Chapter 8: Meetings

8.1 Policies

8.2 Scheduling meetings at ALA Conferences

8.3 Virtual Meeting and Best Practices

   8.1 Policies

ACRL is a division that encourages members’ participation. ACRL units meet throughout the year, which can include meetings during Conferences of the American Library Association.

   8.1.1 ALA Open Meeting Policy

All meetings of the American Library Association and its units are open to all members and to members of the press. Closed meetings may be held only for the discussion of matters affecting the privacy of individuals or institutions, such award meetings. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.4) 

Registration at ALA Conferences is required of all those attending all other meetings of the Association, its units, committees, etc., except as specifically waived by action of the Executive Board. Registration at ALA Conferences is required of all those attending all other meetings of the Association, its units, committees, etc., except as specifically waived by action of the Executive Board. ALA members may attend general membership and council meetings, whenever and wherever held, by showing either a conference badge for the day of the meeting or a current membership card. Registration badges shall be shown for admission to all other meetings. Defining a meeting

A meeting is defined as "an official assembly, for any length of time following a designated starting time, of the members of any board, committee, task force, commission, etc., during which the members do not separate except for a recess and in which the assembly has the capacity to formalize decisions." Conference calls, Internet chat sessions (and their equivalents), and in-person meetings are recognized as meetings subject to the open meetings policy. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.1) Defining what's not a meeting

There is a distinction between carrying on work of a committee electronically and conducting an electronic meeting. Asynchronous electronic discussions by electronic mail or other asynchronous communication methods do not constitute meetings because they are not an official assembly with a designated starting time. (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.1)

   8.1.2 Meeting Publicity & Reports

Notice of meetings must be announced on ALA Connect and through appropriate communication channels ten days prior to the meeting. The meeting announcement must include the following:

  • Name of the meeting and unit
  • Date and time
  • Location (e.g., meeting room, conference call number, or URL to virtual meeting space, etc.)
  • Convener name and contact information
  • Agenda

The 10-day notice is waived for an emergency, but not the reporting requirement, which must also explain the nature of the emergency that caused the advance notice to be waived.

The results of the meeting must be made public no fewer than 30 days after the meeting’s conclusion. Reports of meetings should convey a summary of the discussion of each item considered by the unit and any decisions made.  (Source: ALA Policy Manual A.7.4.2)

8.1.3 Parliamentary Authority

Robert's Rules of Order, in the latest edition, shall govern the Association in all cases to which it can be applied and in which it is not inconsistent with the Constitution, the Bylaws, or special rules of order of the Association. (Source: ALA Bylaws Article XII. Parliamentary Authority)

   8.2 Scheduling meetings at ALA Conferences

   8.2.1 Procedure

  • In the fall, ACRL staff will provide member leaders instructions via email, for requesting and scheduling in-person meetings at ALA Conferences.
  • Collaborating to have all sessions entered by the ALA deadline, ACRL staff will enter ALA Conference information for its member leaders.
  •  ACRL staff reviews the meeting requests for possible conflicts. If any changes need to be made regarding meeting requests, the member leader will be contacted prior to a final submission to ALA Conference Services.
  • After the meeting request deadline, ALA Conference Services distributes a preliminary schedule, which will be shared with member leaders via email.
  • About four to six weeks prior to the conference, ALA Conference Services publishes a meeting schedule with room locations.
  • When member leaders receive this schedule, they should notify their members of the date, time, and location of the meeting. When the meeting locations are announced, member leaders should start to publicize the meeting agenda.

   8.2.2 Audiovisual equipment

ALA Conference Services will provide basic audiovisual equipment. Requests for audiovisual equipment should be included with your meeting request.

   8.3 Virtual Meeting and Best Practices

Virtual meetings are conducted within the environment of ALA/ACRL bylaws and policies. Additional information is available in the ACRL Virtual Meeting FAQ and ACRL Virtual Meeting Best Practices.

   8.3.1 When can a virtual meeting be held?

Provided that ten days advance notice is given, synchronous virtual meetings may be held throughout the year. These meetings are subject to the ALA open meeting policy. The ten-day notice is waived for an emergency, but not the reporting requirement, which must also explain the nature of the emergency that caused the advance notice to be waived.

   8.3.2 Virtual Meeting Options

The choice of format for virtual meetings will be at the discretion of the unit and may involve conference calls, virtual meeting services, chat sessions, etc. If the member leader determines that it is necessary to the success of the meeting to view documents synchronously, utilize polls or voting, whiteboards, or other features, a virtual meeting service may be considered.

ACRL units can select the virtual meeting tool or service that will provide the most appropriate and effective virtual meeting. Many free services are available. Zoom Virtual Meeting Service

ALA provides access to the Zoom virtual meeting service. ACRL has its own Zoom licenses to share among ACRL units and staff. An ACRL staff person will be available at the start of the meeting to assist the leader, but will not remain in the room for the entire meeting. However, if any technical issues develop during the course of the meeting, staff will be available to assist if needed. Zoom Meeting Leader Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the member leader to conduct the meeting in accordance with the ALA policy on meeting publicity and reporting. In addition, meeting leaders may need to share their screen (by entering the meeting room early) and start the recording for their meeting, (if applicable). Committee meetings are not recorded. Zoom Scheduling

To schedule meetings using Zoom, please review the new Spaces Module FAQ and submit your meeting request through the virtual calendar. Virtual meetings will be scheduled during one-hour blocks. All meeting times are Central time.  If you need to schedule a meeting lasting longer than one hour, please email your request to ACRL’s Meeting Scheduler and notify your unit's staff liaison of the meeting. Once the meeting is approved and scheduled in Zoom, the meeting link will be emailed to the meeting leader. Please remember to post your meeting agenda, meeting notice and meeting link on ALA Connect. The ALA Meeting Policy dictates ten days notice on open meeting scheduling. Zoom Resources

Due to the current pandemic and the increase in virtual meetings, ACRL has added a Zoom Security and Accessibility resource to assist you with your Zoom meetings. We have also updated our Zoom FAQ to answer many of your questions and concerns.To prepare for using the Zoom virtual meeting service, please remember to review the Zoom training videos and documents.This information will assist you in familiarizing yourself with the different functionalities of the software platform. Zoom Recording

If a meeting leader recorded a meeting, the ACRL meeting scheduler will send the recording link to the leader via email, within 48 hours after the live meeting. The recorded session will be available on ACRL's YouTube channel. All recorded meetings must have signed speaker agreements returned to staff before the recording can be sent. Please note, committee meetings are not recorded.

Back to Policies & Procedures Index