A.7 Conferences and Meetings (Old Number 7)



A.7.1 Facilities (Old Number 7.1)

A.7.1.1 Non-Discrimination in Conference Contracts (Old Number 7.1.1)

There shall be no discrimination, including that based on race, origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, creed or disability, in the use of any facilities used by the American Library Association. This policy shall become a part of ALA contracts for the use of space. The ALA will avoid entering, whenever possible, into convention center contracts with organizations and legal bodies in cities, counties, or states that by law discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people. ALA will provide materials for promoting sensitivity to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression for all employees on the floor of each convention center, including employees of companies to which the convention center has contracted for services on the floor of the convention.


A.7.1.2 Equal Employment Practices in Facilities (Old Number 7.1.2)

The American Library Association will meet only in facilities complying with equal employment and nondiscrimination laws. A statement confirming an investigation by staff of such compliance shall be a part of pre-registration materials.


A.7.1.3 Conference Arrangements for Participants with Disabilities (Old Number 7.1.3)

Local arrangements committees, headquarters staff, exhibitors, and others involved in the planning and execution of conferences and meetings of the Association shall be aware of and sensitive to the problems of conference participants with disabilities, in the selection, planning, and layout of all conference facilities, especially meeting rooms and exhibit areas.

The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies Library Service to the Deaf Forum is responsible for coordinating interpretive services to the deaf. This includes determining meetings to be interpreted with assistance from all units, in identifying programs of particular interest to the deaf, engaging interpreters, and publicizing the schedule of interpretive meetings. The Conference Services Office will work with a liaison from the ASCLA Library Service to the Deaf Forum to assure that a minimum of 35 hours of interpretive service shall be provided for from the general fund at both Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. ALA also encourages all units to provide interpreters for unit programs that can be shown to be of particular interest to deaf conferees.

Assistive devices for attendees with physical mobility impairments shall be made available by reservation.  Devices not reserved in advance shall be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Using whatever means necessary, these devices shall be located adjacent to the conference center’s main entrance or to the primary registration area for pick-up and delivery.

Accessible workstations shall be identified by raised identifier flags extending from the monitors of those workstations, and that in clusters of computer workstations made available to event attendees, accessible workstations shall always be placed at the first seat(s) of the first row(s) of the cluster.


A.7.1.4 Services and Rooms for Non-ALA Groups (Old Number 7.1.4)

The Executive Board in consultation with the Conference Services Office shall develop and adopt a schedule of fees to be charged for space and service at conferences and meetings to small ad-hoc groups, nonprofit, and commercial organizations. Chapters shall not be charged a fee. Payment at the time space is reserved is required.


A.7.1.5 Non-Smoking in Meetings (Old Number 7.1.5)

Smoking is prohibited at Midwinter Meetings, Annual Conferences, regional/national conferences, continuing education programs, exhibits, and other gatherings sponsored by the ALA.


A.7.1.6 Placement Service at Conference and Midwinter Meetings (Old Number 7.1.6)

The American Library Association shall provide a staffed placement service at Annual Conferences and Midwinter meetings, such placement services to be in, or immediately adjacent to, the official conference sites.

( See ‘‘Policy Reference File’’: Placement Service Guidelines. - PDF, 4 pgs) 


A.7.1.7 Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting: Impact on Chapter Conferences (Old Number 7.1.7)

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.


A.7.1.8 Annual Conference: Location (Old Number 7.1.8)

Selection of the sites for the ALA Annual Conference shall be made by the Executive Board in consultation with the Conference Services Office.


A.7.1.9 Midwinter Meeting Sites (Old Number 7.1.9)

Sites for Midwinter Meetings of the Association shall be selected by the Executive Board in consultation with the Conference Services Office.


A.7.1.10 Fire Protection in Conference Hotels (Old Number 7.1.10)

The Conference Services Office shall obtain information from conference hotels concerning their compliance with National Fire Protection Association standards. A statement concerning their compliance shall be a part of preregistration materials.


A.7.2 Finances: Workshops, Institutes, etc. (Old Number 7.2)


A.7.2.1 Fees for Institutes, Workshops, etc. (Old Number 7.2.1)

There shall be preferential registration fees for ALA members at institutes, workshops, etc., sponsored by ALA and/or its units. However, an additional preferential rate may be extended to members of the sponsoring unit(s).


A.7.2.2 Financing of Institutes, Workshops, etc. (Old Number 7.2.2)

All institutes, workshops, etc., sponsored by ALA and/or its units shall be self-supporting and shall include provision for ALA administrative costs.


A.7.3 Exhibits/Exhibitors (Old Number 7.3)


A.7.3.1 Rules and Regulations for Exhibits/Exhibitors (Old Number 7.3.1)

Rules and regulations for exhibitors at Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences shall be developed by the Conference Services Office and reviewed and adopted by the Executive Board. Rules and regulations so adopted shall be a part of the contracts for space.


A.7.3.2 Admissions to Exhibits (Old Number 7.3.2)

Admission to exhibits at the Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting is by registration badge. Exhibit passes may be issued to those not attending the conference or meeting, under rules developed by the Conference Services Office.

Exhibitors are entitled to visitor badges for issuance to their customers.


A.7.3.3 Exhibit Space for Professional Groups (Old Number 7.3.3)

The American Library Association Conference management shall, at each annual conference, provide a reasonable amount of exhibit space for the use of ALA groups. The amount of such space set aside in anyone year shall be determined by the conference management, which shall also determine locations and space allocations.

No rental fee shall be charged to the ALA groups assigned space, and the Association will bear the expense of setting up the regulation back wall for one booth or equivalent for each group. ALA groups having their own funds are to pay fees for rental of such booth furnishings selected if furnishings have to be rented and to pay the cost of back walls in excess of one unit.

No rental fee for space may be accepted from any group within the Association for the purpose of granting preference in the allocation of space.

Exhibits of other professional and non-library organizations and government agencies may be accommodated as liberally as possible but not at the expense of groups within the Association.


A.7.4 Regulations and Guidelines: Conferences and Meetings (Old Number 7.4)


A.7.4.1 Meeting (Old Number 7.4.1)

A meeting is an official assembly, for any length of time following a designated starting time, of the members of any board, committee, taskforce, 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 meeting subject to the open meetings policy (ALA Policy 7.4.4). (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.) 


A.7.4.2 Meetings Outside of Annual Conference and the Midwinter Meeting (Old Number 7.4.2)

Notice of meetings held outside of Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting must be announced ten days prior to the meeting and the results of the meeting must be made public no fewer than 30 days after the meeting’s conclusion. Reports of meetings held outside of Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting should convey a summary of the discussion of each item considered by the assembly and the decision made.


A.7.4.3 Emergency Meetings (Old Number 7.4.3)

When an emergency necessitates a meeting outside of Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting, the ten day notice requirement is waived. The reporting requirement applies to emergency meetings; furthermore, the report of an emergency meeting must explain the nature of the emergency that made a meeting necessary.


A.7.4.4 Open Meetings (Old Number 7.4.4)

All meetings of the American Library Association and its units are open to all members and to members of the press. Registration requirements apply. Closed meetings may be held only for the discussion of matters affecting the privacy of individuals or institutions.

(See also ‘‘Policy Reference File’’: Interpretive Statement on Open Meetings Policy. - PDF, 5 pgs)


A.7.4.5 Registration at Conferences and Midwinter Meetings (Old Number 7.4.5)

ALA members may attend general membership and council meetings, whenever and wherever held, by showing either a conference badge for the day of the meeting or a current membership card. Registration badges shall be shown for admission to all other meetings.

Registration at Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings is required of all those attending all other meetings of the Association, its units, committees, etc., except as specifically waived by action of the Executive Board.


A.7.4.6 Preferential Registration Fees (Old Number 7.4.6)

At Annual Conferences and Midwinter Meetings, there shall be a preferential registration fee for ALA members.


A.7.4.7 Distribution of Materials at ALA Council and Membership Meetings (Old Number 7.4.7)

Permission for the distribution of materials within the ALA Council and Membership Meeting areas, if the material is not official documentation, must be granted by the Executive Director or the ALA President.


A.7.4.8 Media Access to Information (Old Number 7.4.8)

National library media, and other media making a request, shall receive all information and documentation that is sent to Council and Executive Board prior to meetings of these bodies except, in the opinion of the Executive Board, anything affecting the privacy of individuals or institutions, and shall receive all information presented to those registering at meetings of the Association.


A.7.4.9 Annual Conferences (Old Number 7.4.9)

Annual Conferences of the Association are an Association-wide activity pertinent to all members regardless of divisional affiliation. 

The ALA Annual Conferences shall be devoted primarily to providing a range of program activities for its membership and to conduct the business of the Association.


A.7.4.10 Membership Meetings (Old Number 7.4.10)

A membership meeting shall be held during the Annual Conference, excluding days when pre-conferences are held, prior to the meetings of Council.

The membership meeting shall consist of:

  • A session during which the Executive Board, Council, and members may provide information to one another. Any member of the Association may participate in this information session.
  • A session during which the voting members of the Association may exercise their authority to act as set out in Article VI, Sections 9(s) and 4 (c) of the Constitution.
  • Memorials, tributes, and testimonials may be mentioned by the presiding officer.

Membership meetings may also be held at such times as may be set by the Executive Board, Council, or by membership petition, as provided for in Article II, Section 4 of the Bylaws.

Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions for Membership Meetings: The following guidelines are addressed to individuals and units preparing resolutions to come before Membership Meetings.

Definition: A resolution is a main motion, phrased formally, with (a) Whereas clauses, stating the background and reasons for a proposed policy, advocacy position, or action), followed by (b) Resolved clauses in numbered order (stating the proposed policy, advocacy position, or action).


1. A resolution must be complete so that, upon passage, it becomes a clear and formal expression of the opinion or will of the assembly.

2. Resolutions, including memorials, tributes, and testimonials, must show the initiating unit, mover, and seconder and provide specific contact information from submitting parties. A resolution without a sponsor will not be presented.

3. The resolution should address a specific topic or issue, use concise direct language, conform to proper grammar, and present an affirmative identifiable action.

4. The terms used in a resolution should be readily understandable or have specific definitions.

5. The intent, objective or goal of the resolution should be clear and purposeful.

6. Resolutions should clearly support ALA’s Strategic Plan, its mission, and/or core values.

7. All whereas clauses that relate to an ALA policy, must include a parenthetical notation of the title of the policy and the section where it can be found in the ALA Policy Manual.

8. If the resolution calls for specific action or program with a timetable, the timetable shall be clear and achievable.

9. Resolved clauses at the end of a resolution gain in clarity, brevity and are easier to read by following the resolution methodology of Congress and other deliberative bodies. The suggested wording states the resolved phrase only once: “now, therefore, be it; Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its member:…” or Resolved,  by the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its members that...” after which each separate resolved is stated directly in numbered order without repeating “…be it; Resolved....”.

10. All “Resolved” clauses within a resolution should use the objective form of the verb (e.g., “Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its members: (1) supports...; (2) provides...; and [last resolved] urges....") rather than the subjunctive form of the verb (e.g., “Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA) on behalf of its members: (1) support...; (2) provide..; and [last resolved]. urge....").

11. If the resolution is addressed to or refers to a specific group or groups, it shall name in full the group or groups in both the ‘resolved’ and ‘whereas’ clauses followed by the acronym in parenthesis. Thereafter the acronym may be used.


1. All resolutions submitted must be sent to the ALA Resolutions Committee for review and must be accompanied by a completed ALA Resolution e-Form. A supplemental explanation consisting of one or more expository paragraphs should accompany every resolution clearly stating how the resolution supports ALA’s Strategic Plan as well as its mission and/or its core values.

2. Any member of the American Library Association may prepare and submit for consideration resolutions at a membership meeting.

3. All resolutions, including memorials, tributes, and testimonials, must show the initiating unit, mover, and seconder. Cell phone or local telephone numbers must be given for movers and seconders.

4. Resolutions must be submitted for review by the Council Committee on Resolutions at least six hours prior to the convening of the membership meeting to allow time for reproduction and distribution. Members assembled at any membership meeting may waive the submission time requirements by a majority vote.

5. All resolutions approved by the membership will be presented to the next meeting of Council by the chair of the Resolutions Committee. The chair will indicate which membership resolutions are clearly policy matters. The presiding officer of Council will call for Council’s guidance on the disposition of each membership item in turn.

6. If a quorum is not present for a called Membership Meeting, those members who are present may convene themselves into a Membership Forum for the purpose of discussing matters of concern. The person who would have presided at the Membership Meeting may appoint a member to preside at the Membership Forum. Those members attending the Membership Forum shall determine their own agenda of matters to be discussed, except that the names of those being presented for memorials, tributes, and testimonials shall be read at the beginning of the last Membership Forum.  Adopted by Council 1994 MW.  Revised 1995 MW; 2003 AC; 2009, 2012AC, 2013 MW.


A.7.4.11 Purpose of Midwinter Meetings (Old Number 7.4.11)

The ALA Midwinter Meeting is convened for the primary purpose of expediting the business of the Association through sessions of its governing and administrative delegates serving on boards, committees, and Council. Programs designed for the continuing education and development of the fields of library service shall be reserved for Annual Conference except by specific authorization of the Executive Board acting under the provisions of the ALA Constitution. Hearings seeking membership reactions and provisions for observers and petitioners at meetings of Council, committees, and boards are to be publicized; programs of orientation or leadership development to Association business are encouraged; assemblies of groups of individuals for information sharing vital to the development of Association business shall be accepted as appropriate to the purposes of the Midwinter Meeting.

(See ‘‘Policy Reference File’’: 1989-90 CD #30. - PDF, 6 pgs)


A.7.4.12 Meetings of the Executive Board (Old Numer 7.4.12)

In addition to its meetings at Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting, the ALA Executive Board shall meet during the weeks beginning with the last Mondays in April and October, subject to availability of its members. Dates shall be selected and published well in advance.


A.7.4.13 Conference Planning Calendar (Old Number 7.4.13)

The American Library Association will establish and maintain a ten-year advance planning calendar of religious observances considered to be most obligatory to practitioners of major groups and will circulate the document annually to all units and affiliates as well as to other agencies that indicate an interest in its receipt. ALA shall advise all units that the scheduling of events of interest to libraries and their staffs should avoid these dates and allow for travel time free of conflict with them.

(See ‘‘Policy Reference File’’: 1986-87 CD #14. - PDF, 1 pg)


A.7.4.14 Conference Program Planning (Old Number 7.4.14)

Planning for major conference programs shall follow the constraints imposed upon divisional conference planning. Communication among membership divisions, committees, and staff engaged in such planning shall be maintained throughout the process.


A.7.4.15 Parliamentarian (Old Number 7.4.15)

The American Library Association shall employ a parliamentarian who is not a member of ALA for the Council and Membership meetings of the Association.