Chapter Councilor Answers


Congratulations on your election to be your state library association's ALA Chapter Councilor. (If you are interested in becoming an ALA Chapter Councilor, contact your state library association and find out how to be nominated in its election. See also Council Composition and Charge.)

The Chapter Relations Office welcomes you to the ALA and Chapters partnership and would like to introduce you to the ALA resources available to help you fulfill your role as Chapter Councilor.

Information on this page addresses many of your formal duties, as well as directing you to important resources. Please read carefully the welcome letter sent to you by the ALA Council Secretariat. See either ALA Chapters or ALA Chapter Relations Office for links to resources for advocacy and other assistance for libraries, activities related to ALA and Chapters Partnership, and more. See also CRO Answers, Chapter Answers, and Student Chapter Answers, or find them all at Find Your Answers.

Return to ALA Chapter Councilors.

Resources, Chapter Conferences, Resolutions

| Basic Resources for Chapter Councilors | Additional Chapter Leaders | Additional Resources | | Your State Library Association's Annual Conference | Frequently Asked Questions | Selection of Resolutions Adopted by the ALA Council | Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions for Council |

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Basic Resources for Chapter Councilors

ALA Chapter Councilors: First Things First

Overview of duties and responsibilities, covering business e-mail and ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences. See also Duties of ALA Councilors (PDF).

Chapter Checklist for Councilors

Each current or outgoing Chapter Councilor will provide the ALA Chapter Relations Office with current contact and election information.

Basic Guide to the ALA Council

Prepared by the Council Orientation Committee.

Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions for Council

Chapter Councilors

List of ALA Chapter Councilors with contact information.

ALA Council

Council Charge and Composition

ALA Councilors

List of all ALA Councilors with contact information

Council Documents

Council documents since 2008

ALA Chapter Councilor Blogs

Blogs maintained by Chapter Councilors

Additional Chapter Leaders

ALA Chapter Relations Committee

Mission, roster, and more.

Chapter Presidents and Presidents-Elect: Select Information

Information to help Chapter Presidents and Presidents-elect.

State and Regional Chapters Directory

Contact information for Chapter leaders, including presidents, presidents-elect, councilors, and executive directors, and more.

Additional Resources

Advocacy Resources for Chapters

CRO supports ALA's and Chapter's library advocacy efforts by working with other ALA units and other groups.

Affiliate and Chapter Planning Calendar

Includes ALA Chapter, ALA Affiliates, and Division conferences, institutes, workshops, religious holidays, and more.

ALA and Chapters Partnership

The ALA and Chapters Partnership explains how the ALA and ALA Chapters partnership works.

ALA Connect

A useful resource to share ideas and information across Chapters.

ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference

Select ALA MW and AC schedules for Chapters.

ALA Strategic Directions

ALA Mission; Core Organizational Values; Key Action Areas; and Strategic Directions: Advocacy, Information Policy, Professional and Leadership Development, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Chapter Advocacy Exchange

Free webinars presented by the ALA Chapter Relations Office and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy.

Chapter Leaders Forum

Forum held at ALA Midwinter and Annual Conference provides a full agenda on a variety of topics to help prepare Chapter leaders to lead their association.

Helping United States Libraries After Disasters

If you think the ALA can help libraries affected by natural disasters in any way toward recovery, please contact the CRO.

Libraries Respond

The ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services has created Libraries Respond as a space for us to help keep current events in conversation with libraries' ongoing work in and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This page will be a resource for the library community to share information, find resources, and connect as they serve their communities. Follow #LibrariesRespond

Overview of ALA Select Resources for Chapters

Links to ALA units and topics, such as key action areas.

Social Networking, Membership Blogs, ALA Connect, and ALA Electronic Discussion Lists

Links for following CRO on Facebook and Twitter, subscribing to ALA e-lists, ALA Connect, and ALA member and ALA student member blogs

State of the Chapter Annual Report

Each year Chapters complete an online survey to provide an overview of their past year's activities.


Free webinars on advocacy, Chapter leaders orientation, Money Smart Week, and more.

Welcome Letter, New and Re-elected Councilors

Revised each Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference by the ALA Council Secretariat.

Your State Library Association's Annual Conference

Chapter Conferences (ALA Connect)

Shared information about and resources to help in planning and accomplishing Chapter Conferences.

Chapter Issues

Chapters share with each other how they address common issues.

ALA Promotional Materials Order Form (DOC; aka ALA promotional materials at state conferences), which is used to order ALA materials for Chapter conferences.

Chapter Councilors Guide to Membership Promotion

As the ALA representative for your state, you are also in the unique position of being able to help ALA reach potential members in your state.

Chapters and Conferences

Explains the ALA and Chapters business partnership, notification of intent by ALA and its units to hold Annual Conferences, Midwinter Meeting, or other events, and host and contiguous Chapter benefits when ALA holds an Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting in a state.

Ideas for ALA Programs at Chapter Conferences

ALA and Chapter conferences calendar

A listing of upcoming ALA, Chapter and Affiliate Conferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

These answers are found in the ALA Bylaws. See also ALA Constitution. See also ALA Chapter Councilors.

After I'm Elected, What Do I Do?

  1. Contact Mariel Colbert, Chapter Relations Office, and Marsha Burgess, ALA Council Secretariat, to inform them of your election.
  2. Be sure your ALA membership is up to date.
  3. Know when your term begins as a voting member of the ALA Council. Although ALA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 3, states that "all elected at large, divisional, and roundtable councilors, except those elected to fill vacancies, shall serve terms of three years, commencing at the adjournment of the final ALA Council meeting of the annual conference following their election," Chapter elections are held throughout the year, including in May and June. Therefore, Chapters themselves decide when a Chapter Councilor's term begins and ends. For example, a Chapter Councilor elected in June 2014 may begin his or her term at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference. Since all Councilors' terms are three-year terms, the term of the Chapter Councilor in this example ends in 2017. Again, the Chapter may decide to allow this Councilor to continue through the 2017 Annual Conference or choose to allow the newly elected Chapter Councilor (June 2017) to be seated at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference.

Substitutions, Resignations, and Other Vacancies: Can my association appoint a substitute person to represent it on the ALA Council?

If you are unable to attend a Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference, please notify the Council Secretariat (Lois Ann Gregory-Wood) so she can list you with an excused absence. (See What about proxy voting? immediately below.)

In the case of a vacancy or resignation, please see ALA Bylaw IV, Section 6, which reads:

“A vacancy in the membership of Council representing a state, provincial or territorial chapter, division or round table of the Association may be filled by the chapter or division on an interim basis. Each chapter, division or round table shall accredit its interim councilor to the secretary of the Council in advance of the first meeting after selection. The interim councilor shall serve as a voting member until the next regularly scheduled election or for a maximum of one-year, by which time an election shall have been held in elect a successor.”

In other words, in accordance with the above bylaw, a current Councilor must: (1) resign thus creating a vacancy; (2) your association then appoints an interim councilor to serve until its next regularly scheduled election or for a maximum of one-year; and (3) your association accredits its interim councilor with the secretary of the Council (Keith Michael Fiels) in advance of the first Council meeting.

In brief, an elected Chapter Councilor serves a three-year term. An appointed Chapter Councilor, someone filling in for a Chapter Councilor who resigned, for example, can be appointed for only one year or until the next election held by your association. The Chapter Councilor elected in that election serves a full three-year term.

What about Proxy Voting?

In the absence of Bylaws specifically permitting proxy voting, the ALA legal counsel has concluded that it cannot be allowed.

However, your association could appoint/ask someone to observe the Council meetings and report on them. He or she would then sit in the designated observer section in the Council room. Also, please note that if he or she wanted to speak on an issue under discussion, he or she could seek recognition from the presiding officer and ask for permission to address the Council. The Council would need to grant the person permission to speak.