Chapter 8: Meetings
ACRL units meet throughout the year, which can include meetings during the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference of the American Library Association.
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. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.4) (Old Number 7.4.4.)
A meeting is defined 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. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.1) (Old Number 7.4.1)
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. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.1) (Old Number 7.4.1)
Notice of meetings must be announced on ALA Connect and through appropriate communication channels ten days prior to the meeting. The meeting announcement must include the following:
Name of the meeting and unit
Date and time
Location (e.g., meeting room, conference call number, or URL to virtual meeting space, etc.)
Convener name and contact information
The 10-day notice is waived for an emergency, but not the reporting requirement, which must also explain the nature of the emergency that caused the advance notice to be waived.
The results of the meeting must be made public no fewer than 30 days after the meeting’s conclusion. Reports of meetings should convey a summary of the discussion of each item considered by the unit and any decisions made. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.2) (Old Number 7.4.2.)
In the fall, ACRL staff liaisons will provide member leaders instructions on scheduling meetings.
ACRL staff reviews the meeting requests for possible conflicts, confers with member leaders as needed, and then submits the meeting requests to ALA Conference Services.
After the meeting request deadline, ALA Conference Services distributes a preliminary schedule, which will be shared with member leaders.
About four to six weeks prior to the conference, ALA Conference Services publishes a meeting schedule with room locations.
When member leaders receive this schedule, they should notify their members of the date, time, and location of the meeting. When the meeting locations are announced, member leaders should start to publicize the meeting agenda.
ALA Conference Services will provide basic audiovisual equipment. Requests for audiovisual equipment should be included with your meeting request.
Provided that ten days advance notice is given, synchronous virtual meetings may be held throughout the year. These meetings are subject to the ALA open meeting policy. The ten-day notice is waived for an emergency, but not the reporting requirement, which must also explain the nature of the emergency that caused the advance notice to be waived.
The choice of format for virtual meetings will be at the discretion of the unit and may involve conference calls, virtual meeting services, chat sessions, etc. If the member leader determines that it is necessary to the success of the meeting to view documents synchronously, utilize polls or voting, whiteboards, or other features, a virtual meeting service may be considered.
ACRL units can select the virtual meeting tool or service that will provide the most appropriate and effective virtual meeting. Many free services are available.
ALA provides access to the Adobe Connect virtual meeting service. ACRL has its own Adobe Connect and WebEx licenses to share among ACRL units and staff.
It is the responsibility of the member leader to conduct the meeting in accordance with the ALA policy on meeting publicity and reporting. In addition, meeting leaders may need to upload documents (by entering the meeting room early or during a practice session) and turn on the meeting recording feature (if needed).
To schedule an Adobe Connect or WebEx meeting, please email the virtual meeting request form to ACRL's Adobe Connect/WebEx scheduler. Please also notify your unit's staff liaison of the meeting. The meeting universal join link will be emailed to the meeting leader(s). Once the meeting is scheduled in Adobe Connect or WebEx, please post your meeting agenda, meeting notice and meeting link on ALA Connect. Policy dictates ten days notice on open meeting scheduling.
To prepare for using the Adobe Connect or WebEx virtual meeting service, review the training videos and documents.
If a meeting leader recorded a meeting, contact your unit's staff liaison to request the public link to the meeting recording.
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