An Alternative Proposal for the AALL Board on Membership/Bylaws

I’d like to suggest an alternative means of addressing this issue that I think might meet the concerns identified by Michael Ginsborg, Joe Hodnicki,  and others.  The bylaws committee is constituted to consider bylaws in general, but does not in its nature have background or special interest in any particular subject, including membership.  So its consideration of the membership issue was limited in its ability to solicit input or offer a wide range of opinions.  If, as suggested by Michael might happen, the executive board approves the current proposal and submits it to discussion at next year’s annual meeting, then a lot of redrafting will be attempted on the fly, without enough thought. On the other hand, using the distributed ballot prevents any way to modify the proposal to meet concerns. I suggest that the board kills the proposal today, and instead appoints a special committee or task force to review membership categories and related issues.  The committee should include members who are known to be on different sides of the proposal, would have the executive director and perhaps other staff as ex officio members, and could be charged to consult with other organizations, solicit input through various means including virtual town halls, and then report to the executive board well in advance of next year’s annual meeting, say the winter or spring board meeting.

This proposal allows for both a chance to find consensus and obtain factual information from other organizations that could be helpful to us.

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