American Association of Law Libraries
Research Instruction and Patron Services
Special Interest Section Bylaws
As adopted July 1, 1979; amended July 21, 1996; amended February
7, 2000, amended March 8, 2004
Article I: Name
The name of this special interest section of the American
Association of Law Libraries (AALL) shall be the Research Instruction
and Patron Services (RIPS) Special Interest Section.
Article II: Object
The object of the Research Instruction and Patron Services
Special Interest Section shall be: to provide a forum for the exchange
of ideas and information on the topics of research instruction,
circulation services, interlibrary loan and document delivery,
reference, and technology as they affect patrons in all law library
public services areas; to promote the communication of ideas, interests
and activities of the members of the Section among Section members and
within AALL; to further the continuing education of law librarians in
the areas of research instruction and patron services; to represent its
members’ interests and concerns within AALL; and to work in cooperation
with similar special interests groups in other associations or
organizations. The Section shall conduct its affairs in conformity with
the Bylaws of the American Association of Law Libraries.
Article III: Membership
a. Membership shall be open to any AALL member requesting
affiliation with the Research Instruction and Patron Services Section
as provided in the AALL bylaws.Membership shall be renewable each year.
b. Members shall have the right to hold office, to vote, and to serve
on committees, and shall receive the Section newsletter.
Article IV: Meetings
a.There shall be an annual meeting of the Research
Instruction and Patron Services Special Interest Section held in
connection with or during the annual meeting of AALL. The scheduling of
the Section annual meeting during the annual meeting of AALL shall be
cleared with the appropriate AALL offices.Meetings shall be open to all
members of AALL, but no person who is not a Section member in good
standing may vote in any Section meeting.
b.A quorum shall consist of the members present at the Section annual
Article V: Officers and Committees
Section 1. Officers
The officers shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice
Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect and a Secretary/Treasurer. Officers shall
be members in good standing in the SIS.
Section 2. Duties of Officers
It shall be the duty of the Chairperson to: coordinate all business and
projects of the Section through the Executive Committee of this SIS;
appoint members to the committees of the Section; prepare a column for
each issue of the SIS newsletter; act as a liaison to the AALL
Executive Board through the SIS Council (composed of all SIS
Chairpersons); and prepare required reports for and correspondence with
the AALL Executive Director as appropriate.
b. Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect
It shall be the duty of the Vice Chairperson/ Chairperson-Elect to: set
up and conduct the business of a Program Committee; solicit and develop
program ideas; work with the Executive Committee; and perform any other
duties delegated to him/her by the Chairperson.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary/Treasurer to
maintain all written and financial records of the Section. This
includes taking and reporting of minutes of business meetings; managing
the budget and preparing reports, as required; preparing and mailing
ballots for annual elections, and tabulating results; and handling
correspondence, as required. Other duties may include mailing new
member packets, as required, and overseeing advertising for the
Section 3. Executive Committee
There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the
officers named above, the immediate past Chairperson, and two section
Members-at-Large.The Members-at-Large shall be elected for staggered,
two-year terms, and shall perform duties comparable to those usually
assigned to such members in similar associations.
Section 4. Committees
a.There shall be such standing or special committees as the
Executive Committee or the membership of the Section shall create.
b.There shall be a standing 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. Each member of the
Nominating Committee shall serve for a term of one year; the chair of
the Nominating Committee shall be designated by the Executive
Section 5. Terms of Office
The Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect shall serve a two-year
term, the first year as Vice Chairperson and the second year as
Chairperson.A new Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect shall be elected
each year. The Secretary/Treasurer shall serve a two-year term.
Officers and Executive Committee Members-at-Large shall serve in office
until the adjournment of the RIPS annual business meeting.
Section 6. Vacancies
A vacancy in the position of Chairperson shall be filled by
the present Vice Chairperson/ Chairperson-Elect, who shall serve until
the end of the Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect’s own elected term.
If a vacancy occurs in the office of Vice
Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer or Member-at-Large,
the position shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee.
The person appointed shall serve until the next regularly scheduled
election, at which time all offices shall be filled for their ordinary
Article VI: Nomination and Election of Officers and
Section 1. Nominations
The Nominating Committee shall submit the names of two
candidates for the office of Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect and two
candidates for the Member-at-Large position, and the names of two
candidates for Secretary/Treasurer when those offices are to be filled,
together with their written acceptances, to the Chairperson in
sufficient time to enable the Chairperson to inform the members of the
Section of the nominations prior to February 1, either by publication
in the SIS newsletter, by mail, e-mail, or by posting on the Section
listserv. The Committee shall seek potential candidates representative
of the diverse employment and background of the membership, submitting
at least one nominee from a non-academic law library (private, special,
court, etc.) in every candidate pool, insofar as possible.
Section 2. Chairperson
In the event that the Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect
cannot assume the duties of Chairperson and such fact is known prior to
January 1, the Nominating Committee shall also submit to the current
Chairperson the names of candidates for the office of Chairperson for
the term of one year, to appear on the ballot with the candidates for
Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer and
Member-at-Large. If the Vice Chairperson /Chairperson-Elect cannot
assume the duties of Chairperson and it becomes known after January 1,
the Executive Committee shall appoint a member to serve for one year as
Section 3. Nomination by Petition
Further nominations may be made upon written petition of five
members of the Section.Such petitions, accompanied by written
acceptance of the nominee, must be filed with the Chairperson not later
than February 15.
Section 4. Ballots
The election of officers will be conducted every year by mail
or electronic ballot. The secretary shall prepare an official ballot,
including nominations by petition. The professional position of each
nominee shall appear on the ballot. In the event paper ballots are used
the Secretary/Treasurer shall mail a copy of the ballot to each member
of the Section; ballots may be mailed as part of the Section
newsletter. 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. The candidates receiving the largest number
of votes shall be elected and shall be so reported at the Section’s
annual meeting. All candidates shall be notified of the results of the
election at the earliest possible time. In the event that the
Secretary/Treasurer is a candidate for office, marked ballots shall be
returned to and tabulated by the Chair of the Nominations Committee.
Section 5. Tie Votes
In case of a tie vote, a run-off election shall be held by
special mailing or by electronic ballot.
Section 6. Destruction of Ballots
If there are no challenges to the results of the election,
the ballots may be destroyed by the Secretary after the annual meeting.
Section 7. Timing of Elections
Elections must be completed 2 months prior to the date of the
annual AALL convention.
Article VII: Amendments
Bylaws of the Section may be adopted, amended, or suspended
at the annual meeting of the Section by a majority vote of the members
present and voting. In the alternative, bylaws may be adopted, amended,
or suspended through a mail or electronic ballot. Whenever the bylaws
are to be changed by mail vote, the Secretary/Treasurer shall mail
ballots to every member in good standing of the Section. Ballots may be
mailed as part of the Section newsletter. In the event electronic
ballots are used, the details of conducting the election shall first be
approved by the Executive Committee. Either mail or electronic 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/Treasurer. A majority of the mail or electronic ballots
returned must be in favor of the bylaws change in order for it to pass.
Tie votes shall be considered failure to pass.
All Section members shall receive notice of proposed
amendments to the bylaws. Notice of proposed amendments to the bylaws
may be mailed to the Section’s members, distributed via listserv or
other electronic means, or published in the Section’s newsletter at
least 30 days in advance of the Section’s annual meeting or the mailing
of the ballots or of the conducting of an election by electronic
Following passage by the Section, any amendment shall take
effect only after it has been presented to the AALL Bylaws Committee
for review and approved by the AALL Executive Board.
Article VIII: Parliamentary Authority
Sturgis’ Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure,
in the latest edition, shall govern all deliberations of the Section
when not in conflict with the bylaws of the Section.