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ALCTS Bylaws Ballot Arnold Hirshon, Univ. Librarian, Wright State Univ 24 Sep 1993 17:48 UTC


----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Members of ALCTS (the Association for Library Collections & Technical
Services) are now receiving ballots in the mail to vote on new bylaws.
The following are excerpts from an article that recently appeared on the
ALCTS NETWORK NEWS (v. 6, no. 9, September 23, 1993).  The article
provides very useful information about the vote, and is being
redistributed here for the benefit of ALCTS members who may not otherwise
have access to AN2.



      As reported in Vol. 6, no. 8 of _ALCTS Network News_, a special
ballot to determine whether the ALCTS membership accepts or rejects
proposed changes to the Bylaws which would restructure the division is in
the mail to all personal members of ALCTS. ...

     The special ballot would represent, if passed, the first fundamental
restructuring of the division since the Resources and Technical Services
Division was created in 1957 ... The purpose of this statement is to
provide you with additional information in question and answer format to
aid you in your decision making and to provide a complete resource
listing of the information on the restructuring that has already been
made available. Given the nature and extent of these changes it is
important that every member consider these proposals and cast a ballot.

Q.  Why aren't policies and procedures more fully documented in the
proposed bylaws?

A.   Bylaws, in general, define the basic structural framework of an
organization, but do not specify procedures or policies for its operation,
beyond what is necessary for its survival, e.g., mandating a nominating
committee. There are provisions in the proposed Bylaws which specify the
name, the purpose, the relationship of ALCTS to ALA, the membership
categories, officers, and official publications of ALCTS, and there are
articles which provide instruction about holding meetings and elections,
parliamentary authority, and amending the Bylaws in the future.  These
provisions are typical of any organization and quite similar to our
existing Bylaws. The bylaws also describe the membership and
responsibilities of the Board of Directors, Committees, Interest Groups,
Task Forces, and Forums, but do not describe how any of these groups would
carry out their responsibilities.

Q.  How are the proposed Bylaws related to the recommendations of the
Organizational Structure Task Force?

A.  The report of the Organizational Structure Task Force (OSTF) included
twelve recommendations intended to reduce bureaucracy, empower the
members, reduce overlapping committees, enable timely response to issues,
improve communication within ALCTS, and enhance the identity of ALCTS and
its members. It also recommended a structure that would enable the
division to achieve these goals. As reported in the _ALCTS Newsletter_,
there was extensive discussion about the proposed structure at the section
executive committee and Board of Directors meetings during the Annual
Conference in New Orleans, and modifications were made to the OSTF report.

The bylaws changes that have been sent to the membership for approval
incorporate most of the major recommendations of the Organizational
Structure Task Force. For example, the report recommended a division
structure consisting of standing committees, task forces, interest groups
and joint committees. Although the report did recommend sections, the
discussions at the Annual Conference revealed concern that the sections as
configured in the report did not achieve the goal of visibility for
specific areas of interest of ALCTS members. The evolving discussion
returned to the original proposal of the Task Force to eliminate sections
entirely, but developed the Forums concept to provide the focus and
visibility desired. Thus the proposal derives from the work of the Task
Force and retains its spirit.

Q.  How would bureaucracy be reduced?

A.  Let's take an example. At present, a section committee wishing to
publish a bibliography must have the publication proposal reviewed by the
section publication committee (if there is one) and the section executive
committee; then the proposal is reviewed by the ALCTS Publications
Committee, which makes a recommendation to ALCTS Board of Directors. Under
the proposed structure, the committee would take its proposal directly to
the ALCTS Publications Committee, which would make its recommendation to
the Board of Directors. Other common activities, such as budget requests
and conference program proposals would be handled in a similar fashion.

Q.  How would members be empowered?

A.  Empowerment comes about when a person or group is entrusted to take
action toward a common goal. The members of ALCTS committees, interest
groups, and task forces will be empowered to pursue their activities,
forging alliances with other committees, interest groups or task forces on
their own and seeking financial and other support for their initiatives
directly from the appropriate division-wide committee and the Board.

Q.  How would overlap be reduced?

The first overlap to be reduced will be that of section committees
performing essentially the same functions; these functions will be
assigned to a single division-wide committee. As implementation
progresses, committees now in different sections working on related issues
will be more able to cooperate as they will be part of the same "team"
reporting to the same board.

Q.  How would the "official" response become more timely?

If an interest group, a forum, a committee or the Board of Directors
identifies an issue requiring prompt action, it will be possible to
establish a task force to work on it. It would not be necessary to work
through an existing committee or section structure or identify a reporting
mechanism.  Those members working on the issue will be charged with the
task and given a specific deadline for the completion of their work.

Q.  How would communication be improved?

Forums will provide a focal point for discussion of developments in a
particular area of interest or for preliminary review of key issues. For
members of committees and task forces who must gather a wide range of
background information in order to carry on with a particular assignment,
there will be one place to be assured of obtaining it.  Although we will
not know until several forums have been established and operate for a
conference or two, it is likely that forums will function much like the
Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries
Discussion Group which has traditionally met near the beginning of the
conference to hear reports from a wide variety of agencies, with the
emerging issues picked up by appropriate CMDS (and sometimes AS)
committees for further work as the week progresses.

The Organizational Structure Task Force recommended several ways to
improve communication across the division, including a general reporting
session of the Board and a reduction in scheduling conflicts through a
leaner organization. Such reporting can take place in the forums or at the
Board of Directors as the Task Force intended. For issues reaching the
Board, there will be a central airing of the key points with the key
personnel present to take appropriate action.

Q.  How would the identity of ALCTS be enhanced?

ALCTS is charged by the ALA Council to speak for the American Library
Association on matters falling within its area of expertise--acquisitions,
cataloging, serials, preservation, collection management, and reformatting
of library materials. With a single governing body, that voice will be

Q.  How would the appointments process work under the new bylaws?

The Board of Directors, at its meeting on June 29, 1993, established an
Appointments Committee, and referred its composition and charge to the
Organization and Bylaws Committee. It is probable that the ALCTS
Appointment Committee would consist of 5 to 7 experienced ALCTS members
who represent the diverse interests of the division. Its charge would be
to advise the President-Elect on appointments. The Committee Volunteer
Forms would continue to be used to identify interested persons, and the
committee would assist with matching these expressions of interest with
the skills needed for specific committees.

Q.  If there are fewer committees and fewer elected officers, how would
leaders be developed?

There would be two avenues for becoming involved. The first is the
traditional route of obtaining an appointment. Because all appointments
will be handled by one committee, it is likely that many fewer people will
end up with multiple appointments--and more individuals can be involved.

The second will be through work in the interest groups and forums. Here,
the members present at meetings of the groups or forums will elect
whatever officers are needed or make assignments to complete tasks. In
addition, as task forces are set up, the people who have been instrumental
in bringing the issue forward are likely to be considered as members.
Thus, initiative and interest will be rewarded more directly.

      Because this is an important decision for the ALCTS membership, much
information has been provided to ensure that each and every ALCTS member
will be fully informed and will vote. Here is a complete "bibliography" of
published information:

Work of the Organizational Structure Task Force:

Organizational Structure Task Force Report #1, ALCTS Newsletter, Vol. 3,
no. 6, p. 70-73; Final Report, ALCTS Newsletter,Vol. 4, no. 4, p. 33-45
and AN2, vol. 5, nos. 28 and 29; and OSTF -- Frequently Asked Questions,
AN2, Vol. 5, no. 38

Discussion of the Bylaws revision proposal:

Draft ALCTS Bylaws Revisions (Summary): AN2, Vol. 5, no. 39 [note these
is the pre-conference version; there were changes during conference];
PLMS/RLMS Perspective on Proposed Changes in ALCTS Bylaws, ALCTS
Newsletter, Vol. 4, no. 6/7, p. 66-69; ALCTS Reorganization: The Next Steps,
ALCTS Newsletter, Vol. 4, no. 6/7, p. 66-70 and AN2, vol. 6, no. 4; and
Expanding the Means, ALCTS Newsletter, Vol. 4, no. 6/7, p. 69-70.

     As always please feel free to contact the ALCTS leadership for
additional information: Jennifer Younger, President,;
 Bob Holley, President-Elect, rholley@waynest1; Liz Bishoff, Past

     And above all, do vote.