Committee Chair Orientation Tip Sheet

May 2011 Version by Holly Yu

Note: Revisions to this document are pending regarding report submission instructions.  All committee chairs should place committee reports in their committee spaces in ALA Connect.  Your Connect space is the archive for committee reports and other documents.  Make your report a public document.  More information will be coming soon about where to send committee report links.  16 January, 2012.

Organization and Responsibilities

LITA Manual Section 4 -- Organization of Division Committees and Responsibilities of Committee Members contains the information that defines types of committees, size of committees, appointment process, responsibilities of the committee chair, members and other officers, expenditures and budget as well as information for subcommittees and interns. Please go to LITA Manual Section 4 to access the following specific committee information.


  • Types of Committees
  • Size of Committees
  • Establishment of New Division Committees
  • Standing Committees
  • Special or Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces
  • SubCommittees


  • Committee Appointments
  • ALA Restrictions and Requirements
  • Appointment Process
  • Removal of Inactive Committee Members

Responsibilities & Duties

  • Responsibilities of the Committee Chair
  • Duties of the Committee Chair
  • Committee Secretary
  • Responsibilities of Committee Members
  • Duties of Committee Members


  • Expenditures and Budget
  • Contracts
  • Services of the Division Office
  • Intern Program

Individual Committees

Information about individual committees can be found on the LITA Committee page.

Conference & Program Planning

LITA Manual Section 5 -- The LITA Committee and Interest Group Chairs Calendar is an important guide to the steps in planning for programs and meetings at Midwinter and Annual. Please note that this calendar is somewhat out of date, but the primary timelines are still relevant, which can be followed. An important thing to watch for is the emails coming from the LITA staff. These emails contain information about deadlines for program proposals, meeting room reservations, as well as links to ALA meeting planning documents for the current conference.

Planning Process – Annual Conference

Proposal Submission

  • Following each annual conference, watch for the availability of LITA Program Proposal Form. A link to the Form can be found on the Program Planning Committee (PPC).
  • Fill out the Program Proposal Form on behalf of your committee.
  • Following the due date for the proposal submission, PPC members review and rank the proposals, and assign PPC liaison to each program.
  • PPC liaison work with each program contact person to revise the program proposal if necessary.
  • LITA Office sends out notification of acceptances or rejections
  • Invite speakers for your program during September and October and send speaker / panelist consent/release form to your invited speakers/panelists 
  • Revise, if necessary or based on comments from PPC, your program proposal prior to the mid-winter meeting
  • Revise and finalize your program description by February
  • Know who your committee PPC liaison is. If you are unsure about who your liaison is, contact the Program Planning Committee chair.

Program Marketing

  • Obtain speaker's short biographies
  • Finalize your program description
  • Make announcements about your upcoming program to LITA email lists, ALAConnect, LITA Wiki, and via other media as necessary
  • The announcement should include program description, session date, time, location and speaker’s short biographies

Day before Your Program

  • Pickup all necessary forms at the LITA Table in the ALA Office at conference center e.g., Program Evaluation Form
  • Photocopy program flyer(s) for distribution at the session. ALA Copy Center is usually located in the ALA Office
  • Check the meeting room to make sure all necessary A/V equipment is in the room and in working order

Day after Your Program

Place the collected conference program evaluation forms in your committee folder at LITA table in ALA Office.


  • Write program report following the conference
  • Use the Committee Meeting Report Submission Form found in LITA Wiki to submit your program report and post the report in ALAConnect.
  • To post your report directly to ALAConnect, use your ALA login and password to access Connect. Locate your group’s page under the heading “My ALA Groups;” select “Online docs [add]” and use the text editor or upload a document. Make the document public so that all LITA members can view your report. Please direct any questions or problems related to Connect to Melissa Prentice (
  • The report should be completed within two weeks of the end of the conference

Business Meeting at Annual and Midwinter

To hold business meeting at annual conferences, please follow the procedure found in LITA Manual Section 9.
  • Submit your meeting space requests and AV needs to Valerie Edmonds ( no later than February 11.
  • Your business meeting can be a separate meeting or following your program
  • If you plan to schedule your business meeting at a separate time, you need to submit a separate meeting room request when you sign up for your annual program room and equipment.
  • Send out your meeting agenda prior to the meeting day, pick up meeting sign-up sheet and/or other items, e.g., LITA officer ribbon, at LITA table in ALA Office
  • Complete your meeting report within two weeks of the conference and use the Committee Meeting Report Submission Form found in LITA Wiki to submit your meeting report and post the report in ALAConnect.

Program Development Opportunities

If you feel that your program for annual conference can make great Regional Institutes or Web courses, you should submit a proposal to the LITA Education Committee.

Comunication Tools

  • ALA Connect
  • Comchair Email List (you will be automatically signed up after you are appointed as a chair)
  • Each committee has a liaison from the LITA Board, check your committee page roster for your liaisons.
  • LITA Committee and IG Joint Chairs Meeting is always scheduled for Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00 at Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences.
  • Setting up email discussion list: Contact the LITA staff liaison (Melissa Prentice,; 312-280-4268) to request a discussion list for your committee or interest group. After the list is set up, Chairs will be given admin right to modify the list and add/remove subscribers.

Documents and Forms


  • One of the best sources of information is the past chair of your committee.  Don’t hesitate to contact her/him and ask questions
  • The LITA staff is very knowledgeable and happy to answer questions
  • The LITA Committee Chair Coordinator (listed and linked on the Committees page) is available to help answer your questions or else direct you to someone who can
  • Each committee has a liaison from the LITA Board (listed and linked on the Committees Page)
  • Last, but not least, the LITA Officers and Board Members are also available to answer your questions.