Model Bylaws

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Unit bylaws are being replaced with operating procedures: an Operating Procedures Template (doc) is provided for use in establishing a new unit or converting the bylaws of an existing one.


Note: Any information found within brackets is advisory in nature.

[Unit Name]

The name of this organization shall be the [unit name] of the Texas Library Association (TLA).

[If a unit acronym is used, the acronym must be included in Article I following the complete name of the unit. Example: Unit Name, Acronym. The acronym is then used throughout the remainder of the document.]

The objective of the [unit name] shall be ...

[ contribute to library service and librarianship through...]
[ represent Texas librarians in the field of...]

Any member of the Texas Library Association may select membership in the [unit name]. Officers must be current members of TLA.


Section 1. Officers

  1. The officers of the [unit name] shall be Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Councilor and Alternate Councilor, and Immediate Past-Chair.

    [Other officers may be included as deemed necessary. The unit should choose either Vice-Chair or Chair-Elect and use that language throughout the Bylaws.]

  2. Officers shall assume office immediately following the TLA Annual Conference and shall serve a term of one year or until a successor is elected. The Councilor and Alternate Councilor serve for three years or until a successor is elected.

  3. The officers of the [unit name] shall perform those duties usually attached to their offices and all duties as prescribed in the TLA Bylaws and Standing Rules.

[Specific duties are usually spelled out for larger groups and include presiding at meetings, appointing committee members, planning programs, etc.]

Section 2. Elections

  1. A Nominating Committee [the Nominating Committee may either be elected by the membership or elected by the Executive Board of the unit. According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the Chair of the unit may not be involved in the appointment of the Nominating Committee and may not serve on the committee as ex officio or otherwise] shall present a slate of candidates for all offices. There shall be at least two candidates for the office of Councilor. Nominations may be made from the floor.
  2. Officers shall be elected at a regular business meeting during Annual Conference by a plurality of the members present. OR Officers shall be elected by electronic means prior to TLA Annual Conference by a plurality of members voting. The Councilor candidate with the highest number of votes shall be elected Councilor. The candidate with the second highest number of votes shall become the Alternate Councilor. 

    [Keep in mind that an election may result in a tie vote. Another election must be held in the same manner as was used in the original vote if the unit bylaws do not specify an alternative means to break the tie. Some alternatives include, but are not limited to, reballoting membership at Annual Conference, drawing names, or a requirement for an Executive Board decision.]

Section 3. Executive Committee

  1. The elected officers shall constitute the Executive Committee and shall administer the business of the unit when it is not in session.

    [If the immediate past chair is to sit on the Executive Committee, be sure to include that information since this is technically not an elected officer. If the unit has a large number of elected officers, specify which officers actually make up the Committee. Also, any officers who are to serve as non-voting members of the Executive Committee should be so specified.]
  2. The Executive Committee shall meet at TLA Annual Conference and TLA Annual Assembly. Other meetings may be held as deemed necessary by the Chair or a majority of the Executive Committee.

Section 4. Vacancies

  1. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the Chair, the Vice Chair/Chair-elect shall become Chair for the remainder of that term and also serve the term to which the Chair-elect had been elected.
  2. If a vacancy occurs in the office of Councilor, the Alternate Councilor shall become Councilor for the remainder of the term.
  3. If a vacancy occurs in any of the other elected offices, the Chair, with the approval of the Executive Committee, shall fill the vacancy by appointment until the next general election.
  4. If a vacancy occurs in both the Chair and Vice Chair/Chair-elect positions, the President of the Texas Library Association shall appoint a new Chair, who shall proceed as outlined above

[These procedures may be modified to meet the needs of each unit.]


Regular meetings shall be held annually in conjunction with the TLA Annual Conference. Members present at the meetingshall constitute a quorum.

["A quorum is the number of voting members who must be present in order that business can be legally transacted." (Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised) At their discretion, a larger unit may choose a number that can reasonably be expected to attend rather than stating those members present.]


Other committees may be created as needed by the Executive Committee or the Chair. The Chair shall appoint the members and designate the chair of each committee. The committees shall serve until their charges have been completed and reports have been accepted or until such time as the Executive Committee designates.

[Any Standing Committees should be detailed in this Article.]


Parliamentary Authority

The rules of procedure as stated in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this unit in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Bylaws and Standing Rules of TLA.


Amendments to the Bylaws
Bylaws may be adopted or amended at any general membership meeting of the unit by a majority vote of the members present and voting, provided notice has been previously given and such changes are consistent with the Bylaws and Standing Rules of TLA.

[Groups with larger memberships may want to require advance publication of proposed changes or similar restrictions for bylaws changes.]

[Bylaws should include dates of adoption, amendments, and/or revisions. Adopted indicates the first time the bylaws were written; amended indicates very minor changes; and revised indicates extensive changes scattered throughout the bylaws.]

[Adopted 6/96]
[Amended 6/97]
[Revised 7/03]
[Revised 3/04]
[Revised 4/09}

Created on Mar 31, 2010 | Last updated July 01, 2015