Since last fall a small committee consisting of Nancy Boerner, Stephen Lehmann, and Leena Siegelbaum has been hard at work revising the WESS Bylaws, last revised in 1985.
The initiative for revision came from ACRL and Stephen promptly accepted the ACRL challenge. Now, some twelve drafts, many discussions, comments and suggestions later they are once again on the desks of ACRL bylaws experts JoAnn Carr and Rob Paustian. If they come out clean, they will go through scrutiny by ACRL Bylaws Committee during the ALA Conference in June and if approved, will be presented to the WESS membership for voting in the spring of 2000.
So, why did the Bylaws need revising? For one thing, the Bylaws in their present form do not address all the questions they should and secondly, ACRL wishes to see more uniformity between ACRL and section bylaws.
Main changes in the revised WESS bylaws are: change of the name of the Section (to Western European Studies Section); an expanded object statement; candidates for WESS offices may run unopposed; the Executive Committee may reach decisions by email voting, and amendments to Bylaws may be made by simple majority votes rather than two-thirds.
The new revised Bylaws will be somewhat longer than the present ones as some information from the WESS Manual was incorporated into the Bylaws, while the order of articles was also changed to follow more closely that of the ACRL Bylaws.
According to the ACRL bylaws experts Carr & Paustian WESS is being admirably proactive with their bylaws revision and the WESS Bylaws will therefore, once approved, serve as models for other ACRL sections.
Chair, WESS Publications Committee