On AALL Bylaws Proposal, Let’s Keep Our Heads Cool
This morning many AALL members are becoming aware of a draft proposal for several bylaws amendments to be considered by the executive board at its meeting this week. The most controversial of these is to expand the definition of active membership to include anyone who is interested in the objectives of the association. If adopted by the membership, this would allow those employed at information vendors and other non-library/non-information center settings to serve on the executive board. While at this point I favor such a change, I acknowledge that reasonable members can disagree about this proposal. I write this post, however, to urge all members to not assume the board is trying to sneak this by without discussion or thorough consideration of the membership. In order for the bylaws to be amended, after an executive board approval the matter must be submitted to a membership vote. Amendments are approved only by a 2/3 vote at an annual meeting or a majority vote in a distributed (read electronic) ballot. The rationale for this difference is that only a portion – often a minority – of the full membership is at the annual meeting so one wants a supermajority voting there, whereas in a distributed ballot every member has the opportunity to vote, and a majority vote expresses the will of the membership.
The board’s action this week, if it approves the proposal, is but the first step in consideration of the proposal. It is too late to consider it at this year’s annual meeting, so the board must decide as well whether to submit it to distributed balloting or at next year’s annual meeting. I suspect the board intends to submit by distributed balloting, but it would have been helpful if the board book agenda description for this item included a statement as to how the board intends to submit the proposal. As it now reads in the board book, the action is merely to “approve the language of the proposal.”
However the board chooses to proceed, we’ll all have plenty of time to fully discuss the proposal before the membership acts on it. Let’s do so calmly, even if we do so with some passion.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized