Guide to Policies and Procedures Regarding Committee Attendance

The ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures provides guidance in Section 3.3 (see below) on attendance requirements for serving in a division office, on a board, or on a committee. The pertinent sections of the ACRL guide are reproduced below in more detail. Since the ACRL guide does not provide information on legitimate exceptions to the attendance requirement, this document is intended to offer further clarification for Instruction Section committee members and chairs.


To summarize ACRL policy, members of ACRL committees may serve concurrently in up to three separate positions. For each committee or position, members are expected to attend all meetings. Failure to attend two consecutive meetings or groups of meetings without explanation acceptable to the committee chair constitutes grounds for removal.


The obligation is to attend all scheduled meetings for the committee or task force that occur at an ALA conference during the member’s term of appointment. Determination of the legitimacy of the absence is up to the discretion of the committee chair, but acceptable reasons for missing two consecutive meetings might be: individual or family illness or health condition, death in the family, pregnancy, birth or adoption of a child, extraordinary one-time travel problems in getting to conference, or one-time conflict in meeting times with membership on more than one committee. If a committee chair is uncertain about the acceptability of the reason for the absence, the chair may forward the case to the Executive Committee for further review.


Any absence is expected to be reported as soon as it is feasible to do so. Anticipated absences should be reported at least one month prior to the scheduled meeting date to allow the committee chair to make other arrangements. In cases where absences cannot be anticipated, notification should be as far in advance as possible.


If a committee chair determines that the reason for an absence is unacceptable, the chair should submit a request to the Executive Committee that the committee member be removed from the committee. Executive must approve this request before the committee chair notifies the committee member. Once the request for removal is approved, the committee chair notifies the committee member, and the vice-chair/chair-elect appoints a new committee member.


Section 3.3, Requirements for nomination or appointment to division office, boards, and committees

A nominee or appointee to the ACRL Board, office, or committee must:

1. be a personal member of ALA;

2. be a member of ACRL;

3. be willing and able to participate in the activities of the committee, support its mission or concern, and carry out assignments in a timely manner;

4. anticipate attendance at ALA Annual conferences and Midwinter Meetings and at all committee meetings during term of office (see ALA Policy 4.5 below).

ALA Policy 4.4. Member Service Policy

No person shall concurrently serve in more than three separate positions. Governing board, committee, liaison, subcommittee, and other responsibilities which require service in another position (e.g., service on a committee which entails assembly representation) are not in conflict with this policy. The executive director shall notify members when they exceed this limitation.

ALA Policy 4.5. Requirements for Committee Service

With the exception of virtual members, members of all ALA and unit committees are expected to attend all meetings. Failure to attend two consecutive meetings or groups of meetings (defined as all meetings of a committee that take place at one Midwinter meeting or Annual Conference) without an explanation acceptable to the committee chair constitutes grounds for removal upon request by the chair to and approval of the appropriate appointing official or governing board.

Created by the Policy Committee and approved by the Executive Committee in May, 1998.