February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

AASL Board Shakes Up Its Bylaws with Amendments Vote


The AASL has a Bylaws vote starting March 19.

At the 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting this past January, the Board of Directors of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) voted to propose two amendments to the current Bylaws.

The first Bylaws amendment (Article VI, Section 1, Meetings) involves a change in the way the AASL presents its annual membership meeting.

The Bylaws currently read, “The Annual Membership Meeting of the AASL shall be held in conjunction with the Annual Conference of ALA.”

Previously, the membership meeting was presented prior to the AASL President’s Program during the actual ALA Annual Conference. This face-to-face presentation limited the access of AASL members who could attend to only those who could travel to the conference.

The Board is proposing the following change:

“The Annual Membership Meeting of the AASL shall be held prior to the Annual Conference of ALA.”

Although this updated language is not specific, the change allows AASL to hold a virtual membership meeting allowing more of the AASL membership to attend, participate, and stay up-to-date with the association’s goings-on.

The second Bylaw change (Article V. Nominations and Elections) on the ballot involves an alteration to a recently developed committee, the Leadership Development Committee. The Leadership Development Committee is charged with providing recommendations on furthering the leadership development of AASL members—within the division itself—and within ALA.

As the Bylaws read now, “A committee of five (5) or more members shall be appointed by the AASL president-elect. No member of the AASL Board of Directors shall be a member of the Leadership Development Committee.”

The AASL Board proposes the following change to refine the make up of the committee:

“A committee of seven (7) or more members shall be automatic appointments from the following positions—AASL Immediate Past President, Chair, Affiliate Assembly Immediate Past Chair, Knowledge Quest Editorial Board Member (appointed by editorial board vote), three immediate past section chairs, two ‘public members’ not serving as any AASL elected official, and one active board of directors member.”

This amendment assumes and expands on the duties of the Nominating Committee, focusing on a wider berth of leadership—from initial recruitment to recognition. The committee ensures a strategic and ongoing effort that creates an environment where—ideally—all members possess the possibility of leadership opportunities.

Polls open to the AASL’s approximately 7,000 members on March 19. Votes must be received by April 25. Read more about the Bylaws amendments and the AASL candidates by visiting www.ala.org/aasl/elections.


Carolyn Sun About Carolyn Sun

Carolyn Sun was a news editor at School Library Journal. Find her on Twitter @CarolynSSun.