Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ACRL Board Manual 2020-2021

Board Manual for the ACRL Board of Directors.

4.4 Rules

ACRL Board Ground Rules

Approved November 18, 2019

  1. Accept mutual responsibility for quality of meeting and assess effectiveness.
  2. Be present, attentive, engaged and prepared. Avoid side conversations.
  3. Lean into discomfort; discuss the undiscussable issues
  4. Speak up if you have a question or to test assumptions.
  5. Listen with care for the individual and differ respectfully.
  6. Signal conclusion, identify next steps, and make clear assignments.
  7. Assume positive intent/give benefit of doubt.
  8. Enjoy yourself.
  9. Make knowledge-based decisions using these four questions:

4 Questions for Knowledge-Based Decision Making

  1. What do you know about our members/prospective members/customers—needs, wants, and preferences, that is relevant to this decision? *
  2. What do we know about the current realities and evolving dynamics of our members’ marketplace/industry/profession that is relevant to this decision?*
  3. What do we know about the capacity and strategic position of our organization that is relevant to this decision?*
  4. What are the ethical implications of this decision?

*What do you wish that you knew, but don’t?

ACRL Board Social Media Guidelines

Approved Fall Board Meeting – October 19, 2016

This document addresses ACRL Board members’ use of their personal social media accounts in sharing information from Board meetings and events.

1. Purpose

Social media offers an opportunity for the ACRL Board to increase two-way communication with members. As such, we recognize the importance of social media not only for sharing information and updates, but in contributing towards greater transparency and member engagement.

2. Guidelines

Board members who engage with social media agree to do so in a professional manner and to act in accordance with the Board’s Ground Rules, which are reviewed and updated each year at the Strategic Planning and Orientation Retreat. The following guidelines are intended to assist Board members in determining what type of social media posts are appropriate. Board members may:

  1. use their personal social media accounts to share Board information;
  2. not share information from closed or executive sessions of the Board;
  3. share objective facts without including personal opinions;
  4. include general summaries of Board discussions without including specific comments or attributing those comments to individual Board members;
  5. report on action items;
  6. leverage social media to gather feedback from members.

3. Responsibilities

Board members who choose to share Board information on social media are responsible for following member responses and closing the feedback loop, as follows:

  1. Twitter posts should use the #acrlboard hashtag, along with any individual hashtag(s) for specific discussions.
  2. Board members initiating discussion on social media should summarize and report member responses back to the Board promptly.
  3. Board members initiating discussion on social media should report back to responding members with the results of the discussion.
KNOWLEDGE-BASED DECISION MAKING      

The ACRL Board is a knowledge-based board. The Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee is charged to identify and assess a diverse pool of potential candidates, and select nominees for ACRL Vice- President/President-Elect, ACRL representative on the ALA Council (as necessary), and Director-at-Large (as necessary).

As part of a knowledge-based and working Board, successful candidates must embrace “knowledge-based” decision-making. In other words, whenever possible, the ACRL Board operates from a position of knowledge rather than taking actions or making decisions based on opinions or beliefs. There are four key questions for knowledge-based decision making.

4 Questions for Knowledge-based Decision Making

  1. What do you know about our members/prospective members/customers—needs, wants, and preferences, that is relevant to this decision? *
  2. What do we know about the current realities and evolving dynamics of our members’ marketplace/industry/profession that is relevant to this decision?*
  3. What do we know about the capacity and strategic position of our organization that is relevant to this decision?*
  4. What are the ethical implications of this decision?

*What do you wish that you knew, but don’t?

Dialogue and Deliberation

The Board also needs to dialogue and deliberate before making decisions (i.e. voting). Tecker Associates recommends the following nine steps (ASAE CEO Symposium 2002-2003) precede a Board decision.

What do we know?

  1. Identify the mega issue question.
  2. Prepare background information.
  3. Conduct dialogue on informing the issue

What could we do?

  1. Conduct dialogue on identifying choices.
  2. Conduct dialogue on evaluating choices
  3. Determine areas of consensus and of information needed to reach a decision in the future.
  4. Identify actions, intent, and accountability.
  5. Craft a motion.
  6. Deliberate on the motion.

The ACRL Board has integrated these recommendations into the Board’s annual work cycle and routine processes. For example, the Board’s annual Strategic Planning and Orientation Session (SPOS) is an opportunity for the Board to identify mega issues. The Board of Directors Action Form template includes a background section and an action recommended as well as provides for input from stakeholders, notation of financial impact, and links the action to the association’s strategic goals. See Section 1.9 for more information.

The Board also routinely establishes informal Board working groups to dialogue in depth in order to develop proposals and motions for Board consideration. (Current Working Groups are listed in Appendix B.) Working throughout the year, the Board of Directors engages in dialogue via its ALA Connect space, the Board electronic discussion list, and conference calls or virtual meetings as appropriate.

To perpetuate a knowledge-based approach, each of our units must ask questions of themselves. This will help ensure that a strategic view is being taken of the units’ activities, and that facts and information are the basis of decisions.

Here are some strategic questions units might consider:

  • What outcomes does the Board expect of our unit?
  • Does this activity support our needed outcomes?
  • How will our success be measured by the Board?
  • Are the necessary resources available to help us accomplish our outcomes? If not, why not? What can be done about this?

As the units tasked by the Board to advance the ACRL strategic plan, Division-level Committees consideration of these questions is formalized in the annual committee work plan process. See Section 3.5 for more information on this process.

Rules and procedures for Board Meetings

During its meetings, the official parliamentary authority of the Association guides the Board, which is currently the Robert’s Rules of Order. However, because the Board is a small group and its meetings tend to be more informal, strict adherence to parliamentary procedure is not always necessary. Board meetings do not include a parliamentarian. In the case of a procedural question, the rules of Robert’s prevail. 

ALA Parliamentarian's Resources