July 20, 2011
Picking Up the Tab: Order Food, Drinks, and Dust Off a Caucus Formation Policy That Was Rejected in 2007
Motion for Board Action: That the Executive Board approve the report and recommendations regarding Caucus formation, presented at the November 2007 Executive Board meeting.
Presented at the November 2007 Executive Board meeting, really? Does it take that long? Oh wait, the Board declined to adopt the proposed Caucus Formation Policy at its November 2007 meeting. This was the great Vegan Caucus request that was withdrawn when AALL agreed to list Vegan as a meal option on the annual registration form. You see, the AALL Vegans wanted to formally organize to find optional dining locations where they could eat when AALL chow was being served up at annual meetings.
However, prior to the withdrawal of the [Vegan] application, there was discussion as to how this proposed Caucus would relate to the overall mission of AALL. There was also discussion regarding how these applications should be reviewed and approved.
Because of this concern, President Ann Fessenden requested SIS Council Chair Catherine Lemann and Executive Board Member Steve Anderson to develop some procedures and standards for the formation of AALL caucuses. The report was submitted at the fall 2007 Board Meeting and was vigorously discussed. The Board declined to adopt the policy.
Now, almost four years later the 2007 report and recommendations have been dusted and placed on the agenda for the Executive Board's July 21-22, 2011. Why? Again, quoting from Janto's memo:
We have once again been approached by members to form a caucus that may or may not be in AALL’s best interests. I think we should re-visit the idea of having some formal procedures in place governing the formation of caucuses just as we have for the formation of SISs and Chapters. Therefore I have asked Kate to place the 2007 report back on the agenda for the summer 2011 meeting.
I wonder which proposed caucus that might be. Do note, somehow the Caucus Formation Policy issue has been reframed from "how this proposed [Vegan] Caucus would relate to the overall mission of AALL" to whether a recent expressed interest in forming a caucus "may or may not be in AALL’s best interests."
Damn, my short-term memory is shot. I just realized... . Here's the July 19, 2011 Library Consumer Advocacy blog post
Will a proposed Caucus Formation Policy preclude our eligibility to become an AALL Caucus?
AALL President Joyce Janto recommends that the Executive Board adopt a proposed Caucus Formation Policy at the Board’s July 21st meeting. Our Caucus only just this afternoon became aware of the proposal. We have asked the Board whether it would bar our eligibility to become an AALL Caucus.
Dear Board Members:
Our group of AALL members only just took notice of the proposed Caucus Formation Policy under Tab 18 of the July 21st Board Meeting Agenda. Therefore, we have had no opportunity until now to learn how this proposed policy might apply to our group if we decide to file a new statement of purpose following the Annual Meeting. We will consider our form of organization when we meet on July 25th.
Under these circumstances, we ask the Board to clarify how the Board would apply the policy before the Board acts on the recommendation to adopt it. The policy appears to limit Caucus eligibility to four categories:
1. Shared backround;
2. Shared work environments;
3. Shared professional interests;
4. Work related to a AALL Special Committee
Of course, we believe that our “shared professional interests” would merit our eligibility for Caucus approval. Please confirm that the Board will rely on this interpretation of the policy.
We seek this clarification because we have recently asked Joyce to consider two statements of purpose under which we might organize as an AALL Caucus. In her memo of June 15, 2011, Joyce says that “we have once again been approached by members to form a caucus that may or may not be in AALL’s best interests. I think that we should re-visit the idea of having some formal procedures in place governing the formation of caucuses just as we have for the formation of SISs and Chapters.” We do not know that Joyce was referring to our Caucus proposals, or that she meant to compare our group with a “Vegans” group that sought Caucus status in 2007. Nevertheless, we ask that the Board reject the policy if the Board would interpret it to bar our eligibility to become an AALL Caucus.
Chair, Consumer Advocacy Chair
Pick Up Tab 18. [JH]