Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be the Reference Services Section (RSS) of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association.
Article II. Objectives
Section 1. Purpose.
RSS will represent the interests of frontline librarians, information specialists, and library support staff engaged in all aspects of reference and information services including the delivery, management, and evaluation of reference and user services in all kinds of libraries.
Section 2. Responsibilities.
The responsibilities of the section are to:
● determine, create, implement, publicize, and assess resources and services within the section's areas of interest
● develop and foster professional development and educational opportunities within the section’s area of interest
● be a means of sharing experience and information among interested librarians and information specialists from all types of libraries and information services
● seek opportunities for collaboration and information sharing among the other sections of RUSA and the American Library Association
● represent the needs and interests of the wide diversity of library users
Article III. Membership
Members of this Section are those members of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association who designate affiliation with RSS according the American Library Association Bylaws.
Article IV. Officers and Duties
Section 1. Officers.
The officers of the Section are the chair, the vice-chair who is also chair-elect, and the secretary.
Section 2. Terms of Office.
All officers and elected members of the Executive Committee shall serve until the adjournment of the annual meeting at which their successors begin their terms of office. The terms of office for chair and vice-chair are one year; for secretary is two years; and for members-at-large is three years.
Section 3. Duties.
The duties of the officers are those customarily performed by such officers as specified in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised unless otherwise specified by vote of the Section.
Section 4. Vacancies of Office.
A vacancy in the office of chair is filled by the vice-chair, who will then complete both the terms of his/her predecessor and his/her own. In the case of a vacancy in both the offices of chair and vice-chair, or of the vacancy in the office of secretary, the Executive Committee shall appoint one of its members to serve until the next regular election.
Article V. Nominations and Election
Section 1. Nominating Committee.
The vice chair/chair-elect will appoint a Nominating Committee of three members to present a slate of candidates for election to offices of the Section and for the elected members-at-large of the Executive Committee. Only the immediate past chair may serve on the Nominating Committee. No other members of the Executive Committee may serve on the Nominating Committee.
Section 2. Nominations.
Slate. The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of two candidates for each office to be filled. The committee will file the nominations and the written consent of the nominees with the Division's Executive Director who will arrange for publication and distribution of the official ballot by the American Library Association.
Additional Nominations. Other nominations may be made by petition of 25 members of the Section, and submitted with the written consent of the nominee to the Executive Director of the Division at least four months before the annual conference of the American Library Association.
Eligibility. No person may be nominated who is not a personal member in good standing of the Section at the time of nomination.
Article VI. Meetings
Section 1. General Meetings.
A business meeting of the section is held at least once a year. It is held immediately prior to the RSS All-Committee meeting at the Annual Conference. Other meetings may be called as needed.
Section 2. Special Meetings.
Other meetings may be called by the Executive Committee or by the chair upon request of twenty-five members of the Section. Notice of at least one month will be given, and only the business specified in the call for the meeting is transacted.
Section 3. Quorum.
Twenty-five members of the Section constitute a quorum.
Article VII. Executive Committee
Section 1. Composition.
The Executive Committee consists of the officers, the immediate past chair, and three members-at-large elected by the Section for three-year terms. The members-at-large terms shall overlap so as to ensure continuity of policy. The Section webmaster, the archivist, the editor of the Section's column in the Division’s journal, and the President and Executive Director of the Reference and User Services Association shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Duties.
The Executive Committee acts for and by the authority of the Section during the period between meetings. It reports on its work at the regular meetings of the Section, publishes a summary of the Executive Committee's actions in the Section's column in the Division’s newsletter, through required reports for RUSA, and via the RSS e-mail discussion list. The Executive Committee regularly leads the assessment of the section’s effectiveness in meeting its responsibilities.
The Webmaster is appointed by the vice-chair for a two-year term and may be reappointed for a second term. The duties of the Webmaster are to maintain the RSS website and either chair or be a member of the RSS Web Communication Committee.
The Archivist is appointed by the vice-chair for a two-year term and may be reappointed for a second term. The duties of the Archivist are to maintain and preserve all archives, records, and related materials concerning the Section and its activities.
The Editor is appointed by the vice-chair for a two-year term and may be reappointed for a second term. The duties of the Editor are to gather, solicit, write and edit copy for the quarterly section column according to the deadlines provided by the editor of RUSA Update, to establish deadline schedules for receiving copy from Section officers and committee chairs and to circulate the schedule to RSS Board.
Section 3. Meetings.
The Executive Committee shall meet twice a year, with one meeting occurring at the Annual Conference. The second meeting may be held virtually. In addition, the Executive Committee will conduct business during the intervening year via other approved communication formats.
Section 4. Quorum.
A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee.
Section 5. Vacancies of Office.
In the case of a vacancy in the Executive Committee not provided for in Article IV, Section 4, the Executive Committee shall appoint a member of the Section to fill the vacancy until the next regular election.
Article VIII. Committees
Section 1. Authorization and Discontinuance.
The Executive Committee or the membership of the Section by direction to the Executive Committee may create and dissolve all standing, special, and ad hoc committees, as defined by the American Library Association Handbook. Special and ad hoc committees shall continue to exist until their purpose is accomplished or the committee is discharged by the Section or the Executive Committee. Standing committees may be dissolved at the request of the committee or by action of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Duties.
The duties and name of a committee shall be determined at the time of its creation. The size of a committee shall be eight (8) members unless otherwise determined by the RSS vice chair and current chair of the committee. The Section Executive Committee may temporarily add any pertinent and relevant duties necessary for a committee to carry out the work of the Section. The duties, name and size of committees may change with approval of the Executive Committee.
Section 3. Appointments.
Members. The vice-chair/chair-elect shall appoint those members of committees whose terms are to commence at the same time as he/she assumes the chair. The Section chair shall appoint members of committees formed during his/her term in office and shall make appointments to fill vacancies, which may occur during his/her term of office. Each committee appointee shall be a member of the Section at the time of appointment or be appointed provisionally, contingent upon becoming a member at the next opportunity.
Chair. The chair of a committee shall be appointed in the same manner as members.
Section 4. Terms of Appointment.
Members. Members of standing committees shall be appointed for terms of two years, and may be re-appointed for one additional term. Members of special and ad hoc committees shall be appointed for terms of two years, or less depending upon the committee’s charge. Appointments shall be made in such a manner as to provide continuity in membership.
Chair. Chairs of committees shall be appointed by the section vice-chair/chair-elect in consultation with the committee for one-year terms and may be re-appointed for two additional one-year terms.
Article IX. Parliamentary Authority
The rules in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Section in all cases to which they are applicable, provided they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws of the Division of the American Library Association.
Article X. Amendments
Section 1. Proposals.
Amendments to the Bylaws shall be proposed by the Executive Committee or by petition of ten members of the Section.
Section 2. Notice.
The complete text of any proposed amendment shall accompany a ballot. In cases where a vote is to be taken at the annual meeting of the Section, the text of any proposed amendment shall be distributed to the membership of the Section not less than one month before the meeting at which it is to be acted upon.
Section 3. Voting.
A vote to amend the bylaws shall customarily be taken by ALA electronic ballot. Amendments may also be presented for a vote at the annual meeting of the Section with notification as in Section 2 above. Bylaws amendments shall be passed by a majority of those members voting.
Section 4. Effective.
Unless otherwise specified, amendments to the Bylaws shall become effective upon their approval by the membership.
Article XI. Adoption and Review
These Bylaws shall be reviewed every five years by the Executive Committee.
Article XII. General Provisions
Wherever these Bylaws make no specific provisions, the organization of and procedures in the Section shall correspond to those set forth in the Bylaws of the Reference and User Services Association.
Adopted June 1994, amended June 1997, amended June 2002, amended June 2003, amended June 2011, amended June 2017.