BRASS Handbook

BRASS Secretary


A. The position of BRASS Secretary is a two-year term commencing with the Mid-Winter Conference meeting and ending, two years later, with the Annual Conference.  Principal responsibilities are to take minutes at BRASS Executive Committee Meetings and to keep the BRASS Handbook current with Executive Committee actions.

B. Every other Spring, the BRASS Nominating Committee selects two individuals to nominate as candidates for the position. The BRASS membership then elects one of the two nominees.

Getting Started 

A. The newly-elected BRASS Secretary needs to become informed and knowledgeable as to the organizational structure and workings of ALA, RUSA, and BRASS, the BRASS Committees, and the positions of BRASS representatives to RUSA.

B. It is highly recommended that the BRASS Secretary pursue each of the following steps:

    1. Review the ALA Web page.

2.      Review the RUSA Web page. Read the latest version of RUSA Guide to Policies and Procedures: A Complete Guide to Working with RUSA. Also, this document can be obtained during conferences at the RUSA conference table or by contacting the RUSA Office (1-800-545-2433).

3.      Review the BRASS Web page.

4.      Read RUSA Update, published quarterly in print and also available at the BRASS Web page.

5.      Read the latest edition of the ALA Handbook of Organization.

6.      Attend at least one of the BRASS Executive Committee meetings held during the conference prior to the beginning of the BRASS Secretary position.

7.      Review the BRASS Handbook Web page and read the committee and position descriptions, BRASS By-Laws, and current and historical BRASS minutes (also available from the BRASS Archivist).

8.      Contact and consult with the incoming BRASS Chair for further information or clarification.

Taking Minutes

A. The BRASS Secretary's philosophical approach to taking and transcribing minutes is to attain detailed minutes. This will provide the current and future reader with a complete sense of what happened during the meetings, inform the reader about procedural aspects of conducting business within BRASS, RUSA, and ALA, and provide a complete historical picture of events.

B. At each meeting, the BRASS Secretary has the option of tape recording the proceedings. To achieve the overall philosophical goal of transcribing complete and detailed minutes, it is recommended that the meetings be taped. The taped minutes are not to be shared or transmitted in any form with any other party within or outside ALA.

C. Erase the tapes after transcribing the minutes.

D. Prepare an attendance sheet to be routed during each meeting.

Transcribing Minutes

1.    Complete the minutes for the Saturday Executive Planning Meeting and the (Monday Midwinter and Tuesday Annual Executive Committee meetings use MSWord or equivalent.

2.    The announcement for the Planning Session minutes should be sent only to the Executive Planning Committee members and not through BRASS-L. since it is a closed meeting. Request feedback and make any corrections.

3.    Send the draft minutes of the Executive Committee to the BRASS Chair for initial approval.

4.    Once approved by the Chair, post the Executive Committee minutes to BRASS-L.  In the header, indicate that the document is a "Draft".

5.    Accomplish this task as soon as possible after the end of Conference.

6.    After a sufficient amount of time for feedback, revise the minutes to reflect any requested changes. Re-check for grammatical and spelling errors and also remove the word "Draft" from each document.

7.    Notify the BRASS Chair when the minutes are completed. The BRASS Chair will copy and distribute the minutes to the BRASS Executive Committee and BRASS Planning Session members. Complete all the minutes and notify the BRASS Chair no later than thirty days prior to the beginning of the Mid-Winter or Annual Conference.

After the Executive Committee approves the minutes, the BRASS webmaster will post the final minutes to the BRASS Handbook web page. The Planning Session minutes are not included.

Handbook Manager

·        Keep the BRASS Handbook current on the Web.  Notify members of changes, deletions or additions as necessary.

·        Make corrections, changes, deletions or additions to the pages of the BRASS Handbook as needed to keep it current with BRASS Executive Committee actions. This includes updating pages, and creating new ones for new positions or new documents. The Handbook Manager updates committee descriptions and the Bylaws when the BRASS Executive Committee approves changes to them.  The Handbook Manager also updates the BRASS Handbook Table of Contents to make it easy to see which version of a page is the currently correct one.

·        Works with the BRASS Webmaster to maintain the BRASS Handbook on a web site. This is the official version of the BRASS Handbook, and can be printed by any Handbook holder as needed to keep his/her Handbook current.

·        Notifies all holders of BRASS Handbooks, including BRASS Executive Committee members, BRASS support position holders, BRASS Representatives to RUSA, and all BRASS committee chairs, of all changes to Handbook pages. Notification will be via BRASS-L.

·        Serve as ex-officio member of the BRASS Publications Committee.

·        Distributes copies of the entire BRASS Handbook as necessary.


A. Keep copies of announcements, comments, questions, and other matters that appear through BRASS-L. These will serve as reminders of issues that may be discussed at the Planning Session and the Executive Committee meetings.

B. At the Monday Midwinter and Tuesday Annual Executive Committee meetings, ask the BRASS Chair to request that Committee Chairs, RUSA Representatives, and the SLA Liaison submit reports, if available, to the BRASS Secretary. These reports will come in handy when transcribing the minutes.