LLAMA Board Member Responsibilities
As a LLAMA Board Member, your role is to create policies and make decisions that set the course for the association. This checklist enumerates your most important responsibilities.
Exercise legal and ethical responsibility to ensure that the organization does the best work possible in pursuit of its goals.
Support LLAMA’s mission and vision, and act responsibly and prudently as its steward.
Interpret LLAMA’s work and values to the library community, promoting the association’s benefits, products and services.
Attend both sessions of the LLAMA Board meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference, as well as other committee meetings and special events.
Make an annual personal financial contribution to the LLAMA Endowment at a meaningful level, and actively participate in one or more fundraising activities.
Stay informed about what's going on in LLAMA; ask questions and request information.
Inform the board and staff about activities of other LLAMA groups (sections, division committees), as well as developments and trends in other ALA groups and in the librarianship affecting LLAMA.
Participate in and take responsibility for making decisions on issues, policies and other board matters.
Act in the best interests of the organization, and refrain from participation in discussions and votes where there is a conflict of interest.
Work cooperatively with staff and other board members as partners towards achievement of LLAMA’s goals.
Members of the Board are expected to attend all board meetings, to
participate in the discussion, and to perform tasks that may be
assigned by the President. Voting members will be
expected to vote on issues that come before the Board. They also
may bring motions, either on their own behalf or for another LLAMA
unit or member who does not have this privilege, and they may
Voting members must stay when the Board goes into executive
session. If they have a vested interest in the outcome of the
discussion (for example, if a Board member is being nominated to a
non-ALA committee), they may expect to be excused, unless the Board
requires their presence.
All members may be expected to report in writing on activities with which they
are connected: section or committee work, assigned projects, etc. Reports may be distributed at the Board meeting or afterwards in electronic format.
Section chairs should report on decisions reached by the section
executive committee, such as a decision to begin a new publication
or change the charge of a committee. They must bring to the Board
information about any undertaking that would involve people outside
the membership of their own section.
During conference, Board members should check their mail in the
LAMA office area once a day, but especially before Board meetings,
as there will be new documents for review and action.
Documents to be presented to the Board--whether for information,
discussion, or action--should be mailed in advance to the LLAMA
office, with an explanatory cover letter, so they can be sent to Board members before conference. At conference,
documents must be given to the LLAMA office staff at least
twenty-four hours before the Board meeting, allowing enough time so
that they can be assigned numbers and duplicated for the members of
If a document is developed during the conference, it must be
brought to the LLAMA office as soon as possible so the staff can
number it and have it reproduced. The deadline is two hours before
the Board meeting.
Documents are listed by the LLAMA staff on a Board Documents List
and identified with the agenda item to which they pertain.
The original of every document must be given to a member of the
LAMA office staff, to be placed in the permanent files of the
Board members should bring with them to conference the copies of
documents they have received in advance from the LLAMA office.
Reports submitted for the Board's attention should be labeled as
to whether they are for information only, for discussion, or for
action. Usually, "information only" reports are simply noted on
the Board's agenda.
Agenda items should be accompanied by a concise statement of the
topic or the problem. Included with this statement should be the
name of the reporting unit; a list of unit personnel -- e.g.,
committee members, a synthesis of relevant background information,
alternatives considered (if appropriate), and either the
recommendation for action (in the form of a motion) or a
statement that the agenda item is for discussion only.
Reports should not be placed on the agenda unless the appropriate
background materials and clear recommendations have been prepared.
Primary materials, like letters, detailed budgets, etc., may be
included as attachments, but they cannot take the place of a
carefully reasoned synthesis for the Board.
Agenda items should be submitted in writing if they concern events
prior to the conference or events during the conference which took
place 24 hours prior to the Board meeting. Otherwise, agenda items
may be given orally and are limited to two minutes (Memo
from Executive Director August, 1984).
Most agenda items should be submitted to the LLAMA Executive
Director or designated staff member for a document number at least
one day before the LLAMA Board meeting at which they are to be
discussed or acted upon.
Board members receive a draft of the agenda from the LLAMA office
prior to the conference.
Motions are requests for the LLAMA Board to DO something, such as
approve a policy, or direct the LLAMA Councilor to take an issue to
Council, or recognize a person's outstanding achievements at
retirement. A real need for action by the Board must be expressed
in the motion.
A motion must be written or typed on a motion form (see Appendix)
and signed. The person who seconds the motion must also sign the
form. All of this can be done before the board meeting. Forms are
available from the LLAMA office as well as at board meetings. The
motion must be recorded on the form as it will appear in the
official transcript of the board meeting.
A motion must begin "Moved that..." and should be specific; for
example, instead of saying something like "Moved that we adopt the
policy in document 91.25," the motion should briefly describe the policy
to be adopted: "Moved that the LLAMA Board approve the following
policy as stated in LLAMA Board Document 91.25: 'All unbudgeted
expenditures for meals and entertainment require prior approval by
the LLAMA Executive Committee.'"
Only voting members of the Board can make or second a motion.
Much of the activity at LLAMA Board meetings is governed by
parliamentary procedure, according to Alice Sturgis' Standard Code
of Parliamentary Procedure. The LLAMA Executive Director and
Secretary serve as consultants to the Board and can
advise the officers on procedural matters.
The Board officially meets once during the conference, but this
meeting is usually broken into two sessions (see ALA Policy 4.5).
These sessions usually are held on Saturday and Tuesday. Board members are expected to attend both sessions.
At the first session, the LLAMA President
and the Executive Director report on the activities of the
Division since the last Board meeting. The LLAMA Councilor reports
on upcoming actions of
the ALA Council and may request advice from the Board on how to
vote. If time permits, there may be reports for information only
from division committees or representatives.