Governance Procedures of the Arts Section

1989; Revised: January 2012


A. Name

The name of the organization shall be the Arts Section (Arts) 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 represents librarians and specialists working in or interested in the fields of visual and performing arts. Arts promotes library service in this field through discussion of current issues, the exchange of information, and the provision of projects and programs to further professional development and awareness.


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.

General meetings: The Section shall hold a membership meeting at the time and place of the Annual Meeting of the American Library Association (ALA).

Committee meetings: Committee meetings shall be held during the Annual and Mid-winter Meetings of ALA. All Section meetings, except those dealing with nominations and awards, are open to registered attendees of the Annual and Mid-winter Meetings.


F: Officers

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

Officers: The officers of the Section shall be a Chair, a Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, the Immediate Past Chair, a Secretary and a Newsletter Editor. All officers are elected, except the Newsletter Editor which is an appointed position.

Terms of Office: The Vice-Chair will serve successively for one year as Vice-Chair, Chair and Immediate Past Chair. The Secretary serves for two years. And the Newsletter Editor serves one year. All terms of office shall begin at the adjournment of the Annual Conference.

Duties. Duties of officers may be outlined in the Section manual.


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.

Composition: The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Section.

Responsibility and Authority: The Executive Committee shall conduct the business of the Section between Annual Meetings. At each Annual Meeting the Chair shall report on the work of the Executive Committee, at which time the work shall be subject to review by the membership of the Section.

Meetings: Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at the times and places of the Annual and Mid-winter meetings of the American Library Association. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair. 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. If necessary, the Executive Committee may make decisions by electronic mail or by conference call during the periods between regularly scheduled meetings.

Quorum: A simple majority of the members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee.


H. Committees

Authorization and discontinuance: Committees of the Section shall be authorized and discontinued by action of the Executive Committee.

Standing committees: Standing committees may be established to consider matters of the Section that require continuity of attention by its members. When such a committee is established, its function, name and size shall be determined and recorded in the Section manual. Unless otherwise approved by the Executive Committee, members of standing committees shall be appointed for terms of two years and may be re-appointed for a second, but not a third consecutive term. In no case shall a person serve on a committee for more than five consecutive years. Appointments shall be made in such a manner as to provide continuity in membership.

Ad Hoc committees: Special (ad hoc) committees for the performance of particular assignments may be appointed at any time by the Chair of the Section after consultation with other members of the Executive Committee. No such committee may be continued beyond two years without review and re-approval by the Executive Committee.

Committee members must be personal members of the Section and they must adhere to American Library Association policies.


I. Discussion Groups

Establishment: Any group of five or more members of the Section interested in discussing common concerns that fall within the objectives of the Section may form a discussion group upon written petition from the group and upon approval of the Executive Committee.

Members: Membership in a discussion group shall be open to members of the Section who are interested in the purpose of the group.

Leadership: Each group shall annually appoint a leader and other positions as appropriate. In addition to the regular duties of the office, the leader shall insure that the group's activities are limited to discussion of common concerns within the purpose of the group and that the Section's bylaws are observed by the group.

Dissolution: A discussion group may be dissolved at its request by the Executive Committee of the Section and shall be so dissolved if it becomes inactive (as evident by failure to meet at three consecutive ALA conferences) or fails to comply with the provisions of this article.


J. 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-Chair/Chair-Elect shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three members, designating one of the appointees as Committee Chair. The Immediate Past Chair of the Section may be the designated Committee Chair.

Statement of Objectives: To assist the membership of the Section in making informed choices, each candidate shall be asked to provide a brief statement of objectives for the Section in time for the statement to be published prior to balloting.

Additional Nominees: Nominations other than those of the Nominating Committee signed by no fewer than 20 members of the Section shall be accepted and placed on the ballot if they are filed with the Executive Director of ACRL at least three months before the date on which the ballots are to be mailed. Written consent of the nominees must accompany such nominations.

Elections: Elections shall be conducted by mail ballot in accordance with the procedures and deadlines established by ACRL/ALA.


K. Vacancies

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).

Appointments to fill vacancies in the offices of the Section, with the exception of the Chair and Vice-Chair, shall be made by the Executive Committee until it is possible to fill the vacancy at the next annual election.

A vacancy in the office of the Chair shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the Vice-Chair. This succession shall not prevent him/her from serving his/her normal term as Chair of the Section the following year.

A vacancy in the office of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect shall be filled, if the vacancy occurs prior to December 31, by election at the next regular annual election.  Candidates shall be selected by the current Nominating Committee.  The successful candidate will become Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect immediately upon election, and will become Chair at the close of that year’s ALA Annual Conference.

If the vacancy in the office of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect occurs after December 31, the current Chair and immediate Past Chair shall be given the option of serving in their current offices for an additional year.  If the current officers decline, the vacancies shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee.

If vacancies occur in the offices of Chair and Vice-Chair within the same term, the Executive Committee shall elect as Chair one of its members for the remainder of the term. When a regular election is held a Chair and a Vice-Chair shall be elected. The successful candidate for Chair shall then serve a one-year term as Chair and a one-year term as immediate Past Chair.

The Vice-Chair shall appoint committee members to fill the vacancies due to occur during his/her term as Chair; he/she may name the chair of each committee or request the committee to elect its own chair. Special appointments to fill vacancies on committees may be made by the Chair.

L. Amendments to Governance Procedures

These Operating Procedures may be amended by the Executive Committee, by any standing committee of the Section, or by a petition signed by five or more members of the Section 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. Sections may determine their approval process (e.g., responsibility of the Executive Committee, vote at face-to-face Section membership meeting, etc.) A current copy shall be provided to the Executive Director per ACRL Bylaws, Article XV, Section 3.p>


Updated: 16 January 2010