The organization shall be called "The Rhode Island Library Association." Hereafter known as “the Association.”
The Rhode Island Library Association is a professional organization that serves its members through career development, education, advocacy, networking partnerships and legislative action.
The membership shall consist of Active, Institutional, and Honorary members.
A. Active Member: Any person currently engaged in library and information work or support or formerly engaged in library and information work or support, 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 or organization 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.
The officers of the Association shall be the President, Vice President/President Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary.
A. The President shall preside over the activities of the organization and shall appoint the Chairs of all committees. They shall serve ex-officio on all committees.
B. The Vice President/President Elect shall preside in the absence of the President and shall perform any other duties delegated by the President. They shall become President when their predecessor’s term is over or upon the resignation of the President.
C. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the funds of the organization and keep accurate records of all transactions. They shall report on the finances of the organization to the Executive Board and to the membership at the annual meeting.
D. The Secretary shall keep minutes of meetings and archive the records of the organization. They shall perform any other functions delegated by the President or appropriate to the office.
E. Each officer’s term shall be two years. No officer may serve in the office to which they were elected for more than six consecutive years.
A. The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of the Association, the Immediate Past President, the American Library Association (ALA) Councilor, two (2) Members-at-Large, the NELA Representative, a Paraprofessional/Non-Librarian Representative and the Section Chairs or their designees. All Executive Board members must be Association members in good standing.
B. The Executive Board may subcontract staff to carry out the purposes, policies, and programs of the Association.
C. The Executive Board can enter into liaison relationships with other library related groups, agencies and associations at the Board’s discretion. These liaisons are considered as ex officio, non-voting members of the Executive Board.
D. The Executive Board shall meet at least 10 times each year at the call of the President.
E. A quorum of the Executive Board shall be a simple majority of the board members.
F. Any Association member may attend an Executive Board meeting, but shall not have the right to vote. Non-board members may not be present in the event that the Executive Board convenes an Executive Session.
G. Special meetings may be called by the President and/or the majority vote of the Board or may be called upon the written request of twenty Association members. Except in cases of emergency, three to five business days notice shall be given. The business transacted at any special meeting shall be limited to that in the call to the meeting. Meetings may be held remotely as necessary.
H. Any member of the Board may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Board. The resignation shall take effect at the time specified in such notice, and unless otherwise specified in such notice, acceptance shall not be necessary to make it effective.
I. Any member of the Board may be removed from office for cause by a two-thirds vote of a quorum of the Board.
A. The Nominating Committee (Article IX, Section 5-B) shall bi-annually (every two (2) years) submit to the Executive Board a slate consisting of at least one (1) candidate for Vice President/President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Members-at-Large, and Paraprofessional/Non-Librarian. Every third year, the Nominating Committee shall submit at least one (1) candidate for the office of American Library Association Councilor and the NELA Representative.
B. Those members interested in nominating themselves for any positions on the Executive Board, should complete a Right of Petition at least 90 days before the annual business meeting. The petition must have 20 signatures of members of the Association supporting the person for the nomination. This would allow the name to be included in the Nominating Committee’s presentation of names to the Executive Board.
C. The report of the Nominating Committee shall be submitted to the Executive Board at least 90 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) full consecutive terms.
A. The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall deliver a copy of the ballot, using procedures approved by the Executive Board, to each voting member not less than 30 days prior to the annual business meeting. Ballots shall be returned to the current Chair of the Nominating Committee at the board meeting prior to the annual business meeting.
B. 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 Board of such results.
C. Newly elected board members shall take office at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.
A. The Executive Board may fill vacant positions by a majority vote until the Nominating Committee has presented names to the Executive Board of candidates to fill the vacancy.
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.
The Association shall hold an Annual Business Meeting.
Ten (10) percent of the members eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at an Association meeting.
Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (current edition).
A. The membership of the Association may petition 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 90 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 no less than 30 days prior to the annual business meeting.
C. For a petition to succeed a two-thirds majority shall be required, provided that at least 10 percent of the eligible members vote.
Dues shall be payable annually on a rolling basis. Dues shall be payable when the previous year’s membership has expired.
A. Changes in the dues structure shall be recommended by the Executive Board for approval by the membership not less than 30 days prior to the annual meeting.
B. A majority vote shall be required in order to change the dues structure, provided that at least 10 percent of eligible members vote.
The fiscal year of the Association shall begin January 1 and end December 31.
A. The Treasurer will provide a current financial statement, which includes the association's budget vs. actual, balance sheets, and cash flow statement to the Executive Board at each meeting.
B. An audit of all accounts shall be made every 3 years by a commercial auditor.
The President, in consultation with the Executive Board, shall appoint standing and other committees and designate the chair of each committee.
The following shall constitute the standing committees of the Association: Budget and Finance, Conference, Membership, Nominating, Legislative Action, Intellectual Freedom, and Communications.
The committee chair, in consultation with the Executive Board, 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.
Appointments to a 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 President, the Vice President/President Elect; and two (2) other members appointed by the President for a one year renewable term. B. Membership of the Nominating Committee shall include: the Immediate Past President as Chair and at least four (4) other members chosen by the Chair, in consultation with the current Executive Board.
Committee chairs, excluding the Budget and Finance Committee and Nominating Committee Chairs who are officers of the Association, may participate in Executive Board meetings but shall not have the right to vote. Committee chairs shall submit reports to the Executive Board when requested by the President.
The President and Vice President/President-Elect are ex officio members of all committees, but do not have the right to vote in committees. (Except for the Budget and Finance Committee, where the President and Vice President/President-Elect are full voting members).
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.
Sectional membership shall be limited to personal members of the Association. Sections shall appoint a representative to the Executive Board as a voting member. The section must maintain a minimum of 15 members at all times.
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 upon recommendation of the Section officers. Sections shall be self-supporting.
Each section will submit a report of its activities to the President, prior to the annual business meeting, or when otherwise requested.
By vote of the Executive Board, a Section may be discontinued when its usefulness ceases or upon the recommendation of the Section itself.
The Executive Board may authorize the formation of a round table of at least 10 members of the Association who are interested in the same subject or topic not within the scope of any existing committee or section upon the petition by such a group. The Round Table must maintain a minimum of 10 members at all times.
Round tables may elect officers. Any member of the Association may become a member of any round table by complying with the requirements of membership. Round table chairs may participate in Executive Board meetings but shall not have the right to vote. Round table chairs shall submit reports to the Executive Board when requested by the President.
By vote of the Executive Board a Round table may be discontinued when its usefulness ceases or upon the recommendation of the Round table itself.
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 and shall serve for three (3) years, or until their successor is elected and qualified and shall automatically serve as a member of the Executive Board. The ALA councilor must be a member in good standing of both ALA and the Association. The duties of the ALA councilor shall be those outlined by the American Library Association.
NELA – The Rhode Island Library Association is one of six New England state affiliates to the New England Library Association (NELA). NELA bylaws call for a Rhode Island representative to the NELA Executive Board by the vote of the Association members. The NELA Representative shall be elected to a three (3) year term and serve as a voting member of the Executive Board. The NELA representative must be a member in good standing of both NELA and the Association. The duties of the NELA Representative shall be to represent RILA at NELA conferences and on the NELA Executive Board.
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.
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.
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.
The Board shall adopt and maintain a Conflict of Interest policy, adopted by separate resolution, which shall be incorporated into these Bylaws by reference.
The board shall adopt and periodically review a document retention policy to protect and manage the Association’s data and information.
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, May 2017, May 2019, May 2022.