Based on conversations at Board meetings, as well as an attempt to fix a number of issues that have arisen over the last 2-3 years (specifically issues around officers and timing of elections) the Bylaws committee has began work on analyzing the LITA Bylaws.
For those of you that are new to LITA, or just haven’t been enthralled by parliamentary process like some of us, the Bylaws are the rules by which the Division operates. The LITA Manual lays out responsibilities and operational issues, but the Bylaws are the rules by which the organization operates. Want to know how to start an IG? That’s in the bylaws.
After discussions within the Bylaws Committee, and examining how such a review of those specific sections relating to elections and officers would need to occur, our conclusion was that a large part of the current issues have been caused by just this sort of partial-rewriting over the years. Because the Bylaws are an interconnected document, we felt like the best way to tackle solutions to the issues presented would be with a comprehensive review, starting at the sections that are most needed, but then following the implications throughout the Bylaws in order to ensure that we cover all possible areas of disagreement.
As a result, we’ve begun this process. Our goals are twofold: to specifically close the holes that we have uncovered over the last few years, but also to compare/contrast our bylaws with those of ALA proper and harmonize them when that makes sense to do so.
Our timeline is to try to review 2 sections of the Bylaws per month, and then review and discuss at monthly meetings to ensure that we all understand what’s been done and agree that the changes are appropriate. We are doing this in a public google doc:
We have just met and discussed our first round of comments and suggested changes…we wanted to test the process before we presented it to both the Board and the membership.
The google doc is open to editing by the Committee, but open to comment by anyone with the link. We would like to have as transparent a process as possible, by asking for commentary and inviting members to follow along as we work our way through a more streamlined set of bylaws. We will also be publicizing our next few meetings and streaming them here on LITABlog so that members can chime in with questions, or just follow our progress.
The goal that we have set for ourselves is to have a draft of the revised bylaws to present to the Board prior to the Annual meeting, with the expectation of discussing issues at that meeting. Assuming the discussion is satisfactory, we’ll then begin the process of moving to to membership for formal review, before putting the Bylaws changes up to vote. There’s a process in, you guessed it, the Bylaws about how this is done. This isn’t going to be something that happens tomorrow; it will likely take most of the rest of 2014 to complete. But I think that at the end we’ll have a set of bylaws that will enable LITA to be a more flexible and nimble division moving forward.