WESSWEB - Western European Studies Section

WESS Committees


Much of the work of WESS is carried on by committees. Except for the Executive Committee, which has been described previously and whose members are elected by the section membership, all committee members and chairs are appointed by the vice-chair/chair-elect of the section and serve for either one or two year terms. No one may serve more than three consecutive terms on any given committee.

Currently the Committees of the Western European Specialists Section are:

Note: All committee meetings, except meetings of the Nominating Committee and Nijhoff Jury, are open to all members of ALA.

CHECKLIST FOR COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Preliminaries:

1. Assume responsibility for the work of the committee immediately after the ALA Annual conference, (all committee appointments begin at that time). The first required meeting for all members is the Midwinter meeting following the appointment.

2. Make arrangements with the outgoing chair to discuss the work and direction of the committee and any specific responsibilities which have been assumed by the members (this should be done at Annual conference if possible).

3. Make arrangements to have archival materials transferred from the outgoing chair.

4. Be ready to make suggestions to the vice-chair/chair-elect for committee appointments.

Specific Responsibilities:

1. Make sure each committee member fills out and sends in a committee acceptance form.

2. Maintain a roster of all current members, with office and home addresses, and telephone numbers (including fax and/or electronic mail numbers where possible).

3. Notify all committee members of the date, time and place of meetings at Annual and Midwinter Conferences.

4. Chair committee meetings at Annual and Midwinter conferences.

5. Report on committee activities at meetings of the WESS Executive Committee.

6. Submit meeting time and space needs to the WESS chair.

7. Complete ACRL Meeting Highlights form (example on page 16) after the final meetings of the committee at each conference. Leave the form at the ACRL desk in the ALA office area before you leave the conference, or mail it to the ACRL Executive Director as soon as possible. Send a copy to the WESS chair and Secretary.

Logistics of a Committee Meeting:

1. Start on time.

2. If there is no recorder, ask one member to take minutes.

3. Start a sign-up sheet. Ask all attendees to sign name and institutional address as well as indicate whether they are members or visitors.

4. Ask for self-introductions of all in attendance.

5. Check on comfort (enough chairs?) and establish smoking/no smoking rules.

6. Call for approval of minutes of the last meeting.

7. Make announcements.

8. Review the committee's charge.

9. Discuss agenda items. Call for reports from members. Try to have enough copies of all documents for all those present. Keep the discussion focused. Establish time constraints, if necessary, for each agenda item.

10. Summarize discussion. Set action items and make individual assignments. Establish deadlines for correspondence or other reports. Develop preliminary agenda for next meetings.

11. Set date and time of next meeting.

12. Close meeting.

13. Complete and submit ACRL Meeting Highlights form.

14. Approximately one month before the next meeting, send copy of Meeting Highlights form or minutes of meeting to all members, along with agenda for upcoming meeting.

Committees

Executive Committee

This committee, although not a formal standing committee of the section, has the responsibility for overseeing and directing all of the section's affairs. The Executive Committee is made up of all the elected officers of the section: Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Past-Chair, Secretary, and Member-at-Large. Also included are the chairs of the section's standing committees: Membership, Publications, and Research and Planning. These are the only voting members of the Executive Committee.

For the responsibilities of each member of this committee, see the appropriate section for that officer or chairperson.

Conference Planning Committee

Background.

To present and discuss issues of concern to librarians for Western European Studies, the section has, since its establishment, conducted a program at the Annual Conference. In 1979 to 1980 the section's committees were organized and conducted by the section's Executive Committee. For the 1981 Conference the Executive Committee delegated these responsibilities to a separate committee.

Charge

This Committee is charged with planning and organizing the Section's Annual Conference program. After reviewing past program topics, the committee is given the responsibility of selecting a topic or theme of timely interest to Section members and to a broad spectrum of ALA members. Afterwards, the committee seeks to recruit the best available speakers on the selected topic. The committee must also prepare a budget proposal for the program, for the reimbursement of any expenses or for the purpose of offering honoraria to non-librarian speakers. Finally, the committee has the responsibility for evaluating the program, based on the reponses from those who attend. The committee chair is responsible for providing a summary of the annual program for the fall edition of the WESS Newsletter and to College and Research Libraries News.

See also the "Statement on the Publication of Annual WESS Conference Proceedings".

Composition

The committee has traditionally consisted of no fewer than four members, who serve a term of two years. The committee chair is appointed at the close of the Annual Conference two years before the planned program by the newly-elected Vice-Chair/Chair-elect.

Timetable

The committee must in its selection of a theme or topic adhere to the deadlines established by the ALA Conference Arrangements Office. Similarly, the committee must meet the deadlines for ACRL for the submission of a budget request.

The newly constituted committee will organize the program for the Annual Conference two years after its appointment. Given the length of time necessary for the planning and organization of a program, there are always two separate Conference Planning Committees at work.

Nominating Committee

Background

This Committee was formed in 1979. Before that time, the responsibility for the nomination of a slate of candidates for section officers resided with the Executive Committee.

Charge

This Committee's first responsibility is to produce every year a slate of candidates for the section's elected positions: Vice- Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Member-at-Large. The slate requires two candidates for each position.

This Committee also recommends, although not exclusively, to the Executive Committtee section members for various committee appointments.

Composition (amended Annual 2004)

Given the responsibilities of this committee, it is usually comprised of no
more than four members who include more experienced members of the section
(such as former committee chairs and section officers). Members should
serve one-year terms. In order for committee continuity and for the sharing
of the previous committees' information and work, at least one member should be
reappointed for a second (one-year) term. No person shell serve more than
three consecutive one-year terms.


Timetable

The Committee Chair must meet all deadlines established by ACRL for the nomination of candidates.

Publications Committee

Background

The Publications Committee was formed in 1984/85. Its functions were previously under the charge of the WESS Research and Publications Committee, formed in 1980. The Publications Committee is one of the standing committees of WESS.

Charge

The Committee's chief function is to develop and coordinate the publishing efforts of the Section, to oversee and generally assist the editor in the production of the Section's Newsletter, and to organize and edit the Newsletter's bibliographic features (ALA Handbook of Organization, 1988/89). In 1991 one subcommittee was constituted: the Newsletter Subcommittee, whose chair served as an ex-officio member of the Publications Committee, but this subcommittee was dissolved in 1995 and its work reabsorbed by the main committee. A Directory Subcommittee was responsible for the preparation and distribution of the WESS Directory until 1990, when it was dissolved.

Some representative projects of the Committee have included establishing guidelines for the function and appointment of the Newsletter editor, establishing procedures for the publication of the WESS annual conference papers, revising the WESS brochure, and composing the WESS Officers Manual.

Procedures for updating and production of the WESS Brochure.

The WESS Vice-Chair/Chair Elect shall request new printings, as needed, from ACRL according to the ACRL calendar, which requires such requests approximately 18 months before the new brochures are needed.

Updating: additions and changes in committees, discussion groups, and the Nijhoff Grant; WESS programs from ALA conferences of the last 5 years; special conferences or other programs; recent WESS publications.

Production: brochure should be formatted on word processor and kept on a diskette to make future updating easier and to allow production as needed; about 300-500 copies every three years should suffice. Distribution: for each ALA conference send about 30 copies to ACRL for display in the ACRL membership booth; copies should be available at each WESS General Membership Meeting for WESS members and guests, and also for members to take to any special conferences they might be attending. Text should also be sent to WESSWEB so that the online version can be updated.

See also the "Statement on the Publication of Annual WESS Conference Proceedings".

In order to provide for the creation, production, and distribution of the WESS Directory, Officers' Manual, Brochure, and other miscellaneous publications, it will be necessary for the Chair of the Publications Committee to appoint members of the committee and/or interns from time to time to discharge these duties. For very large projects an ad hoc subcommittee might be created.

Composition

The Committee consists of no fewer than seven members who serve terms of two years (including the Chair, who is appointed for a one year term), two intern members (optional) appointed to two year terms, the WESS Newsletter editor and WESSWEB editor, who serve as ex-officio members of the committee, and the WESS Secretary, who also serves ex-officio. The committee chair is appointed at the close of the Annual Conference by the section's Vice-Chair.

Subcommittees

From time to time the Chair may find it advisable to appoint subcommittees for updating and distributing the WESS brochure, producing and distributing the WESS Directory, etc.

Research and Planning Committee

Background

One of the standing committees of the section, the Research and Planning Committee became a separate entity in 1984/85. Before that time, the review of the section's research activities and the formulation of long range plans for the section resided with the Research and Publications Committee.

Charge

This Committee's first responsibility is to identify areas where there is a need for library-related research in European Studies, and to promote such research and assist with the dissemination of results through programs and publications.

This Committee is also charged with monitoring and reviewing the section's research activities, policies and procedures, and long-term and short-term goals. It also reviews periodically the bylaws and committee charges to ensure that they reflect the aims and activities of the section. As part of its review, this committee makes recommendations to the Executive Committee on proposed activities, changes in policies or procedures, or changes in the section's goals and direction.

This Committee is also given responsibility for drafting the five year ACRL Section Review and for completing the annual ACRL Strategic Planning Inventory.

This Committee may also be charged by the Executive Committee with the completion of special projects.

The WESS Chair may charge the Committee, with the drafting the periodic ACRL Section Review and with completing the annual ACRL Strategic Planning Inventory, working with the WESS Chair and Executive Committee.

Composition

The committee is comprised of usually no fewer than five members, and optionally up to two interns, who serve a term of two years. The committee chair is appointed at the close of the Annual Conference by the section's Vice-Chair.

Membership Committee

In 1998 the WESS Executive Committee approved the formation of a Membership Committee. The membership committee is one of the standing committees of WESS, and its Chair is a member of the WESS Executive committee.

Charge

The Membership Committee's first responsibility is to establish procedures to attract new members to WESS. The Committee also seeks to involve and retain a greater number of current members in WESS's diverse activities and projects, including enabling members not able regularly to attend ALA conferences to participate in the Committee by correspondence (“virtual committee members”).

Membership Committee projects can include:

Composition

The Committee will consist of at least seven members, who are appointed by the WESS Vice Chair/Chair Elect in consultation with the current Membership Committee Chair. Members serve for a two-year term and may be eligible to serve again after their term expires. Committee terms will overlap so that close to half the committee will always have at least one year's experience.

Committee on Recruitment to the Profession

[added after Annual 2004]


In 2004 the Executive Committee approved the formation of the Committee on Recruitment to the Profession. The Committee on Recruitment to the Profession is one of the standing committees of WESS, and its Chair is a member of the WESS Executive committee.

Charge
By collaborating with various organizations, making presentations, and otherwise disseminating information, the committee promotes academic librarianship as a career path for individuals with foreign language skills.

Composition
The Committee will consist of at least seven members, who are appointed by the WESS Vice Chair/Chair Elect in consultation with the current chair of the Committee on Recruitment to the Profession. Members serve for a two-year term and may be eligible to serve again after their term expires. Committee terms will overlap so that close to half the committee will always have at least one year's experience.



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revised June 24, 2003

Last updated:July 27, 2004
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