About Interest Groups

Core interest groups offer a way to meet colleagues who share your interests and concerns while problem-solving together and sharing best practices. Interest Groups answer the question, "How do I find other people who care about the same thing I do so we can talk and share?" and are as widely open to participants as possible.

As a result, with the exception of the required convener and any additional leadership, interest group members do not need to be members of Core, or even of ALA. Anyone with an ALA account can join a Core interest group in ALA Connect. Conveners must be Core members, but anyone can join or leave an Interest Group at any time.

Interested in chairing a Core interest group?

Learn More about Chairing an Interest Group


Formation

Procedures for establishing an Interest Group are simple and ensure that any group of 10 or more individuals with a common interest within the scope of Core who are willing to sign the charter may establish a forum in which to exchange ideas and experiences. The group shall conduct its discussions so that all those present in the meeting room (whether in person or virtually), can hear and contribute to the discussion, including working with the Core Office on accommodation requests.

Interest Groups are formed at the division level or at the section level. They require at least one member volunteer to act as convener, and can continue to exist for as long as the Interest Group consistently completes deliverables. Members can begin the process to form a new Interest Group by contacting us, identifying at least one convener, and collecting an electronic signature from at least 10 additional people.
 

Charge

Interest Groups are narrowly focused on a topic unique to the members it serves and provide members with networking, discussion, and resources around that topic.
 

Governance

Interest Groups determine their own convener(s) and are internally governed by whatever method members of the Interest Group find most useful. A group that chooses to run a formal vote for conveners can do so in their Connect group. Conveners are required to submit the IG Report Form quarterly to document progress toward the completion of deliverables and note any issues encountered.

Official Interest Group business meetings should be held virtually in January and virtually or in person in June. Interest Groups are not required to hold a meeting or discussion at the ALA Annual Conference and are encouraged to hold one virtually in June.

Each IG shall have a convener or co-conveners(with overlapping or successive terms), each of whom will serve in this capacity for one year. If the IG chooses to elect conveners, the election will be held virtually in ALA Connect no later than April of each year. No convener of an Interest Group shall serve for more than two consecutive years in the same office.

The IG leadership will:

  • Coordinate activities of the Interest Group;
  • Convene meetings;
  • Ensure the annual selection of leadership and report the names of incoming convener(s) to the Core Office.
     

Reviews

To continue as an Interest Group, an IG must remain active throughout the year and submit a form requesting renewal of their Charter to the Interest Group Coordination Committee (IGCC) for review every 3 years. The IGCC will then recommend to the Core Board whether the interest group should continue as is, be updated, or be dissolved.
 

Dissolution

Interest groups will automatically dissolve if no new Interest Group Charter has been submitted and approved for 3 continuous years or if there is no activity in the group for 3 years.