Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Membership Initiative Group

So what are the rules about a Membership Initiative Group? The Chair of ALA's Committee on Organization (COO) emailed me notes from the ALA staff liaison (my friend, Lois Ann Gregory Wood). Here is what Lois Ann said the rules in the ALA files are. [At the end is an interpretive statement from Lois Ann.]

A membership initiative group is a short-term organizational vehicle, which provides for prompt, organized membership activity on topical issues in librarianship of mutual interest. While possibly overlapping with other ALA units for brief times, a MIG may not assume any of the delegated responsibilities of said units, which are currently being carried out by said units, not may a MIG speak for the Association.

A group of members, having identified their common concern for some aspect of librarianship, would register the following with the Committee on Organization:
1. A statement of purpose.
2. At least 100 signatures of ALA members in good standing.
3. The names and addresses of designated organizers.

The COO chairperson will acknowledge receipt of the required documentation, with a copy to the ALA Conference Arrangements Office, and this registration will be reported to Council in the Committee report at the next conference. The ALA Conference Arrangements Office will acknowledge receipt of notification and make every effort to accommodate the space/time/place needs of the group.

The unit may function in ALA for a maximum of two years (changed to 3 years in 1985) having meetings and programs. During this time, the Association will provide meeting space, a listing in the Handbook of Organization, inclusion in conference schedules, and a contact person at Headquarters designated by the Executive Director to provide parliamentary counseling. In addition, the MIG may request small support items, either from Headquarters or as budgetary requests to COPES. (now BARC) All other MIG activities will be handled by the group.

Extension: (This section was eliminated in 1985, along with the shift from a 2-year to a 3-year life. At the end of the three years, the MIG must "apply for a place within the ALA structure" - as I read the background material.)

So, establishing a Bloggers MIG, is a way to get organized, but still get conference space to meet while we get our act together.

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