Officially, a docket is the list of items to be discussed at a meeting, and an agenda is the order in which they are discussed. These terms tend to be used interchangeably. However, the commonly used term in ACRL is agenda.
The President has responsibility for setting the agenda of the Board and Executive Committee for each meeting. Agenda items are solicited from all Board members, staff, and member unit leaders chairs approximately 6-8 weeks prior to each Board meeting. Agenda items are expected to be submitted to staff formatted using the Board of Directors Action or Discussion Form available on the ACRL website. A cover form is also available to provide background information for FYI documents for when no action or discussion is needed (e.g., task force reports). A single Board Action Form can be used to recommend multiple, related, Board actions provided each action recommended is numbered. Numbering the actions allows the Board to easily consider all, none, or a combination of the actions recommended. In cases where no action is requested, a Board Discussion or Cover Form is recommended.
Unit leaders may ask that items be placed on the agenda for discussion. Any supporting documents that will be needed during the discussion should be sent to the staff for inclusion in the Board’s document compilation by the announced deadline. On behalf of the president, ACRL staff collects completed Board Action Forms and any supporting documents that will be needed during the Board discussion. Approximately four weeks prior to each regularly scheduled meeting, the President sets the agenda in consultation with the Vice-President, President, and Executive Director. Board members may ask that items be placed on the agenda for discussion during either open or closed session.
In order to allocate more Board time to the matters of highest priority, a consent agenda is also developed for more routine matters on which there is little perceived need for debate or on which more meaningful debate will take place in other forums and need not be repeated in the Board’s discussions. The Board or Executive Committee acts on consent agenda items as a group. Any item may be removed from the consent agenda if any member of the Board of Directors requests separate consideration of the item. Similarly, any agenda item can be suggested for addition to the consent agenda by any member of the Board of Directors.
Board documents include a variety of document types: requests for Board action, committee reports, staff reports, informational items, and confidential items.
All units of the association are required to make written reports annually of their activities and to submit them to the ACRL office for distribution to the Board and for inclusion in the Annual Report of Association activities. In making the report, unit leaders should be careful to point out how activities support the association’s strategic goals. The ACRL Officers and the Executive Director also each submit a quarterly report for regular Board and Executive Committee meetings.
In June 1995, the Board of Directors approved a motion requesting the inclusion of a budget and staffing impact statement in all recommendations being considered for action. Staff prepares the impact statement for each Board Action Form submitted.
The Board documents prepared for regular Board and Executive Committee meetings include informational documents regarding ACRL operations and status reports. The document inventory for regular Board and Executive Committee meetings typically includes informational documents such as:
FYI-1 Task Force Status Chart
FYI-2 Board Working Group Status Chart
FYI-3 ALA Executive Board Draft Agenda
FYI-4 ALA-APA Board Agenda
FYI-5 Council of Liaisons Activity Reports
FYI-6 ACRL Division-Level Committee Agendas/Minutes
FYI-7 ALA Washington Office Report
FYI-8 ACRL Friends Quarterly Report
FYI-9 ACRL Membership Report
Meeting agendas and supporting documents compiled as PDF compilations are publically posted to the Board’s public ALA Connect group.
Generally, documents are posted two weeks before the meeting. However, late documents will continue to be posted up to the travel day before the meeting. Updates will be sent as additional documents are posted to notify Board members a new PDF compilation needs to be downloaded and reviewed. Documents created or received at conference are provided onsite both in an updated PDF and print copies of the new documents.
ALA’s open meetings policy requires that all official Board documentation, unless confidential, be publicly available. ACRL staff maintains paper and electronic files for the organizational archives of all Board meeting agendas and documents distributed to the Board during the year. Staff uploads archival agendas, minutes, and documents to American Library Association Institutional Repository (ALAIR).