FAQ Regarding the Division-level Committee Structure Proposal

What did the Board approve at Midwinter 2012?

The ACRL Board approved the committee structure detailed in Board document #8.1 REV.

Why did the Board consider changes to its committees?

The ACRL Board has an ongoing responsibility to evaluate the effectiveness of the association.

This year, in light of the new Plan for Excellence, the ACRL Board  reviewed existing division-level committees, their alignment with the strategic plan, and the resources that are needed to support them and determined that ACRL can function more strategically by eliminating duplication, merging committees with similar functions, and broadening responsibilities of existing committees.

Which committees are affected by the changes?

As part of a comprehensive  committee review process, the Board examined all division-level committees (including task forces and editorial boards). Some remain unchanged in the proposed structure; however, the majority have a revised charge. A few committees are merged with other committees or will be discontinued.  The Proposed Committee Structure chart (PDF), provides information  regarding all proposed changes (revised committee names, charges, and membership) as well as transition details and timelines. A comparison of the current committee structure and proposed structure (PDF) is also available.

What is the timeline for the changes to all the affected committees?

The Board has set a target date of July 1, 2012, for all changes on the Proposed Committee Structure chart (PDF) to be implemented. The Board realizes that the existing committees may have projects yet to be completed, and this timeline should allow for those projects to be completed or for transition plans to be made prior to July 1, 2012.

How can the Board just change all these committees?

The ACRL Bylaws authorize the ACRL Board to create and discontinue committees. Because the Board is committed to member engagement in ACRL, the Board is seeking member input on the proposed committee structure; the Board is ultimately responsible for deciding what committee structure best supports advancing ACRL’s strategic goals and accomplishing enabling programs and services.

On what basis did the Board draft the proposed changes?

In Spring 2011, the Board adopted the ACRL Division-Level Committee Principles  in order to articulate the strategic and operational principles for ACRL committees. The Principles document also was distributed to member leaders at the ACRL Leadership Council during the ALA 2011 Annual Conference.

What happens to members serving on a committee that is discontinued?

In certain cases, the chair or vice-chair of a disbanded committee will be appointed as the ACRL representative to an ALA committee. This is detailed on the Proposed Committee Structure chart (PDF).  In all other cases, whether an existing committee is being completely discontinued or merged into another committee, members of existing committees that may be discontinued are not automatically placed onto new committees. Those affected are encouraged to volunteer for another ACRL committee through the ACRL committee volunteer and appointment process.  Those responsible for the selection of volunteers to committees will be asked to prioritize members of affected committees.

What other opportunities are there to participate in and volunteer for ACRL?

ACRL has many opportunities for members to engage with colleagues on issues of professional interest. Visit http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/getinvolved/index.cfm for additional information.  ACRL’s 17 sections and 8 interest groups have many volunteer opportunities and interesting projects. In addition, members can form groups on their own in ALA Connect. Discussion groups and sections may be proposed for establishment by petition to the ACRL Board of Directors who act on these requests promptly. Petition forms may be found at http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/workingwithacrl/forms/index.cfm.

How could I share my thoughts on these changes?

Please share your thoughts by taking the Member Feedback Survey on Proposed Committee Structure. The survey will be accepting responses until December 15.  The feedback from this survey will inform the Board’s deliberations on the proposed structure at the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting and will be discussed at the January 20th Leadership Council.

What if I have a question that isn’t addressed in this FAQ?

If you still have questions after reviewing this FAQ and the “Proposed Committee Structure” chart, please email Maggie Farrell, ACRL Councilor and member of the ACRL Board, at Farrell@uwyo.edu.