseeing the raising of funds from sources other than Round Table dues to support the Round Table activities;
  • ·         coordinating committee activities with the ALA Office of Development;
  • ·         monitoring funding opportunities from the private sector;
  • ·         monitoring grant programs for funding of specific Round Table Projects; and
  • ·         coordinating with the Treasurer and Round Table Co-Chairs the receipt of donations to the Round Table, whether monetary, bequests, or gifts-in-kind.

Membership Promotion Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the Membership Promotion Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         coordinating the staffing of the professional exhibit booth at Annual Conference and other ALA events;
  • ·         coordinating fundraising goals in pursuit of financial resources that will help to ensure the continuity of the Round Table and all of its activities;
  • ·         developing written materials to promote Round Table membership to ALA members;
  • ·         distributing membership materials to library schools to encourage participation in the Round Table.; and
  • ·         publicizing the programs, activities and publications of the Round Table to ALA membership.

Newsletter Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs, " the Newsletter Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         compiling, producing, and distributing a newsletter four times each calendar year;
  • ·         publishing a newsletter submission schedule coordinated with ALA parent office printing and mailing schedules;
  • ·         announce proposed projects or publications and invite interested individuals to participate in working on these projects or publications;
  • ·         review books and other materials of interest to members of the Round Table and collection development librarians;
  • ·         report other news of interest to Round Table members; and
  • ·         serve as a forum for the discussion of views among Round Table members about the Round Table's activities, priorities, and problems.

The Steering Committee shall determine the cost of a subscription to the newsletter. The cost of the newsletter shall not exceed the income generated by subscriptions (and advertising revenues, if any); additional funds from the Round Table budget used to pay expenses incurred in connection with producing and distributing the newsletter must be approved in advance by the Steering Committee.

Program Planning Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs, " the Program Planning Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         assigning one person to coordinate program activities with the Round Table Steering Committee and with the Office of Conference Services of ALA;
  • ·         keeping planning activities on the two-year planning cycle as per the ALA planning grid;
  • ·         finding co-sponsors, when appropriate for the various Round Table programs; and
  • ·         monitoring programs of other ALA units which the Round Table may wish to sponsor.

Rainbow Project Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the Rainbow Project Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         annually designating current recommended books, of particular importance and quality and with significant GLBTQ content, for young readers from birth through age 18;
  • ·         following and updating written procedures for committee responsibilities that are consistent with the American Library Association guidelines for lists of selected materials;
  • ·         ensuring that the committee completes its deliberations and communicates its decisions to ALA personnel in time for adequate publicity and for formal announcement of the annual list at the Association's Midwinter Meeting;
  • ·         ensuring that expenses and revenues are shared equitably between sponsoring round tables (GLBT-RT & SRRT);
  • ·         working with the chair of the GLBT-RT Book Awards Committee to share publication information about children's and young adult books; and
  • ·         planning and coordinating a celebratory event to promote the Project within ALA, to be held during Annual Conferences occurring in even-numbered years.

The Rainbow Project Chair will serve the first year of a two-year term as "chair-elect"; and the second year as "chair."

Stonewall Book Awards Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the Stonewall Book Awards Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

 

  • ·         annually designating award winning publications of particular importance and quality that promote or describe a subject of concern to lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and/or transgender individuals;
  • ·         developing written procedures for selecting the winners of these awards that are consistent with the American Library Association guidelines for awards;
  • ·         working closely with the Stonewall Book Awards Celebration Planning Committee to produce a successful event;
  • ·         ensuring that the committee completes its deliberations and communicates its decisions to ALA personnel in time for adequate publicity for the formal announcement of the award winner at the Midwinter Meeting;
  • ·         providing the External Relations Committee and the Membership Promotion Committee with information, so that Book Awards press releases can go out in a timely manner; and
  • ·         sharing information regarding the publication of any books potentially suitable for GLBTQ youth with the Rainbow Project Committee.

Stonewall Book Awards Celebration Planning Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the Stonewall Book Awards Celebration Planning Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         keeping planning activities on the two-year planning cycle as per the ALA planning grid;
  • ·         working closely with the Stonewall Book Awards Committee Chair, and the Program Planning Committee Chair in the planning of the Annual GLBTRT Stonewall Book Awards Celebration (so as to avoid conflicting and/or repetitive efforts, requests, and offerings);
  • ·         coordinating the members of that committee in the set-up of the celebration; and
  • ·         coordinating the celebration arrangements with the sponsoring hotel’s catering staff.

Website Committee

In addition to the activities listed above under "Duties of the committee chairs," the Website Committee, under the guidance of its Chair, is responsible for:

  • ·         evaluating the Round Table’s Internet presence and making suggestions to the Steering Committee about how to best utilize Internet resources to further the mission of the Round Table;
  • ·         maintaining knowledge of the ALA content management system to better manage and further develop the Round Table website;
  • ·         maintaining knowledge of accessibility standards and usability metrics and applying them to the Round Table web presence;
  • ·         keeping the Steering Committee informed of new technologies that may be useful for conducting meetings, maintaining the website and online documents; and
  • ·         posting updates in a timely manner to the Round Table website and other Round Table sites at the request of the Steering Committee.

 

VI. FINANCES

Budget

The Treasurer is responsible for preparing the annual budget for Steering Committee review and subsequent approval by the beginning of the second Steering Committee meeting at the Midwinter Meeting. Changes in the budget may be proposed by Steering Committee members before final approval by the Steering Committee as a whole at the same meeting.

All Standing Committee Chairs are required to submit budget requests to the Treasurer before the beginning of the second Steering Committee at the Midwinter Meeting. When approved by the Steering Committee, the proposed budget will be forwarded to the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services for submission to the ALA Budget Committee. Final budget figures will be communicated to the Co-Chairs and the Treasurer by the Director of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.

Reimbursements

Round Table members who incur expenses in connection with an authorized budgeted Round Table activity may submit a request for reimbursement to the Treasurer.

Receipts must be provided to support such a request. The Treasurer will shepherd a timely reimbursement of all expenses. Reimbursements for expenses over $25.00 must be authorized in advance by the Treasurer or the Round Table Co-Chairs.

Income generated by a project or a publication by a standing committee or an Ad hoc committee will be used first to support the continued work of that committee and then to support other Round Table initiatives as needed. Income generated by the activity or publication of an Ad hoc committee or Special Project will be used to further the work of that committee or project until the work is complete. Chairs of standing or ad hoc committees will maintain records of financial transactions connected with the work of the committee and will forward those records to the Treasurer as appropriate.

VII. ROUND TABLE LISTSERVS

GLBTRT-L

The Secretary shall maintain a listserv for current members. Subscription to the listserv shall be open to all members of ALA. New members will be automatically subscribed to the listserv.

Committee Listservs

Standing or Ad hoc committees may establish listservs for internal communication. Round Table Co-Chairs shall be added as subscribers to all standing or Ad hoc committee listservs except the Stonewall Book Award Committee listserv.

VIII. VI. LIAISONS

Establishing liaisons to specific target groups will be encouraged when the relationship appears to be beneficial to the Round Table. The Co-Chairs will appoint liaisons from the membership to other groups both inside and outside ALA. Liaison terms will be for two years, not to exceed two consecutive terms (four years). Liaison appointments may be for specific projects or on-going. Reasons for establishing liaisons may include sharing of information on relevant and common issues, avoiding duplicate programming or publishing, sharing programming and/or publications, avoiding duplication of organizational structures, and providing expert guidance in issues familiar to both groups. Duties will include:

  • ·         representing the interests of the Round Table within the context of the target group;
  • ·         attending meetings of the target group when possible;
  • ·         subscribing to newsletters, and participate in relevant listservs;
  • ·         providing summary reports in writing or electronically of liaison activities to the Steering Committee;
  • ·         participating in program planning with target group when appropriate.

IX.  VII. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Disputes over the procedures used in making a decision at a Round Table or Steering Committee meeting shall be resolved by reliance upon the provisions contained in the "Rules of Order" that ALA Council uses.

X. VIII. AMENDING THE BYLAWS

The bylaws may be amended at the annual Membership Meeting by a majority of the voting members attending. The proposed amendments must have been announced at a previous membership meeting or have been published in an issue of the newsletter and/or posted on the website not less than thirty days before the annual Membership Meeting. Otherwise, proposed amendments will require at least three-fourths of the voting members attending the Annual Membership Meeting for approval.

Revision History

  • Revised July 2009
    • Bylaws Revisions Document: [PDF Text File: 104KB]
    • Bylaws Revisions with Membership Meeting Amendments: [PDF Text File: 113KB]
  • April 2007 Version, Amendments to Article IV Adopted in Election [PDF Text File: 80KB;] [PDF Web Capture: 134KB]
  • Revisions of June 1999 and May 2002 approved, June 2002 Membership Meeting
  • Document approved June 1998
Peter Hepburn's picture

Bylaws Committee members can edit the document in Google Docs.  Please have comments/revisions by April 5.

The Committee welcomes comments from RT and other ALA members.

Anne L. Moore's picture

First, let me congratulate the Bylaws committee for their hard work in suggesting revisions to the Bylaws. 

My major concern in reading this document is in the 'Candidates for Office Section' ... and the notion of presenting candidates at Annual for elections to be held the following spring.  This seems like a long time ahead to make a commitment for office. 

This said, I strongly support having a public forum to announce candidates and the positions.  The membership should be strongly involved in the process of candidates and in the overall decision making of the RT.  I wonder if this could be done at midwinter, though the paperwork has to be completed quite quickly for the ballot.

Could you briefly talk about the intent in removing details of the officer's roles?  Over the years I have heard many people mention wanting guidelines or a structure to follow and wanting a manual to follow.  Do you envision such a manual and a timeline replacing the material about roles in the bylaws?  If a manual and guideline were created, would the bylaws refer to them (for details on roles and activities)? 

Anne 

Anne L Moore

Special Collections Librarian

UMass Amherst

amoore@library.umass.edu