Bylaws of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table
| Article I: Name | Article II: Purposes | Article III: Members | Article IV: Officers | Article V: Meetings | Article VI: The Executive Committee | Article VII: Committees | Article VIII: Liaisons | Article IX: Parliamentary Authority | Article X: Finances | Article XI: Amendments to the Bylaws | Article XII: Affiliates |
The name of this organization shall be the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA).
The purposes of this organization shall be (1) to provide a forum for the discussion of activities, programs, and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians (2) to serve as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; (3) to promote a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; (4) to promote a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom. The Round Table shall not commit the ALA by any declaration of policy.
Section 1. Any personal member of ALA who is interested in the purposes of this Round Table shall be eligible for personal membership upon payment of annual dues. A personal member shall have the right to vote and shall act in accordance with the stated purposes of the Round Table.
Section 2. Any organization member of ALA may become an organization member of the Round Table upon payment of annual dues of $20. Organization members shall be non-voting members.
Section 3. The dues of the Round Table shall be $15 for regular, personal ALA members, payable annually; $5 for regular, student ALA members, payable annually. Personal members shall be voting members.
Section 1. The officers of this organization shall include a chair, a chair-elect who shall serve as vice-chair, a secretary, a treasurer, four directors, and a councilor, all of whom shall be personal members in good standing of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these Bylaws wherever applicable and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the Round Table.
Section 2. The term of office for the chair and vice-chair shall be one year, from the end of one Annual Meeting to the end of the following Annual Meeting. Persons shall be eligible for reelection to the office of vice-chair after a minimum interval of one year out of the office of chair.
Section 3. The term of office for the secretary, the treasurer, and the four directors shall be two years; terms shall commence at the end of an Annual Meeting and continue through the end of the second subsequent Annual Meeting. The term of office of the councilor shall be three (3) years and the term shall commence at the end of Annual Meeting and continue through the end of the third subsequent Annual Meeting. Persons who have completed one (1) full term in office shall be eligible for reelection after a minimum interval of one year out of office with the exception of the Councilor, who may be reelected to a second consecutive term by the membership.
Section 4. After the initial election, a vice-chair, a secretary, and two directors shall be elected at the annual election held on even years and a vice-chair, a treasurer, and two directors shall be elected at the annual election held on odd years and a councilor will be elected every three years.
Section 5. The Nominating Committee shall give to the Executive Committee at its Midwinter Meeting a slate with two nominees for every office to be filled at the annual election. Members shall be informed of the committee’s slate; a member not on the slate may be nominated for any office by a signed petition of fifteen members.
Nominations shall be closed on January 15. The election will be held by vote in accordance with ALA procedure. A plurality of all votes cast will be necessary to constitute an election. In case of a tie vote, the successful candidate will be determined by lot. All elections will be certified by the ALA Elections Committee.
Section 6. The IFRT councilor represents the interests of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table on the ALA Council. The IFRT councilor is a member of IFRT's Executive Committee.
Section 7. Succession.
If a vacancy occurs in the office of chair, the chair-elect shall succeed him or her.
If a vacancy occurs in any other elected office prior to April 1, and one year or more remains in the term, the Nominating Committee shall propose at least two candidates to fill the unexpired term of the vacant office(s). Voting will be conducted at the next regular Round Table election.
If a vacancy occurs with less than one year remaining in the term, or after April 1 with more than one year remaining in the term, the chair will appoint a replacement to serve out the unexpired term, subject to confirmation by a majority of the Executive Committee. This vote may be cast by phone or mail at the discretion of the chair.
If a member of the Executive Committee is unable to or does not fulfill the responsibilities of his or her office as defined in the bylaws, or if a member of the Executive Committee is unable to serve his or her full term of office, that director's office may be declared vacant by majority vote of the Executive Committee.
Section 8. No member shall hold more than one office at any one time.
Section 1. The Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table may take place during the Annual Conference of the American Library Association and shall include a report of the Executive Committee to the members of its activities in the interim between Membership Meetings.
Section 2. Special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee and shall be called upon a written request of twenty members of the Round Table. One month’s notice shall be required for any special meeting.
Section 3. Twenty-five members in good standing shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Round Table.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1. The officers of the Round Table and the chairs of the Bylaws and Organization, Membership Promotion, Nominating, and Program Committees shall constitute the Executive Committee. Chairs of other standing committees and liaisons shall be non-voting members of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Round Table between its business meetings, fix the hour and place of meeting, and perform such other duties as are specified in these Bylaws. It is subject to the orders of the Round Table and none of its acts shall be in conflict with actions taken by the Round Table.
Section 3. The Executive Committee shall meet at the annual meeting of the American Library Association and the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association. Special meetings may be called by the chair and shall be called upon request of three members of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. A simple majority of the voting members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.
Section 1. All committees shall be composed of members in good standing of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table.
Section 2. All standing committee members shall be appointed by the chair of the Round Table for a two-year term. Terms shall be staggered so vacancies do not result in an entire standing committee being replaced at one time. A committee member may be appointed for only one additional two-year term.
Section 3. Committee chairs shall serve one year as chair, and may be appointed to a second one-year term at the pleasure of the Round Table chair. No person shall serve as chair of one standing committee more than two successive years. If a member of a committee is appointed to chair that committee, s/he shall serve the full two-year term as a committee member, regardless of service as chair.
Section 4. The standing committees are: Bylaws and Organization, John Phillip Immroth Award, membership promotion, Nominating, Program, Eli Oboler Memorial Award, Coalition Building, Publications & Communications, and LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund Promotion Committee.
Bylaws and Organization. The Bylaws and Organization committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. The committee shall review the bylaws and guidelines of Round Table committees, and recommend changes as needed from time to time, except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws.
John Phillip Immroth Award. The John Phillip Immroth Award Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. It shall, under guidelines approved by the Executive Committee, administer the John Phillip Immroth Award, including, but not limited to, seeking nominees for this award. It shall review the guidelines for this award and make recommendations for changes as may from time to time be required. The Immroth Award chair shall present the award at the Annual Conference.
Membership Promotion. The Membership Promotion Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. It shall be responsible for promoting membership in the Round Table.
Nominating. The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least three members, one of whom shall be the immediate past chair of the Round Table, who shall serve as chair of the committee. The Nominating Committee shall seek candidates for the Round Table’s elected offices, and shall present a slate of candidates for each office, as provided in Article IV, Section 5.
Program. The Program Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. The committee shall be charged with planning a program for the Annual Conference meeting.
Eli Oboler Memorial Award. The Eli Oboler Memorial Award Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. The chair shall serve for two years. The committee shall, under guidelines approved by the Executive Committee, administer the Eli Oboler Memorial Award, including, but not limited to, judging submissions and republishing the winning entries. It shall review the guidelines for the award and make recommendations for changes as may from time be required. The Oboler Award chair shall present the award biennially.
Coalition Building Committee. The Coalition Building Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. It shall provide advice and council to state coalition building efforts. It shall gather and disseminate state coalition information to Intellectual Freedom Round Table membership. It shall administer the Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award.
Publications & Communications Committee. The Publications & Communications Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. It shall oversee the creation of all Intellectual Freedom Round Table publications.
LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund Promotion Committee. The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund Promotion Committee shall consist of at least three members, including the chair. The committee shall consider ways to help promote general knowledge of the existence of the fund in order to help with outreach to potential grant recipients as well as to help encourage ongoing support for current and potential donors.
Section 5. Members of special committees shall be appointed by the chair of the Round Table and shall be appointed for a designated period of time.
Section 1. The Round Table chair shall appoint liaisons with the Intellectual Freedom Committee [and] Freedom To Read Foundation. Liaisons with other organizations may be appointed to, or received from, other organizations at the discretion of the chair of the Round Table.
Section 2. Liaisons shall serve as conduits for two-way communication between the Round Table and the other organization. They shall report on the activities of the group to which they are liaison at the Midwinter and Annual meetings. Liaisons shall be expected to attend the regularly scheduled open meetings of the organization to which they are the Round Table’s representative.
Section 3. Liaisons shall serve a two-year term, and may be reappointed to a second term. No liaison shall serve more than two consecutive terms. However, upon adoption of this section of the Bylaws, the named liaisons shall draw lots to determine which two shall serve one-year terms.
The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, in the latest edition, shall govern the Round Table in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws or the Constitution and Bylaws of the ALA.
Section 1. The fiscal year of the Round Table shall conform to the fiscal year of the ALA.
Section 2. Funds of the Round Table shall be held and disbursed in accordance with Section 3 of Article VII of the Bylaws of the ALA, which is incorporated herein by reference. The Round Table shall not incur expenses on behalf of the ALA without its prior written authorization.
AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS
Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended by a majority of those voting at any Annual Meeting, or by ballot, provided the amendment has been proposed by the Executive Committee, a committee authorized by the Executive Committee, or a personal member of the Round Table, and has been sent in writing to the secretary and delivered to each member at least thirty days before the Annual Meeting or the counting of the vote. Amendments to these Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon certification of the election results.
Section 2. These Bylaws shall at all times be consistent with Article VII of the Bylaws of the ALA as from time to time amended.
Section 1. Any persons concerned with intellectual freedom issues may form a regional, state, or local group which is encouraged to associate with the Round Table as an Affiliate. Affiliate status shall entitle the group to receive the publications of the Round Table and to report its activities to the Round Table; it shall not entitle members of the group who are not personal members of the Round Table to vote or hold office in the Round Table. An Affiliate can ask for advice or support or other appropriate action from the Round Table. Affiliates shall not pay dues, but shall be urged to contribute voluntarily to the financial support of the Round Table.
Section 2. Affiliates may be units of existing regional, state, or local library associations if they so choose. Affiliates determine their own organization, financial structure, policies, and programs, which are not subject to veto by the Round Table. Affiliates may act in the name of the Round Table only when authorized to do so by the Round Table membership, and shall not commit the Round Table by any declaration of policy.
Section 3. A group requesting Affiliate status shall submit a short statement of its membership, purpose, goals, and duration of operations to the secretary of the Round Table. Affiliates shall report their ongoing activities to the secretary of the Round Table at least once a year. If an Affiliate disbands, it shall report this action to the secretary of the Round Table.
Adopted June 28, 1973; Revised July 4, 1974; Revised July 3, 1975; Revised July 22, 1976; Revised December 1, 1981; Revised June 15, 1983; Revised June 10, 1987; Revised June 14, 1989; Revised June 13, 1990; Revised June 13, 1992; Revised June 14, 1996; Revised May 5, 1999; May 2, 2002; May 2, 2008; May 2, 2012; Revised April 12, 2017.