Motions and Resolutions

Motions are formal statements on a proposal or question on which the ALCTS Board takes an action. An item of business is presented for decision in the form of a motion, which must begin, "I move that..." or "CCS moves that…" followed by the statement of the proposal being presented. No item presented for or requiring action should be discussed until there is a motion placing the topic on the floor.

ALA and ALCTS use The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, by Alice Sturgis, as the parliamentary authority. Under these rules, any voting Board member may make a motion. Motions presented by Board members other than committee chairs must be seconded. Motions presented by committee chairs to the Board asking for approval of some action require no second.

Motion forms are available in the ALCTS office area and at the Board meeting. All motions must be written out on a motion form and signed. The person seconding the motion must also sign the form (this can be done ahead of time). These forms are the official version of the motion, not the verbalized one as you composed it with the Board looking on. It is best to plan ahead if you can because you will find it difficult to recreate your spoken text at a later point.

Be specific when drafting a motion; try not to say things like, "I move that we adopt the policy in document 91.25." Instead, a motion should be phrased like: "I move that the ALCTS Board approve the following policy as stated in ALCTS Board Document 91.25: 'All unbudgeted expenditures for meals and entertainment require prior approval by the ALCTS Board or the ALCTS Executive Committee.'" The ALCTS staff can assist with appropriate wording.

Only actions taken by the Board as a result of a motion commit ALCTS to action or a policy. These are the only decisions that are recorded in the minutes.

When considering reports from committees, it is especially important to separate the recommendations from the report itself. To "adopt" or "accept" a report commits the association to all the findings and recommendations in a report; thus it is best to "file" a report and act on each of its recommendations individually.

Resolutions are motions written in a more formal way and are typically intended for action by the ALA Council prior to dissemination to a body outside of ALA. The "Guidelines for Preparation of Resolutions for Presentation to Council" (ALA Policy 5.3, and reprinted in each conference program book) should be observed for ALCTS resolutions. In addition, certain procedures must be followed for resolutions affecting ALA Policy. For these, see policy 5.6 in the ALA Handbook of Organization.

All resolutions brought to the ALCTS Board of Directors must include directions for disposition. ALCTS, as a type of activity division, may speak for the American Library Association on matters within its charge. The staff liaison to the unit which initiates each Council resolution is responsible for preparing the appropriate letter or letters of transmittal, under the guidance of the Council Secretariat, for the ALA Executive Director's signature. The ALA Executive Office Staff will continue to be responsible for preparing the official copies of the resolutions themselves.