Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About the Instruction Section for IS Committee Chairs
- When does my appointment as committee chair begin and end?
- What projects will my committee be charged to work on?
- What deadlines do I have?
- How and when do I update my committee's web site and roster?
- What are the deadlines for IS Newsletter submissions?
- What is the difference between IS Advisory and IS Executive?
- How do I know when to submit a proposal to Executive Committee?
- What is the role of the Executive Committee Liaison to my committee?
- What types of projects require Executive and/or ACRL approval?
- What process do I follow when my committee wants to propose a project to Executive?
- What approval do we need before publishing an article that is a result of committee work?
- How do I schedule rooms and equipment for committee meetings?
- Who is responsible for committee meeting minutes?
- How do committee members and program speakers get reimbursed?
- What do I do if a scheduled speaker for my program withdraws?
- What do I do if a committee member resigns?
- Can I remove a non-responsive or inactive committee member?
- How do I get additional members appointed to my committee?
- How and when do I turn things over to the next committee chair?
For additional information, refer to the Resource Checklist for IS Committee Chairs.
1. When does my appointment as committee chair begin and end?
Refer to the appointment form you signed and returned to the IS Vice-Chair for specific dates of your term. Your appointment as chair begins immediately after Annual Conference of the year noted. After the Annual Conference of the year your appointment begins, you will be added to the committee and Advisory Council rosters and lists. Your term concludes after the Annual Conference of the second year shown on your appointment form. You will be removed from the committee and Advisory Council rosters and lists about one month later, so you have time to complete last minute works such as finalize meeting minutes.
2. What projects will my committee be charged to work on?
Familiarize yourself with your committee charge and your committee web page. If possible, meet with the outgoing chair at Annual Conference about current activities, programs, and projects. Soon after the Annual Conference, the outgoing chair should send you the committee files and internal documents as well.
3. What deadlines do I have?
The Timetable for Incoming Committee Chairs provides a calendar of the typical deadlines shared by all IS committee chairs. One of the first deadlines for committee chairs is related to the committee's planning forms. The Annual Planning Information links to a timetable and the online forms. It is a good idea to talk with the outgoing committee chair, who can explain committee-specific deadlines and can give you valuable information regarding previous work of the committee.
4. How and when do I update my committee's web site and roster?
The Tips for Committee Web Pages provides guidelines regarding committee web pages. At a minimum, committee chairs should ensure that their committee's web site is updated in July, December, and April. Inform your committee members that if their email address changes they will need to inform the IS Committee List Administrator, as well as update their information via the ALA web site.
5. What are the deadlines for the IS Newsletter submissions?
The deadline for the Fall Newsletter is usually late September and the deadline for the Spring Newsletter is usually early March. The dates will be announced on the ILI-L list and Advisory Council list well in advance of the deadlines. The IS Newsletter Editor will announce the dates at the Advisory Council meetings and on the Advisory Council list. All committees are encouraged to submit a brief update about a project, publication, or event handled by their committee in either the fall or spring newsletter. It is a good idea to contact the editor to discuss the length of the article and deadline in advance of sending a submission.
7. What is the difference between IS Advisory and IS Executive?
The IS Executive Committee consists of the IS Chair, Vice-Chair, Past Chair, and Secretary and Members-at-Large; all Executive Committee members are elected by the IS membership. The IS Advisory Council consists of the members of the Executive Committe plus the chairs of all standing committees and special committees of the Section. The committee chairs are all appointed by the IS Vice-Chair. Additionally, the IS Web Site Administrator(s), IS Newsletter Editor, IS Archivist, and LOEX director serve as ex-officio members of the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council meetings provide a forum for all committee chairs to exchange information and discuss issues. For further clarification, browse the Structure of the Instruction Section.
8. How do I know when to submit a proposal to Executive Committee?
View this pdf document to help you determine if submitting a proposal is necessary.
9. What is the role of the Executive Committee Liaison to my committee?
In July, the IS Chair will identify a member of the IS Executive Committee to serve as a liaison to your committee. The Executive Committee Liaison will be added to your committee's email list and may attend some of your committee meeting during conferences. The Liaison is your connection to the Executive Committee; they can interpret policies, guide you through procedures, bring proposals and questions from your committee to the Executive Committee for review and action, and generally facilitate your work as committee chair.
9. What types of projects require Executive and/or ACRL approval?
Any product of committee work requires approval by either your Executive Committee Liaison or by the entire Executive Committee. Some publications require additional approval by an appropriate ACRL committee; a list of these types of publications can be found with the IS Publication Policies and Procedures Manual's description of Type 3 Documents. Always start with your Executive Committee Liaison who can determine what additional review or approval is needed for any projects including announcements, handouts, surveys, evaluation forms, local arrangements, speaker arrangements, discussion topics, publications, and more.
10. What process do I follow when my committee wants to propose a project to Executive?
Generally, committees have a large amount of work to complete the responsibilities for ongoing projects, publications and events. If your committee has a new project, first discuss the project with your Executive Committee Liaison. Once you and your Liaison have worked out the details of the project, the Liaison will present your proposal to the Executive Committee and report the Executive Committee's recommendation back to you in a timely fashion. Please note, however, that Chairs should not propose new projects in the Planning forms unless they have followed the process outlined above.
11. What approval do we need before publishing an article that is a result of committee work?
Articles produced as a result of ALA/ACRL committee work are considered "Type 3 publications" and require approval. For details, please consult the IS Publication Policies and Procedures Manual.
12. How do I schedule rooms and equipment for committee meetings?
The IS Chair will contact all committee chairs about requests for committee meeting rooms and equipment for the Midwinter Conference (about September 1) and Annual Conference (about October 1). Once the rooms are confirmed by ACRL, the IS Chair will send a complete list of the meeting locations to the Advisory Council email list and have it posted to the IS web site. The IS Chair should bring copies of the room request forms to the conference for each committee chair in case there are problems. More details about the process, types or rooms, and types of equipment is available on the Tips for Section Chairs Scheduling ALA Conference Meetings.
13. Who is responsible for committee meeting minutes?
The committee's secretary has the responsibility of taking minutes at the meeting, sending drafts to the committee for approval, sending final minutes to the IS Secretary, and distributing copies of the minutes at the next committee meeting. Additional details are outlined in the Tips for Taking Minutes document.
14. How do committee members and program speakers get reimbursed?
Before committing to any expense, obtain approval from the Executive Committee. Contact your Executive Committee Liaison who will take the expense to the Executive Committee for review to ensure that the request meets the ACRL Reimbursement Policy and IS basic services budget limitations. If the expense is approved, you will need to submit receipts along with a Reimbursement Request Form (PDF) to the IS Chair for their signature of approval.
15. What do I do if a scheduled speaker for my program withdraws?
One should consult your Executive Committee Liaison immediately. It is wise to have the contact information (hotel and/or cellular phone) for the Liaison at the conferences as well.
16. What do I do if a committee member resigns?
Forward the committee member's resignation email or letter to the Vice-Chair and let the Vice-Chair know if you need someone to fill the vacant position or can continue the remainder of the year with the current committee membership. The Vice-Chair will forward all necessary paperwork to ACRL and the IS Committee List Administrator to see that the committee member is removed from the committee roster and committee listserv.
17. Can I remove a non-responsive or inactive committee member?
First, try to determine the cause of the inactivity. Contact the committee member to discuss the committee workload and expectations; there may be opportunities for the committee member to contribute that will work out for all involved. Be sure to keep your Executive Committee Liaison and the IS Vice-Chair apprised of the situation throughout. If you feel it appropriate, you can recommend removal of the committee member, but the Vice-Chair makes the final decision and handles the paperwork. For details regarding acceptable and unacceptable committee member absences from meetings, see the Guide to Policies and Procedures regarding Committee Attendance.
18. How do I get additional members appointed to my committee?
Committee appointments are primarily made in the spring prior to the date they begin. The IS Vice-Chair carefully considers committee volunteers and makes appointments that consider the volunteers' skills and a maximum number of committee members. Except in the case of resignation or an additional special project assigned to a committee, it is rare that additional committee members are added later. If you feel you need additional committee members, contact your Executive Committee Liaison and the IS Vice-Chair, describing your extenuating need.
19. How and when do I turn things over to the next committee chair?
If possible, meet with the incoming chair at the Annual Conference about current activities, programs, and projects. In June, at the end of your term, you will need to submit committee materials to the IS Archives for preservation in the ACRL IS Archives following the Guidelines for Archival Record Retention. By July you should send the incoming chair any committee files and internal documents that will help them throughout the year.