Manual for Officers, Chairs and Committee Members

2003 Edition, Revised July 2014


This manual is intended to serve as a guide to the organization, procedures, and policies of the Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), both for candidates for office of the Section, and for newly appointed committee members, committee chairs, and discussion group conveners. The ANSS Review and Planning Committee is responsible for updating this manual (see the June 18, 2001 minutes of the ANSS Executive Committee.)

The acceptance of a committee appointment or candidacy is extremely important to the Section. It is through concerned volunteer efforts that the association produces the fundamental benefits and products, which are so essential to professional development and improved service in individual libraries.

It is hoped that this manual will be effective in setting you on the right foot and enabling you to build on the achievements resulting thus far from the hard work of your predecessors.

For additional information, readers are urged to refer to the current ALA Handbook of Organization and ACRL’s Guide to Policies and Procedures, or to contact a member of the ANSS Executive Committee or the office of the ACRL Executive Director.


  • Relationship of ANSS to ACRL
  • ACRL and ANSS Budget
    • Allowable Expenses
    • Reimbursement Process
  • ALA and ACRL Policy on Committee Membership
    • Accepting a Committee Appointment or Nomination for Office
    • Committee Chair Checklist
    • Discussion Group Convener Checklist
  • ANSS Elected Officers
    • Responsibilities/Checklists
  • Committees
    • Charges and Responsibilities
  • Discussion Groups
  • Charges and Responsibilities
  • Historical Highlights


  • Checklist for ANSS Chair
  • Checklist for ANSS Vice Chair/Chair Elect
  • Checklist for Past Chair (as Chair of Nominating and Review and Planning)
  • Checklist for ANSS Secretary
  • Checklist for Members-at-Large
  • Checklist for Committee Chairs
  • Checklist for Discussion Group Conveners
  • Sample Letter for Making Committee Appointments
  • Sample Letters to New and Dropped Members
  • Sample Thank You Letters to ANSS Committee Members and Chairs
  • Offer of Thank You Letter to Supervisor from ANSS Chair
  • Archival Guidelines
  • ANSS Letterhead (not currently available)
  • ANSS Sign-in Sheet


The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Within ACRL there are 17 sections, 14 of which are designated “type of activity” sections. The remaining three are based on type of library. For more information, see ACRL Sections.


ANSS is a discipline-based, “type-of-activity” section supporting the study of those aspects of library service that require knowledge in anthropology, sociology, criminal justice and related fields. The ANSS Chair and Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect (Past-Chair optional) represent the section at both ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings as part of the Communities of Practice Assembly (COPA) and Leadership Council (typically a Friday, beginning at 1pm). The COPA charge is to serve as a “conduit of information” for ACRL’s sections and interest groups. COPA replaced the ACRL Sections Council (1998 ~ 2008).


The fiscal year begins September 1 and ends August 31. ACRL staff submits the budget to ALA the spring prior to the beginning of that fiscal year, and the ACRL Board approves the budget at Annual Conference. All sections are eligible for Basic Services Funding. The level of funding is based on the size of the section’s membership (base is 1,000 with an additional $0.75 per section member over 400). There are no carryover funds from year to year. For more details on funds, see Chapter 4 of the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures.

ANSS is a small section, and typically does not get much above the $1,000 base amount. The ANSS Chair is the one who receives the budget each year, and is the one to approve expenditures/reimbursements.


ANSS members may be reimbursed for photocopying and postage, purchasing section promotional materials (e.g. ANSS 40th Anniversary Buttons and Magnets).

ANSS Program Committee Chairs/Members may request a reimbursement for taking program speakers to lunch or dinner. Non-librarian speakers (e.g. teaching faculty, business owner, etc.) may request an honoraria or travel expenses.

ANSS Liaisons may request up to $150.00 (budget permitting) to support their membership and attendance at AAA and ASA. Receipts must be submitted (e.g. registration receipt) in order to receive reimbursement.


ANSS Program Committee Chairs may request funds to help provide refreshments during the ALA Annual program. Availability of funds depends on the ANSS budget. Non-MLS/Non-Librarian speakers may seek varying levels of support. Amount must be approved by ANSS Chair prior to confirming the speaker, and cannot exceed $1,000 per ACRL policy.

ANSS brochures, buttons, flyers, etc. may all be paid for out of the section budget. Obtain all costs up front in order to ensure that there is enough funds to cover all costs. Individuals who pay for promotional materials out-of-pocket are eligible for full reimbursement (see HOW TO SUBMIT REQUESTS FOR REIMBURSEMENT).


  • Equipment and software purchases.
  • Librarian (holds MLS or works in the field of library science) speaker expenses and travel honoraria (this is in accordance with ALA fiscal policy).
  • Discussion groups are not eligible for any ACRL funds to support invited speakers (regardless of non-librarian status) or request reimbursement for taking speakers out to lunch and/or dinner.

Funds may be used only for the purpose for which they have been approved. Request for reimbursement for ANSS activities must have the approval of the ANSS Chair, to whose budget the claim will be charged.


Fill out the Reimbursement Request Form (see the form specifically for Sections). Make an original and one copy of the form and all attachments.

NOTE: In the case of an honorarium, prepare a second Reimbursement Request Form that includes the person’s social security number as well as itemized expenses. Attach a copy of the letter of agreement.

Obtain the approving signature of the ANSS Chair. Send copies of the Reimbursement Request form and attachments to the appropriate ACRL Program Officer (currently Megan Griffin). Note that restaurant receipts and/or taxi receipts must be sent in original form – copies are not accepted. If a receipt is electronic, it can be emailed to the ACRL Program Officer.
Megan Griffin
ACRL Program Officer
American Library Association
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

A form letter acknowledging receipt of the request form will be sent to you by the ACRL office. Allow three to four weeks for your request to go through the ALA accounting process and for receipt of your reimbursement. Requests usually must be submitted before August 16 of the current fiscal year.



To serve on any committee within ACRL, one must be a member of the Association. It is ALA policy that no member of ALA may serve simultaneously on more than three committees, including division and section committees, unless membership is ex officio. It is also ALA policy that committee members are to attend the meetings of the committee at both the Midwinter and Annual conferences of the Association. Neither ALA nor ACRL provides funds for committee members to attend these meetings. Members may be reappointed for a maximum of two consecutive terms not to exceed five years. The maximum of five years also applies to any time spent in chairing a section committee.


You will receive an automated ACRL ANSS Appointment Acceptance email which you must then confirm online (ALA login required) to be officially appointed. For any questions regarding your appointment, you must contact the current ANSS Vice-Chair/Chair Elect. Most committee members are appointed for two-year terms. Terms begin after the annual conference concludes (e.g. you volunteer in February, term does not begin until July).


The chair of the ANSS Nominating Committee will provide you with instructions for completing your biographical information and statement of concern.


Prior to both the Midwinter and Annual meetings of ALA, all committee chairs must draft an agenda. Upon completion, all agendas are provided (in Word or PDF format) to the Chair of ANSS. Agendas are typically due to the section’s ACRL liaison approximately three weeks before the conference. If you are having a virtual meeting (only applies to committees – discussion groups always meet in-person at both conferences), an agenda is still required, and should be posted to ANSSWeb as well as the committee’s ALA Connect space. Open meetings taking place outside of the conference are to be advertised on ANSS-L and ALA Connect to allow guests the opportunity to attend.

Upon completion of the final meeting of your committee at both the Midwinter and Annual Conferences of ALA, prepare an official copy of the minutes to be submitted to the ANSS Chair (in Word or PDF format) as well as a blurb for Currents (send blurb to Currents editor, typically one of the Publication Committee’s chairs). Minutes are typically due three weeks after the conference concludes.

The Chair of ANSS collects all agendas and minutes, and by the due date, creates a zipped folder, and emails to the appropriate ACRL liaison as well as the current ANSSWeb editor.

All chairs/conveners serve as ex-officio members of the ANSS Executive Committee. If there are co-chairs/co-conveners, at least one should plan to attend midwinter and annual in-person, and at least one of the Executive Committee meetings.

For a full list of general Chairing and Convening responsibilities, please see below. Nuanced information by committee is provided in that committee’s section of this manual.



  1. Assume responsibility for the work of your committee immediately after the Annual Conference (all committee appointments begin at that time). The first required meeting for all members is the Midwinter meeting following the appointment. A virtual meeting may take place instead of an in-person meeting. Follow the Cyber Participation Policy guidelines in scheduling and managing your meeting.
  2. Make arrangements with outgoing chair to discuss the work and direction of the committee and any specific responsibilities that have been assumed by members (ideally done during the Annual Conference or soon thereafter).
  3. Be ready to make suggestions to vice chair/chair elect for committee appointments to your committee.


  1. Maintain a roster of current committee members, with office, home and e-mail addresses and telephone numbers.
  2. Chair meetings of the committee at Annual and Midwinter Conferences or virtually as appropriate (some ANSS committees meet multiple times during the year).
  3. Distribute official ANSS Sign-in Sheet at each meeting and provide the sheet to one of the ANSS Members-at-Large immediately after the conference (typically during Exec II). If unable to provide hard-copy, send a scanned copy following the conference via email.
  4. Report on committee’s activities at meetings of the ANSS Executive Committee.
  5. Submit meeting time and space needs to ANSS Chair when prompted. The scheduling of Midwinter and Annual takes place far in advance of the actual conference (e.g. Jan 31 for ALA Annual). If you anticipate needing something special (A/V, internet connection), let the ANSS Chair know ASAP. Please keep in mind that wireless access is typically not available in meeting rooms unless requested.
  6. Three weeks prior to each meeting, prepare and send an agenda for your committee meeting to your committee members and the ANSS Chair.
  7. Arrange for minutes to be taken and send a draft to Committee members and finalized draft to the ANSS Chair within one month following each meeting (deadline will be provided by the ANSS Chair).
  8. Send a brief meeting report to the ANSS Currents editor within one month following each meeting.


  1. Start on time.
  2. Ask a member to take minutes, if there is no secretary.
  3. Distribute a sign-up sheet; ask all attendees to sign (name and institutional address) and indicate whether they are members or visitors, and if they are interested in committee work.
  4. Ask for self-introductions of all in attendance; welcome all, especially new members.
  5. Check on comfort (enough chairs?). Can everyone hear? etc.
  6. Call for approval of minutes of last meeting.
  7. Make announcements, i.e., time and place of related meetings.
  8. Review committee’s charge.
  9. Discuss agenda items; call for reports from members; try to have enough copies of all documents for all those present; keep the discussion focused; establish time constraints, if necessary, for each agenda item.
  10. Summarize discussion; set action items and make individual assignments; establish deadlines for correspondence or other reports; develop preliminary agenda for next meeting.
  11. Set date and time needs for next meeting.
  12. Close the meeting.
  13. Approximately one month before the next meeting, send copy of minutes to all members, along with agenda for upcoming meeting. Copies of agenda should also be sent to the ANSS Chair.



  1. Prior to the beginning of your appointment, contact the outgoing convener(s) to discuss past topics, publicity, logistics, coordination with other Committees, and other details related to the successful running of the discussion group.
  2. Assume responsibility for the discussion group immediately after the ALA Annual conference.


  1. A few months prior to each conference, the convener(s) selects a topic for the group’s discussion.
  2. Select a format for the discussion. Identify and recruit experts to lead the discussion, if needed. Funding is not available to support guest speakers.
  3. The ANSS Chair will automatically schedule A/V as well as asking for one live internet connection and/or special wireless password on your behalf.
  4. Several weeks prior to the conference, send announcement of the discussion topic to ANSS-L, including: date, time, location, title and description of topic, and (if applicable) speakers’ names and affiliations.
  5. Prepare an agenda to distribute at the discussion group meeting. Prior to conference, send a copy of the agenda to the ANSS Chair by the due date (typically two to three weeks ahead of the conference).
  6. Attend opening ANSS Executive Committee held on Saturday morning at Midwinter and Annual Conference. Report on plans for the discussion group’s session and pick up ANSS brochures for distribution at the session. Brochures may also be obtained at the ACRL booth.
  7. If possible, attend closing ANSS Executive Committee to recap discussion group session. It is helpful to have a written summary to give to the ANSS Secretary to facilitate minute-taking.


  1. Discussion group conveners start the session, hand out the agenda, introduce speakers, moderate the discussion, and close the session. Make announcements of other ANSS or ACRL activities as appropriate.
  2. Distribute Sign-In Sheet and ANSS brochures to all attendees.
  3. Supporting materials may be made available, such as bibliographies, handouts supplied by the speaker, ANSS membership and program announcement flyers. Reimbursement can be made by the Section for photocopying.


  1. Give Sign-In Sheets to Members-At-Large at second ANSS Executive Committee meeting or email a scanned copy to them after the conference.
  2. Prepare discussion group summary and send to the ANSS Chair.
  3. Submit brief report to ANSS Currents newsletter editor on the discussion group’s session.
  4. Send thank you letters to speakers.
  5. Outgoing discussion group convener should make arrangements to meet with the incoming convener to pass along relevant information.



Official ALA elections are carried out each spring. Terms of office begin at the close of the Annual Conference following the election.

Elected offices include Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary (odd numbered years), and Member-at-Large (two positions, overlapping years).

The successful candidate for the position of vice chair/chair elect of ANSS serves for one year in that position, followed by one year as chair and then another as past chair.

The secretary of ANSS is elected in odd-numbered years to serve a two-year term.

The two members-at-large serve as co-chairs of the ANSS Membership committee, the terms are overlapping two-year terms, with one being elected each year.



  1. Serves as an officer of ANSS, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the Section and ACRL.
  2. Oversees the development, implementation, and reporting of the section’s contribution to, and support of, the ACRL Plan for Excellence.
  3. Chairs all meetings of the Executive Committee at Annual and Midwinter Conferences.
  4. Attends meetings of Section committees, where possible.
  5. Conducts all meetings in accordance with ALA’s “Open Meeting” policy. (Source: ALA Policy 7.4.3)
  6. Serves as ex-officio member of the Conference Program Planning Committee and oversees the ANSS program at Annual Conference.
  7. Chairs annual meeting of Section which follows program.
  8. Collects all meeting agendas prior to the ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences and provides electronic copies (Word or PDF) to the appropriate ACRL staff program officer and ANSSWeb editor (compressed folder works best, e.g.
  9. Collects all meeting minutes/reports after the ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences and provides electronic copies (Word or PDF) to the appropriate ACRL staff program officer and ANSSWeb editor (compressed folder works best, e.g.
  10. Meets deadlines for requests for payment or reimbursement.
  11. Schedules all of the section’s committee meetings (except programs) for the ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual Conferences. Please ensure that the discussion groups have projectors, screens and one live internet connection (wired or wireless).
  12. Prepares thank you letters to members, vendors, etc. when appropriate on behalf of the Section.
  13. Oversees ANSS budget and approves all budget allocations/expenditures.
  14. Works with appropriate ACRL Project Officer to obtain any necessary Letter of Agreements for invited speakers (pertains to the ANSS Program).
  15. As primary contact for the Section, responds to inquiries from members and non-members regarding ANSS interests and activities.
  16. Coordinates membership vote on bylaws once the Secretary has notified the membership at least 30 days before the annual meeting or before placement on the ACRL election ballot in the spring. If the vote is at the annual meeting, adds to agenda of annual meeting. If the proposal is on the spring ballot, makes sure the Nominating Committee Chair forwards proposals to ACRL for inclusion on the ballot.
  17. Co-represents with vice-chair/chair-elect the section on ACRL Communities of Practice Assembly.
  18. Leads the ANSS General Membership Meeting – essentially introducing new officers, major announcements, during the ANSS Annual program.
  19. Attends and participates in ACRL Leadership Council sessions (usually held Friday afternoons at the ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences). Reports back to Executive Committee on activities during this meeting.

ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures – Section Chair

Vice Chair / Chair Elect

  1. Serves as an officer of ANSS, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the Section and ACRL.
  2. As a member of the Executive Committee, attends meetings of the Annual and Midwinter Conferences, including, if possible, those at the Annual Conference immediately preceding taking office.
  3. Immediately after assuming office as vice chair/chair elect after the Annual Conference appoints a Nominating Committee, with the ANSS Past Chair as the committee chair, which is responsible for producing a slate of candidates for Section office. (Source: ALA Bylaws, Article III, Section 1.a).
  4. Appoints a Conference Program Planning Committee, with chair(s), that is responsible for planning the Section’s program at the Annual Conference during year as chair. Serves as ex-officio member of the committee.
  5. Makes appointments to all other ANSS committees using the online volunteer database. May solicit volunteers through the current committee chair or via ANSS-L.
  6. Appoints discussion group conveners using the online volunteer database. May solicit volunteers through the current committee chair or via ANSS-L. Responds, as needed or requested by the chair, to inquiries from members and non-members regarding Section interests and activities.
  7. With ANSS Chair, co-represents ANSS in Communities of Practice Assembly (COPA) and attends the ACRL Leadership Council during ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences (typically held Friday afternoon).

ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures – Section Vice-Chair/Chair Elect

Past Chair

  1. Serves as an officer of ANSS, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the Section and ACRL.
  2. As a member of the Executive Committee, attends meetings of the committee at ALA Annual and Midwinter Conferences.
  3. Serves as chair of the Nominating Committee for the following year’s elections. Term begins after midwinter when Past Chair. Work is completed soon after the ALA Annual Conference.
  4. Serves as chair of the Review and Planning Committee.
  5. As chair of the Review and Planning Committee, coordinates the updating of the ANSS Manual, as needed. The current manual is hosted on ANSSWeb.
  6. Performs other tasks as assigned by the Executive Committee.
  7. If available, co-represents ANSS (with Chair and Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect) in the ACRL Communities of Practice Assembly (COPA) and at the ARCL Leadership Council Meeting at ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences (typically Friday afternoon).

ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures – Section Past Chair


  1. Serves as an officer of ANSS, and thus as a member of the Executive Committee, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the Section and ACRL.
  2. Serves as a member of the Review and Planning Committee.
  3. Attends and takes minutes at all meetings of the Executive Committee and Review and Planning Committee held at Annual and Midwinter Conferences. Within one month of each meeting sends a draft to members of the Executive Committee. Finalized drafts are sent to the chair to be passed on to the ANSSWeb editor and the appropriate ACRL Program Coordinator.
  4. Emails draft minutes to membership via ANSS-L prior to next Annual or Midwinter meeting.
  5. Brings paper copies of draft minutes to next Annual or Midwinter Executive meeting for approval. Makes corrections if any and submits approved minutes to the appropriate ACRL Program Coordinator and editor of ANSSWeb.
  6. When necessary, takes minutes at the General ANSS membership meeting, which follows the program during the Annual Conference.
  7. Provides attendance sheets for all ANSS meetings.
  8. If possible, also attends Executive Committee meetings at Annual Conference immediately preceding taking office.
  9. Distributes Executive Committee minutes to: members of the committee, others who may by their attendance at meetings indicate a desire to receive them, and any other interested persons requesting them.
  10. Accepts proposals for bylaw amendments from groups of ANSS members and distributes proposals to the ANSS membership at least 30 days before the vote in one or more of the following ways: arranges for publication in ANSS Currents, and sends out to the membership as an ANSS-L message.
  11. If ANSS bylaws changes are approved by the Executive Committee, distributes the changes to the ANSS membership in one of the following ways: at least 30 days before the annual membership meeting sends out as an ANSS-L message, or publishes in College and Research Libraries News, or publishes in ANSS Currents.
  12. Prepares and forwards announcements of ANSS activities to appropriate media at request of Executive Committee.
  13. Passes minutes and agenda of Executive Committee meetings to successor at end of term of office.
  14. Other tasks as assigned by Executive Committee.


  1. Serves as an officer of ANSS, and assists in advancing the goals and objectives of the Section and ACRL.
  2. As a member of the Executive Committee, attends meetings of the Committee at Annual and Midwinter Conferences, including, if possible, those at the Annual Conference immediately preceding the taking of office.
  3. The two members-at-large co-chair the Membership Committee.
  4. Assists with planning the ANSS Social that takes place during both Midwinter and Annual Conferences.
  5. Engages in outreach to new, returning, and potential members.
  6. Other tasks as assigned by Executive Committee.
  7. Serves as an ex-officio member of the ACRL Membership Committee and attends meetings of the Committee at Annual and Midwinter Conferences.

For more information on Committee Chair responsibilities, see the Committee Chair Checklist


Standing committees carry out much of the work of ANSS. Except for the Executive Committee, which has been described previously and whose members are elected by the Section membership, all committee members and chairs are appointed by the vice chair/chair elect of the Section and serve for either one or two year terms.

At present the active standing committees of ANSS are:

Note: All committee meetings, except meetings of the Nominating Committee, are open to members of ALA.


Background: The Executive Committee dates from the beginning of the Section. See ANSS Historical Highlights for more information.

Charge: The powers and duties of the Executive Committee are delineated in the ANSS Bylaws, Section VI.

Composition: The Executive Committee is comprised of the six elected ANSS officers and the chairs of the standing committees, who serve ex-officio and are voting members.


Background: The Bibliography Committee was proposed in February 1981. David McDonald and Patricia White wrote the first draft of the committee’s composition, charge, suggested reports, and timetable for review. This was revised and adopted in June 1981, by the Executive Committee. The name was formally changed to Resource Review and Bibliography as of 2012.

Lynne M. Schmelz was appointed first chair. Bonnie Nelson, Sandra Kerbel, Sharon Rogers and Paula Perry were its first members. The Resource Review & Bibliography Committee was given standing committee status in June 1982.

Charge (revised 06/30/2014): The Resource Review & Bibliography Committee is charged with reviewing and analyzing the current state of bibliographic and other research tools in anthropology, sociology, criminal justice and related fields. Based on these analyses, it identifies specific areas needing improved access, recommends how to effect such improvements, identifies various research resources and their potential uses, and reinforces successful efforts to improve access to literature in sociology, anthropology, and related fields. It also disseminates information about research resources in these fields to the ANSS membership, seeking to provide content useful for reference, research, teaching, and collection development

Composition: The Resource Review & Bibliography Committee consists of no fewer than five and no more than nine ANSS members, who serve two-year terms.


Background: Although the bylaws state that the Executive Committee serves as the program committee, for many years a separate Program Planning Committee has been appointed.

Charge (Revised 05/27/2014): The Conference Program Planning Committee is charged with choosing a timely topic of interest to ANSS members in particular, and to a broad spectrum of ALA members in general, to recruit expert speakers on this topic, and make a formal proposal to present this program at the ALA Annual Conference. The process is competitive, and co-sponsorship with other ACRL sections is strongly encouraged. A summary of all programs presented by ANSS is included on ANSSWeb under Historical Highlights. The Committee may also arrange a special tour of a library, information center, or cultural center of interest to ANSS members during the Annual Conference.

Composition: The Conference Program Planning Committee has traditionally consisted of three to four members, who serve for two years. The timetable is as follows: a committee appointed by the vice chair/chair elect after the Annual Conference begins its work at the next Midwinter meeting and is responsible for the program at the following Annual Conference. Meeting the deadlines established by the ALA Conference Arrangements Office is an essential task of the committee’s chair. For more information see the ALA Annual Conference Programs FAQ.


In 2004, ANSS established an Ad-Hoc Information Literacy Committee. As the work of the committee proceeded, it became clear to the committee members that this ad-hoc group should be converted into a standing committee. The Executive Committee voted to create this standing committee at ALA Midwinter 2006 in San Antonio.

Charge (Revised 6/08): The Instruction and Information Literacy committee is charged with recommending how the Information Literacy Standards for Anthropology and Sociology Students can be applied, adapted and implemented, and disseminating its findings. The Committee shall review these standards every five years (as is done with ACRL’s IL Standards and update and revise them as appropriate).

The Committee will co-sponsor/co-plan information literacy and library instruction related activities within ANSS, and work with appropriate and related ACRL/ALA committees and relevant scholarly organizations. The Committee shall address the latest developments and issues related to instruction, information literacy, librarian-faculty collaboration and other areas identified and recommended by the ANSS Executive Committee.

Composition: The Committee consists of a minimum of four members, who are appointed for a two-year term.


Background: The idea of a separate committee to handle formal liaison between ANSS and other professional organizations and bodies active in the documentation and librarianship of anthropology and sociology was first proposed at the 1990 Midwinter meeting in Chicago, and Robert B. Marks Ridinger drafted its first charge in 1991. The first formally constituted appointments were made that same year by ANSS Chair, Cheryl Kugler. The Liaison Committee became a standing committee in 1992.

Charge (revised 06/27/10): The charge of the Liaison Committee is to a) identify organizations in the fields of anthropology, sociology, criminal justice/criminology and related fields with which to build collaborative partnerships; b) support ANSS members in building and sustaining relationships with these organizations; c) advise and support the ANSS-appointed liaison(s) in working with their target organization(s).

Composition: Membership consists of a minimum of four members (the two ANSS-appointed liaisons and two others); all ANSS-appointed liaisons are ex-officio.


Background: The Membership Committee was proposed at the Midwinter meeting in San Antonio in January 2000.

Christina Smith wrote the first draft of the committee’s charge and composition. This was revised and adopted at Annual 2000 by the Executive Committee giving the Membership Committee standing committee status. Brian Quinn and Christine Whittington were the first co-chairs. The Membership Committee met for the first time at Midwinter in 2001.

Charge: To coordinate recruitment and retention activities for the Section, to encourage participation in ANSS activities, to consult and cooperate with the Publications Committee in connection with the production and distribution of the Section brochure, and to serve as a link between ACRL/ALA membership committees and the Section. The Membership Committee plans and hosts ANSS social events at Midwinter and Annual Conference. The Membership Committee also sends letters to new members and to individuals who have dropped their membership. (See Sample Letters to New and Dropped Members).

Composition: The Membership Committee consists of at least four ANSS members, who serve two-year terms. The committee is co-chaired by the two Members-at-Large.


Background: The work of the Nominating Committee dates back to the beginning of ANSS in 1972.

Charge (Revised 6/02): The Nominating Committee is charged with preparing a slate of candidates for officers of the Section by recruiting the best possible nominees for these positions (see Officers). ACRL states that this committee is “an important key to not only selecting qualified candidates, but also for informing potential candidates of the office responsibilities”.

Composition and Calendar: The Nominating Committee typically consists of three members who serve two-year terms, appointed in January by Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, but dated retroactive to previous July. Work begins after midwinter, the bulk being done at the Annual conference and immediately following. The past chair of ANSS serves as chair of the Nominating Committee during the same year with work being completed after sunsetting as Past Chair (July – October). Names of all candidates are published in the December issue of C&RL News, and biographies and statements provided to Currents. Elections are held in March – April.

Note: It is essential that the committee’s chair meet all deadlines established by ACRL.


Background: The Publications Committee was established at the 1988 Annual Conference, when the task of editing ANSS Currents was passed from the original editors (Steve MacLeod and Janet Steins) to Jim Williams and Maija Lutz. Steve MacLeod was the first chair.

Charge (revised 06/97): The Publications Committee is charged with serving as the editorial board of the Section’s newsletter (ANSS Currents), the web page (ANSSWeb) and the listserv (ANSS-L). In addition, it considers other publication projects and needs, makes proposals of it to the Executive Committee, and produces appropriate material as directed.

Composition (revised 06/97): The Publications Committee consists of up to nine members, including the editor(s) of the newsletter, the editor(s) of ANSSWeb, and the moderator(s) of ANSS-L.

Members serve two-year terms.


Background: The Review and Planning Committee was charged in Spring 1982, and met for the first time at the Annual Conference in Philadelphia that year. Ellen Safley was appointed first chair with Sharon Rogers and Paula Perry members. A report from the Committee was due in January 1984. In June 1983, the Executive Committee voted to extend the charge to June 1985, and assigned additional tasks of updating the Section’s bylaws and preparing a manual for new ANSS officers and committee members. When ACRL instituted a requirement that all sections carry out regular reviews, the Executive Committee voted to make this function the responsibility of the Review and Planning Committee. Subsequently, its status changed to that of a standing committee in 1988. The second formal section review was completed in 1989, and the third in 1992.

Charge (Revised 6/08): The Review and Planning Committee is charged with revising the ANSS Manual and with making recommendations regarding ANSS’s goals, annual Action Plans, future directions, policies, and procedures.

Composition: Membership on the Review and Planning Committee consists of from five to nine ANSS members, four of whom serve on an ex-officio basis. These four are the current chair, past chair, vice chair/chair elect, and secretary, and their appointments coincide with their terms of office. Other appointed members serve two-year terms. The past chair of ANSS chairs the committee.


Background: The proposal for a bibliographic access committee was first presented at the 2001 Midwinter Conference by Isabel del Carmen Quintana as a COPAR request for a committee that could submit new or revised subject headings to the Library of Congress. A formal proposal for an expanded Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee was prepared by Cathy Moore-Jansen and Isabel del Carmen Quintana and presented at Annual 2001. With some modifications to the proposal, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to establish the committee at its June 18th meeting. The committee met for the first time at Midwinter 2001. The first chair was Karen Davis.

Charge (Revised 1/08): The Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee provides a forum for exchange of information and a clearinghouse for issues and concerns related to bibliographic access (including, but not restricted to, subject headings, call numbers, and name authorities) to materials in anthropology, sociology, criminal justice, and related fields. Each month, the Committee answers a different question on cataloging issues and policies. In addition, the Committee posts a monthly list of new subject headings in the social sciences. The Committee also processes proposals for Library of Congress Subject Headings including changes to existing headings, additions of new cross-references to existing headings, and new subject headings. To propose a new subject heading, please complete the Subject Proposal Form.

Composition: The Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee consists of three to five members who serve two-year terms. While it is preferred that there is both SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative) and NACO (Name Authority Cooperative) representation on the committee, at least one member must be acknowledged by the Library of Congress as a full SACO contributor. It is expected that committee members will seek outside SACO or NACO expertise, if needed. Committee members must have some background in cataloging.


Background: The Anthropology Librarians Discussion Group (ALDG) met for the first time in Chicago in January 1991; the Sociology Librarians Discussion Group (SLDG) met first in Atlanta in June 1991; and the Criminal Justice/Criminology Librarians Discussion Group (CJCDG) met first in New Orleans in January 2002. The CJCDG was formerly an ACRL Discussion Group which became affiliated with ANSS through an ACRL Board Action at Annual 2001.

In 1993 ANSS members voted to revise the Bylaws to include a new Article VIII, officially establishing discussion groups within the Section. The current conveners of the three discussion groups are found under Officers.

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