Tips for Making Appointments
- Section Website
- Conference Program Planning Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Midwinter Reminder
- Term Lengths
- Task Forces
- Committee Size
- Committee Vice-Chairs
- Committee Chairs
- Committee Secretaries
- Candidates for Section Office
- ALA Member Service Policy
- Appointment Offers and Confirmations
- Reporting Errors in Appointments and Rosters to ACRL
- Review "Tips for Committee Appointments"
1. Section Website
Immediately after Annual conference, the Section Vice-Chair directs the IS web administrators to make any necessary changes to the Committee Appointment Information webpage.
2. Conference Program Planning Committee
When granted access to the ALA Appointment System (usually in November), the Section Vice-Chair/Chair Elect appoints a chair, a vice-chair, and approximately four committee members. The Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect may solicit members and/or select from the volunteer pool within the system. The committee should begin meeting virtually by Midwinter to brainstorm topics for the program. The program proposal is due to ACRL at the beginning of September (ACRL funds the program, hence the review process). The proposal must be approved by IS Executive before submission to ACRL.
3. Nominating Committee
When granted access to the ALA Appointment System (usually in November), the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect appoints a Nominating Committee (a chair and usually two members). This committee begins their deliberations by Midwinter. The slate of candidates is due to ACRL by mid-September. The committee is appointed for one year (Midwinter to Midwinter). It is customary to offer the Chair position of this committee to the past Past-Chair.
4. Midwinter Reminder
Around Midwinter, the Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect announces to committee chairs via the Advisory Council listserv that members whose appointments are ending (including their own) need to submit a volunteer form to be considered for a new appointment or reappointment. Many members believe they will automatically be considered for reappointment or appointment to a new committee.
5. Term Lengths
Appointments for most committees (excluding the Nominating Committee, Local Arrangements, and task forces) include:
- one-year appointments for chairs
- one-year appointments for vice-chairs (who typically become chairs the following year)
- one-year appointments for committee secretaries
- two-year appointments for committee members
One-year member appointments are not the norm, but they can be made for the following reasons:
- to complete a specific committee project
- to maintain continuity
- to achieve balance between continuing members and new members
In general, committees should be evenly balanced between new and continuing members.
6. Task Forces
The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect may need to appoint a task force chair and members to accomplish a specific task outside of a committee charge. Term length is determined by the IS Executive Committee after considering how long it will take to complete the specified project. The Bylaws state that no task force may continue beyond two years without review and approval by the IS Executive Committee. The task force charge includes a due date for the completion of the charge and members are appointed for that time frame.
When a committee member, secretary, vice-chair, or chair resigns, the Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect notifies the ACRL staff liaison to remove the person’s name from the committee roster. The Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect also notifies the Committee List Administrator to remove the person from the committee listserv.
If the person resigning is a committee chair, then the Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect also notifies the Committee List Administrator to remove the person from the Advisory Council list and notifies the Website Administrators to remove the person from the Advisory Council roster and the Committee Charges, Rosters, and Web Pages page.
When the person resigning is a committee member, the Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect consults with the committee chair to determine whether a new member is actually needed to complete the committee’s work. Terms of appointment in this circumstance can be determined by the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.
8. Committee Size
Because larger committees are often more difficult to manage, committees generally have between 3 and 10 members. In special circumstances, committee chairs may request additional members for a committee and the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect may grant that request after conferring with the IS Executive Committee.
9. Committee Vice-Chairs
In general, committee vice-chair appointments should be made on the basis of proven leadership ability/potential, as evidenced by previous performance on the committee. This positions the vice-chair role as a promotion opportunity. However, the Section Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect can consider vice-chair appointments from outside the current committee roster when the leadership potential of existing committee members is in question or when a fresh perspective on the committee charge would make an outside appointment advantageous.
Committee vice-chairs are appointed for a one-year term of office, with the expectation that they will become chair the following year. The Section Vice-Chair/Chair Elect should consult with current committee chairs regarding their recommendations about committee members who show leadership abilities sufficient to be appointed committee vice-chair
10. Committee Chairs
In most cases, the committee vice-chair will be appointed as the chair. However, the Section Vice-Chair/Chair Elect should consult with the current committee chair about whether the current vice-chair is well positioned to move into the chair role. Co-chairs will generally not be appointed, since the vice-chair plays a role that is similar to a co-chair.
In order to include new members, committee members who have served a two-year term generally are not reappointed for another two-year term on the same committee. However, some reappointments can be made for an additional two-year term if it is deemed important to a particular activity of the committee or if the need to achieve continuity is facilitated by the reappointment. No member may serve on the same committee for more than four years.
Although it is preferable that the chair position changes each year in order to provide leadership opportunities to more members, committee chairs may be appointed for an additional one-year term if the vice-chair declines or is deemed unsuitable for the chair position, or if it is warranted by the committee's current work or lack of experience among other committee members. Chairs should not be appointed for a third term.
12. Committee Secretaries
Committee Secretaries are appointed for a one-year term and are usually members who are volunteering for committee service for the first time. Secretaries work closely with the committee chair. They take minutes for all committee meetings, maintain the committee’s Web presence on the IS Website, and participate fully in committee projects and activities.
Committee secretaries who are completing their term are usually offered a full two-year appointment on the same committee. Committee secretaries must complete the volunteer form to indicate their interest in a committee appointment. Committee secretaries may wish to be appointed to some other committee and that appointment can be made if the Secretary is able to contribute to the new committee. Service as a committee secretary does not count as part of the four-year consecutive term limit for members.
13. Candidates for Section Office
Candidates are selected to run for Section offices because of their demonstrated leadership in the Section. In order not to lose those leaders who are not elected, committee appointments (preferably leadership positions) should be made to candidates who are not elected. The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect should consult with all candidates during the appointment process to determine their interests. Because election results are not known until after the appointments deadline, several appointments should be reserved. Once election results are known, these last appointments can be filled.
14. ALA Member Service Policy
When identifying potential committee members, keep in mind the ALA Member Service Policy, which states: “No person shall concurrently serve in more than three separate positions.” For more information, see Chapter 7, Appointments and Nominations, of the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures.
15. Appointment Offers and Confirmations
The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect begins making appointments for the coming year after the deadline for submitting the Committee Volunteer form (usually February 15), with the bulk of appointments being offered by late March. After reviewing the submitted volunteer forms, the Vice-Chair/Chair Elect sends an email to each of the IS volunteers s/he has decided to appoint. The email offers the volunteer a specified role (chair, vice-chair, committee member, or secretary) on a specific committee. It also provides links to the committee’s charge as well as to the IS webpage that outlines the responsibilities of IS Chairs, Committee Members, and Secretaries. Additionally, the email specifies a term length and any additional requirements/expectations that the specific appointment may include (e.g., a conference attendance requirement).
Once volunteers have replied that they accept the position, the Vice-Chair/Chair Elect then inputs the volunteers’ names into ALA’s online Committee Appointment System and advises them to watch for automatic appointment invitations sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. The volunteer receives an email inviting them to confirm or decline the appointment. Once the volunteer responds, the IS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and an ACRL staff person receive a notice of the appointee’s decision. Accepting the appointment automatically adds the appointee’s name to the committee roster.
When a new committee member is appointed mid-year, the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect sends the committee chair the new appointee’s name and email address. The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect also notifies the Committee List Administrator to add the new member to the committee’s list.
If the new appointee is a committee chair, then the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect notifies the Committee List Administrator to add the new member to the Advisory Council list; the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect also notifies the Website Administrators to add the new committee chair to the Advisory Council roster, and the Committee Charges, Rosters, and Web Pages page.
16. Reporting Errors in Appointments and Rosters to ACRL
The current ALA Handbook of Organization and the online IS Rosters should be reviewed for errors. A list of corrections should be submitted to ACRL in late May.
All the committee rosters are generated by ACRL via the Committee Appointment System and changes are reflected automatically on the IS Committees pages except for the IS versions of the rosters for Exec and Advisory. The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect updates these pages.
18. Review "Tips for Committee Appointments"
By mid-May, review this document and send revisions to the Executive Committee for review and approval.
Drafted by R. Hensley, Chair-Elect, 1997
Approved by IS Executive Committee, Annual Conference, 1997
Revised by M. J. Petrowski, Chair-Elect, 1998
Approved by IS Executive Committee, 1998
Revised by M. J. Petrowski, Chair, 1999
Approved by IS Executive Committee, 1999
Revised by J. S. Caspers, Chair, 2007
Approved by IS Executive Committee, 2007
Revised by S. Michel, Chair-Elect, 2011
Approved by IS Executive Committee, 2011
Revised by Christy Stevens, Chair, 2013
Approved by IS Executive Committee, 2013