LAMA and its History
Congratulations on assuming a leadership position in LAMA! This
manual is intended to help you make plans and meet the deadlines
that apply to your activities. Please contact the LAMA office if
you have any questions, and keep us informed of your plans and
activities as they evolve. The easiest way to do this is to send
us copies of your correspondence, reports, minutes and other
documents when they are generated.
Before the Midwinter meeting you will receive a roster of officers
and committees that will help you understand the role your LAMA
unit plays in the organization as a whole as well as communicate
with other LAMA leaders.
A WORD ON LAMA AND ITS HISTORY
LAMA's primary responsibilities involve the study of general
administrative theory, the application of these studies to enhance
library administrative practice, and the development of programs
and publications that will enable library administrators to improve
their administrative skills and techniques. The association covers
all aspects of management and administration which are common to
libraries of all types, sizes and missions. LAMA accomplishes its
program through a division/section/committee/discussion group
structure which is also common to other ALA divisions.
The broad interests of LAMA's 5,000+138 members are expressed in
the diversity of its seven sections: Buildings and Equipment, Fund
Raising and Financial Development, Library Organization and
Management, Personnel Administration, Public Relations, Systems and
Services, and Statistics. Members include not only library
directors, but also senior and middle managers, financial officers,
and specialists in public services, public relations, library
buildings and other disciplines. Active discussion groups in the
areas of middle management, and women administrators, provide a
forum for informally exchanging information.
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
Formerly the Library Administration Division (LAD), LAMA became an
ALA division on January 1, 1957. At that time nine ALA groups were
transferred to it: Board on Personnel Administration, Buildings
Committee, Equipment Committee,
Federal Relations Committee, Friends of the Libraries Committee,
Insurance for Libraries Committee, Library Legislation Committee,
Public Relations Committee, and Statistics Committee. In the
Spring and Fall of 1957, an additional eighteen committees were
transferred to LAD from other ALA divisions. Most of these
additional committees involved building construction and
maintenance, recruitment of professional librarians, public
relations and statistics. By the end of the year, the LAD Board
had developed the basis for the structure of sections and
responsibilities that it has today. In 1978, the LAD membership
voted to change the division's name to the Library Administration
and Management Association.
The division continued with relatively few organizational changes
until the late 1970's. Beginning in 1976, with the appointment of
the Special Committee on Division Development, and continuing
through today, with the LAMA Board's planning sessions at Midwinter
Meetings, LAMA has undertaken an extensive analysis of its
operations, strengths and weaknesses, programs and services. This
analysis, carried out by the LAMA Board and each section, committee
and discussion group, resulted in an improved administrative
structure and procedures, and a strategic long-range plan.
During the past several years much of the emphasis by LAMA's
Directors and staff has been In the early 1980's, the leadership
emphasis has been on organizing the association's processes so that
LAMA committees could function more efficiently and effectively in
addressing the numerous and exciting developments in the field of
library management. The Board concentrated its energies on those
areas which in the past presented difficulties in planning and
allocating resources, especially annual conference and
preconference programming, publishing, regional institutes, and
budgeting. In 1984, LAMA completed the organization of policies,
guidelines, and instructions in these areas. A thorough revision
of the 1984 work was completed in 1989.
1983 was a particularly pivotal year because LAMA moved from these
efforts to very significant new directions under the leadership of
the President and the Board's Executive Committee. The LAMA Board
started planning for the future. It started analyzing divisional
goals and objectives in a manner very different from the sectional
emphases of the past. The Board asked the fundamental questions,
what is the role of the association? How will the association best
serve its personal and institutional members? How will the
association best serve those who attend conference programs and
those who do not? These questions and others were the focuses of
the first Board Planning Session held at the 1983 Midwinter Meeting
in San Antonio, and such sessions have been held every year since.
This retreat has evolved into a skills building opportunity for all
The Library Administration and Management Association is one of
eleven ALA divisions. It speaks for the ALA in the areas
encompassed by its scope of responsibility approved by the ALA
Council in 1964. Like LAMA which is governed by ALA and its own
bylaws, each section is self-governing under section bylaws that do
not conflict with LAMA or ALA bylaws.
THE LAMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board includes six officers who have been elected by all the
members of LAMA: the President, the Vice-President (who is also the
President-Elect), and the Past President, each of whom serves on
the Board for three years; the Division Councilor, who serves four
years as LAMA's representative on the ALA Council; and two at-large
members who serve staggered two-year terms. All those officers are
voting members of the Board. Other voting members are the chairs
of the sections, who are elected by the members of their sections
for one-year terms.
In addition, the Board has several non-voting directors: the chair
of the Budget and Finance Committee, the vice-chairs of the
sections (each of whom may vote for the section in the absence of
the chair), the chair of the Committee on Organization, and the
editor and associate editor of the journal of the Association,
Library Administration & Management. Non-voting members serve on
the Board in an advisory capacity. They cannot vote or second a
motion, but they may participate in discussions, although the
President may limit such involvement until after voting members
have had an opportunity to address an issue.
The interaction between divisional and sectional officers on the
Board is an important element in strengthening communication
between all units of the division, helping to insure common goals
and responsiveness by the division to the interests of members.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The regular meetings of the Board of Directors are at the Midwinter
Meeting and Annual Conference. At other times of the year issues
that affect the division are addressed by the Executive Committee,
consisting of the President, the President-Elect, the Past
President, the Division Councilor, and the Executive Director of
the Association. The Executive Commitee meets every spring and
fall to carry out actions resulting from previous Board meetings,
to plan strategy for future Board action, to make adjustments to
the budget, and to consider emergency measures as needed.
THE DIVISIONAL COMMITTEES
In addition to a Board of Directors, LAMA has several standing
committees which serve broad coordinating, informational, and
administrative functions for the division as a whole in areas such
as budgeting, programming, and planning. From time to time ad hoc
committees are also created, to carry out specific tasks or
investigate specific topics. There are also division-wide task
forces and discussion groups.
Discussion groups are encouraged because they can respond quickly
to the interests of members and because they foster grassroots
participation in the Association (July 13, 1982). At its Midwinter
1993 meeting the LAMA Board endorsed the following definition of
"discussion group" developed by the ALA Committee on Organization:
A discussion group is an informal organization that allows
discussion of topics of common interest during the Annual
Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Results of discussion may be
prepared by the group for distribution to the relevant parent body.
A leader may be chosen by the group to coordinate discussion.
Procedures for establishment and discontinuance of discussion
groups are given in the LAMA bylaws, Article IX, Sections 1-2 and
in the bylaws of the various sections.
According to the June 1980 Board policy (Document 38) discussion
groups have the same reporting requirements as other LAMA units:
The only elected office is that of chairperson who is elected at
the annual conference by those who are present at the meeting. The
chairperson's duties are the same as those of all LAMA committee
chairpersons. These duties are described in the LAMA Manual and
include presiding over discussions, holding the annual election,
scheduling meetings, and submitting minutes and reports to the LAMA
Board and the LAMA Executive Director.
Discussion Groups do not have formal memberships. The "members"
are those who attend and participate in the discussions. A sign-up
sheet may be circulated in order to establish and maintain
communication among participants. Discussion groups may form
special ad hoc task forces, steering committees, etc. to plan and
facilitate their discussions and other activities.
Discussion groups are not intended to carry out other activities or
to develop programs; they may do so only by seeking co-sponsorship
from formal committees and roundtables of ALA or LAMA. Discussion
groups may make recommendations within their area of concern to the
LAMA Board and the Board may call upon them whenever necessary.
Each of LAMA's seven sections has its own chair and
vice-chair/chair-elect, its own executive committee, and committees
to carry out its activities such as programs, publications, and
nomination of officers. In addition, each section may have task
forces and discussion groups. Each section operates under its own
bylaws, provided that they do not conflict with the bylaws of ALA
or of LAMA.
Although each section of LAMA is autonomous, the LAMA Board of
Directors has approved the following policies:
The division, not the section, has authority to act for the
American Library Association as a whole on matters determined by
the ALA Council to be the responsibility of the division, and the
section, in exercising its responsibility, is to submit statements
of policy, etc. to the LAMA Board of Directors for approval prior
to their release.
The policies, programs, and projects of the section, its committees
and other subgroups (including discussion groups) are to be
reported regularly, through the section chair, who serves on the
Board, to the division's Board of Directors to insure that they are
in keeping with the section's field of responsibility and that they
provide suitable coverage of the various areas of responsibility
assigned to it.
Any unit (including a section, a committee, a discussion group) may
undertake any action which falls within its charge on its own
initiative and authority so long as participation remains within
its own membership. If the activity's audience extends to other
units of the section, the proposed activity should have the
approval of the section executive committee. If an activity
extends to LAMA units outside the section, to ALA units or to the
public, the proposed activity must be referred to the LAMA Board of
Directors for approval.
The section provides within its framework, either by committees or
other groups, the means for continuing the functions of the former
ALA committees and committees of other divisions transferred to it.
The budgetary needs of the section, its committees and other
subgroups are to be reported to the LAMA Board of Directors by
November of each year for evaluation in relation to all needs of
the division as a whole.
The ALA Handbook of Organization and the LAMA Roster of Officers
and Committees, both published annually, provide comprehensive
descriptions of the LAMA committees for both the division and the
sections, as well as a full list of committee members.
COUNCIL OF LAMA AFFILIATES (COLA)
LAMA reaches out to librarians at the state and regional level
through the Council of LAMA Affiliates. Created in 1993, COLA's
purpose is to provide a network for the exchange of information on
activities and issues related to library administration and
management; to promote leadership opportunities for LAMA members in
addition to the existing track of committee appointments and
elected positions within the LAMA divisional structure; and to
facilitate two way communication between membership at the
state/regional level and the Board of Directors of LAMA at the
The Council serves as a communications link between the Affiliates
and the LAMA Board of Directors. The Council is composed of one
voting representative from each Affiliate and elects its own
officers. The LAMA Board Director-at-Large elected in odd-numbered
years serves as the liaison to the Council and also functions as
the Council's official representative to the Board. The Council
meets twice yearly, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual
Each Affiliate is an autonomous regional organization with its own
structure and by-laws. Any group of ten librarians, library staff,
or others with an interest in library administration and management
may request affiliate status via petition to the LAMA Board of
Directors. Membership in LAMA, while encouraged, is not a
prerequisite for Affiliate members; however, the Chair of each
Affiliate, who is a voting member of COLA, or the Chair's
designated voting representative, must be LAMA member. More than
one Affiliate may be formed in any given state or region.
Affiliates whose petitions were approved at the 1993 Annual
Conference are known as Charter Affiliates.
LAMA is prepared to provide financial support to assist Affiliates
with programming costs. This assistance might be to underwrite the
cost of a meeting place, speaker's honorarium for those who are not
members of the affiliate, speaker's travel expenses, audiovisual
equipment, mailing, or similar costs incurred as a direct result of
the meeting. Normally, LAMA will not pay for food, handouts, or
publicity. The amount of subsidy does not normally exceed $500.00
but is subject to negotiation for each event. An affiliate
applying for a subsidy must submit a detailed description of the
planned event with a full budget. The request is evaluated by a
COLA subcommittee and forwarded to the LAMA Budget & Finance
Committee for budget approval.
COLA Affiliates and their designated voting representatives are
listed in the ALA Handbook of Organization and the LAMA Roster.