Chapter 2: Sections

Back to Guide to Policies & Procedures

RUSA has six sections.  A section is a formal membership unit within RUSA that focuses on areas of specific concern. Each section has its own executive committee and can establish rules of governance in keeping with the larger policies, guidelines, and bylaws of RUSA. Sections provide education, advise RUSA regarding service guidelines and enhancements, promote awareness, and prepare publications.

Roles and Responsibilities

SECTION CHAIR - Section Leadership

  • Serve as a member of the  RUSA Leadership Council
  • Respond to inquiries from members and non-members regarding section activities
  • Chair section executive committee meetings
  • Send minutes of executive committee meetings to RUSA President and RUSA Executive Director
  • Attend meetings of the section’s committees when possible
  • Fill committee vacancies occurring during term in office
  • Oversee section program at Annual Conference
  • Chair annual business meeting of the section which may follow, precede, or be separate from the program

Division-Section Alignment

  • Work in relation to the RUSA Strategic Plan
  • Follow the RUSA budget process
  • Follow the RUSA agenda process


  • Submits a written report to the section executive committee and RUSA Board on the activities of the committee within 2 weeks of each conference. This can take the form of Meeting Highlights.
  • Submit reports to the RUSA Board of Directors on section activities
  • Post regular blog posts about the Section’s work
  • As appropriate, gather materials from conference programming and give to webmaster for posting on RUSA/Section conference pages.
  • As appropriate, post materials from conference programming to the Conference Scheduler.
  • Contribute to RUSA Update

Review and Evaluation

  • Keep notes in relation to the continuous review process and pass along those notes to the next chair.

Succession Planning

  • Maintain records of committee activities and send current committee records to new chair when a new chair is appointed.
  • Send any material of an archival nature to the RUSA office upon completion of service as chair.

SECTION VICE CHAIR - Section Leadership

  • Serve as an officer of the section and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the section and RUSA
  • As a member of the Executive Committee, attend meetings of the committee
  • Submit section's budget request (if needed) for year as chair
  • Perform duties of the chair in his/her absence
  • Perform other duties as the executive committee of the section may assign

Nominations and Appointments

  • Appoint a Nominating Committee that is responsible for producing a slate of candidates for section office. The section vice-chair may not be a member of the nominating committee (see ALA Bylaws, Article III, Section 1a)
  • Make appointments to all other section committees for terms beginning when chair's term begins
  • Make appointments to pre-conference planning committees, if appropriate to the practices of the section
  • Appoint section representatives to designated RUSA level committees
  • Appoint a conference program planning committee (if appropriate to practices of section) to plan program at Annual Conference


Section committees

  • Each section may establish and govern standing and ad hoc committees necessary to conduct the work of the section.
  • The RUSA office maintains a file of the official descriptive statements for each committee of the division and of each section.
  • All committee charges should be publicly posted on the committee’s website.

Section committee appointments

  • Each section establishes practices for section committee appointments keeping with the larger policies, guidelines, and bylaws of RUSA and ALA.


Board Representative

  • Each section has a voting representative on RUSA Board. Each section may establish procedures for appointing the board representative. The section chair or vice-chair may serve as representative.

Appointments to RUSA-level committees:

  • Provide better communication between RUSA-level functional committees and the sections. Sections are represented on the following RUSA committees: Access to Information, Conference Program Coordinating, Nominating, Professional Development, and Professional Resources
  • Section vice-chairs name these representatives and send them an appointment message. Section representatives serve the same term of office as any other appointed member of the committee, usually 2 years. Section representatives are full members of the committee and in no way are to be considered ex officio.
  • When possible, RUSA committee members who serve as section representatives will also serve on the related section committee.
  • In addition to having the customary responsibilities of a committee member, section representatives are expected to represent the concerns of a section and report back to the section's executive committee about the activity of the RUSA functional committee on which they serve.

Membership lists

  • The RUSA office e-mails a list of the section's membership to the newly-elected section chair-elect. The office will also send a copy of this list to the section's nominating committee chair on receipt of notice of the appointment.

Section discussion groups

  • A discussion group is an informal group that allows discussion of topics of common interest.
  • Each section may establish discussion groups.
  • Results of discussions may be prepared by the group for distribution to the relevant parent body.
  • A leader may be chosen by the group to coordinate discussion. Source: ALA Policy Manual 6.10
  • It is a RUSA policy that discussion groups cannot sponsor programs. Groups that plan special presentations (e.g. speeches or panel presentations) as part of their discussion may wish to use the electronic discussion list, RUSA-L, to announce them.
  • The RUSA office staff is available to provide assistance to sections and discussion groups for marketing.

Section Evaluation

  • Sections are reviewed annually through the continuous improvement process.

(RUSA Office is in charge of updating this page) Rev. 08/2018