Each year, IFRT members get the opportunity to voice their opinion on how IFRT is governed during the ALA election period. IFRT members can cast their vote indicating which candidates they prefer to fill open positions on the IFRT Executive Committee and to serve as the IFRT Councilor. In 2021, there will also be three items reflecting proposed changes to the IFRT bylaws. These changes must be approved by the membership by a majority of votes cast in order for the amendments to be adopted. If approved, the changes will take effect immediately upon certification of the election results.
ALA members in good standing should receive an election email on March 8, which will include a personalized link to fill out your ballot for the ALA general election. For IFRT members in good standing, this link will include the IFRT ballot. All ballots will be due by April 7, 2021.
The 2021 proposed bylaws amendments are related to committees. IFRT has a number of standing committees named in the current bylaws. The amendments seek to update the bylaws to reflect a change to the name of one of the standing committees, and also to streamline the process for future changes to committees. The full text of the proposed amendments is included at the end of this post.
- Ballot Item #1 proposes the name Programming & Events Committee for a newly merged committee. For the past couple of years IFRT has had the Education Advisory Special Committee (a temporary ad hoc committee), in addition to the standing Program Committee. This amendment seeks to formalize the merger of these two committees to better streamline the work of planning all IFRT programs and events. This change to committee organization has already been approved by the IFRT Executive Committee, and now needs to be codified into the bylaws by the membership.
- Ballot Item #2 proposes a clarification to the process by which committee changes are made. This amendment would add a sentence to the bylaws indicating that any change to the charge of a committee needs to be approved by the Executive Committee.
- Ballot Item #3 seeks to streamline future changes to committee descriptions. The bylaws currently include a description of the charge of each standing committee. This amendment would remove the standing committee charges from the bylaws. These committee charges are outlined in the IFRT Handbook. Standing committees would still be named in the bylaws, and any changes to the committee charges would need to be approved by the IFRT Executive Committee.
A “yes” vote on each of these Ballot Items is in favor of making these changes to the bylaws. A “no” vote would keep the bylaws the same. A majority of votes cast in favor of the changes is needed to pass the amendments during the ALA general election.
Do you have questions about these amendments? Register to attend the IFRT Election Happy Hour on Monday, March 8 (5:30pm CST). Bring your questions to the event, where you will also have a chance to meet and greet the IFRT candidates, and get some cool digital IFRT stickers and Zoom backgrounds. You are also welcome to email your questions to Trish Hull, chair of the IFRT Bylaws & Organization committee.
For more information about the candidates for IFRT Executive Committee and ALA Councilor seats, read Meet the Candidates running for IFRT’s 2021 Executive Board! on the Intellectual Freedom blog.
Crystal Schimpf is Senior Consultant for Public Library Leadership Development at the Colorado State Library, where she provides training and support for public library trustees, directors, and staff. She is a member of the Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) Intellectual Freedom Committee, and is coordinator for the Trustee Track at the CAL annual conference. She is currently the chair of the ALA Libraries Transform Communities Engagement Grant Committee, and is past chair of the ALA Learning Round Table. She earned her MLIS from San José State University in 2007.
The Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.