SIS Council

SIS Council Origin

The SIS Steering Committee, created by the AALL Executive Board on June 30th, 1979, was the predecessor of the SIS Council. Members of the Steering Committee included: an Executive Board member as chair; the AALL Annual Meeting Program Chair; the Education Committee Chair; SIS chairs; and AALL Treasurer, ex-officio. (AALL Minutes 612; 654)

The name was changed to the SIS Council in January 1984 (AALL Minutes 894).


The opportunity for SIS chairs to meet as a council facilitates a sharing of common concerns and provides an effective means of communicating with AALL leadership and Headquarters staff about SIS policies, procedures and activities.

With the Council Chair serving as coordinator, individual SISs are able to work together on projects of common interest, to express a consensus, and to recommend actions to the Executive Board.


The SIS Council is made up of the current chairs of each SIS.

At the end of each term, the current SIS chairs elect one of the chairs as Council chair to serve for the following year. Thus, the Council is chaired by an immediate past SIS chair.

The Council holds its meeting at the annual conference. The Executive Board Liaison to the Council attends the meeting and works closely with the Chair and Council.

Both outgoing and incoming SIS chairs attend the meeting. Incoming chairs-elect may also attend.

SIS Council Chair


The AALL Bylaws (Article 9, Section 10) specify only that the Council Chair is to be elected from among that year's SIS chairs in a manner chosen by the Council.

In recent years the outgoing chair has conducted an election by mail in the spring, first asking for volunteers and nominations from those eligible to run.

The SIS Council election results must be completed two months prior to the start of the AALL Annual Meeting.


The following list of duties for the Council Chair was drafted early in 1989 by a special committee of the Council as part of its report to the Special Committee on the Organizational Structure of AALL. The list was endorsed by that committee and recommended to the Executive Board as part of its Final Report in June 1989, which the Executive Board approved:

  1. It is the responsibility of the chair of the SIS Council to facilitate communications among the leadership of the SISs and between the SISs and the Executive Board through the following activities:
    1. To correspond regularly with all SIS chairs to inform them of association matters affecting their sections and to solicit their opinions or cooperation in carrying out association policy and programs.
    2. To represent the Council in the capacity of observer and information resource at meetings of the AALL Executive Board. The Council Chair shall cooperate with the Board Liaison in presenting proposals or requests from the Council or from individual SISs to the Board for action. Following Board response or action on such matters, the Council chair shall communicate this information back to the SISs.
    3. To answer questions concerning SIS and association policy and procedure posed by SIS members and officers.
  2. It is the further responsibility of the Council Chair to coordinate, arrange for and carry out meetings of the Council as well as any other projects that the Board may ask it to undertake.
  3. The Council Chair, with the Board Liaison to the Council, maintains and updates the SIS Handbook. The master disk of the Handbook is maintained at Headquarters, and the chair is responsible for informing Headquarters staff of any changes to the Handbook.
  4. The Council Chair contacts and works with the appropriate parties to solve any problems that might arise in relation to SIS activities or the support of SIS functions by AALL Headquarters.
  5. The Council Chair works with the Program Coordinator for Meetings & Special Events to implement the training session for incoming SIS chairs.
  6. The Council Chair with the Executive Board Liaison to the Council reviews petitions of groups wishing to form SISs and advises the Executive Board.
  7. The Council Chair monitors the well being of all SISs and if necessary make recommendations to the Executive Board regarding any mergers or dissolutions.
  8. The Council Chair conducts the nominating process and election for her/his successor, involving Council members in all decision-making.
  9. The Council Chair prepares an annual report of activities for the AALL Executive Board.
  10. The Council Chair passes on to his/her successor any records and information relating to the year's activities. After reviewing these records, the new chair forwards them to the AALL archives, retaining any documents that are still active.


The Chair may appoint any standing or special committees to carry on the work of the Council and to respond to requests from the AALL Executive Board.

SIS Council Meeting

The time of the annual SIS Council meeting is chosen to avoid conflict with other convention events. The meeting is presently scheduled for the Saturday afternoon preceding the start of the annual conference. The meeting follows the training session for incoming chairs.

The Council Chair presides over the meeting, sets the agenda and invites appropriate AALL officials to speak.

The minutes of the meeting are taken by a member appointed by the chair and must be prepared in time for submission to the AALL Executive Board at its meeting at the conclusion of the convention. The minutes are to be submitted to the Executive Director's assistant who is responsible for preparing the minutes for the Board.

SIS Council Voting

Each SIS has one vote to cast on the Council.
The Council Chair does not vote.

SIS Council Bylaws


The name of this council of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) shall be the Special Interest Section Council (SIS Council).


The object of the SIS Council shall be to improve communication between and among special interest sections; promote discussion of problems common to all; provide a mechanism for the expression of SIS opinions and concerns to the national leadership of AALL.


The Council shall be composed of one voting member from each SIS. SIS chairpersons in office immediately prior to the beginning of the AALL annual meeting shall be designated as voting members of the Council. In-coming chairpersons are encouraged to attend SIS Council meetings in addition to the chairperson, and may vote for the SIS in the absence of the chairperson.


  • Section 1. Annual Meetings.
    There shall be an annual meeting of the SIS Council held in conjunction with or during the annual meeting of AALL.

  • Section 2. Quorum.
    Fifty percent of the members shall constitute a quorum for any meeting of the Council.


  • Section 1. Officer.
    There is only one officer, the SIS Council Chairperson. The Chairperson shall be elected annually by the Council and serve a term of one year. The SIS Council Chairperson shall be elected from among the out-going SIS chairpersons.

  • Section 2. Duties.
    The Chairperson is responsible for developing and maintaining communication channels among the SIS’s and the national leadership. The Chairperson organizes and chairs the annual Council meeting. The Chairperson serves without compensation, but shall be reimbursed by AALL for expenditures (such as printing and postage) incurred in the discharge of his/her duties.


These bylaws may be amended at the annual meeting of the Council by a majority of the members present and voting. Notice of proposed amendments shall be mailed to the Council's voting members 30 days in advance of the annual meeting. Any amendment shall take effect after it has been approved by the AALL Executive Board.