What are “Interest Groups”?
Approved by the membership in the 2011 ALA/ASCLA election, interest groups provide a way to easily create a “home” within ASCLA for topics and issues that have an active member base, are specifically of interest to ASCLA members or may be currently underrepresented in the organization. They provide a dynamic system for ASCLA members to form communities around important emerging issues in the profession and to increase opportunities for involvement within the organization. ASCLA interest groups are very fluid and can be quickly formed in response to environmental changes. Interest groups can also consist of any ALA member; they are not restricted to ASCLA members.
What is the process for creating an Interest Group?
Any ASCLA member can propose the creation of an interest group by submitting an e-petition with signatures of 10 ASCLA members. Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Interest Group Coordination Committee and the ASCLA Board of Directors, which approves the creation of new interest groups. Go here to create an e-petition (login as an ALA member first): http://www.ala.org/template.cfm?template=/CFApps/epetition/index.cfm.
Additional information on creating ASCLA interest groups, including a link to the e-petition form, can be found on the ASCLA Web site at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/ascla/asclaourassoc/asclasections/interestgroups/index.cfm
Who can join Interest Groups?
Once an interest group is formed, ASCLA and any ALA member may join by logging into ALA Connect and joining the group – which is listed by title in Connect. Interest groups may include any ALA member – they are not limited to ASCLA members.
Please keep in mind, while you do not have to be an ASCLA member to join an Interest Group, you must be an ASCLA member to lead one.
How does an Interest Group Operate?
- Interest groups may plan and sponsor programs at conferences, may sponsor pre-conferences, create discussion groups, prepare publications, or carry out other activities with the approval of the Interest Group Coordinating Committee and the Board of Directors.
- Interest groups establish their own process for nominating and electing their leadership.
- Interest group leaders must be ASCLA members, however any ALA member may join an ASCLA interest group.
- No leader shall serve more than four (4) consecutive years in office.
- Any member of the Association may join as many interest groups as desired by joining the group in ALA Connect.
- Each Interest Group defines its own functions, subject to the approval of the Interest Group Coordinating Committee
- Each Interest Group shall manage its own affairs, provided that no interest group shall adopt rules for the transaction of its business inconsistent with those of the Association, or engage in any activity in conflict with the program of the Association.
- Interest group elections are held during the Midwinter Meeting.
- Unless otherwise approved by the ASCLA executive director, interest groups will conduct their own elections and not utilize the formal ALA election system.
What are the interest group leader’s responsibilities?
As an Interest Group Leader you will be expected to:
- Encourage involvement in the Interest Group
- Ensure that the Interest Group generates discussion topics, articles, programs, projects etc. within the purview of the Interest Group’s charge.
- Regularly communicate with Interest Group members regarding Interest Group activities as well as initiatives coming from the ASCLA Board, staff, or other interested parties.
- Communicate with the Interest Group Coordinating Committee. This will include a brief annual report on Interest Group activity. Reports will be posted on the Interest Group site.
- Communicate with the Interest Group Coordinating Committee if, for any reason, you determine that you are unable to fulfill the responsibility of leading the Interest Group.
- Notify the ASCLA office of any changes in leadership.
- Coordinate the overall activities of the interest group and for reporting on group activities.
To find out more about ASCLA Interest Groups, go here: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/ascla/asclaourassoc/asclainterest/index.cfm,
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