The ALCTS Bylaws amendments allowing the formation of interest groups were approved by a vote of the membership in spring 2003. Procedures for establishing an interest group are simple and informal, to ensure that any group of ten or more individuals with a common interest within the scope of ALCTS may establish a forum in which to exchange ideas and experiences; sponsor formal conference programs, institutes, and seminars; or prepare publications.
Forming an Interest Group
The following tasks should be accomplished:
Interest Groups are expected to meet at each ALA Annual Conference, and may also meet during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The meeting at the ALA Annual Conference should include a business meeting, at which officers are selected and any other necessary business is completed. Discussions, reports, and planning sessions may be held at either the Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference, but formal programs are to be conducted only at the Annual Conference (per ALA policy).
An attendance list should be circulated at each meeting of the Group for all attendees to sign. The list is then retained by the group's chair, for planning purposes.
The Interest Group chair shall complete a Meeting Report at the close of each meeting and send it to the ALCTS Office and to the ALCTS Newsletter Online editor within a month of the meeting.
Officers and Duties
Each interest group shall have at least a chair. Other options include, but are not limited to, use of co-chairs (with overlapping or successive terms), or use of a chair and vice chair officers, again with overlapping or successive terms. Officers will be elected at the ALA Annual Conference for a term of one year. No officer of an Interest Group shall serve for more than two consecutive years in the same office.
The chair will:
Interest Groups may plan or sponsor programs at the ALA Annual Conference, sponsor institutes and preconferences, prepare publications, or carry out other activities with the approval of the ALCTS Board of Directors or other appropriate administrative committees. An Interest Group may appoint a Task Force for a specific purpose and duration to facilitate IG activity. Members of an Interest Group who are planning these activities should check the following sections of the ALCTS Manual:
A managed discussion is an alternative to an official program and differs from a program in several ways.
When an IG plans an official program it prepares an Annual Conference Program Form and presents it to the Program Committee. The IG may also request and receive budgetary support for the program. Once the program receives Board approval, a description of the program and its speakers prepared by the IG will be promoted with other ALCTS programs.
In contrast, managed discussions are less formal than official programs, although they may share certain other features, such as speakers or panelists. No program request forms need be completed, and no budgetary support is available. No description of the event appears in the preliminary or conference program.
A Managed Discussion is appropriate:
An IG should plan a Program, rather than a Managed Discussion, when:
Renewal or Demise
An Interest Group must submit a renewal petition to the ALCTS Organization & Bylaws Committee every three years, using the Interest Group Petition/Renewal Form. If an Interest Group's petition is not submitted, the Organization & Bylaws Committee will recommend to the Board that the Interest Group be dissolved.
Interest Group establishment and renewal dates are published annually on the ALCTS website and in the ALCTS Newsletter Online. The three-year counter towards renewal starts with the Annual Conference after approval by the ALCTS Board. Before submitting a renewal petition, an Interest Group should reconsider both its name and function statement, to be sure that they reflect the Group's current composition and interests.