ARCHIVED: Government Documents SIS History and Bylaws

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Established in 1974 as the Government Documents Committee, Government Documents became an SIS in 1976. Just under 100 members joined the GD/SIS in its first year; membership now numbers over 400. The goals of the GD/SIS are: to disseminate information on government documents to the AALL membership; to further the continuing education of law librarians in the area of government documents; to coordinate the activities of law librarians in representing their interests to public and private groups with regard to the publication, dissemination, citation, and use of government documents; and to work in cooperation with documents groups in other associations and organizations.

GD/SIS sponsors at least one major program at each AALL annual meeting. Recent programs have covered Federal Statistics, access to highly secret government publications, examining local government web sites and teaching legal research classes using government documents.

Members of the SIS have compiled a series of bibliographies of state publications to acquaint law librarians with documents used in researching state law and other legal issues. Commercial publications are also often included. Until 1986, the GD/SIS published and sold the state bibliographies. From 1986 to 1994, the bibliographies were available through the AALL Headquarters in Chicago. In 1994, the SIS resumed production, sales and distribution of the bibliographies through a volunteer SIS member, with all revenues and expenses associated with the series accounted for in the SIS funds. The series is part of the AALL Occasional Papers series. Each bibliography has its own number within the state bibliography series. Bibliographies for forty-four states and two Canadian provinces have been prepared. Selected revised and supplementary bibliographies, as well as new bibliographies, are issued annually.

Jurisdocs is the name of the GD/SIS newsletter. Publication began in 1978 and three issues a year are produced. Jurisdocs contains news about and from the GD/SIS and other groups and associations interested in government documents, including ALA/GODORT, the Government Printing Office, and the Depository Library Council. Substantive articles and bibliographies, annual meeting program announcements and summaries, and minutes of business meetings also appear in the newsletter.

Chairs of the Section:

Emelyn House 1977-78
Nancy Johnson 1978-79
Kamla King 1979-80
Michael Gehringer 1980-81
Colleen Pauwels 1981-82
Judy Gecas 1982-83
Marian Parker 1983-84
Linda Fariss 1984-85
Lynn Foster 1985-86
Sally Holterhoff 1986-87
Mary Ann Royle 1987-88
Chris Corcos 1988-89
Cheryl Rae Nyberg 1989-90
Mary Ann Nelson 1990-91
Susan L. Dow 1991-92
Marsha Baum 1992-93
Veronica Maclay 1993-94
Carol Moody 1994-95
Kay Schlueter 1995-96
W. David Gay 1996-97
Paul Arrigo 1997-98
Charlene Cain 1998-99
Pegeen G. Bassett 1999-00
Greta Boeringer 2000-01
A. Hays Butler 2001-02
Susan Lyons 2002-03
Chris Anglim 2003-04
Cecily Giardina 2004-05
Scott Matheson 2005-06
Lawrence Meyer 2006-07
Jennifer Bryan Morgan 2007-08

 

 


American Association of Law Libraries

GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

SPECIAL INTEREST SECTION

BYLAWS

Article I: NAME

The name of this special interest section of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) shall be the Government Documents Special Interest Section (GD/SIS).

Article II: OBJECT

The object of the Government Documents Special Interest Section shall be to disseminate information on government documents to the AALL membership; to further continuing education of law librarians in the area of government documents; to coordinate the activities of law librarians in representing their interests to public and private groups with regard to the publication, dissemination, citation, and use of government documents; and to work in cooperation with documents groups in other associations and organizations.

Article III: MEMBERSHIP

Any active individual member or designated institutional member of the AALL, as defined by its Bylaws, may affiliate with GD/SIS upon payment to the AALL of an annual fee for this SIS. All members of the GD/SIS shall have full voting rights.

Article IV: MEETINGS

  • Section 1.
    An annual meeting of the Government Documents SIS shall be held in connection with or during the annual meeting of AALL.

  • Section 2.
    Meetings shall be open to all members of the AALL but no person may vote in the SIS meeting who is not a GD/SIS member in good standing.

  • Section 3.
    A quorum for a business meeting of the GD/SIS shall consist of 15 of the GD/SIS members.

  • Section 4.
    Notice of the meeting shall be made in conjunction with the notice for the AALL annual meeting.

  • Section 5.
    Robert's Rules of Order, in the latest edition, shall govern all deliberations of the GD/SIS when not in conflict with the bylaws of the GD/SIS.

Article V: OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES

  • Section 1. Officers.
    The Officers shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect, and a Secretary/Treasurer. The Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect shall be elected annually by the SIS. The Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect shall automatically become Chairperson after one year and shall so serve during the second year following his or her election.

  • Section 2. Duties of Officers.
    The Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect, and a Secretary/Treasurer shall perform the duties usually pertaining to their respective offices and such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Committee.

  • Section 3. Executive Committee.
    There shall be an Executive Committee of four, consisting of the officers named in Article V, Section 1 and the immediate past Chairperson. The duties of the Executive Committee shall be those usually assigned to such committees in similar associations.

  • Section 4. Committees.
    There shall be such standing or special committees as the Executive Committee shall create or shall be created by a majority vote of those present and voting at the annual meeting of the GD/SIS.

  • Section 5. Appointments.
    The Chairperson shall appoint all members of committees unless the SIS shall direct otherwise.

  • Section 6. Terms of Office.
    All offices and members of committees shall serve until their successors are elected or appointed and qualified.

  • Section 7. Early Vacancy.

    1. In the case of the death or resignation of the Chairperson of the GD/SIS, the Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect shall become Chairperson and shall serve until the end of his or her own elected term.

    2. If the Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect cannot assume the duties of Chairperson, the GD/SIS will elect a Chairperson, as specified in Article VI, Section 1 b) and Section 2.

    3. Should the office of Vice-Chairperson /Chairperson-elect become open for any reason, such as the death, resignation, or promotion of the Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect, the office shall remain vacant until filled by the next regular election.

    4. The Executive Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy in the office of Secretary/Treasurer, the person so elected by the Executive Committee to serve the unexpired term.

Article VI: NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

  • Section 1. Nominations.

    1. There shall be a Nominating Committee appointed by the Executive Committee, to consist of three members, no one of whom shall be a member of the Executive Committee, and no one of whom shall be a candidate for office at the succeeding election. The Chairperson of the committee shall be designated by the Executive Committee. Two candidates for each office to be elected shall be presented.

    2. In the event that the Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-elect cannot assume the duties of the Chairperson and such fact is known prior to March 1, the committee shall nominate a candidate for the office of Chairperson for the term of one year.

    3. Names of the candidates, together with their written acceptances, shall be presented by the Nominating Committee to the Chairperson in sufficient time to enable the Chairperson to inform the members of the SIS of the nominations prior to March 1, either by publication in the AALL Newsletter or Jurisdocs, or by mail. All candidates must be members of the GD/SIS.

    4. Further nominations, except for the office of Chairperson, may be made upon written petition of ten members in good standing of the SIS. Such petitions, accompanied by written acceptance of the nominees, must be filed with the Chairperson of the SIS not later than April 1.

    5. The Chairperson of the Nominating Committee shall prepare an official ballot, including nominations by petition. The professional position of each nominee shall appear on the ballot. The ballot also may include some biographical information about each nominee furnished by the nominee.

  • Section 2. Elections.

    1. The Nominating Committee shall have charge of the conduct of the annual election and the counting and tabulation of all votes cast.

    2. The election of officers will be conducted every year by mail or electronic ballot, to be completed not later than two months prior to the annual meeting.

    3. The candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared elected and shall be so reported by the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee at the annual business meeting of the SIS. All candidates shall be notified of the results of the election by the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee at the earliest possible time. In the event paper ballots are used, the Secretary/Treasurer shall mail a copy of the ballot to each member of the Section. Marked ballots shall be returned to the Secretary/Treasurer by a specified deadline. In the event electronic ballots are used, the details of conducting the election shall first be approved by the Executive Committee. The Committee shall ensure that an election conducted by electronic balloting is fundamentally fair and preserves the right of secret ballot.

    4. In case of a tie vote, a run-off election shall be held at the business meeting of the SIS at the AALL annual meeting. Run-off elections shall be by secret ballot of the members of the SIS attending the meeting. The ballots shall be counted immediately and the candidate with the largest number of votes declared elected.

    5. The ballots may be destroyed by the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee after the annual business meeting of the GD/SIS.

Article VII: AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS

  • Section 1.
    Bylaws of the Section may be adopted, amended, or suspended at the annual meeting of the Section by a majority vote of those present and voting. Or, bylaws may be adopted, amended, or suspended through a mail ballot. Whenever the bylaws are to be changed by mail vote, the Secretary shall mail ballots to every member in good standing of the GD/SIS. Such ballots shall state the text of the proposed change, the purpose of the change, and the date by which ballots must be returned to the Secretary. Proposed changes in the bylaws by mail must receive a majority vote of the ballots returned to the Secretary in order to pass. Tie votes shall be considered failure to pass.

  • Section 2. Any amendment shall take effect after it has been submitted to the AALL Committee on Constitution and Bylaws for review, and thereafter approved by the AALL Executive Board.