Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section, ACRL


A.      Name

The name of the organization shall be the Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section (AAMES) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, hereinafter referred to as the Section.

B.      Purpose

ACRL sections are established primarily for the purpose of building communities of learning and providing professional development and networking opportunities for their members.  A section’s name, purpose and mission are as proposed by the Section and approved by the ACRL Board.  The ACRL Board ascertains that overlaps between the mandates are of various sections are minimized

The Asian, African and Middle Eastern Section  represents  librarians  and specialists in the field of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern area studies and acts for ACRL, in cooperation with other professional groups, in those areas of library service that require knowledge of Asian, African and Middle eastern languages and cultures.

C.      Membership

Any member of the Association of College and Research Libraries may elect membership in the Asian, African and Middle Eastern section.  The number of “community of practice” affiliations included in the basic ACRL dues is determined by the ACRL Board.  The dues for additional affiliations are also set by the ACRL Board.  Every personal member of the SECTION has the right to vote and is eligible to hold office.

D.      Relationship to ACRL Board

The Board shall be authorized to establish Communities of Practice (including Sections), to monitor their activities, and determine their continuance in consultation with respective groups.  The board shall also be entitled to establish policies to govern the activities of Communities of Practice. (ACRL Bylaws, Article XV)

The Board liaison role provides a critical connection between membership structures and the ACRL board of Directors.  This liaison role can be particularly helpful in  providing perspective, guidance, and insight regarding  ACRL policies, procedures, and initiatives; soliciting  feedback from Communities of Practice regarding proposed Board actions; and providing  helpful advice regarding Action Plan proposals and Board Action forms which   Community of Practice leaders will need to submit for official ACRL Board and ACRL  executive  Committee actions/decisions.  The liaison relationship is meant to enhance communication; it is not an advocacy role and for that reason Board members are asked to liaison with communities in which they have not been active.  (Tip sheet for board Responsibilities)

The Board of Directors is the Voice for the Association.  Sections, committees, and other established units are not authorized to speak for the Association except through the Board.  This is to say that Unit leaders should refrain from issuing statements, taking positions, or endorsing any statements or positions except with Board approval.  (ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures, Chapter 5.12.8, Use of ACRL’s name)

E.      Meetings

Section meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference are scheduled by the Section Chair.

ACRL units are encouraged to work outside of Midwinter and/or Annual Conference to increase group   participating, efficiency, and productivity.  Electronic meetings are conducted within the environment of ALA/ACRL bylaws and policies.  In all cases these requirements must be adhered to, although they may have to be adopted to fit the virtual environment. 

The ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1 defines a meeting as “an official assembly, for any length of time following a designated starting time, of the members of any board, committee   task force, and commission, etc., during which the members do not separate except for a recess and in which the assembly has the capacity to formalize decisions”.  Conference calls, Internet chat sessions (and their equivalents), and in person meetings are recognized as meetings subject to the

open meeting policy (ALA Policy 7.4.4).  Committees must confirm all decisions made in these forums by affirming the actions at the next face-to-face meetings.

There is a distinction between carrying on work of a committee electronically and conducting an electronic meeting.  Asynchronous electronic discussions by electronic mails or   other   asynchronous communication methods do not constitute meetings because they are not an official assembly with a designated starting time (ALA Policy manual 7.4.1).

The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (Alice Sturgis) applies to meetings of the Section to the extent that it is applicable, upholds the integrity of the voting processes, helps facilitate progress, and ensures equality, fairness, and common sense.


The annual meeting of the Section shall be held at the time and place of the annual conference of ALA. Other    meetings may be called at the discretion of the Executive Committee.  Members of the Section present at an annual meeting   shall constitute a quorum.

F.      Officers

Each Section will have Vice Chair/Chair-Elect to ensure succession.

Section F 1:  Officers

The officers of this section shall be:  Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, Immediate past Chair, and three Members-at-Large.

Section F 2:  Terms of Office

The Chair serves for one year and is not eligible for consecutive terms.

The Vice-Chair/Chair –Elect serves as Vice-Chair for one year.  At its expiration, or earlier in case of a vacancy in the office of Chair, the Vice Chair succeeds to the office of Chair.

The Secretary is elected for a term of two years.

Three Members at Large – Each member is elected for a term of two years.  Members –at-large shall be elected to overlapping terms and may be re-elected for one additional term.

All officers  shall begin their terms of office at the adjournment of the Annual Conference and are to remain in office until their successors are elected.

Section F 3:  Duties of Officers

F3a.  Chair.  The chair shall be the chief executive of the Section, the chair of the executive   Committee, and one of the Section’s   representatives to the ACRL. Leadership Council and the ACRL sections Council. The chair is responsible for section projects pursued during his or her term, administration of requests for budget allocations and reimbursement of expenses, and submission of reports on all section activities to the ACRL Board.  The chair is also responsible for scheduling Section programs, meeting, and events at the Midwinter meeting and the annual Conference. 

F3b.  Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.  The vice-chair /chair elect shall plan and coordinate all programs and projects to be pursued during his or her term as chair, and shall make appointments of all standing committee members and chairs whose terms will begin during his or her term as chair.  The vice chair/chair elect shall be responsible for submitting budget requests for his or her term as chair, participating in ACRL budget orientation, and responding to inquiries relating to the Section.  The vice-chair/chair-elect serve on the Executive Committee and the ACRL Conference Program Planning Committee.  He or she serves as substitute on the ACRL Leadership Council and the ACRL Sections Council when either the chair or the immediate past-chair is unable to attend.

F3c.  Immediate Past-Chair.  The immediate past-chair serves on the Executive Committee and is ex-officio on the Planning Committee.  He or she also serves on the ACRL leadership Council and the ACRL Sections council.

F3d.  Secretary.  The secretary shall be responsible for maintenance of all section records and for recording the minutes of all Section and Executive Committee business meetings at the Midwinter Meeting and at the Annual Conference.  All records shall be submitted according to ACRL guidelines.  The secretary shall be responsible for collecting and distributing all archival documents to the ALA Archives as appropriate.

G.      Executive Committee

The Section Executive Committee is responsible for the stewardship of the section and the coordination of its activities, provided that it operates within the section mandate and budget as determined by membership level (ACRL Guide to Policy and Procedure, basic Services, 4.3.2).

The Executive Committee consists of the officers of the section.  The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected so as to assume broad representation of the various regions (Africa, Asia and the Middle East). 

Other Committees

Section   1:  Standing Committees

.  Standing committees may be established by the Executive committee to consider matters of the Section that require continuity of attention by the members.  When such a committee is established, its function, name, and size shall be determined at the time of its authorization.

.  Full members of standing committees shall be a pointed for terms of two years and may be re-appointed for a second, but not a third consecutive term.  Appointment shall be made in such a manner as to provide continuity in membership.

.   The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect shall appoint committee members to fill the vacancies due to occur during his or her term as Chair.  The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect shall also designate the chairpersons of all committees which shall function during his or her term as Chair of the section.  Unexpected vacancies on a committee shall be filled by a special appointment made by the chair of the Section.

.  A committee may be discontinued only by a majority vote of the executive Committee.

Section 2:  Special (Ad Hoc) Committees

.  Special (ad hoc) committees for the performance of particular assignments may be appointed at any time by the Chair of the Section after consultation with other members of the executive committee.

.  Such special committees shall be discontinued at the end of the term of the chair who appointed them unless extended by the new Chair.

H.      Nominations and Elections

To be nominated, elected and continue to serve on a Section’s Executive Committee, a person must be a current member of the Section (with ALA, ACRL, and Section dues – if applicable – paid).

The Vice Chair/Chair-elect appoints the nomination committee every year to select well qualified candidates for all positions open.  The slate should be sent to the Chair for his/her approval.  The chair will forward the list to ACRL for election before the deadline.

I.      Vacancies

Section 1.

·      If the office of Chair becomes vacant, the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect will succeed and serve until the expiration of the year for which that person was elected.

Section 2.

·      If the office of Vice -Chair/Chair-Elect becomes vacant, two candidates shall be elected at the next election.  The person having the largest   number of votes will take the office of Chair immediately and the other will serve as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.

·     If the office of Vice –Chair/Chair-Elect becomes vacant within six months of the beginning of the term, the office of Vice –Chair/Chair- Elect may be filled by appointment made by the executive Committee.

Section 3.

·     If the office of secretary becomes vacant, the vacancy will be filled by appointment made by the Executive Committee

Section 4.

·     If the office of Member-at-Large   becomes vacant, the vacancy will be filled by appointment made by the Executive Committee.

J.      Amendments to Governance Procedures

The operating procedures may be amended as determined by the Section Executive Committee as long as they are not in conflict with ALA/ACRL bylaws, policies, and procedures.  Changes to these governance procedures do not require, and should not include, a ballot vote by the membership.  Sections may determine their approval process (e.g. responsibility of the executive Committee, vote at face-to-face Section membership meeting, etc.).  A current copy shall be provided to the Executive Director per ACRL Bylaws, Article XV, and Section 3.