Overview of projects and publications within the structure of the Instruction Section

The Instruction Section (IS) is a part of an organizational hierarchy within the American Library Association (ALA). IS is a section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of ALA.  As such, IS necessarily acts in partnership with its parent organizations by supporting ACRL’s division level goals, objectives, and strategic plan, which are then approved by ALA.  According to its charge, it is the responsibility of the IS Executive Committee to “provide direction for the attainment of the goals of the Section.”  The IS Executive Committee writes charges for IS committees to support the goals of the IS, ACRL, and ultimately, ALA.

IS committee goals and objectives are accomplished through projects and publications.  An important function of the Executive Committee is to confirm that the work of each committee is aligned with the IS strategic plan; to ensure that each committee’s work is attainable, given available resources; and to help committees avoid redundancy with the work of other committees within the IS. To fulfill this responsibility, the IS Executive Committee examines proposals for projects and publications to determine how they relate to the work of a committee, to other Section projects or publications, as well as to projects or publications outside the Section. The Executive Committee assigns a liaison to each committee.  Liaisons are responsible for providing guidance to committee chairs and serving as a communication conduit with the Executive Committee.  The Liaison’s work is guided by familiarity with ACRL and IS policies and informed through consultation with the other Executive Committee members.  Liaisons consult with committee chairs about projects and publications that are in planning stages, as well as throughout the process.  A committee doesn’t have to submit a proposal just to float an idea; the Executive Committee liaison can serve as a sounding board for a committee and answer questions about ideas for proposed projects or publications.

A liaison from ACRL works with the Executive Committee of IS, offering information and insights about ACRL policies and resources. ACRL also assigns a liaison from the ACRL Board to each Section. The IS Executive Committee works with the ACRL liaison to seek approval for projects or publications intended for a wider audience or for formal publication.

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