Approved by the Executive Board, July 2009, Tab 10
Purpose of Official and Public Statements
Association statements are usually made for one of the following reasons:
- To increase awareness of law libraries and their importance in the legal system.
- To enhance the public impression of law librarianship and widen interest in law librarianship as a career.
- To cooperate with other professional associations, governmental units and other groups with similar interests.
- To delineate the position of the Association regarding matters of public significance that affect its membership.
The official and customary spokespersons for the Association are the President and the Executive Director. Any questions from the press or other such parties received by Executive Board members, officers of Special Interest Sections, or other members should be directed to either the President or Executive Director. On occasion the President may delegate authority to speak on behalf of the Association to a person with particular expertise in the area of inquiry or interest, or the Executive Director may delegate authority to a staff member. The Director of the Government Relations Office has authority to speak on matters of information policy that are covered by the Association’s Government Relations Policy.
Executive Board Members and others who have been appointed by the President to serve as official representatives or liaisons of the Association may state a position on an Association policy or business matter only when that position has been adopted and made public by the Executive Board. No such person may bind AALL on a matter that is not covered by policy without specific authorization to do so by the President.
Whenever individuals represent the Association, they shall keep the President and the Executive Director informed of all such contacts. When the Association’s official position is well-known, especially in writing, it should be quoted to ensure consistency of response. The President or Executive Director should be contacted when the official position is not known. Without exception, individuals representing the Association should refer controversial matters to the President or Executive Director.
This policy is not intended to restrict or limit Executive Board Members or other Association members from expressing personal opinions to other members, prospective members, and the public regarding the value of the Association or similar matters. Nevertheless, any member who currently is serving, or has served, in a position of leadership in the Association should be careful to define when his or her statements represent personal opinion and when those statements represent an official Association position.
The Executive Board has primary responsibility for approval of Association policy. In addition, the Association’s Resolutions process provides for consideration of and approval of policies by the membership. Only statements developed via one of these avenues will be considered Association policy.