Hi everyone! As I said when I spoke at our previous meetings, I believe we have an opportunity to shape a new executive board in a way that will ensure that voices from many different sectors of librarianship and many different viewpoints are heard. To start us all thinking about that before our discussion on the 30th I wanted to put forward one possible way to do this. I think that there are even more ways to think creatively about this, so I hope that this idea is just a start in our discussions about how to make sure we have an executive board that truly represents all voices in our organization.
The current proposal from TAG suggests a 13 member executive board made up as follows:
- President (nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition and elected by Membership)
- President-elect (nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition and elected by Membership)
- Past President
- Treasurer (nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition and elected by Membership)
- Executive Director
- 1 Division member (elected by divisions)
- 1 RT member (elected by RTs)
- 1 NALCo Member (Elected by NALCos)
- 1 Chapter Member (Elected by Chapters)
- 1 school librarian, (nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition and elected by Membership)
- 3 Elected directly from Membership (6-9 candidates identified by the nominating committee & acceptance of petition candidates. Councilors or assembly members could be petition candidates)
I think that specifying that one seat on the Board be held by a school librarian is a step in the right direction, but I suggest that we should designate all of the seats on the Board so that we can ensure that there is always representation from the different sectors of our profession. If every seat on the Board has a specified constituency it will also ensure that those board members are always approaching the questions before the Board with their constituency in mind, and will hopefully ensure that those constituencies' views are accounted for in the leadership of the organization.
With that in mind, I propose that the three remaining seats be designated this way:
- 1 public librarian
- 1 academic librarian
- 1 non-MLIS library worker
- All nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition and elected by Membership.
I would also suggest that we include a charge to the nominating committee along the following lines: "The nominating committee shall strive to ensure significant representation on the Executive Board by individuals who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and other historically marginalized groups."
While I think that 13 is a good number for an executive board to have good discussions and board engagement around the issues that are brought before it, I think that it's possible to add a few more seats without the Board becoming unwieldy. The Board probably shouldn't exceed 20 members, but if we feel that there are still segments of our organization that should have representation we could consider a few additional designated seats. Do we want to include a designated seat for librarians under 30? A seat for librarians from rural communities or from urban communities? Are there other ways we can ensure that there are voices on the board who are not just upper-level leadership from larger libraries?
We have the opportunity to be creative with this structure in a way that will ensure that all voices are heard in the leadership of our organization while still being responsive to a very fast-changing world and profession in a way that Council currently is not. I am certain there are other ways of looking at this structure that I haven't even thought of, and I'm hoping to hear those ideas from you all at the meeting on the 30th.
Thanks for listening!
Ohio Chapter Councilor
Athens County Public Libraries