Governance Procedures of the Western European Studies Section

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January 29, 2009

Contents

A. Name

The name of the organization shall be the Western European Studies Section (WESS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, hereinafter referred to as the Section.


B. Purpose

ACRL Sections are established primarily for the purpose of building communities of learning and providing professional development and networking opportunities for their members. A Section’s name, purpose, and mission are as proposed by the Section and approved by the ACRL Board. The ACRL Board ascertains that overlaps between the mandates are of various Sections are minimized.


The Section shall represent those librarians and others in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) who specialize or are otherwise professionally involved in the acquisition, organization, and use of information sources originating in or relating to Western European countries. This Section may cooperate with other professional groups, in regard to those aspects of library service that require special knowledge of sources from or concerning Western Europe.


C. Membership

Any member of the Association of College and Research Libraries may elect membership in this Section.


The number of “community of practice” affiliations included in the basic ACRL dues is determined by the ACRL Board. The dues for additional affiliations are also set by the ACRL Board.


D. Relationship to ACRL Board

The Board shall be authorized to establish Communities of Practice (including Sections), to monitor their activities, and determine their continuance in consultation with the respective groups. The Board shall also be entitled to establish policies to govern the activities of Communities of Practice. (ACRL Bylaws, Article XV)


The Board liaison role provides a critical connection between membership structures and the ACRL Board of Directors. This liaison role can be particularly helpful in providing perspective, guidance, and insight regarding ACRL policies, procedures, and initiatives; soliciting feedback from Communities of Practice regarding proposed Board actions; and providing helpful advice regarding Action Plan Proposals and Board Action Forms which community of practice leaders will need to submit for official ACRL Board and ACRL Executive Committee action/decisions. The liaison relationship is meant to enhance communication; it is not an advocacy role and for that reason Board members are asked to liaison with communities in which they have not been active. (Tip Sheet for Board Responsibilities)


The Board of Directors is the voice for the association. Sections, committees, and other established units are not authorized to speak for the association except through the Board. This is to say that unit leaders should refrain from issuing statements, taking positions, or endorsing any statements or positions except with Board approval. (ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures, Chapter 5.12.8, Use of ACRL’s Name)


E. Meetings

Section meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference are scheduled by the Section chair.


ACRL units are encouraged to work outside of Midwinter and/or Annual Conference to increase group participation, efficiency, and productivity. Electronic meetings are conducted within the environment of ALA/ACRL bylaws and policies. In all cases these requirements must be adhered to, although they may have to be adopted to fit the virtual environment.


The ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1 defines a meeting as “an official assembly, for any length of time following a designated starting time, of the members of any board, committee task force, commission, etc., during which the members do not separate except for a recess and in which the assembly has the capacity to formalize decisions.” Conference calls, Internet chat sessions (and their equivalents), and in-person meetings are recognized as meetings subject to the open meetings policy (ALA Policy 7.4.4). Committees must confirm all decisions made in these forums by affirming the actions at the next face-to-face meeting.


There is a distinction between carrying on work of a committee electronically and conducting an electronic meeting. Asynchronous electronic discussions by electronic mail or other asynchronous communication methods do not constitute meetings because they are not an official assembly with a designated starting time (ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1).


The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (Alice Sturgis) applies to meetings of the Section to the extent that it is applicable, upholds the integrity of the voting processes, helps facilitate progress, and ensures equality, fairness, and common sense.


The Section shall hold an annual business meeting at the time and place of the Annual Conference of the American Library Association.


Special meetings of the Section may be called at the discretion of the Executive Committee. Notification of a special meeting shall be sent to all members of the Section at least five weeks prior to the scheduled date of the meeting.


Members of the Section present at an annual meeting shall constitute a quorum.


F. Officers

Each Section will have a vice-chair/chair-elect and a chair to ensure succession.


The officers of the Section shall be a chairperson, a vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect, the immediate past chairperson, a secretary, and a member-at-large. All officers shall serve for a term of one year which ends at the adjournment of the annual meeting.


FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHAIR

• Serves as chief officer of section, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the section and ACRL.
• Chairs Executive Committee meeting at the Midwinter and Annual Conferences.
• Attends all meetings of section committees, when possible.
• Oversees WESS Conference program at Annual Conference, as necessary in collaboration with the Program Committee.
• Responsible for section projects which the section will pursue during the year.
Meets deadlines for budget requests for payment or reimbursement, according to the budget being submitted.
• Schedules all WESS committee meetings and programs for Midwinter and Annual conferences, after consulting committee chairs.
• Notifies ALA Conference Arrangements Office of meeting times and space needs for all section meetings and programs.
• Submits reports to ACRL Board on WESS activities.
• Responds to inquiries from members and non-members regarding WESS interests and activities.
• Co-represents, with Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, WESS on ACRL Section Council.
• Writes column for WESS Newsletter twice a year, if desired.
• Makes special appointments to fill such committee vacancies as occur during his/her term of office.
• Attends meeting of ACRL Sections Council. Prepares oral report of section events/plans to be presented at Council meeting if requested to by ACRL Takes note of announcements and items of interest to be shared with WESS Executive Committee and membership.
• The WESS vice-chair/chair-elect or the delegate that he/she authorizes will act as the official WESS liaison to the ACRL board.


FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE VICE-CHAIR/CHAIR-ELECT

• Serves as officer of section, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the section and ACRL.
• As a member of the Executive Committee, attends meetings of the committee at Annual and Midwinter conferences, including, if possible, those at the Annual conference immediately preceding the taking of office.
• In conjunction with the section chair, appoints a nominating committee and chair, which is responsible for producing a slate of candidates for section office.
• Appoints a conference program planning committee and chair, which is responsible for planning the section's program at the Annual conference during the year as chair. Serves as ex-officio member of the committee.
• Makes appointments including chairs to all other WESS committees for terms beginning when term as chair begins, or the chair may authorize committees to elect their own chairs. Chairs serve one-year terms but may be reappointed by the next vice-chair. Committee members will normally serve two-year terms.
• Submits section budget for year as chair and participates in ACRL budget orientation as required. Meets deadlines for requests for payment or reimbursement, according to the budget.
• Assists in planning the programs and projects which the section will pursue during year as chair.
• Responds to inquiries from members and non-members regarding section interests and activities.
• Co-represents (with WESS chair) WESS on the ACRL Section Council.
• Requests new printings of the WESS brochure from ACRL according to the ACRL calendar, which requires such requests approximately 18 months before the new brochures are needed.
• The WESS vice-chair/chair-elect acts as the official WESS liaison to the ACRL.


FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PAST CHAIR

• Serves as an officer of the section, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the section and ACRL.
• As a member of the Executive Committee, attends meetings of the Committee at Annual and Midwinter conferences.
• Serves as Chair of the Western European Study Grant jury.
• The Past Chair serves in an ex-officio capacity on the Fundraising Committee.
• Performs other tasks as assigned by the Executive Committee.


FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SECRETARY

• The Secretary serves as the recording officer for the section, attends meetings of the section committees, compiles and distributes copies of the minutes of the Executive Committee to its members. A copy of the Annual and Midwinter Conferences Executive Committee minutes is forwarded to the WESS Newsletter editor for publication twice a year. The Secretary also compiles the minutes of the annual business meeting of the section and distributes those to the WESS Chair. Copies of these minutes are forwarded to the ACRL as requested and to the WESS Newsletter editor for publication twice a year.
• The Secretary is responsible for the collection of archival materials relating to WESS's activities during his/her tenure of office.
• The Secretary serves in an ex-officio capacity on the Publications Committee.
• The Secretary is elected by the section membership in a contested election to serve for a period of one year.
• The Secretary is responsible for maintaining current committee and discussion group convener rosters on the WESS Web.


FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MEMBER-AT-LARGE

• Serves as an officer of the section, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the section and ACRL.
• As a member of the Executive Committee, attends meetings of the Committee at Annual and Midwinter conferences, including, if possible, those at the Annual conference immediately preceding the taking of office.
• Organizes the General membership discussion Group meetings at the Annual and Midwinter conferences. This entails choosing a topic for the discussion, publicizing it and leading the discussion. The first part of the two-hour meeting is devoted to the General Membership meeting and business, leaving about 1.5 hours for discussion.
• Performs other tasks as assigned by Executive Committee.


In the event of a vacancy in the office of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall succeed to the office of the chairperson and shall continue in that office until the expiration of the term for which he/she was originally selected to serve as chairperson. If the office of the secretary becomes vacant, the chairperson shall appoint a member of the Section to that office. A vacancy in the office of vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall be filled only by election.

G. Executive Committee

The Section Executive Committee is responsible for the stewardship of the Section and the coordination of its activities, provided that it operates within the Section mandate and budget as determined by membership level (ACRL Guide to Policy and Procedure, Basic Services, 4.3.2).


A Section’s Executive Committee may establish and appoint standing or ad-hoc committees to assist it in fulfilling the Section’s mandate.


The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers, the chairpersons of standing committees, and one member-at-large elected for a one-year term.


The Executive Committee shall conduct the business of the Section during the period between annual Section meetings. At each annual Section meeting the chairperson shall report on the work of the Executive Committee, at which time that work shall be subject to review by the membership of the Section.


Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at the times and places of the Annual and Midwinter meetings of the American Library Association. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the chairperson. Only members of the Executive Committee may vote at Executive Committee meetings, although all Executive Committee meetings shall be open to all members of the Section.


A majority of members constitutes a quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee.


H. Standing and Special Committees

Standing committees to consider matters of concern to the Section that require continuity of attention may be authorized by a majority vote of the Section at the annual Section meeting. The size, name, and purpose of a standing committee shall be specified at the time of its authorization. Members of a standing committee shall serve overlapping terms of two years each. In order to set in motion a rotation of committee members, however, some of the initial members of a newly established committee shall be appointed for terms of three years. A member of a committee may be reappointed for a second term, but no person shall serve more than four consecutive years on a single committee. The vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall appoint committee members to fill the vacancies due to occur during his/her term as chairperson. The vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall also designate the chairpersons of all committees which will function during his/her term as chairperson of the Section. Unexpected vacancies on a committee shall be filled by a special appointment made by the chairperson of the Section. A standing committee may be discontinued by a majority vote of the members present and voting at an annual Section meeting.


Special committees for the performance of particular assignments may be appointed at any time by the chairperson after consultation with the other members of the Executive Committee. Such special committees shall be discontinued at the end of the term of the chairperson who appointed them unless extended by the new chairperson. No special committee shall continue to function for more than two years without authorization by a majority vote of the Section.


Informal discussion groups, to meet under the auspices of the Section at the time and place of the Annual or Midwinter meetings of the American Library Association, may be formed by any five or more members of the Section with the approval of the Chairperson.


I. Nominations and Elections

To be nominated, elected, and continue to serve on a Section’s Executive Committee, a person must be a current member of the Section (with ALA, ACRL, and section dues—if applicable—paid).


The vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three members, designating one member as Committee chairperson. No member of the Nominating Committee shall be currently serving on the Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee shall choose a slate of at least two nominees for each of the offices of (a) vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect, (b) secretary, and (c) member-at-large. Additional nominations for these offices may be made by petitions signed by no fewer than five Section members. Nominations put forth by the Nominating Committee, as well as any additional nominations made by petition, shall be filed both with the Executive Director of the ACRL and with the secretary of the Section within the deadlines prescribed for nominations by the ACRL. All nominees must be members in good standing of the Section and must consent to candidacy in writing.


Elections shall be conducted by electronic ballot. For each office, the candidate receiving a plurality of the votes cast shall be elected. In case of a tie vote the successful candidate shall be determined by lot.


J. Vacancies

In the event of a vacancy in the office of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall succeed to the office of the chairperson and shall continue in that office until the expiration of the term for which he/she was originally selected to serve as chairperson. If the office of the secretary or member-at-large becomes vacant, the chairperson shall appoint a member of the Section to that office. A vacancy in the office of vice-chairperson/chairperson-elect shall be filled only by election.


K. Amendments to Governance Procedures

Amendments to these Operating Procedures may be proposed in writing to the Executive Committee, by a committee appointed specifically for the purpose, or by any five members of the Section. If approved by the Executive Committee, the proposed amendments can be made to the Operating Procedures, as long they are not in conflict with ALA/ACRL bylaws, policies, and procedures. Changes to these governance procedures do not require, and should not include, a ballot vote by the membership. A current copy shall be provided to the Executive Director per ACRL Bylaws, Article XV, Section 3.


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The Western European Studies Section (WESS) is a section within the Association of College and Research Libraries, which is itself a division of the American Library Association.

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