Some Substance and a Little Style: RAO Steers Propose Bylaws Revisions to Members

by Jill Severn 

Regular review of an organization’s bylaws is a great way to ensure that the organization remains nimble, responsive, and current. (It is also a great way to make sure that the organization’s image isn’t marred by the presence of typos.)  Last year the RAO steering committee included this review as one of its tasks for the year.  After careful scrutiny, the group determined that a few revisions would clarify and reflect current practice and a broad slathering of spell check would enhance the luster of the section.  Specifically, the chief substantive revisions establish the position of Web Liaison as a voting officer of the section, and detail the broader range of duties performed by the Communications Liaison.  We have also corrected the spelling of “nominating” and “about.”  When SAA voting season rolls around in July, this ballot referendum on the bylaws will appear along with the slate of candidates.  To get ready to weigh in on these proposed bylaws changes, please take a few minutes and review the revisions below.  Changes are denoted in red.

 

Proposed Revisions to Reference Access and Outreach Section Bylaws, 2013:

I. Membership

Membership in the Reference, Access and Outreach Section of the Society of American Archivists is open to any member of SAA who has an interest in reference, access and outreach issues

II. Officers

The officers of the Reference, Access and Outreach Section shall be the chair, the vice chair, and the communications liaison, and the web liaison. Only members of SAA and the Reference, Access and Outreach Section may serve as officers of the Section.

A new vice chair shall be elected at each annual meeting of the Section and shall serve for one year as vice chair, succeeding automatically to the office of chair for the subsequent year. If for any reason the vice chair is unable to succeed to the office of chair, a new chair shall be elected following the same procedures as for election of the vice chair. The communications liaison shall be appointed by the chair, with the advice of the Steering Committee, for a term of two years, which may be renewed indefinitely. Both a chair and a vice chair shall be elected in the first election following the approval of these bylaws. The chair shall preside at all meetings of the Section and the Steering Committee; represent the Section in its relations with SAA in general and with the Council and other groups within SAA; serve on SAA committees, task forces, etc. as an ex-officio member when required or appoint a representative to do so; appoint Section committees as needed; and submit an annual report of Section activities to the SAA executive office. The vice chair shall serve as acting chair in the absence of the chair. The communications liaison is responsible for issuing at least one newsletter annually to the Section membership.

The communications liaison shall be appointed by the chair, with the advice of the Steering Committee, for a term of two years, which may be renewed indefinitely. The Communications Liaison is responsible for issuing at least one newsletter annually to the Section membership.  The Communications Liaison is also responsible for using various communication modes, such as the Section listserv, Facebook, and Society of American Archivist publications to communicate with the Section membership about news and events.

The Web Liaison shall be appointed by the chair, with the advice of the Steering Committee, for a term of two years, which may be renewed indefinitely. The Web Liaison is responsible for maintaining and updating the Reference, Access and Outreach Section microsite as well as creating new content as needed. The Web Liaison collaborates with the Communications Liaison to distribute information to the Section.

III. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall consist of the officers and four members. The members shall serve two year terms, two members being elected at each annual meeting with additional members elected if for any reason unexpired terms need to be filled. The Steering Committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the chair and its members may be assigned specific responsibilities by the chair. The Steering Committee shall plan each annual meeting of the Section.

IV. Election of Officers and Steering Committee

There shall be a Nominating Nominating and Elections Committee consisting of the immediate past chair of the Section (serving as chair of the Committee) and the two Steering Committee members whose terms are not expiring at the conclusion of the next annual meeting. Utilizing an announcement issued by the Section chair, this Committee shall solicit from Section members the names of volunteers or persons recommended for the positions to be filled in the next election. All persons whose names are submitted to the Committee or proposed by the Committee itself shall be considered nominees if they agree to have their names placed in nomination and are members of SAA and the Section. The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that there is at least one nominee for the position of vice chair and that the number of nominees for membership on the Steering Committee is not less than the number of positions to be filled. The Nominiating Nominating and Elections Committee shall distribute information aout about the nominees to the membership of the Section at least 45 days before the Annual Meeting. The election shall be conducted in the manner specified by SAA Council. A simple majority of the votes cast shall be required for election to vice chair. Members of the Section may vote for as many nominees for member of the Steering Committee as there are positions to be filled and the nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected. Elected officers and Steering Committee members shall assume office at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the Section.

V. Meetings

The Reference, Access and Outreach Section shall meet once a year at the annual SAA meeting at the time and place scheduled by the SAA program committee and executive office. Additional meetings of the entire membership or the Steering Committee may be scheduled by the chair if needed to carry out the business of the Section. 


VI. Amendments

Any member of the Reference, Access and Outreach Section may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the chair at least 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting. The chair shall publish proposed amendments at least 45 days prior to the Annual Meeting and voting on the proposed amendments shall be in the same manner as the election of officers. A two thirds majority of votes cast shall be required to amend these bylaws.

VII. Enactment

These bylaws shall be distributed to the membership of the Section with a mail ballot for their approval or rejection. They shall become effective immediately if approved by a majority of the votes cast by the deadline set for the return of the ballots.

 

Adopted 1996 Revised 2009, Revised 2010.

 


 

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