As adopted July 1, 1979; amended July 21, 1996; amended February 7, 2000; amended March 8, 2004; amended June 21, 2017; amended April 2, 2021.

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

  1. 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.
  2. The Section shall conduct its affairs in conformity with the Bylaws of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Article III: Membership

  1. 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.
  2. Members shall have the right to hold office, to vote, and to serve on committees.

Article IV: Antidiscrimination

Membership in the Section or participation in any activity of the Section shall not be denied or abridged to any individual on account of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Article V: Meetings

  1. 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.
  2. A quorum shall consist of the members present at the Section annual meeting.

Article VI: 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

  1. Chairperson
    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; act as a liaison to the AALL Executive Board through the SIS Council (composed of all SIS Chairpersons); oversee scheduling of events at the Annual Meeting; and prepare required reports for and correspondence with the AALL Executive Director as appropriate.
  2. Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect
    It shall be the duty of the Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect to: set up and conduct the business of the Program Committee; solicit and develop program ideas; work with the Executive Committee; and perform any other duties delegated to him/her by the Chairperson.
  3. Secretary/Treasurer
    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; and handling correspondence, as required. Other duties may include sending a welcome message/packet to new members on behalf of the Executive Board and any others delegated to him/her by the Chairperson.

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 the duties assigned by the Chairperson.

Section 4. Committees

  1. There shall be such standing or special committees as the Executive Committee or the membership of the Section shall create. Other groups, such as task forces and working committees, may be established by the Executive Committee as necessary.
  2. All standing committees, except the Program Committee, shall have a Chair and Vice- Chair appointed by the Chairperson. The Vice Chair of each committee shall serve a two- year term, the first year as Vice Chair and the second year as Chair. The tenure of all committee chairs and vice chairs runs from August 1 to July 31.
  3. Committee chairs may resign. Resignation must be made in writing to the Executive Board. When at all possible, thirty (30) days notice is requested of the chair if (s)he chooses to resign.
  4. If a committee chair is elected become part of the RIPS Executive Board, other than as Member-at-Large, the chair will resign from the position when his/her position on the Board becomes effective.
  5. There shall be a standing Nominating Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee, to consist of at least five 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 Committee.

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

  1. 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 terms.
  2. 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 Chairperson.

Article VII: Nomination and Election of Officers and Members-at-Large

Section 1. Nominations

  1. The Nominating Committee shall submit the names of two candidates for the office of Vice Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect, the office of the Secretary/Treasurer, and the Member-at-Large position to the Chairperson when those offices are to be filled, in sufficient time to enable the Chairperson to inform the members of the Section of the nominations at least two weeks prior to the election by mail, email, or by posting on the Section blog and list-serv. 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.
  2. 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 one week before the election is scheduled to open.

Section 2. Ballots

The election of officers will be conducted every year by electronic ballot. The professional position of each nominee shall appear on the ballot. 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 on the Section listserv and at the Section’s annual meeting. All candidates shall be notified of the results of the election at the earliest possible time.

Section 3. Tie Votes

In case of a tie vote, a run-off election shall be held by special mailing or by electronic ballot.

Section 4. Timing of Elections

Elections must be completed two months prior to the AALL annual meeting.

Article VIII: Amendments

Section 1. 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 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. The details of conducting the vote shall first be approved by the Executive Committee. Ballots shall state the text of the proposed change, the purpose of the change, and the date by which ballots must be submitted. A majority of the 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.

Section 2. Notice

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 on the Section blog 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 ballot.

Section 3. AALL Executive Board Approval

Proposed amendments will be sent to the AALL Bylaws Committee for review and approval by the AALL Executive Board prior to distributing the ballots.

Section 4. Effect of Amendments

Any passed amendments will take effect immediately after the vote.

Article IX: Parliamentary Authority

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure by the American Institute of Parliamentarians, in the
latest edition, shall govern all deliberations of the Section when not in conflict with the bylaws of the Section.