ALA Constitution

   

Go to the ALA Bylaws

Article

  1. Name
  2. Object
  3. Membership
  4. Divisions and Round Tables
  5. Meeting
  6. Council
  7. Executive Board
  8. Officers and Committees
  9. Endowment Funds
  10. Affiliated Organizations and Chapters
  11. Bylaws Amendments and Editorial Changes
  12. Amendments

Print a copy of the entire ALA Constitution (PDF, 5 pgs, 110kb)

   

Article I. Name

  • Section 1. The name of this body shall be the American Library Association.

Top

   

Article II. Object

  • Section 1. The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship.

Top

   

Article III. Membership

  • Section 1. Members. Any person, library, or other organization interested in library service and librarianship may become a member upon payment of the dues provided for in the Bylaws. The Executive Board may suspend a member for cause after hearing by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Executive Board and may reinstate a member by a three-fourths vote of the voting members of the Executive Board.

Top

   

Article IV. Divisions and Round Tables 

  • Section 1. Divisions and Round Tables of the Association may be organized and supported as provided in the Bylaws.

Top

   

Article V. Meetings

  • Section 1. Meetings shall be held as provided for in the Bylaws.

Top

   

Article VI. Council

  •    
  • Section 1.
    1. The Council of the American Library Association shall be the governing body of the Association. The Council shall delegate to the several divisions of the Association authority to plan and carry out programs and activities within assigned fields of responsibility and in accord with general Council policy.
    2. The Council shall determine all policies of the Association, and its decisions shall be binding upon the Association, except as provided in Section 4.c. of this Article.
       
  • Section 2. Councilors shall be chosen as specified in the Bylaws of the Association.    
  • Section 3. Seventy-five voting members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.    
  • Section 4.
    1. The Association by a vote at a membership meeting may refer any matter to the Council with recommendations and may require the Council to report on such matter at any specified session of the Association.
    2. Any question of policy may, by a majority vote of the Council, be submitted to the Association to be voted upon either at a membership meeting or by mail as the Council may determine.
    3. Any action of the Council may be set aside by a majority vote by mail in which one-fourth of the members of the Association have voted. Such vote by mail shall be held upon petition of one percent of the personal members as certified by the Executive Director of the Association.

Top

   

Article VII. Executive Board

  •    
  • Section 1. The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of the Association, the immediate past president, and eight members selected by the Council from among the members of that body, as provided in the Bylaws.    
  • Section 2. A vacancy in the elected membership of the Executive Board, including a vacancy created by the election of a member to the office of president-elect or treasurer, shall be filled by Executive Board appointment, the person so appointed to serve until the following annual election.    
  • Section 3. The Executive Board shall report on its activities not later than the next meeting of the Council. The Executive Board shall act for the Council in the administration of established policies and programs. The Executive Board shall be the body which manages within this context the affairs of the Association, but shall delegate management of the day-to-day operation to the Association’s Executive Director. The Executive Board shall make recommendations to Council with respect to matters of policy.    
  • Section 4. A majority of the voting members shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Board.

Top

   

Article VIII. Officers and Committees

  •    
  • Section 1. Only personal members shall have the right to hold office. The officers of the Association shall be a president, a president-elect, who shall serve as vice-president, an executive director (non-voting), and a treasurer. The president-elect and the treasurer shall be elected as provided for in the Bylaws, the president-elect for a term of one year and the treasurer for a term of three years. The executive director shall be appointed by the Executive Board, and shall hold office at its pleasure.    
  • Section 2. Vacancy.
    1. President-elect. When a vacancy occurs in the office of president-elect, or when an elected incoming president-elect withdraws or is unable to serve before the assumption of office, then the Executive Board shall appoint an individual to serve in such office, or to assume such office, subject to a confirmation mail vote by Council. Until the individual is confirmed by Council, they shall serve in an acting capacity.
    2. Treasurer. When a vacancy occurs in the office of treasurer, or when an elected incoming treasurer withdraws or is unable to serve before the assumption of office, then the Executive Board shall appoint an individual to serve in such office, or to assume such office, subject to a confirmation mail vote by Council. Until the individual is confirmed by Council, they shall serve in an acting capacity. The position of treasurer shall be filled by regular election at the next election, unless at the time of appointment the next regular election is less than four (4) months away, in which case the position of treasurer shall be filled at the following election.
       
  • Section 3. Duties of Officers. The president, president elect, executive director, and treasurer shall perform the duties pertaining to their respective offices and such other duties as may be approved by the Executive Board. The president-elect shall serve the first year after election as vice-president, the second year as president, and the third year as immediate past president. The president, for the Executive Board, and the executive director for the headquarters staff, shall report annually to the Council. The executive director shall be in charge of headquarters and its personnel; shall carry out the activities provided for in the budget; and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to the office.    
  • Section 4. Appointments. The Executive Board shall appoint all other officers and all committees of the Association not otherwise provided for and shall fix the compensation of all paid officers and employees. Only personal members of the Association shall be appointed to committees except by authorization of the Executive Board.    
  • Section 5. Terms of Office. All officers and elected members of the Executive Board shall serve until the adjournment of the Annual Conference that follows the selection of their successors.

Top

   

Article IX. Endowment Funds

  • Section 1. Receipts from life memberships and all gifts for endowment purposes shall, subject to conditions attached thereto, constitute endowment funds.  Subject to conditions legally incident thereto, such funds shall be in the custody of no fewer than three nor more than six appointed trustees.  One or more of these appointed trustees shall be appointed by the Executive Board annually to hold office for three years from the date of appointment or until a successor shall be appointed.
  • Section 2. The trustees shall have authority to hold, invest, reinvest, disburse, and otherwise deal with endowment funds in accordance with such directions as may be given them by the ALA Executive Board.  The principal of and income from endowment funds shall be expended under the directions of the Executive Board but no such expenditures shall be made except in accordance with any conditions imposed by the donors of any such funds nor for any purposes which are not in consonance with the approved policies of the Association, nor shall principal be expended unless expressly permitted by the terms of the gift, or any amendment or modification thereof.  No action shall be taken with reference to investment, reinvestment, or other principal transaction with respect to securities held in the endowment fund, except upon a resolution adopted by or written order signed by a majority of the trustees.
  • Section 3. The ALA Treasurer shall serve as an ex officio voting trustee.

Top

   

Article X. Affiliated Organizations and Chapters

  •    
  • Section 1. The Council may by vote affiliate with the American Library Association or with any subdivision thereof upon its request, any national or international organization having purposes similar to those of the Association or its subdivision. The dues of affiliated organizations shall be as provided in the Bylaws.    
  • Section 2. The Council may by vote affiliate the Association, or any subdivision thereof upon its request, with any national or international organization having purposes similar to those of the Association or its subdivision; provided, however, that no subdivision of the Association may separately affiliate itself with an organization with which the Association as a whole is affiliated.    
  • Section 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.

Top

   

Article XI. Bylaws Amendments and Editorial Changes

  •    
  • Section 1. All proposals for amending the Bylaws shall originate in the Council. A proposed amendment or new bylaw shall become effective when it shall have been approved by a majority of the members of the Council present and voting at a meeting of the Council, followed by ratification by the members of the Association either by a vote by mail of a majority of the members of the Association voting, or by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a membership meeting of the Association. The Council, on approving a proposed amendment, shall specify whether a vote for ratification shall be taken at a membership meeting of the Association or by mail, and if a mail vote is ordered, the Council shall fix the time for the beginning and closing of the balloting. If a vote at a membership meeting is ordered, at least one month’s written notice shall be given to the Association of the text of the proposed amendment or new bylaw.    
  • Section 2. The Council, upon recommendation of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee or the Committee on Organization, may make such editorial changes in these bylaws as do not change their substance and meaning. Those changes shall take effect upon such action and shall be referenced in the next ALA Handbook of Organization.

Top

   

Article XII. Amendments

  • Section 1. All proposals for amending the Constitution shall originate in the Council. A proposed amendment shall become effective when it shall have been approved by a majority of the members of the Council present and voting at two consecutive meetings held not less than two months apart, followed by ratification by the members of the Association either by a vote by mail of a majority of the members of the Association voting, or by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a membership meeting of the Association. The Council, on approving a proposed amendment for the second time, shall specify whether a vote on ratification shall be taken at a membership meeting of the Association or by mail, and if a mail vote is ordered, the Council shall fix the time for the beginning and closing of the balloting. If a vote at a membership meeting is ordered, at least one month’s written notice shall be given to the Association of the text of the proposed amendment.

Top