Guidelines for eMeetings

NMRTBD is a discussion list created to hold electronic board meetings.  These eMeetings will be held in the Fall and Spring.  We hope this will keep projects moving along during the year and will help shorten physical board meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.  We will be learning as we go, so if you have any suggestions for improving the procedure of the eMeetings, please contact Bill Armstrong.


Board members will be automatically subscribed by the listowner Bill Armstrong.  All NMRT members are encouraged to subscribe in order to monitor or participate in discussions.  All board meetings are open. Only board members specified in the Constitution & Bylaws may vote.  To subscribe, send a message to listproc@ala1.ala.org with the message: subscribe NMRTBD <insert your name here>. To unsubscribe, repeat the above directions with "unsubscribe" instead of "subscribe"


ANNOUNCEMENT: The Publicity Committee will announce upcoming eMeetings on NMRT-L, and will provide instructions for subscribing.

AGENDA:  The President will call for agenda items a few weeks before the eMeeting.  He/she will publish the agenda, including the chairs & officers responsible for leading discussion on each item, and the time limit allotted to each discussion item, on NMRT-L.  An eMeeting will typically last two weeks.   The President will attempt to choose a time convenient for all board members, to ensure that we have a quorum present.  Board members must be prepared to read email regularly during this two-week period.

NMRTBD HEADER:  Messages sent to the list will display the header [NMRTBD] at the beginning of the subject line, distinguishing it as a message for the board meeting.

ATTENDANCE: At the beginning of an eMeeting, the President will send out a message entitled "Attendance,"
asking everyone present to introduce themselves as they would at a physical board meeting.   Attendees would sign in by responding to the "Attendance" message with their name and, if appropriate, their position in NMRT.  The Secretary will use that as the attendance record. Subscribers can quickly delete any message entitled "Attendance" if they didn't want to read the introductions.

STANDARD HEADERS:  To distinguish motions, calls for votes, and other action items, use standard headers such as "MOTION: Topic" or "VOTE BY [DATE]: Topic."  So subscribers would quickly see an item requiring action in their emailbox, like "[NMRTBD] MOTION: Travelling Booth," for example.

DISCUSSION:  Discussion needs no special "action" header, but when beginning a new discussion item, the President should set a date to end discussion (for example, "we will discuss this issue for 3 days, and at that point, vote or refer back to committee.")  Participants should always respond to the list rather than the individual.  Consider yourself at a public board meeting and write as if you are speaking to the entire group, including any observers.  Always repond to the list rather than an individual.  Speakers should identify their position in NMRT when they write, so that readers who don't know you will know if you are writing as chair of the committee, or as a member, etc.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE:  The Governance Committee must provide a parliamentarian for each meeting.  The parliamentarian must keep track of all the motions, amendments, seconds, etc. For example, they may use some tracking notation like: 09-28-99 Motion 01 for one motion; 09-28-99 Motion 01A for an amended motion, and so on.   If more than one person seconds, the parliamentarian may choose the first "second" he/she reads.  Each time there is an amendment, the person recommending the amendment should rewrite the whole motion if possible, to prevent confusion as people read through their email and try to follow the discussion.

VOTING:  According to the Constitution & Bylaws, all NMRT officers except for the Assistant Treasurer and President may vote.  The President may vote to break a tie.  When voting, officers should respond to the list.  The Secretary will tally votes and will announce the results.  He/she may consider a keeping a record such as:

Motion 01 "Topic"          Yes         No          Abst
Board Member A (9/28)   X
Board Member B (9/29)   X
Board Member C (9/30)   X

REPORTS:  All officers should plan to report on activities in your areas, just as you would do in a physical board meeting.  Please consult with your chairs before the meeting, and encourage them to subscribe to the NMRTBD list.   Officers may wish to have individual chairs report on their committee's activities.   Please keep reports brief and clear.