ALA Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy Manual: Chapters

(See also the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association and ALA Policy Manual)

ALA Constitution

Article X. Affiliated Organizations and Chapters.

Sec. 3. By action of the Council, and in accordance with the Bylaws of the American Library Association, any legally constituted state, provincial, regional, or territorial library association may become a chapter of the American Library Association and receive such rights and privileges as provided in the Bylaws of the Association and under such conditions as may be provided in the Bylaws.

ALA Bylaws

Article V. Chapters.

Sec. 1(a) The purpose of a chapter is to promote general library service and librarianship within its geographic area, to provide geographic representation to the Council of the American Library Association, and to cooperate in the promotion of general and joint enterprises with the American Library Association and other library groups.

(b) The Council may establish a chapter of the American Library Association in any state, province, territory, or region in which a majority of the ALA members residing within the area involved and voting on the issue favors such action; provided, however, that the total number of persons voting on the issue shall not be less than ten percent of the total number of ALA members residing within the area. A regional chapter may consist of any area composed of three or more contiguous states or provinces.

(c) Any legally constituted state, provincial, territorial, or regional library association may, at its request, be designated a chapter of the American Library Association provided the membership of the association applying for chapter status has expressed approval of the application; and providing a majority of the ALA members residing in the area involved voting on the issue is in favor of such action; provided, however, that the total number of persons voting on the issue shall not be less than ten percent of the total number of ALA members residing within the area involved, and provided that there is no conflict in principle between the constitution and bylaws of the association involved and the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association, and that copies of the chapter constitution and bylaws, and subsequent amendments to them are filed with the American Library Association and dues are paid in accordance with Article I of the Bylaws. [ Chapters dues are currently $110 annually, and must be paid by March 1.]

(d) No more than one chapter of the American Library Association shall exist in any state, province, or territory.

(e) In establishing regional chapters, no state, provincial, or territorial association may be included in more than one such region.

Sec. 2. A chapter may admit members who are not members of the American Library Association.

Sec. 3. Each state, provincial, territorial, or regional chapter shall be the final authority within the American Library Association in respect to all programs and policies which concern only the area for which the chapter is responsible provided they are not inconsistent with any programs and policies established by the ALA Council. Any chapter may establish committees and boards which parallel national committees and boards in order to carry out over-all programs within its own area and to maintain liaison between its members and the national committees and boards. State, provincial, and territorial chapters may establish local chapters within the respective areas involved.

Sec. 4 (a) Any chapter may withdraw from chapter status provided the issue has been submitted to a vote of the chapter membership and is favored by a majority of the members voting; and provided further that notice of withdrawal is sent to the executive director of the American Library Association.

(b) A chapter may be dissolved by the Council and shall be dissolved if it becomes inactive or fails to comply with the provisions of this Article.

Article I. Membership.

Summarized: Chapter Members—any legally constituted state, provincial, territorial, or regional library association that has been granted chapter status by action of Council under Article V, Section 1(c) of the Bylaws. Chapter Members Dues and perquisites shall be set by Council upon recommendation by the Executive Board. (See ALA Policy Manual, Section 12.)

Article IV. Council.

 Sec. 1 (a) Council membership requirement. No person, including a representative of a state, provincial, or territorial chapter, may serve on the Council unless a personal member of the American Library Association.

(b) Meetings. The Council shall hold at least two meetings each year. Such meetings shall be held, one at the time and place of the annual conference of the Association and one not less than three months before the next annual conference, at a time designated by the Executive Board. The latter shall be called the midwinter meeting. Other meetings may be called by the president and shall be called upon request of twenty members.

(c) Officers. The president, president-elect, and the executive director of the Association shall serve as officers of the Council, the executive director serving as its secretary. The presiding officer may vote only in case of a tie and the executive director shall not have the right to vote.

Sec. 2 (a) All personal members of the ALA shall be eligible for nomination to Council from their respective constituencies, as indicated in Article IV, Sec. 2(b), (c), and (d), without regard to any other prerequisites.

(b) Each state, provincial, and territorial chapter shall be entitled to one councilor to be elected for a term of three years by the members of the chapter.

(c) Each division of the Association shall be entitled to one councilor to be elected for a term of three years by the members of the division.

(d) Those round tables with Personal Membership equal to or greater than one percent of ALA’s total Personal Membership shall be entitled to elect one councilor each, and the remaining Round Tables jointly shall be entitled to one councilor to be elected for a term of three years by the members of the respective round tables. A councilor elected under this Article shall continue to serve without prejudice to any change that might occur in the size of the membership of their round table. For the purposes of this section, the Personal Membership of each round table and the Personal Membership of ALA shall be fixed as of August 31st of each year.

(e) One hundred councilors shall be elected by the Association at large, one third being elected each year as provided in Article III, Sec. 1(c) of the Bylaws. [See ALA Election Schedule at end of Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association.]

(f) All members of the Executive Board shall automatically be members of the Council.

(g) No person shall serve simultaneously as a member of the Council elected by a chapter or a division or a round table and as a member elected by the Association at large. A person who is a member by virtue of being a member of the Executive Board may simultaneously be a regularly elected member according to paragraphs (b), (c), and (d), but such person shall have but one vote.

Sec. 3. All elected councilors shall serve for terms of three years or until their successors are selected and qualified.

Sec. 4. Each chapter shall accredit its councilor to the secretary of the Council in advance of the fi rst meeting after the election.

Sec. 5. A vacancy in the membership of Council representing the Association at large shall be filled at the following election to complete the unexpired term.

Sec. 6. A vacancy in the membership of Council representing a state, provincial or territorial chapter, division or round table of the Association may be filled by the chapter or division on an interim basis. Each chapter, division or round table shall accredit its interim councilor to the secretary of the Council in advance of the first meeting after selection. The interim councilor shall serve as a voting member until the next regularly scheduled election or for a maximum ofone year, by which time an election shall have been held to elect a successor.

 Article II. Meetings.

 Sec. 1. Annual Meetings. There shall be an annual conference of the Association at such place and time as may be determined by the Executive Board. For all persons attending any meeting or conference there may be a registration fee as fixed by the Executive Board.

Sec. 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Association may be called by the Executive Board, and shall be called by the President on request of not less than five percent of the voting members of the Association as of the previous July 1, such request to be filed with the executive director at least ninety days before the proposed meeting. At least one month’s notice shall be given, and only the business specifi ed in the call shall be transacted.

Sec. 3. Regional Meetings. The Executive Board may arrange for regional meetings to include such chapters, divisions, library associations, and such other organizations as may desire to join in such a meeting, provided that the Executive Board may not call a regional meeting in the area covered by a regional chapter without the consent of such chapter.

Sec. 4. Membership Meetings. A membership meeting consists of the voting members of the Association with authority to act as set out in Article VI, Sections 4(a) and 4(c) of the Constitution. A membership meeting shall be held during the annual conference and at such other times as may be set by the Executive Board, Council or by membership petition as provided for in Article II, Section 2, of the Bylaws.

Sec. 5. Votes by Mail. (a) By petition of one percent of the personal voting membership, as certifi ed by the Executive Director, membership referenda shall be placed on the annual ballot for a vote by mail. A petition for a membership referenda must be filed with the Executive Director at least four months before the annual conference.

(b) The Executive Board may authorize votes by mail of both the Association and of the Council between meetings.

(c) For votes by Council, fifty percent of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum and a three-fourths majority of those voting shall be required to carry.

(d) For votes by the Association, twenty-five percent of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum and a majority of those voting shall be required to carry.

(e) The Executive Board shall have authority to set the time limit during which votes will be recorded but if no such time limit is set no vote shall be counted unless received within thirty days from the day the text of the ballot or question voted upon was mailed, properly addressed, to those entitled to vote on the matter involved. In the case of a vote by mail by the Association, the Executive Board may designate publication of the ballot or question submitted in the official journal of the Association as the appropriate method of submitting the matter to the members for their determination.

Sec. 6. Quorum. Seventy-five (75) voting members shall constitute a quorum at membership meetings.

Council Committees

PLANNING AND BUDGET ASSEMBLY advisory to BARC and Planning)

Charge: To assist the ALA Executive Board and the Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC), there shall be a Planning and Budget Assembly which shall consist of one representative of each division, ALA committee, round table, and five councilors-at-large and five councilors from chapters. The representatives of the divisions, committees, and round tables shall be designated annually by each group; the Council representatives shall be elected by the Council for two-year staggered terms, none to extend beyond the regularly elected term on Council, from nominations submitted by the Council Committee on Committees. Additional nominations for the councilor members may be made from the floor. The duties of the Planning and Budget Assembly are to study the budget and planning documents submitted by the ALA Executive Board, raise questions concerning them, and offer suggestions to the ALA Executive Board and Budget Analysis and Review Committee.

Portions of the ALA Policy Manual Concerning Chapters

    Policy 6.1 Chapters

    6.1.1 ALA Responsibilities to Chapters

A statement of summary of conditions governing Chapter affiliations as stated in various ALA policies and the Constitution and Bylaws shall be sent to each Chapter for its acceptance as a certified statement of agreement between the Chapter and ALA.

    6.1.2 Effect of Unpaid Dues on Chapter Status

A Chapter which has not paid its dues as of March 1 of each year, and which continues such delinquency for one month after notice has been sent, is no longer a member and no longer entitled to have a Councilor, until such time as the Chapter resumes payment of dues.

    6.1.3 Library Issue Caucuses

Chapter Councilors and Councilors-at-Large should work together to establish library issue caucuses at state and regional library association and type-of-library association meetings with the goal of identifying, developing information, and communicating recommendations on library issues to ALA Council and/or other appropriate bodies.

Policy 6.4.1.VIII Division National Conferences

VIII. Division National Conferences, Preconferences, and Related Activities

Divisions may conduct preconferences, workshops, institutes, seminars, and Division national conferences, in accordance with ALA Policy, at intervals determined by Division program priorities and supported by sound financial management. A Division is responsible for all costs incurred in planning and carrying out such activities. (ALA Policy 7.2.2)

Division National Conferences shall be defined as “non-business conferences removed in time and place from the American Library Association's Annual Conference” and Midwinter Meeting in order “to view and explore areas of divisional concerns in depth.” Proposals for Division National Conferences should be made to the ALA Executive Board at least two years in advance of the anticipated meeting date following a prescribed proposal outline. ALA state and regional chapters in the geographical area of a proposed conference shall be notified in writing of a desired conference prior to submitting the request to the Executive Board. Such notice shall seek the cooperation of the chapters with respect to scheduling and programming to the extent feasible. The Division shall contact the host Chapter prior to determining date availability with the host city. The Division shall contact the chapters in the geographical area immediately after determining date availability with the host city. In the event of a conflict with the ALA state or regional chapters and the proposed divisional conference, the ALA Executive Board shall make the decision in consultation with the chapters.

Policy 7.1.7. Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting: Impact on Chapter Conferences

When ALA proposes sites for Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings, the Executive Board shall ensure open and prompt communication with state and regional chapters in the geographic area of a proposed conference, involving members in each step of the conference planning process, allowing them input in site selection or termination. These chapters shall be notified in writing of a desired conference prior to submitting the request to the Executive Board. Such notice shall seek the cooperation of the Chapters with respect to scheduling and programming to the extent feasible. ALA shall contact the host Chapter prior to determining date availability with the host city. ALA shall contact the Chapters in the geographical area immediately after determining date availability with the host city. In the event of a conflict with the ALA state or regional Chapters and the proposed ALA Conference, the ALA Executive Board shall make the decision in consultation with the Chapters.

The host Chapter shall be offered a variety of cooperative opportunities with ALA including but not limited to: a complimentary booth, mailing labels or a list of ALA members in their state, and free meeting space; an invitation to co-sponsor the Opening General Session; art, copy or both for an announcement of the Conference to go to Chapter members either as a separate mailing or in the newsletter of the Chapter; cooperation with publicizing the conference through interviews and press releases; meeting space for a program or business meeting, and representation on the local arrangements committee. A complete list of options shall be sent to the host Chapter from the Conference Services Director.

ALA will not provide direct financial remuneration to Chapters.