Bringing Actions Before Council

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The TLA Council Rules, which are adopted at the beginning of each Council I session, delineate procedures for obtaining recognition before Council and summarize some procedures for bringing action items for consideration.

There are two forms through which action items may brought to the Council: a motion or a resolution.

  • A MOTION is a formal proposal, especially one made to a deliberative body.
  • A RESOLUTION is a formal expression of opinion or intent by an official body or assembled group; a declaration submitted to an assembly for adoption.

Both the Motion and the Resolution must be submitted in writing before presentation to Council. Motions and resolutions are reviewed by the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee before submission to Council. Either of these items may be amended during Council discussion; all amendments to motions must be submitted in the same manner as an original motion.

Any motion or resolution which has fiscal implications must be referred to the Budget Committee for its consideration and recommendations prior to presentation at Council. Any motion or resolution having legislative implications must be referred to the Legislative Committee for its consideration and recommendations prior to presentation at Council. [Standing Rule 9. E. 2.-3.] Any such motions which have not been properly reviewed and signed by either of these committees will not be presented for Council consideration. [Article XVI and Standing Rules 8 and 9]

Motions may be brought before Council by members of the Council. All motions must have a second from a member of Council. All motions must be submitted in writing and must be signed by the maker of the motion and by the seconder. All motions must be submitted to the presiding officer using the TEXAS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION MEETING MOTION AND AMENDMENT FORM. These forms are available in the Council meeting room or from the TLA Office.

Please consult the Basics of Parliamentary Procedure included in this binder for brief definitions of the different types of motions and the parliamentary rules applying to each. Additional discussion on the forms and purposes of various motions may be found in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised


  1. Member addresses the TLA President. Rules require name and unit be given at a microphone; speak slowly and clearly.)
  2. TLA President recognizes member.
  3. Member makes motion.
  4. Another member seconds (if a second is required). [Leave motion form with TLA President; one copy to Bylaws Chair]
  5. TLA President states the motion.
  6. Members debate (if motion is debatable).
  7. TLA President puts question and members vote.
  8. TLA President announces result of vote.

The ordinary motions rank as follows, and any of them (except to amend) can be made while one of a lower order is pending, but none can supersede one of a higher order; the Previous Question requires a two-thirds vote, the others only a majority:

| To Fix the Time to which to Adjourn | To Adjourn (when unqualified) | Cannot be | For the Orders of the Day | 
Undebatable amended | To Lay on the Table | The Previous Question | To Postpone to A Certain Time | Can be |
To Commit or Refer | Debatable amended | To Amend | To Postpone Indefinitely |


All resolutions related to the business of the Association and requiring action by the Council are presented to Council by the TLA Bylaws and Resolutions Committee; submission of resolutions is governed by the TLA BYLAWS AND STANDING RULES, STANDING RULE 9, E. 2. AND 3. All resolutions must be submitted to the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee at least six hours prior to presentation to Council and/or membership. A three-hour limit is in effect when resolutions result from meetings held on the same day as Council. Any resolution received after the effective deadlines will not be presented to Council.

All resolutions should be signed by the originating individual and/or unit chair. Those signing will serve as the contact should further information or explanation about the resolution's content or intent be required. Should the intent of the resolution have either fiscal or legislative implications, a second signature, that of the of the Budget Committee Chair or the Legislative Committee chair, is mandatory.

Rule 9. E. also allows the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee to put all resolutions into proper form which includes rewording the resolution for clarity of intent. Such rewording would be made in consultation of the resolution's author or designee whenever possible. When similar resolutions are offered, duplications may be eliminated.

However, it is in the best interest of all writers to bring their resolutions to the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee in final form or as close to final form as possible. Hastily scrawled pages with a mishmash of crossed out words and arrows drawn around the page to indicate placement of the phrases are not in good form. The resolution does not have to be typed (but it's always nice to have them come that way) but the number of conferences and typographical errors can be reduced if the original copy is dearly stated and legible.

Consideration should be given to the content of a resolution as it is being prepared. A well thought-out and carefully worded resolution better represents the intent of the submitting unit/individual. A resolution has no prescribed length; it should be long enough to clearly state the information supporting or explaining the opinions or intentions expressed by the writer. This supporting/explanatory information is stated in the sentences in the resolution's preamble which begin with the word "Whereas." Please consult "On Writing Resolutions" in this section for the proper structure and punctuation of a resolution. A sample resolution has been provided in this section for reference purposes.

Language chosen for the resolution may be simple or more formal. This is of lesser importance than the content. Think before, during, and after writing. Check for misspelled words and for syntax and grammatical errors. Then have someone else check for errors and clarity of content.

Remember: the words in the resolution represent the submitting unit and its members and ultimately the entire Texas Library Association.

Writers should also consider what action is desired by the TLA should the resolution be adopted by Council. For example, if a resolution honoring a state legislator is to be prepared and presented to the individual after Council adoption, then the submitting unit should be prepared to arrange with the TLA Office for that preparation and stand ready to incur all expenses associated with its preparation and delivery.

Created on Mar 31, 2010 | Last updated May 02, 2016