Bylaws

Adopted June 1979, Revised June 1985, 1990, 1992, 1999; May, 2010, 2011, 2018.

Article I. Name

Sec. 1. The name of this division of the American Library Association shall be the Association of Specialized, Government, and Cooperative Library Agencies. The word "Association" wherever used shall mean the Association of Specialized, Government, and Cooperative Library Agencies unless otherwise specifically identified.

Article II. Object

Sec. 1. The object of the Association shall be to strengthen the usefulness, efficiency and services of state library agencies, federal and armed forces libraries, specialized library agencies, library cooperatives, and independent librarians and consultants. The Association will provide a focus for addressing the needs and interests of individual members as they relate to the Association's areas of responsibility.

Article III. Interest and Responsibilities

Sec. 1. The Association represents the interests of the following types of library organizations and agencies:

  1. State library agencies, which are those organizations created or authorized by state government to promote library services in the state through the organization and coordination of a variety of library services.

  2. Federal and armed forces libraries which are libraries established to serve federal agencies and armed forces installations.

  3. Library agencies and individuals which provide library materials and service to populations which include, but are not limited to, people with sensory, physical, health, developmental, learning, attention, or behavioral conditions, and people who are incarcerated or detained.

  4. Library cooperatives, which are combinations, mergers, or contractual associations of one or more types of libraries (academic, public, special, or school) crossing jurisdictional, institutional, or political boundaries, working together to achieve maximum effective use of funds to provide library and information services to all, above and beyond those which can be provided through one institution. Such cooperative organizations or agencies may be designated to serve a community, a metropolitan area, a region within a region, or may serve a statewide or multi-state area.

  5. Independent librarians and consultants who work outside of traditional library settings.

Sec. 2. Within the Association’s interests and types of library organizations, agencies and individuals,   and in coordination with appropriate ALA units, the Association has specific responsibility for:

  1. Development and evaluation of goals and plans to promote the implementation, improvement, and extension of library activities provided by libraries and agencies within the interests of the Association.

  2. Representation and interpretation of the role, functions, and services of the Association’s interests within and outside the profession, including contact with national organizations and government agencies.

  3. Development of policies, studies, and advocacy in matters affecting the Association’s interests, specifically relating to (1) library legislation, (2) grants-in-aid and appropriations, and (3) relationships among state, federal, regional, and local government library services.

  4. Establishment, evaluation, and promotion of standards and service guidelines relating to the concerns of the Association.

  5. Identifying the interests and needs of all, encouraging the creation and promotion of inclusive services to meet these needs.

  6. Promoting the specialized training and continuing education of library personnel at all levels in the areas of concern of the Association.

  7. Granting recognition and awards for outstanding library service within the areas of concern of the Association.

  8. Promoting the exchange of information and encouraging the development of materials, publications, research and development within the areas of concern of the Association, including establishment, evaluation, and promotion of standards and service guidelines.

Article IV. Membership

Sec.1. Members of the American Library Association with an interest in the purposes and responsibilities of the Association of Specialized, Government, and Cooperative Library Agencies may elect to become members of the Association. Membership in the Association includes personal members and organizational members.

Sec. 2. Members of the Association have the rights and responsibilities of membership.

  1.  Members of the Association may participate in its programs, activities, and interest groups.

  2. Only personal members of the Association may vote or serve as officers or on committees of the Association.

Sec. 3. The amounts of dues for Association membership will be set by the Board of the Association.

Article V. Officers and Duties

Sec. 1. The officers of the Association shall be a president, a vice-president/president-elect, a secretary, and the immediate past president.

Sec. 2. Except as otherwise provided in the bylaws, the duties of the officers are such as provided in the parliamentary authority adopted by the Association.

  1. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors; shall appoint all standing, special, and ad hoc committees and be an ex officio member of such committees, with the exception of the Nominating Committee, without the right to vote except in the case of a tie. The president shall see that the bylaws are observed by the officers and members of the Board of Directors and that decisions of the Board of Directors and of the Association are carried out. The president will recommend to the Board of Directors and to the Association such actions as are deemed to be in the interest of the Association.

  2. The vice-president/president-elect shall perform the duties of the president in the absence of the president. In addition to regular duties, the vice-president shall perform such duties as the Board of Directors may assign to that office. The vice-president shall serve as the Association’s fiscal officer, present and justify the Association's budget to the Board of Directors. The vice-president shall serve as an appointments officer to name members to serve on the Association’s committees,

  3. The immediate past president shall serve as adviser to the president and the Board of Directors.

  4. The secretary shall be a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. The secretary shall be responsible for accurately recording official actions of the Executive Committee and the Board for their approval. The executive director shall distribute approved minutes as directed by the president.

Sec. 3. The president and vice-president/president-elect shall be elected from the membership, and with the past president shall serve for one year or until their successors are elected and qualified.

Sec. 4 The secretary shall be elected from the membership and shall serve for a two year term or until a successor is elected and qualified. The secretary may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

Sec. 5. The term of office for elective and appointive positions of the Association filled annually shall be the period beginning with the adjournment of the Annual Conference and ending with the adjournment of the next succeeding Annual Conference. Terms of office for elective positions occupied longer than one year shall be calculated from the adjournment of the Annual Conference.

Sec. 6. There shall be an executive committee whose members shall be the president, the vice-president/president-elect, the secretary, the immediate past-president, and the ALA divisional councilor. The executive committee shall be responsible for management of the Association between Annual and Midwinter meetings of ALA. The Association executive director and the editor of the Association’s publication[,] shall be [an] ex officio members of the committee. All decisions of the committee shall be reported to the Board of Directors at its next regular meeting.

Sec. 7. There shall be a finance and planning committee co-chaired by the vice-president/president-elect and the immediate past-president. The finance committee shall be responsible for reviewing the budget and financial reports and informing and advising the Board about Association finances.

Article VI. Board of Directors

Sec. 1. The Board of Directors shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the Association. It shall consider and make all decisions pertaining to the Association as a whole at annual and other meetings, or between such meetings. This will include decisions on budget, programs, projects, and adoption of rules and regulations for the conduct of the Association and its subordinate units, such rules and regulations not to contravene the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association and these bylaws. The Board of Directors is authorized and directed to create such committees, interest groups and other subordinate units as may be required to discharge properly the responsibilities and functions of the Association, and to disestablish such groups when their usefulness or reason for being has ceased.

Sec. 2. Allocation of designated director positions: The seven (7) designated directors shall represent the types of library organizations and agencies as defined in Article III—state library agencies (1), federal libraries (1), Armed Forces libraries (1), library agencies and individuals who represent underserved populations (2), library cooperatives (1), and independent librarians and consultants (1).

Sec. 3. Voting members of the Board of Directors shall consist of the officers, the ALA divisional councilor, and ten directors, seven of whom are designated directors.

Sec. 4. The executive director and the editor of the Association publication shall be ex officio non-voting members of the Board. Other non-voting members may be appointed by the president, with approval of the Board of Directors.

Sec. 5. The directors shall be elected from the membership of the Association for two-year terms, which shall expire in alternate years. They shall not serve more than two consecutive terms.

Sec. 6. Voting members of the Board of Directors who fail to attend Board meetings at two consecutive ALA conferences, without prior notification to the ASGCLA executive director, shall be deemed to have vacated their positions following a majority vote of the Board of Directors of the Association.

Sec. 7. Any act of the Board of Directors, accomplished or contemplated within the authority granted in preceding sections of this article, may be reviewed by the Association membership at Annual Conference or through a petition signed by no fewer than fifty personal members. The Board shall execute any directive, recommendation, or proposal adopted by a three-quarters majority vote of the members present and constituting a quorum, unless such directive, recommendation, or proposal is in conflict with other articles of the bylaws of the Association or with the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association.

Article VII. Nominations and Elections

Sec. 1. The vice-president/president-elect shall appoint a Nominating Committee to nominate candidates for elective positions for the Association. It shall be appointed prior to the annual meeting preceding the one at which results of the election are to be announced. The Committee shall include a chair and members-at-large representing the diverse interests of the association as defined in Article III, and shall include no members of the Board of Directors.

Sec. 2. The Nominating Committee shall present the names of candidates for elective Association offices in accordance with ALA procedures. In making its selections, the Nominating Committee shall keep in mind the following objectives: (1) the importance of developing leaders among the new members of the association; (2) the desirability of rotating offices among the various interests of the Association; (3) the representation of various interests of the Association; (4) the representation of a geographical distribution of its members. Members of the Nominating committee may not be nominated. Written consent must be obtained from each candidate nominated. Candidates must be members, in good standing, of the ALA and the Association. Candidates should be presented in blocks of two names for each office. Designated director candidates should represent the interests as indicated in Article VI, section 2. The executive director shall arrange for publication and distribution of the official ballot in cooperation with the ALA following a schedule in line with that followed in the election of ALA officers.

Sec. 3. Additional nominations may be made through petitions signed by no fewer that twenty-five personal members and filed with the executive director, not less than three months before ballots are available, in accordance with ALA procedures. Nominees by petition must be personal members of the Association; their written consent must be on file with the Nominating Committee.

Sec. 4. Interest Group Nominations and Elections: Interest groups will not utilize the formal nomination and election process. Interest Groups will establish their own process for nominating and electing their leadership, supporting their structure.

Sec. 5. The election shall be held in accordance with ALA procedures. A plurality of all votes cast shall constitute an election. In case of a tie vote, the Election Committee of the ALA shall decide the winner by lot. All elections shall be certified by the ALA Election Committee.

Sec. 6. All personal members of the Association shall be eligible to vote on the elective positions of the Association.

Article VIII. Vacancies of Office

Sec. 1. President. Any vacancy in the office of the president shall be filled for the remainder of the term by the vice-president/president-elect. This shall not prevent a vice-president/president-elect from serving his or her normal term as president.

Sec. 2. Vice-President/President-Elect. A vacancy in the office of vice-president/president-elect shall be filled by appointment by the Board of Directors, to complete the term of vice-president only. The next president will be elected at the next general election.

Sec. 3. President and Vice-President/President-Elect. If vacancies occur in the offices of both president and vice-president/president-elect within the same term, the Association's Board of Directors shall appoint the immediate past-president to resume the presidency, and the Board of Directors shall elect a director to the position of vice-president to serve in that capacity until the next general election. A president and vice-president/president-elect shall be chosen at the next general election.

Sec.4. Secretary. A vacancy in the office of secretary shall be filled by appointment by the president, subject to approval by the Board of Directors, to complete the term of office or until the next general election, whichever occurs first.

Sec. 5. Directors and ALA Divisional Councilor. A vacancy in the office of director or the ALA divisional councilor shall be filled by appointment by the president, subject to approval by the Board of Directors, to complete the term of office or until the next general election, whichever occurs first.

Sec. 6. Committee Members. Vacancies among the members of committees shall be filled by the original appointing authority.

Article IX. Meetings

Sec. 1. A membership meeting may be held at the ALA Annual Conference. Other meetings may be called by the president or the Board of Directors. If a quorum is present, an affirmative vote of a simple majority of the voting members will be required to pass a motion. If a quorum is not present, a motion cannot be passed.

Sec. 2. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at the ALA Midwinter meeting, Annual Conference, and at other times at the call of the president or of three members of the Board.

Sec. 3. Committee meetings or subcommittee meetings may be held at any time in the course of the Annual Conference of the American Library Association and at such other times as the chairperson may decide.

Sec. 4. Interest Groups may meet in whatever manner best facilitates the objectives of the group, following ALA procedures.

Article X. Executive Director and Headquarters of the Association

Sec. 1. The headquarters of the Association shall be located at the headquarters of the American Library Association.

Sec. 2. There shall be an executive director of the Association who shall be appointed by the executive director of the American Library Association following a search process which includes representatives from the Association, and who shall be accountable to and under the supervision of that officer. The executive director shall be responsible for the general administration and execution of the Association's affairs in accordance with the general policies properly established by the American Library Association, the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association and the bylaws of the Association.

Article XI. Interest Groups

Sec. 1. Establishment. Any group of ten (10) or more members of the Association, having a defined area of interest which falls within the scope of the Association, may petition the Interest Group Coordinating Committee for the establishment as an interest group. The interest group petition shall contain the name of the interest group, the name(s) and contact information of the interest group leader or co-leaders, a description of the focus area of the interest group, the signatures of all interest group members, and a desired output for the first year. Operational guidelines for Interest Groups are included in an Interest Group Orientation Manual.  The interest group exists upon approval of the Coordinating Committee.

Sec. 2. Interest Group Coordinating Committee

  1. Committee Membership: The Division shall establish an Interest Group Coordinating Committee to be chaired by the Association vice-president/president-elect. The remaining members shall be the designated directors who represent the types of library organizations, agencies, and individuals as defined in Article III.

  2. Term of Service: The term of service shall be the same as their term on the Board of Directors, except the vice-president/president-elect, who shall serve only a one year term.

  3. Roles and Responsibilities:

    • Establish policies and procedures for the creation, ongoing support and dissolution of Interest Groups

    • Serve as the official conduit between the Interest Groups and the Board

    • Report to the Board on activities of the interest groups including but not limited to programs and products, policies, guidelines, and services.

Sec. 3. Continuance and Dissolution. Established Interest groups are reauthorized by the Interest Group Coordinating Committee. The Committee may dissolve an interest group at the request of the group leader(s) or if evidence indicates the group is no longer actively advancing the purpose of the Association.

Article XII. Committees and Subcommittees

Sec. 1. Standing, special, ad hoc, joint and interdivisional committees may be authorized by the Board of Directors and may be discontinued in the same manner. Special committees may also be authorized by the president to meet emergency needs. All committees shall report to the Board of Directors of the Association.

Sec. 2. Chairs and members of special and ad hoc committees shall be appointed by the president. Chairs and members of standing committees shall be appointed by the vice-president/president elect in consultation with the committee chairperson to fill vacancies due to occur during his or her upcoming term as president,

Sec. 3. Standing committees are established to carry on the work of the Association. Members shall be appointed to committee assignments for two-year terms, which shall expire on alternate years and which shall overlap so as to ensure continuity. Members may be reappointed for a second term but not for a third consecutive term. Committees of the Association may include the executive committee, nominating committee, finance and planning committee, and others required to discharge properly the responsibilities and functions of the Association.

Sec. 4. Special committees as authorized in Section 1 shall be appointed to study and evaluate various aspects of policy, programs or projects and will recommend courses of action to the Board of Directors of the Association. A special committee may exist as long as there remains concern by the Board for the committee's area of interest.

Sec. 5. Ad hoc committees shall be appointed to perform limited functions. The life of ad hoc committees shall not exceed two years, unless it is reauthorized by the Board of Directors of the Association.

Sec. 6. Joint and interdivisional committees, either standing or special, may be established with other organizations when functions of the proposed committee cannot appropriately be related to a single division or interest group. The establishment of a joint committee shall be recommended to the Committee on Organization of the American Library Association. Joint committees with organizations outside of the American Library Association shall be established only as provided for in the Bylaws of the American Library Association. Interdivisional committees shall be composed of members representing all cooperating divisions.

Sec. 7. All committees shall have not less than (3) members. The president shall be a member ex officio of all committees except the Nomination Committee.

Sec. 8. Subcommittees may be formed by a parent committee to carry out specific duties. Subcommittee must report to the parent committee for action and may be abolished by decision of the parent committee. The chairperson of the parent committee shall be an ex officio member of all subcommittees without vote except in the case of a tie.

Article XIII. Voting

Sec. 1. Each personal member of the Association shall have one vote.

Sec. 2. Each personal member of the Board of Directors, any interest group, any committee or subcommittee, and other subordinate units of the Association shall have one vote in the respective body.

Sec. 3. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, questions under consideration shall be decided by majority vote.

Sec. 4. Votes may be authorized by the Board of Directors or on petition of twenty-five (25) personal members of the Association. The Board of Directors shall set a time limit during which mail or electronic votes will be recorded but if no such time limit is set, no vote shall be counted unless received within thirty (30) days from the day the text of the matter was distributed. 

Sec. 5. The Association will utilize the ALA approved voting methods including but not limited to mail votes, electronic mail, and online voting.

Article XIV. Quorum

Sec. 1. A quorum of a meeting of the Association membership shall consist of fifty personal members. The president may authorize a vote, and in these instances the majority of those members voting shall decide the matter.

Sec. 2. A quorum of the Board of Directors and any committee or subcommittee shall consist of one more than half of the voting members. The president may authorize a direct vote. In these instances, one more than half of the voting members voting alike shall decide a matter. Vacant positions shall not be counted in constituting a quorum.

Article XV. Affiliates

Sec. 1. Regional, state, and local groups sharing an interest in the Association's field of responsibility may become affiliates of the Association upon request to and subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of the Association. Such groups may admit members who are not members of the Association. Affiliations with groups may be discontinued by action of the Board of Directors.

Sec. 2. The president, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, may designate a liaison person with other divisions of the American Library Association and other associations sharing our concerns.

Article XVI. Procedures and Rules

Sec. 1. Whenever these bylaws are in conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association the latter shall take precedence. Whenever these bylaws are silent on any matter, the American Library Association Constitution and Bylaws shall be consulted and followed.

Sec. 2. The parliamentary rules of the American Library Association shall govern the transaction of Association affairs and the transaction of the affairs of any of its subordinate bodies in all cases in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws of the Association or with the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Library Association.

Article XVII. Amendments

Sec. 1. Amendments to these bylaws shall be proposed by the Board of Directors, or a written petition signed by not less than 50 members. Amendments to the bylaws require a vote by members in accordance with ALA procedures. The ALA Executive Director shall be responsible for ensuring the integrity of the ballot and will determine the appropriate means of polling members. Bylaws amendments shall be passed by a majority of those voting. Unless otherwise specified, amendments to the bylaws shall become effective when approved by the membership.

Sec. 2. The complete text of any proposed amendment shall accompany the ballot.