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ARCHIVED: Bylaws (before Oct 2012 Member Ballot)
Leadership & Governance
Revised July 2008
The name of this association shall be American Association of Law Libraries.
The American Association of Law Libraries exists to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the public, the legal community, and the world, to foster the profession of law librarianship, and to provide leadership in the field of legal information and information policy, in recognition that the availability of legal information to all people is a necessary requirement for a just and democratic society.
Membership in the Association or in any of its Chapters, or participation in any activity of the Association or its Chapters, shall not be denied or abridged to any individual on account of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
Categories of Membership.
Members -- Active and Retired.
Active: Any person who is interested in the objectives of the Association and works with legal information in a library or information center or provides library services on an independent contract basis.
Retired: Any person who is interested in the objectives of the Association, who has retired from Active Membership, and who does not qualify for Associate Membership.
Other persons who are interested in the objectives of the Association and in legal information, including honorary members, students, non-library employees of the information industry, and members of library governing boards.
A student member must be enrolled in a degree program related to law librarianship. Membership in this category is limited to five consecutive years.
A person who has made extraordinary contributions to law librarianship or to the Association and who is not a member of the Association is eligible for honorary membership upon endorsement by the Executive Board.
Rights of Members.
Members in all categories have the right to receive the Law Library Journal and AALL Spectrum, to belong to Special Interest Sections, to serve on and chair AALL committees, and to vote in elections. Special Interest Sections may adopt policies governing the rights of their members.
Active and retired members also have the right to hold elective office on the Executive Board.
The membership sets the dues. Increases in dues (except as in section 3.b. below) or changes to the dues structure must be approved by the membership.
The Executive Board has the authority to increase dues each year by a percentage not greater than the latest published Gross Domestic Product Deflator. Proposals to increase dues in excess of this amount must be submitted to the membership following the distributed ballot provisions under Article XII, Section 2.
Membership is effective upon payment of annual dues. The year for dues begins on June 1. If a member fails to pay dues by August 1, the rights of membership are suspended until dues are paid. The Executive Board may authorize prorated dues. Dues are not refundable.
Membership dues paid by an institution can be transferred or assigned by the institution. Membership dues paid by an individual cannot be transferred or assigned.
The dues for retired members and student members are set at 25% of the dues for active members.
Honorary members do not pay dues.
Notice to Members.
Whenever these Bylaws require notice be given members of the association, such notice shall be given by sending e-mail to the member's e-mail address of record, sending electronically transmitted facsimile copy (fax) to the member's fax number of record, or mailing printed or written notice to the member's postal address of record. Printed or written notice may be included in an association publication sent to all members.
An annual meeting of the Association shall be held at such time and place as the Executive Board shall designate.
Special meetings may be held at such times and places as the Executive Board may elect or the Association direct.
Quorum for Business Meeting.
A quorum for a business meeting of the Association shall consist of 50 members registered at that meeting.
Proper Notice for Meeting.
The Secretary shall send notice of meetings to each member at least 30 days before a meeting.
Nominations and Elections.
Composition. There shall be a nominating committee consisting of seven members, no one of whom shall be a member of the Executive Board, and no one of whom shall be a candidate at the succeeding election.
Appointment. The Executive Board shall elect seven members to the committee. In odd-numbered years the Executive Board shall elect three members; in even-numbered years the Executive Board shall elect four members.
Term of office. Members of the committee shall serve non-renewable two-year terms.
Committee chair. A vice chair shall be designated by the Executive Board from among the committee members with a full year left in the two year term. The vice chair will serve as chair in the second year of his or her term.
Number of candidates. The committee shall present at least two candidates for each Executive Board position and for each of the offices of Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. If, by August 15, it is known that the Vice President/President-Elect cannot assume the duties of President, then the committee shall present two candidates to serve for a one-year term as President and then as Past President.
Notice. By August 15, the committee shall present to the President the names of all candidates and their written acceptances. The Secretary shall send the membership notice of the slate of nominees not later than 30 days after the committee has presented the names and acceptances to the President. Such notice shall state the deadline for submission of nominating petitions as provided in the following paragraph.
Nomination by Petition. A member may be nominated for any office by submitting to the Secretary not later than 30 days after the Secretary sends the membership notice of the slate of nominees as provided in the previous paragraph a nominating petition signed by 2% of the members and the nominee's written acceptance.
Voting shall be by secret ballot. The Secretary shall prepare the official ballot comprised of the slate of nominees presented by the Nominations Committee and those nominated by petition. The professional position of each nominee shall appear on the ballot.
Responsibility. The President shall appoint tellers who shall be charged with counting and tabulating all votes cast.
Method of Voting. Prior to November 15, a copy of the ballot shall be distributed to each member of the Association. Ballots shall be returned before December 15 for tabulation.
Determination of Election. The candidate receiving the majority of legally cast votes shall be declared elected to the office, except that in the event there are more than two candidates on the ballot for a single office, the candidate receiving the largest plurality of legally cast votes shall be declared elected to office. In the case of a tie vote, the winner shall be determined by lot conducted by the tellers.
Notification of Results. All candidates shall be notified of the results of the election by the Secretary at the earliest possible time. The election results shall be reported at a business meeting of the Association by the Secretary. In case the annual meeting is held before December 15, or if no annual meeting should be held, the results of the election shall be either printed in the first issue of an association publication that is sent to all voting members following the report of the Secretary, or distributed to the members before March 1.
Officers of the Association.
The officers shall consist of a President, a Vice President/President-Elect, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Vice President/President-Elect shall be elected annually by the Association. The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected triennially by the Association. The Vice President/President-Elect shall automatically become President after one year and shall so serve during the second year following the election. The President, the Vice President/President-Elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for any expenditures incurred in the discharge of their duties.
Duties of Officers.
The President, Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer shall perform the duties usually pertaining to their respective offices and such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Board.
Composition of the Executive Board.
There shall be an Executive Board of 11, consisting of the officers named in Article 7, Section 1, the last retiring President, and six members whose term shall be three years, two of whom shall be elected annually by the Association. The duties of the Executive Board shall be those usually assigned to such boards in similar associations.
Term of Office.
All officers and members of the Executive Board shall serve until the adjournment of the annual meeting at which their successors are chosen, or if there is no annual meeting, until July 1 following the election of their successors.
The Executive Board shall meet immediately preceding and following each annual meeting of the Association. The Executive Board may also meet upon call of the President or Secretary and otherwise as may be determined by the Executive Board.
A quorum of the Executive Board shall consist of a majority of its members. The act of a majority of the Executive Board present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Executive Board.
Method of Conducting Business.
The Executive Board may conduct business and vote by any means authorized by statute of the political entity in which the Association is incorporated
The Executive Board shall establish an annual budget.
The Executive Director is appointed by the Executive Board and performs such duties as the Executive Board assigns.
Power to Fill Vacancies.
The Executive Board shall have the power to fill any vacancy in elective offices except that of President, the person so elected by the Executive Board to serve the unexpired term. In the case of the death or resignation of the President of the Association the Vice President/President-Elect shall become President and shall serve until the end of the Vice President/President-Elect's own elected term.
Committees, Other Organizations, and Representatives.
Creation of Committees.
There shall be such committees and other organizations as the Executive Board shall create.
Classes of Committees.
The committees of the Association shall be of three classes: process committees, policy committees, and special committees. Process committees perform a continuing function and remain in existence until abolished. Policy committee work involves complex issues of an advisory or policy nature. Policy committees remain in existence until abolished. Special committees are established for a stated period to accomplish a specific task. A special committee may also be called a task force or working group.
Purpose and Term of Committees.
When the Executive Board creates a committee, the Board shall designate its purpose, term and structure.
Appointment of Committee Members.
Committee members and chairs/co-chairs or vice chairs/co-vice chairs shall be appointed by the Vice President/President-elect, with the advice of the Appointments Committee. The Nominations Committee is appointed as specified in Article VI, Section I.
The President may make committee appointments during the President's term of office.
Each committee shall file an annual report with the Secretary of the Association at a time set by the President, and other reports shall be submitted as requested by the President or Executive Board.
Association Representatives to Other Organizations.
Association representatives to other organizations, agencies, joint boards, and joint committees and to meetings of other associations shall be appointed by the President or Vice President/President-Elect and shall report in the manner as set forth in section 5.
Limitation of Powers.
No committee or representative shall incur expenses on behalf of the Association except as authorized, nor shall any committee or representative commit the Association by any declaration of policy.
Executive Board's Right to Create Any Organizations.
The Executive Board may establish any other organization for any purpose consistent with the objectives of the Association, which organization shall function in accordance with directions established by the Executive Board.
Council of Chapter Presidents.
There is established a council of Chapter Presidents consisting of the current President of every approved Chapter and a chair from among the previous year's council members. The chair of the council is selected in a manner determined by council members. The council meets at least once each year at the annual meeting of the Association. The council may establish such rules necessary for its own governance not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Association. It carries out its own agenda as well as those functions that are from time to time assigned to it by the Executive Board or the Association.
Special Interest Section Council.
There is established a Special Interest Section council consisting of the current chair of every approved Special Interest Section and a chair from among the previous year's council members. The chair of the council is selected in a manner determined by council members. The council meets at least once a year at the annual meeting of the Association. The council may establish such rules necessary for its own governance not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Association. It carries out its own agenda as well as those functions that are from time to time assigned to it by the Executive Board or the Association.
Special Interest Sections.
Members of the Association may petition the Executive Board for the creation of a Special Interest Section for any lawful purpose consistent with the object of the Association recited in Article II.
Relationship with AALL.
Special Interest Sections may be created and governed according to the conditions and regulations set forth below, or in the absence of such conditions, according to such regulations as the Executive Board may establish
Establishment of Special Interest Sections.
Special Interest Sections may be created by the Executive Board by approving the written petition of 50 members of the Association. The petition shall state the aims of the proposed Special Interest Section, and shall state that the group has functioned as an informal caucus for the three years immediately prior to the filing of the written petition. The aims of a proposed Special Interest Section may be modified before final Executive Board approval, by mutual agreement between the Board and the petitioners.
Members may affiliate with one or more Special Interest Sections upon payment to the Association of an annual fee for each Section. Special Interest Section fees shall be determined by the Executive Board and approved at an annual meeting.
Each Special Interest Section shall be empowered to adopt Bylaws for its own governance. These Bylaws shall not be in conflict with the Bylaws of the Association. Whenever the Special Interest Section Bylaws are adopted or amended, they shall be submitted to the Bylaws Committee for review. When the Executive Board, on the advice of the committee, determines that a Special Interest Section Bylaw is in conflict with the Bylaws of the Association, the Special Interest Section shall be directed by the Board to remedy said conflict in accordance with the recommendation of the committee.
Funds for the operating expenses of a Special Interest Section shall be provided annually from the Association income in an amount equal to 50% of the annual fees collected for that Special Interest Section. Allocations in excess of 50% shall be determined by the Executive Board and shall be based on a budget presented to the Board by each Special Interest Section. Special activities may be financed by direct charges on those members participating. All funds received by a Special Interest Section shall be used for purposes incident to the fulfillment of the Association objectives. No Special Interest Section shall incur indebtedness for the Association.
Scheduling of meetings of the various Special Interest Sections during the annual meeting of the Association must be cleared with the annual meeting program chair. Such meetings shall be open to all members of the Association but no person may vote in any Special Interest Section meeting who is not a Special Interest Section member in good standing.
Each Special Interest Section shall submit an annual report on its activities and a financial statement to the Secretary of the Association and to the liaison officer designated by the Executive Board. This report shall be submitted at a time set by the President or the Executive Board.
Dissolution of a Special Interest Section shall be ordered by the Executive Board when, after consultation with the Special Interest Section officers, in the opinion of the Board, its usefulness has ceased. Upon dissolution, all assets of the Special Interest Section shall revert to the Association.
Individuals may petition the Executive Board for the creation of a Chapter for any lawful purpose consistent with the object of the Association recited in Article II. Activities of Chapters must be consistent with the objectives of the Association.
Relationship with AALL.
Chapters of the Association may be created and governed under such conditions and subject to such regulations as may be provided in the Bylaws. Any local or regional law library association that does not desire to become a Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries may nevertheless become affiliated with the Association under such conditions as may be provided herein, or, in the absence of such conditions, subject to such regulations as the Executive Board may establish.
Establishment of a Chapter.
Any group consisting of 25 or more active members of the Association, residing within the territory in which such Chapter is desired, may apply for permission to establish a Chapter of the Association by forwarding a petition, in writing, to the Secretary at least 60 days before any regular meeting of the Association. The application shall include or be accompanied by a copy of the Bylaws (and Constitution, if any) under which the Chapter is operating or proposes to operate. The Executive Board shall, after having made a proper investigation, report favorably or adversely thereon to the members of the Association at the ensuing annual meeting, at which meeting the question of the establishment of such Chapter shall be part of the regular order of business.
Chapters may establish their own membership qualifications and rights. The membership criteria adopted by the Chapter must comply with the antidiscrimination provisions in Article III. Chapters may accept members who are not members of the Association, but the President of the Chapter must be a member of the Association.
Chapter Bylaws must be consistent with the Bylaws of the Association. The Bylaws of each Chapter, whenever adopted or amended, shall be submitted to the Bylaws Committee for review. When the Executive Board, on the advice of the committee, determines that a Chapter Bylaw is in conflict with the Bylaws of the Association, the Chapter shall be directed by the Board to remedy said conflict in accordance with the recommendation of the Committee.
Limitation of Powers.
No Chapter shall incur expenses on behalf of the Association, nor shall any Chapter commit the Association by any declaration of policy.
The Executive Board may, after proper investigation, recommend to the membership at an annual meeting the discontinuance or suspension of any Chapter that has ceased to be active or that fails to comply with any provisions of these Bylaws.
Amendment of the Bylaws.
Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Board, or by a petition submitted to the Secretary and signed by at least 5% of Association members.
Procedure for adopting amendments.
The Secretary shall take all proposed amendments that were submitted in writing at least 90 days in advance of the annual meeting of the Association and shall send notice of the proposed amendments to the members at least 60 days prior to the annual meeting at which they will be proposed for discussion. This notice shall include the text of the current bylaws as marked to show the proposed changes and a discussion of the reasons for the changes.
Voting on proposed amendments shall be at the annual meeting of the Association unless the Executive Board votes to submit amendments to the membership by a distributed ballot, or if 5% or more of the Association members have signed a petition requesting a distributed ballot. Such petitions must be submitted to the Secretary before the beginning of the business meeting at which the vote on amendments is to be called.
If voting is by a distributed ballot rather than at the Annual Meeting, the Executive Board shall specify the time for closing the balloting, but in no case shall it be less than 30 days after the distribution of the ballot.
Amendments voted on at the annual meeting shall be adopted upon approval by two-thirds of the members present and voting.
Amendments submitted for approval by a distributed ballot shall be adopted upon approval by a simple majority of the members voting.
Rules of Order.
Sturgis' Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, in the latest edition, shall govern all deliberations of the Association when not in conflict with the Bylaws of the Association.
2012 Proposed Amendments to AALL Bylaws
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