2016 LLAMA Reorganization

In late December 2016 LLAMA members overwhelmingly approved a proposed reorganization of the division. The new bylaws, available below, took effect immediately and the full reorganization is continuing to be implemented.

Through three presidencies, the leadership of LLAMA listened to the concerns of members and worked towards the shared goals of creating an association that will focus on professional development in new, more relevant and meaningful ways; enable more open, flexible, and constructive member engagement; optimize the use of staff time; and be a true leader for innovation within ALA.

LLAMA 101 Presentation (pdf, 2017 Annual Conference)

Reorganization Town Hall Presentation (pdf, 2017 Midwinter Meeting)

Updated FAQ What do these changes mean for me? (pdf)

New Bylaws (pdf)

Reorganization Goals Ask Questions/Share Comments
Expected Outcomes Reorganization History
Key Documents Sept. Virtual Town Hall
Timeline/Milestones Nov. Special Election
Why Reorganize? Previous Bylaws






Reorganization Goals

After listening to the concerns of members and studying what has proven most effective in other associations, we adopted four goals that would guide any reorganization proposal:

  • Create an association that will focus on professional development in new, more relevant and meaningful ways;
  • enable more open, flexible, and constructive member engagement;
  • optimize the use of staff time;
  • and be a true leader for innovation within ALA.

Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes of the fully implemented restructuring include: 

  • Communities of Practice (formerly sections) and other member groups will be better supported with ongoing data analysis and communication;
  • members will have ongoing access to volunteer opportunities, including standing committees, project groups, micro-projects, etc., and appointments will be made throughout the year;
  • members will have immediate access to all member groups and will no longer be required to add separate section memberships in order to engage with their colleagues or with the association;
  • member communication and connection will be strengthened, and ALA technology will be better utilized to add value to membership;
  • all committees will examine their charges and ROI, from both the standpoint of work produced and the satisfaction of volunteers, and every member group will have a standard description of the volunteer opportunity;
  • member groups and staff will have a more strategic approach to managing programs and continuing education within a leadership and management curriculum;
  • acronyms across the division will be eliminated so members can immediately understand the purpose and work of a group;
  • the Board will be smaller, more focused on strategy, and more transparent in its work on behalf of the membership.

Key Documents


Fall 2016          
Aug 22 LLAMA Board approves new bylaws and special election for Fall 2016    
Sept 20 Reorganization information developed and available for members to review on the website  
Sept 21 Members invited to register for Virtual Town Hall      
Sept 29 Virtual Town Hall on Reorganization; Noon - 1:00 pm Central      
Nov 16 Special Election opens for members to consider new bylaws      
Dec 8 Special Election ends        
Dec 9 Election results reported to members      
ALA 2017 Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta      
Jan 21 Membership Mtg on Reorganization, 10:30-11:30 am. Plan to Live Stream for members.
Winter/Spring 2017        
New committee charges, new volunteer opportunities, new member communities, website redesign, etc.  

Why Reorganize?

To continue to be relevant, LLAMA must contribute in a meaningful way to the professional success of its members.  It is clear through surveys and ongoing member conversations that the current structure is overly complex and is confusing to both members and prospective members. With fewer than 4,000 members, the division has eight sections, over 50 committees split among division level and section level, almost 20 discussion groups, several joint committees, and representatives to/from other ALA groups and committees. It has a division board and executive committee, and eight other executive committees at the section level, all individually elected.  Within the continuing education program, LLAMA annually produces dozens of webinars, three major awards programs, a career institute, multiple preconferences including tours, and around 20 annual conference programs and special events. Yet all of this is done with no overarching vision, needs assessment, or measurement of success. With a slightly decreasing membership, limited resources, and only two staff members, LLAMA must focus exclusively on its core functions of providing value for membership and high-quality leadership and management continuing education for the profession, and it is imperative to now create a structure better able to support those functions.

Ask Questions/Share Comments

Do you haven an comment or question about the reorganization? The LLAMA leadership team wants to hear from you!  We will be continuously updating the FAQ and other parts of this page as we hear from our members.  Please send your questions or comments to any or all of the following: 

Reorganization History

The process of arriving at the proposed changes has been one of intense study of best practices in the management of associations and was begun nearly three years ago when then President Diane Bruxvoort engaged LLAMA membership in conversations of their experiences within the organization. What she discovered was that many members felt disconnected, were confused by the structural bureaucracy, and did not see the full value that we believe our association can offer.

This process was continued by Past President Jeff Steely, who called together a Reorganization Task Force to explore how a transformation of LLAMA could occur to address these issues and provide more value to its members. Past ALA and LLAMA President Maureen Sullivan facilitated the discussions at the Task Force meetings. The recommendations of that Task Force were presented to the LLAMA Board as proposed changes to our Bylaws at the 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando and were unanimously approved. In August 2016, the newly-seated Board approved final changes to the Bylaws and a special election for Fall 2016.

Virtual Town Hall

On September 29 LLAMA leaders held a one-hour Virtual Town Hall to discuss the reorganization and answer member questions.  You may view the recording here.  If you would like more information or if you have questions that weren't discussed, please see the FAQ or contact one of us at the email address below.

2016 Special Election

In August 2016, the LLAMA Board of Directors approved a special election for members to vote on the proposed new Bylaws.  The election was conducted November 16 - December 8, 2016. On November 16. All personal members of LLAMA were invited to participate.

Previous Bylaws

See the previous LLAMA bylaws (pdf)