NMRT Liaison Program Best Practices

About the Program

Becoming a liaison enables NMRT members to take an active role in the activities of NMRT and other ALA Units or other library-associated organizations and provides an opportunity to inform members of activities that may be of interest to them. Further, in accordance with Article II of the NMRT Constitution and Bylaws, becoming a liaison will enable "leadership training and opportunities to help those approaching the end of their NMRT eligibility make the transition to future positions in the association and the profession."


A liaison from NMRT to another ALA unit is appointed to communicate NMRT interests held in common with the other group, and to advise NMRT regarding activities and issues of the other Unit that may have implications for NMRT. The working relationship between NMRT appointed liaisons and the Unit is defined by the interest NMRT has with the ALA Unit where:

1. The Unit addresses issues and concerns relevant to new members.

2. Programs and other activities can be jointly administered or planned, and not duplicated.

3. Polices and actions of either group can be served by the relationship.

4. The relationship will improve attendance to programs and participation in either group.

Specifically, the resulting relationship will allow the two groups:

1. To provide two-way communication between NMRT and other ALA Units such as round tables, assemblies, committees, or sections. The liaison serves as a channel for communicating concerns and interests shared by the two Units. The liaison keeps NMRT members informed of the activities, programs and operations of the Unit to which he/she is liaison.

2. To give senior NMRT members the opportunity to keep members of another ALA Unit informed of the activities, programs, and operations of NMRT where appropriate, to make valuable contributions to that Unit, become oriented in another ALA Unit, and to make contacts outside NMRT.

3. To give NMRT members the chance to participate and gain experience in program planning outside NMRT by way of co-sponsorships of programs with other ALA units. The communication between NMRT and the ALA Unit will help to avoid duplicate programming activities and will enable sharing, if appropriate, of programming and publication efforts in areas of mutual interest through co-sponsorship.

Liaison Types

The Basic Categories for NMRT Liaisons include:

1. Regular Liaisons. Appointed at the request of NMRT or another ALA Unit to provide two-way communication between NMRT and that Unit. These positions are appointed every year; length of appointment is one year unless the Executive Board approves reappointment.

2. Ad Hoc Liaisons. Appointed at the request of NMRT or another ALA Unit to work on a specific program or project or for a specific purpose. These positions are appointed upon request; length of appointment is the completion of the program, project, etc. Not excluded is the possibility of a Regular Liaison working on a specific program or project or seeking co-sponsors for NMRT programs when appropriate.

Selection and Appointment of Liaisons Criteria

Liaisons should be members in good standing of both NMRT and the Unit to which they will be a Liaison. Liaisons will either be designated by NMRT to liaise with a group or will be requested by the ALA Unit to be included in NMRT activities. Because the main responsibility of the liaisons is to transmit information between NMRT and the ALA Unit, they should already be involved in the ALA Unit to be represented.


NMRT members will be informed of the opportunity to serve as a liaison to an ALA Unit via advertisements distributed on NMRT-L, other listservs, websites, Footnotes, and other publications, and at Conferences. Volunteers can select up to three ALA Unit preferences to serve as liaisons.

Appointment Process

1. Members respond to a call for volunteers from the Liaison Coordination and Support committee chair or assistant chair. Volunteers should include their preferences in units and/or committees to liaise.

2. The Liaison Coordination and Support chair or assistant chair will email members to confirm interest to serve, confirm the volunteer’s NMRT membership is in good standing, and appoint the liaison.

3. Appointed liaisons will be provided a contact person from the Liaison Coordination and Support Committee who will remind the liaison of responsibilities and offer tips and hints for a successful liaison experience.

4. Members already serving as a liaison who wish to continue their service will contact the Liaison Coordination and Support Committee Chair to express their continued interest to serve as liaison for Unit.

When NMRT sends a liaison to a Unit without a previously established NMRT Liaison, the Liaison Coordination and Support Committee Chair should announce the appointment in a written communication to that group which:

1. Asks the ALA Unit to accept the liaison,

2. States NMRT’s purpose in establishing the liaison,

3. Requests the ALA Unit include the liaison in the distribution of agenda and minutes, and

4. Informs the ALA Unit that the liaison will observe and submit relevant information to NMRT.

Term and Number of Appointments

Liaisons are not appointed as full Committee members within NMRT and are considered to be volunteers. Liaisons are appointed to one-year terms and can be reappointed for two consecutive terms. Liaisons may be appointed to no more than three ALA Units at a time. Service as a liaison does not count against the three direct committee appointment rule governing ALA.

Major Responsibilities

Liaisons play a key role in increasing awareness of information and ideas of mutual interest to NMRT and liaison unit members. NMRT-L and unit communication tools (listservs, blogs, wikis, ALA Connect, etc.) as well as conference attendance are appropriate ways to carry out these responsibilities. The responsibilities of the liaisons are to:

1. Join appropriate listservs, including NMRT-L. Monitor publications of the liaison unit.

2. Submit committee meeting dates and program information for their liaison unit. Request inclusion in the distribution of agenda and minutes for the Unit. Publicize information concerning the unit including relevant program invitations, announcements and other information.

3. Keep their units informed of NMRT activities that would be of interest, such as the programs sponsored by the Student and Student Chapter Outreach Committee, the Student Reception, Mentoring, etc.

4. Invite unit representatives to attend functions including Orientation and the Student Reception.

5. Report on discussions, policies, and action of their units that are relevant to NMRT. Obtain minutes, if possible, and summarize relevant sections.

6. Report on discussions, policies, and action of NMRT that are relevant to their unit.

7. Identify and alert NMRT of unit programs which NMRT may wish to co-sponsor, either from unit breakout sessions, listservs or other means.

Basic Checklist to Meet Roles/Responsibilities

Make contact with your NMRT Liaison Coordination and Support Committee coordinator, the assigned unit/unit counterpart, and past NMRT Liaison to the unit (if possible). Join appropriate listservs.

Check unit and NMRT websites for current and upcoming activities and opportunities and disseminate relevant information to members.

Stay abreast of NMRT activities and discussions so that a proper picture of NMRT concerns can be made to the unit. To this end, liaisons are encouraged to attend NMRT Executive Board meetings.

REVISED June 2011