Articles of the Constitution

I. Name
II. Objective
III. Members
IV. Officers
V. Nomination and Elections
VI. Meetings
VII. Right of Petition
VIII. Dues and Finance
IX. Committees
X. Sections
XI. Round Tables
XII. Affiliations
XIII. Parliamentary Authority
XIV. Amendments
XV. Non-Discrimination Clause

Article I.—Name
The organization shall be called "The Rhode Island Library Association."

Article II.—Objective
The Rhode Island Library Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and promotion of libraries and the development of library personnel.

Article III.—Members
Section 1.
The membership shall consist of Active, Institutional, Honorary, and Life members.

A. Active Member: Any person currently engaged in library and information work or formerly engaged in library and information work, or any member (past or present) of a library and information center, governing or advisory body, or any student in or graduate of a school of library and information science, may become an active member upon payment of dues as proved in Article VIII and shall have the right to vote and to hold office.

B. Institutional Member: Any library, institution or organization active in library service or support may become a member upon payment of dues as provided in Article VIII. An institutional member shall not have the right to vote.

C. Honorary Member: Any individual nominated by the Executive Board and selected by the membership shall be an honorary member for a specified period of time to be determined by the Executive Board. An honorary member shall enjoy all the privileges of an active member except the right to vote and hold office, and shall be exempt from the payment of dues.

D. Life Member: Any individual who is a life member shall continue to enjoy all privileges of an active member, and shall be exempt from the payment of dues.

ARTICLE IV. — OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1.
The officers of the Association shall be the President, Vice President/President Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary. The duties of the officers shall be those which usually pertain to their offices.

Section 2. Executive Board

A. The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of the Association, the Past President, the ALA Councilor, and two (2) Members-at-Large.

B. The Executive Board may subcontract staff to carry out the purposes, policies, and programs of the Association.

C. The Executive Board shall meet at least 10 times each year at the call of the President.

ARTICLE V. — NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 1. Nominations

A. The Nominating Committee shall bi-annually (every two (2) years) submit to the Executive Board a slate consisting of one (1) candidate for each of the offices of Vice President/President Elect, Secretary, Members-at-Large, and Treasurer.  Every third year, the Nominating Committee shall submit one (1) candidate for the office of American Library Association Councilor.

B. The report of the Nominating Committee shall be submitted to the Executive Board at least three months prior to the annual business meeting.

C. Nominations may also be made from the member by the candidate or by a representative with the written consent of the nominee by contacting the Nominating Committee of the interest at least 30 days prior to the annual business meeting.

D. Nominees must be Association members in good standing.

E. Individuals may be nominated for reelection, but may serve no more than two (2) consecutive terms.

Section 2. Election Procedures

A. The Nominating Committee shall submit the names of the Executive Board nominees to the Association membership 30 days prior to the annual business meeting.

B. The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall deliver a copy of the ballot, using procedures approved by the Executive Board, to each voting member. Ballots shall be returned to the current Chair of the Nominating Committee at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the Annual Conference.

C. The current RILA President shall certify the results of the election, which shall be determined by the tally of the Chair of the Nominating Committee, and shall notify each candidate and each member of the current Executive Committee of such results.

D. Newly elected officers shall take office at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.

Section 3. Vacancies

A. The Executive Board shall fill vacant offices by a majority vote using a secret ballot.

B. The Vice-President/President-Elect shall complete the unexpired term of the president in case of a vacancy in that office. If the Vice President/President-Elect is unable to serve in this capacity, the Nominating Committee shall present names of candidates to the Executive Board, who shall elect a president to serve for the duration of the term of office.

C. For other vacancies in elective office the Nominating Committee shall present names of candidates to the Executive Board, who shall elect officers to serve for the duration of the term except when the unexpired term exceeds one year. In that case, the person elected will serve to the close of the next annual business meeting and the election procedures in Article V, Sections 1 and 2, shall be followed.

ARTICLE VI. — MEETINGS
Section 1.
The Association shall hold an Annual Business Meeting.

Section 2.
Ten (10) percent of the members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at an Association meeting.

Section 3.
Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition).

ARTICLE VII. — RIGHT OF PETITION
Section 1. Voting at the Annual Business Meeting

A. The membership of the Association may petition the Executive Board to place an item of business before the membership at the annual business meeting. This petition must have 20 signatures of voting members of the Association and be presented to the Executive Board at least 60 days before the annual business meeting.

B. The text of a petition and the signatories of the petition shall be made available to the membership prior to the annual business meeting.

C. For a petition to succeed a simple majority shall be required, provided that at least 10 percent of the eligible members vote.

ARTICLE VIII. — DUES AND FINANCES
Section 1.
Dues shall be payable in January of each year and delinquent in March. If dues are not received in March, the privileges of membership shall be forfeited.

Section 2. Changes in Dues Structure

A. Changes in the dues structure shall be recommended by the Executive Board for approval by the membership at the annual business meeting or by mail ballot.

B. Proposed changes in the dues structure will be made available to the membership 30 days prior to the annual business meeting.

C. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote shall be required in order to change the dues structure, provided that at least 10 percent of eligible members vote.

Section 3.
The fiscal year of the Association shall begin January 1 and end December 31 of the year commencing on the January 1st following the annual business meeting.

ARTICLE IX. — COMMITTEES
Section 1.
The President, in consultation with the Executive Board, shall appoint standing and other committees and designate the chair of each committee.

Section 2. Standing Committees

A. The following shall constitute the standing committees of the Association: Budget and Finance, Conference, Membership, Nominating, Legislative Action, Intellectual Freedom, Public Relations, and Communications.

B. The President, in consultation with the Executive Board, shall provide an annual written statement delineating the responsibilities of each standing committee.

Section 3.
The President, in consultation with the Executive Board, shall appoint the chair and fix the charge of other committees as needed to conduct the business and carry out the purpose of the Association.

Section 4.
In order to ensure good communication among its members, no committee shall exceed 10 members unless approved by the Executive Board. The committee chair has the autonomy to select the members and to determine the size of the committee with the exclusion of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Nominating Committee. An attempt shall be made to have committee composition be representative of the Association membership.

Section 5.
Appointments to committee, with the exception of the Budget and Finance Committee, shall be for two (2) years unless otherwise specified by the Executive Board.

A. Membership of the Budget and Finance Committee shall include: the Treasurer as Chair; the Vice President/President Elect; and six other members serving staggered three year terms. Each year the President shall appoint two (2) members.

B. Membership of the Nominating Committee shall include: the outgoing Past President as Chair and four (4) other members serving staggered two (2) year terms. Each year the outgoing Past President shall select two (2) members to serve on the committee.

Section 6. Committee Chairs
Committee chairs may participate in Executive Board meetings but shall not have the right to vote.

Section 7.
The President and Vice President/President-Elect are ex officio members of all committees, but do not have the right to vote in committees.

ARTICLE X. — SECTIONS
Section 1. Organization
Fifteen (15) or more members of the Association interested in the same general field of activity or same type of library may petition the Executive Board for approval to organize a section. The petition must state the purpose of and need for the proposed section. Each section has autonomy over and responsibility for the conduct of its own affairs consistent with the Executive Board.

Section 2. Membership
Sectional membership shall be limited to personal members of the Association. Sections shall appoint a representative to the Executive Board as a non-voting member who will attend Executive Board meetings at least four (4) times a year.

Section 3. Finances
Sections may charge dues, issue publications, and carry on activities consistent with their own interests. All Section funds, regardless of source, shall be in the custody of the Treasurer and shall be disbursed by the Treasurer as directed by the Executive Board upon recommendation of the Section officers. No Section may incur expenses without the approval of the Executive Board. Sections shall be self-supporting.

Section 4. Reports
Each section will submit an annual report of its activities to the President, when requested.

Section 5.
By vote of the Executive Board and the Association at an annual meeting a Section may be discontinued when its usefulness ceases or upon the recommendation of the Section itself.

ARTICLE XI. — ROUND TABLES
Section 1.
The Executive Board may authorize the organization as a round table or assimilate as a round table an existing group of not less than 20 members of the Association who are interested in the same field of librarianship not within the scope of any committee upon the petition by such a group.

Section 2.
Round tables may elect officers, charge annual dues, and limit their membership. Any membership of the Association may become a member of any round table by complying with the requirements of membership.

Section 3.
The Executive Board may discontinue a round table when in the opinion of the Executive Board the usefulness of that round table has ceased or upon the recommendation of the round table itself.

ARTICLE XII. — AFFILIATION WITH OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
Section 1.
ALA – The Rhode Island Library Association is a chapter of the American Library Association and is entitled to one (1) councilor. The councilor shall be elected by members of the Association who are also members of the American Library Association and shall serve for three (3) years, or until his/her successor is elected and qualified and shall automatically serve as a member of the Executive Board.

ARTICLE XIII. — PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this constitution.

ARTICLE XIV. — AMENDMENTS
The constitution may be amended through the same Election process used in the selection of Officers, provided that the proposed amendment has been submitted to the membership at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

ARTICLE XV. — NON-DISCRIMINATION CLAUSE
No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any program or activity available through the Rhode Island Library Association on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, political belief, age, national origin, linguistic and language difference, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socio-economic status, height, weight, marital or familial status, or disability.

Approved by the membership November 1, 1981.
Amended by the membership November 1983; November 1985; May 1986; May 1988; June 1990; November 1991; November 1994; June 1998; May 2010, May 2015, and May 2017.
Last Updated: 08/07/2017

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