South Regional Representative Report

November 16, 2007
Phillips Collection Library, Washington, D.C.

South Regional Representative Report

First, my apologies for not being able to attend your fall meeting in person. My intention is to join you for your spring meeting and I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to get to know your chapter.

The ARLIS/NA Executive Board met September 17-18, 2007 in Minneapolis for it mid-year meeting.

As your know, ARLIS/NA is in the midst of its “year-of-transition” during which the administrative structure of the organization is changing in response to the Assessment Task Force’s recommendations and members’ feedback.

A number of items I’ll be discussing will require an ARLS/NA bylaws change, most notably the Society’s administrative restructuring, and President Deborah Ultan Boudewyns is working with Headquarters to distribute the ballot to members in the coming months.

During the mid-year meeting the Board acted on the following items:

  1. The recommendation to disband Roundtables and offer less formal, more flexible Interest Groups will operate according to the Assessment Task Force recommendations:
    • Groups are allowed to arise spontaneously, designating leadership in any manner they choose.
    • Interest Groups are required to post notice of their existence on ARLIS-L and the ARLIS/NA Website so that others may participate; Interest Groups should report their discussions to the entire membership using News and Features to share news and activities.
    • Groups are freed of reporting to the Board unless they have an issue needing Board attention or wish to provide feedback and advice to the Board; they can propose projects to the Board and request funding for those projects through the Special Funding process.
  2. The Board took action on the Assessment Task Force recommendations for redefining the Regional Representative positions. The Assessment Task Force suggested that the board positions based on geographical representation in the form of Regional Representatives, change focus to administrative roles based on the Society’s functional needs. The Board has approved new functional roles that will address 1) communication, 2) education (the role I am taking on), 3) marketing and development, and 4) chapter coordination. However, it was agreed that retaining one seat on the Board based on geography was appropriate in the case of Canadian representation. To that end, there will be a Canadian member elected to an “at-large” position who will serve on the Board in a variety of functional capacities. In addition, there was an acknowledgment that Executive Board representation at regional chapter meetings is still important and will continue to be supported. So instead of a regional representative attending your chapter meeting, an effort will be made to ensure that at least one Board member is present at any given meeting.

    Since the Society’s annual conference in April 2007 during the “year-of-transition,” Regional Representatives have continued to liaise with the chapters they represent; Cate Cooney, who is serving in the new functional Chapter Coordinator position in addition to Northeast Regional Representative, has been working to coordinate communication between the Board and chapters’ leaders.

  3. The Board voted in favor of appointing a Technology Task Force to provide recommendations for advancing the Society’s technological infrastructure in order to promote communication and facilitate initiatives using Web 2.0 technology. Since the mid-year meeting, the decision has been made to appoint a Technical Advisor instead of a Task Force; the position will fall under the umbrella of the Publications Committee.
  4. At the request of the Board, the Membership Committee Task Force has suggested guidelines for a membership dues increase. ARLIS/NA membership dues have not increased in the last ten years and an increase is long overdue. The Board has reviewed the Task Force’s suggestions and is collecting data to formulate updated membership rates. Additional information regarding this issue will be forthcoming during the next year.
  5. Headquarters is moving closer to fully implementing MemberClicks. Memberclicks will provide the Society with an online directory that allows one to update this or her information and simplifies the membership renewal process. MemberClicks also allows for online voting. Another Bylaws revision the member will be asked to vote on is to remove the phrase “paper ballots” so that the Society can take advantage of this feature.

As I said, I am looking forward to meeting with your chapter in the spring. In the meantime I welcome any comments, suggestions or questions you may have about the Board and/or the Society–please be in touch.

Respectfully submitted by,
Elizabeth Schaub
ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative