Dear ACRL Members:
We want ACRL to be an inclusive and dynamic association. We are excited and eager to open more doors, put out more welcome mats, and embrace the changing needs of the profession. To this end, we have been reaching out to the membership in a number of ways that include — as you may remember — surveys and focus groups. We received some excellent feedback and the following proposals address member feedback from these recent survey and focus group assessments. From this data, we understand that you want to find a “home” in ACRL, that you seek ways to easily get involved, and that you desire opportunities to add new groups that better address your interests.
To achieve this, the ACRL Board of Directors is presenting a proposal to change the bylaws to allow the creation of Interest Groups as complements to Discussion Groups and Sections, under the umbrella term “Communities of Practice.” The goal is to provide a more flexible and agile system for members to form groups built around important emerging issues and to increase opportunities for involvement within our organization.
I urge you to support the bylaws changes on the ballot this spring and let me explain these groups with a little more detail.
Interest Groups are intended to be very fluid and flexible. They could form easily and disband quickly in response to environmental changes. For these same reasons, many other ALA Divisions offer Interest Groups as a part of their division structure including LITA, ALCTS, and LAMA. I urge you to embrace these changes and vote “yes.”
The other important issue on the ballot includes numerous procedural and editorial changes to the ACRL Bylaws which will increase organizational efficiency and agility. For example, the change for Article V eliminates the responsibility of the immediate Past President to serve on all ACRL editorial boards. This level of specificity is best left to a policies and procedures document rather than being required by the bylaws. There may be other venues where the Past President’s time and energy are needed as determined by the ACRL Board. Removing this requirement will enable ACRL to more efficiently deploy officers where they are needed at a given time.
Additional information about the proposed changes to the bylaws can be found on the ACRL Election 2008 Webpage. Your support of these changes will expand your opportunities to engage with your colleagues through ACRL.