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Orientation Guide for Committees & Officers: Officers & Committee Structure

ACRL WSS Officers and Structure

Both ACRL and WSS have formal by-laws that further clarify the structures of the organization. Procedures and duties within the section may be changed upon discussion with the Executive Committee; WSS by-law s changes must be voted on by membership.

Executive Committee:

As outlined in the WSS bylaws, the Executive Committee is composed of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Past Chair, Secretary, two Members-at-Large, and the Chairs of standing committees. If the following are not also elected officers or chairs of standing committees, they serve as ex-officio, non-voting members of the Executive Committee: the Newsletter Editors, the Web Editor, the Core Books Editors, and the WGSSLinks Editor. Meetings of the Executive Committee are open. The Committee approves the formation, charge and size of new committees; reviews any formal project emanating from the Section; delegates tasks to committees or to members of the Executive Committee itself; decides on other Section procedures. Members of the Executive Committee also attend the WSS Leadership Orientation session at Annual Conference. Specific duties of the officers and the various editors include but are not limited to:

  • Chair:
    Conduct Executive Committee meetings; observe or designate someone to observe at ACRL Board; represent the Section as need arises. Make committee appointments for current year, revise and distribute section committee rosters at Midwinter to Chairs, Executive Committee, and the Newsletter Editor. Introduce WSS program at Annual and chair Membership meetings. Prepare summaries of ACRL meetings or pass on copies of ACRL correspondence for Executive Committee members as necessary. Prepare remarks for WSS Newsletter. Submit section budget requests, meeting room requests, and strategic planning reports. Attend (or send a delegate) to ACRL Sections Council (see below).
  • Vice-Chair:
    Make full slate of committee appointments for upcoming year; prepare rosters with new appointments, send to Chairs during the spring and distribute at Annual conference. Assume responsibilities of Chair if required. Serve ex-officio on ACRL Program Committee for year she will be Section Chair; attend Sections Council as designated by Chair. Plan and preside at WSS Leadership Orientation session held at Annual Conference.
  • Immediate Past Chair:
    May attend ACRL Sections Council or other meetings as needed. Chair the Awards Committee . Review and update the section’s Orientation Guide. May be called upon for planning purposes or section reviews, etc.
  • Secretary:
    Prepare and distribute minutes of all Executive Committee and Membership meetings; keep attendance records for Executive Committee and Membership meetings. The Secretary also maintains current copies of the Bylaws and the Publication Manual. See: Secretary Orientation Guide
  • Members-at-Large:
    Participate fully in Executive Committee work. Serve as liaison to committees within WSS, ACRL, or other groups (e.g. Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, Feminist Task Force, New Members Round Table), as designated by the Chair. Assist Vice-Chair in planning Leadership Orientation session held at Annual Conference. May be assigned special projects. Should be attentive to general membership needs as expressed in meetings and programs. Should attend all Business/Membership meetings and the WSS Leadership Orientation.
  • Newsletter Editors:
    There are two editors serving staggered two-year terms, the first year as Assistant Editor and the second year as Editor. Editors are non-voting ex-officio members of the Executive Committee and of the Publications Committee. Editors may divide up the editorial and text inputting tasks as is most convenient for them. Camera-ready copy is sent to ACRL for production and mailing. Editors solicit input and news from WSS Officers, Committee Chairs and members and may also write original copy, reviews, etc. At least one editor should be at every WSS Executive Committee meeting, the Publications Committee meeting , and at all section-wide Membership, Leadership Orientation, and Program meetings (other committee meetings need not be covered in person since Committee Chairs will report). Editors also must attend the ACRL meetings for section newsletter editors and may attend the ACRL Publications Committee meeting.
  • Web Editor:
    Serves a three year term. Non-voting ex-officio member of the Executive Committee and the Publications Committee, attending committee meetings at conferences. Manages the WSS web site; adds new material and revisions as needed (conference information, newsletters, award winners). Keeps officers and committee information up to date. Maintains relationship with site host. Addresses concerns and comments about the pages.
  • Core Books Editors:
    Serve a three year term. Non-voting ex-officio members of the Executive Committee and Collection Development Committee. The Core Books editors work together to develop and clarify guidelines for the Core Books database. Meet with Core Book compilers at both Annual and Midwinter meetings to discuss relevant issues, to review inputting procedures, and to foster an ongoing discussion of the criteria used to select titles for the database. One editor manages the list of compilers, sending out deadlines and reminders, and recruits new compilers as needed. The other editor is responsible for the electronic publication of the lists and acts as liaison to the database host.
  • WGSSLinks Editor:
    Serves a three year term. Non-voting ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. Maintains the WGSSLinks web pages; solicits additions and coordinates changes and deletions of sub-pages; recruits new list compilers; monitors updating of pages; addresses concerns and comments about the pages.

WSS Committee Structure:

WSS currently has 7 standing committees (Awards, Collection Development, Electronic Resources and Access, Instruction, Membership, Publications, and Research) and 2 ‘housekeeping’ committees (Program and Nominating), all reporting to the Executive Committee. Their charges are listed in Appendix I. Committees may be created, disbanded or re-directed by vote of the Executive Committee; members are appointed by the Vice-Chair for the following committee year, or by the Chair if there is a vacancy in the current year. Generally each committee is allocated a certain number of members at the time it is established. Committee members are appointed for staggered 2 year terms and Chairs for 1 year terms, both renewable; the maximum length of service on a committee is 4 years. Both ACRL & ALA have policies on committee service, requirements for attendance, and the like; see WSS Committee Tasks and Services section of this guide.

  • Ad Hoc committees:
    Are created for a specific project and usually have a termination date, as opposed to a standing committee. They are established by the Executive Committee and members appointed by the WSS Chair or Vice-Chair, depending on when the committee is to begin work.
  • Special categories of committee members:
    There are several ways you can temporarily expand your committee to work on large projects, ensure continuity, and keep good members active, without formally requesting a change in your committee’s charge or composition:
        Interns: See ACRL guidelines. Appointed by WSS Chair.
        Subcommittees: Any committee can create an ad-hoc subcommittee with the approval of the WSS Executive Committee. Subcommittee members need not be members of the main committee; this can be a way to bring new people in or use previous members on a project.
  • Liaisons:
    Formal links may be established between WSS committees and other ACRL or ALA units (e.g. in topics like collection development, BI, or technical services); these must be approved by the WSS Executive Committee. Not all such arrangements require two-way links with one person from each unit, and they can be for a fixed time or ongoing. Duties and procedures for liaisons should be specified at the time of appointment. Committees are encouraged to maintain informal liaisons (phone calls, observing meetings, etc.) with relevant units in ALA, but not to make commitments on projects without clearance. Informal relationships with groups outside ALA / ACRL (such as NWSA) may be established with the approval of the Executive Committee.

ACRL Divisional committees affecting sections:

There are many committees within ACRL that have an impact on the way WSS may function. See the ALAHandbook of Organization for a complete list; sections do not have automatic representation except on the Program Committee.

  • ACRL Sections Council:
    Composed of 2 officers (selected from Chair, Vice-Chair, or Past Chair) from all sections; meets once during conference; nominates candidates for at-large seats on the ACRL Board. Monitors ACRL business and policies that affect sections.
  • Publications:
    Coordinates all division publishing; has to approve any official publications emanating from the division. Prepares publishing guidelines that are included in ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures. Oversees section newsletters.
  • Program:
    Either the WSS Program Committee Chair or the WSS Vice-Chair is a member of this committee in planning for the overall conference program for the next year. Sections are informed of division-wide themes and priorities, and outline program plans across the division are shared.
  • Budget and Finance:
    Makes budget recommendations to the ACRL Board of Directors and advises the Board on fiscal matters related to the division. A WSS representative should attend or submit special requests if non-routine financial needs arise.
  • Standards and Accreditation:
    If the Section wishes to promulgate official guidelines or standards in some area, such documents are reviewed by this committee. There are criteria and definitions established by the divisions for how standards are prepared and promulgated. ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedureshas a separate manual for standards policies and procedures; there is also an ALA Standards Manual.
  • Constitution and Bylaws:
    If WSS feels the divisional bylaws governing the nature of and procedures for sections need revision, we submit proposals to this committee.

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