At its meeting on Friday, July 20, the Executive Board voted to approve proposed amendments to the Association's bylaws.
The Executive Board also voted to submit the proposed amendments to the membership by distributed ballot, with a 60-day advance notice to the membership as of August 1, followed by a 30-day voting period. This is accordance with the AALL Bylaws, Article XII, Section 2b.
On August 1, the proposed amendments, along with information regarding the reason for the proposed changes will be distributed to the membership.
The most substantive proposal is to the categories of membership. The proposal reduces the number of member categories to Active, Retired, Student, and Honorary, eliminating the Associate category. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to align member categories with the changes occurring in the positions law librarians hold in their institutions and workplaces. This will allow AALL to be a more open and inclusive Association.
Under the current bylaws, all members have the right to vote in elections, to serve on and chair AALL committees and to belong to SISs. Associate, Student and Honorary members do not have the right to hold elective office on the Executive Board. If the proposed amendments are adopted, the only members unable to hold elective office would be Student or Honorary members.
The current bylaws require that to be eligible for Active status, a person must "work with legal information in a library or information center or provide library services on an independent contract basis." Many of our members no longer work in a library or information center, and are now working within firm practice areas, in marketing departments, in academic and government administrative or teaching positions and for legal information vendors.
The Executive Board believes it is necessary for AALL to adapt to these changes, and retain members whose roles are changing, to conform to changes taking place in the profession. This change will also allow us to recruit new members who are interested in law librarianship and the work of the Association.
This proposal was an outcome of discussions that have been taking place over the past few years during Executive Board meetings, and at the Association's recent Futures Summit. The Executive Board believes that if adopted, these changes will help to grow AALL and position it for the future.
In addition to the proposed amendments to Article IV, Section 1: Membership, there are also proposed amendments to Article IV, Section 2: Right of Members; Article XI, Section 5: Chapter Bylaws; and Article XIII: Rules of Conduct.