ANSS Governance

Governance Procedures of the Anthropology and Sociology Section

Revised 1/30/2020

A. Name

The name of the organization shall be the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, hereinafter referred to as the Section.

B. Purpose

ACRL Sections are established primarily for the purpose of building communities of learning and providing professional development and networking opportunities for their members. A Section’s name, purpose, and mission are as proposed by the Section and approved by the ACRL Board. The ACRL Board emphasizes the value of having minimal overlap between the mandates of each section.

The Anthropology and Sociology Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries supports the study of those aspects of library service that require knowledge in the areas of human and societal studies such as anthropology, criminal justice or criminology, sociology, and related fields. It acts for the Association of College and Research Libraries, in cooperation with other professional groups, in those aspects of library service that require knowledge of anthropology, sociology, criminal justice or criminology and related fields.

C. Membership

Any member of the Association of College and Research Libraries is eligible for membership in this Section.

Once an ALA member joins the Association of College and Research Libraries, they can join multiple sections.

The number of “community of practice” affiliations included in the basic ACRL dues is determined by the ACRL Board. The dues for additional affiliations are also set by the ACRL Board.

D. Relationship to ACRL Board

The Board shall be authorized to establish Communities of Practice (including Sections), to monitor activities, and determine the section’s sustained value in consultation with the respective groups. The Board shall also be entitled to establish policies to govern the activities of Communities of Practice. (ACRL Bylaws, Article XV)

The Board of Directors is the voice for the Association. Sections, committees, and other established units can only speak for the Association through the Board. Unit leaders should refrain from issuing statements, taking positions, or endorsing any statements or positions except with Board approval. (ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures, Chapter 5.12.8, Use of ACRL’s Name)

The Board liaison role provides a critical connection between membership structures and the ACRL Board of Directors. This liaison role can be particularly helpful in providing perspective, guidance, and insight regarding ACRL policies, procedures, and initiatives; soliciting feedback from Communities of Practice regarding proposed Board actions; and providing helpful advice regarding Action Plan Proposals and Board Action Forms which community of practice leaders will need to submit for official ACRL Board and ACRL Executive Committee action/decisions. The ACRL liaison relationship exists to enhance communication. Board members do not have previous active affiliations with the sections/interest groups that they serve as to avoid being steered toward an advocacy role. (Tip Sheet for Board Responsibilities)

E. Meetings

The ANSS Section Chair coordinates with ACRL to arrange for any in-person ALA Annual Conference Meetings. The chair is also responsible for planning and arranging the virtual ALA Midwinter meeting for the ANSS Executive Committee. Committee chairs and discussion conveners will arrange the timing and platform of any virtual meeting for their committee/discussion group. Committee chairs/conveners, with the exception of the nominating committee, will post announcements, agendas, and minutes for all ANSS annual and midwinter virtual meetings to ALA Connect.

ACRL units are encouraged to work outside of Midwinter and/or Annual Conference to increase group participation, efficiency, and productivity. When conducting virtual or in-person meetings, committee chairs and discussion group conveners will adhere to the ALA/ACRL bylaws and policies for meetings (See ACRL’s Guide to Policies and Procedures, Chapter 8: Meetings).

The ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1 defines a meeting as “an official assembly, for any length of time following a designated starting time, of the members of any board, committee task force, commission, etc., during which the members do not separate except for a recess and in which the assembly has the capacity to formalize decisions.” This includes virtual, in-person, or phone meetings that meet these criteria (ALA Policy 7.4.4). Committees must confirm all decisions made in these forums by affirming the actions at the next in-person meeting.

There is a distinction between carrying on work of a committee virtually, and conducting a virtual meeting. Asynchronous virtual discussions by email, discussion board, or other asynchronous communication methods do not constitute meetings because they are not an official assembly with a designated start time (ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1).

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (Alice Sturgis) applies to meetings of the Section to the extent that it is applicable, upholds the integrity of the voting processes, helps facilitate progress, and ensures equality, fairness, and common sense.

Section 1. Annual Meetings.

The Section shall hold an annual meeting at the time and place of the annual conference held by the American Library Association.

Section 2. Special Meetings.

It is up to the judgment of the ANSS Executive Committee to call special meetings for the Section.

Section 3. Quorum.

Ten members constitute a quorum for meetings of the whole section.

F. Officers

The Anthropology and Sociology Section shall have a vice-chair/chair-elect and a chair to ensure succession.

Section 1. Officers.

Elected officers of the Anthropology and Sociology Section shall be the chair, chair-elect, immediate past-chair, secretary, and two members-at-large.

Section 2. Terms.

All officers shall serve terms beginning at the conclusion of the annual meeting following their election. The chair serves for one year. The chair-elect serves as vice-chair for one year. At expiration, they succeed to the office of the chair and serves for one year, after which they serve one year as past chair. The secretary’s term is two years. The two members-at-large are elected for two-year staggered terms.

Section 3. Vacancies.  See J. Vacancies

G. Executive Committee

The ANSS Executive Committee is responsible for the stewardship of the Section and the coordination of its activities, provided that it operates within the Section mandate and budget as determined by membership level (ACRL Guide to Policy and Procedure, Basic Services, 4.3.2).

The Executive Committee may establish and appoint standing or ad-hoc committees to assist it in fulfilling the Section’s mandate.

Section 1. Composition.

The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers and the chairs of each standing committee and the discussion group conveners. Voting members shall include the elected officers and, ex officio, a Chair (or designate) from each standing committee, and the conveners from the discussion groups.

Section 2. Powers and Duties.

The main function of the Executive Committee shall be to provide direction for the attainment of the objectives of the Anthropology and Sociology Section. The Executive Committee has authority over the affairs of the Section during the period between meetings of the Section, subject to review by the members at the meeting of the Section.

Section 3. Meetings.

Regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held around the same time of the Annual and Midwinter meetings of the American Library Association. In-person Executive Meetings shall be held at the location of the Annual ALA Conference, Virtual Executive Meetings shall be held during ALA Midwinter. Other meetings may be called at the discretion of the chair. Only members of the Executive Committee may vote at any such meetings.

Section 4. Quorum.

A majority of members constitutes a quorum at any meeting of the Executive Committee.

H. Committees & Discussion Groups


Section 1. Standing Committees.

The Executive Committee has the ability to authorize standing committees charged to consider matters of continuing concern. The name, function, and size of the committees shall be determined at the time it is established. The ANSS chair-elect will appoint the chair and other members of each committee. Appointments shall be made in such a manner as to provide continuity of membership.

Section 2. Ad hoc Committees.

Ad hoc committees for the performance of special assignments may be appointed at any time by the chair after consultation with the Executive Committee. No such committee may be continued beyond two years without review and reauthorization of the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Authorization and Discontinuance.

The ANSS chair can authorize or discontinue ANSS committees with the approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 4. Reporting.

Committee chairs shall report to the Section Chair and Executive Committee at Annual and Midwinter Meetings. Meeting Minutes shall serve as a report to the membership, followed by narrative reports in ANSS Currents issues following the conferences


Section 1. Establishment.

Any group of three or more members of the Section interested in discussing common concerns that fall within the objectives of the Section may form a discussion group upon written petition from the group and approval by the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Members.

Membership in the discussion group shall be open to all members of the Section who are interested in the purpose of the group.

Section 3. Conveners.

When a discussion group is formed, one or more conveners shall be appointed by the vice chair/chair-elect of the Anthropology and Sociology Section. In succeeding years, each group can recommend conveners to the vice chair/chair-elect for appointment or reappointment.  A discussion group convener shall take office after the annual meeting and serve for two years.

Section 4. Reporting.

Discussion group conveners shall report to the Executive Committee at regular meetings and to the membership through the Section Chair at annual meetings.

Section 5. Dissolution.

A discussion group may be dissolved at its request by the Executive Committee of ANSS and shall be dissolved by the Executive Committee if it becomes inactive or fails to comply with the provisions of this Article.

I. Nominations and Elections

To be nominated, elected, and continue to serve on the Anthropology and Sociology Section’s Executive Committee, a person must be a current member of the Section (with ALA and ACRL dues paid).

Section 1. Nominations.

The chair-elect shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three members, one of which is the ANSS past-chair who serves as the committee chair. The Nominating Committee shall select a slate of at least two but no more than four candidates for each elective office. All nominees must be members of the Section and must consent to candidacy in writing.

Section 2. Elections.

Electronic voting is set up by the Association of College & Research Libraries for ANSS elections. For each office, the candidate receiving the plurality of votes cast shall be elected. Ties will be resolved by a vote of the Executive Committee. The election of officers shall be reported to the Executive Director of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

J. Vacancies

Chair. In the event of a vacancy in the office of chair, the chair-elect shall succeed to the office of chair and shall continue in that office until the expiration of the term for which they were originally elected to serve as chair.

Vice-Chair/Chair Elect. If a vacancy occurs in the office of vice-chair/chair elect, the Executive Committee shall elect as vice chair/chair elect, for the remainder of the term, one of the members of the Executive Committee. The office of chair, which the vice-chair/chair elect would normally assume the succeeding year or in the event of a vacancy, will, in the case where a vice-chair has been elected by the Executive Committee, be filled as follows. At the next regular election, two candidates shall be elected, one to take the office of chair immediately, and the other to serve as vice-chair/chair elect.

Past-Chair. If the chair is not able to carry out the duties of past-chair after completing his/her term as chair, the Executive Committee shall elect one of its members to carry out the duties of past-chair.

Secretary. A vacancy in the position of secretary shall be filled by an ANSS member appointed by the chair.

A vacancy in a member-at-large term shall be filled by an ANSS member appointed by the chair.

K. Amendments to Governance Procedures

These Section Operating Procedures may be amended by the following process:

Section 1. Proposal.

Amendments to these Procedures may be proposed in writing by the Executive Committee, a committee appointed for the purpose, or by any three members. Proposals originated with groups of members shall be filed with the secretary.

Section 2. Membership Notification.

A copy of any proposed amendment shall be distributed to ANSS membership by the Secretary in one or more of the following ways: sent out to the membership as an ANSS-L message, published in ANSS Currents, posted to ALA Connect, or published in College and Research Libraries News.

Section 3. Voting.

These Governance Procedures may be formally amended with a vote of the ANSS Executive Committee. Proposed changes may be submitted to ACRL, as long as they are not in conflict with ALA/ACRL by-laws, policies, and procedures. Changes to these governance procedures do not require, and should not include, a ballot vote by the membership. A current copy shall be provided to the Executive Director per ACRL Bylaws, Article XV, Section 3.