Liaisons

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Liaison Policy (Originally Adopted by the TLA Executive Board on January 25, 1986)

Who appoints?

The TLA Executive Board adopted a motion on January 25, 1986 that called for the development of a new liaison policy for the Association.  The original motion called for the Texas Library Association President-Elect to appoint TLA Executive Board members as liaisons to TLA committees (except the Nominations Committee) and to the executive boards of TLA divisions.  In recent years, liaisons were added to round tables, interest groups, and districts.

What is the term of appointment?

The term of appointment is for a one-year period.  This appointment, which is a responsibility of the TLA President-Elect, is made at the same time as committee appointments (or as soon after an election as possible). 

What are the liaison responsibilities?

  • Serves as ex-officio, non-voting member of the committee or executive board.

  • Represents the views and opinions of the TLA Executive Board at all meetings and discussions of the unit.

  • Articulates TLA policy.

  • Reports on major unit activities at each meeting of the TLA Executive Board with the length of the report timed to fit the particular agenda.

  • Generally does not accept or perform work assignments for the unit that would normally be performed by board or committee members.

  • Is encouraged to give personal opinions and consultation, which are designed to advance the work of the unit.

  • Is expected to attend unit meetings during Annual Assembly and Annual Conference.

  • Should receive and review all communications from the committee chair or unit officer related to meetings, issues, and work program of that unit.

  • Will be subscribed by TLA to the unit’s electronic discussion list for officers and can participate in discussions, if desired.

  • Should subscribe themselves to the unit’s electronic discussion list for all members.

  • Is expected to remind the unit of overdue reports, minutes, budgets, etc. if notified by TLA staff.

  • Will encourage the transfer of files from one officer to the next.

  • Will contact the chair-elect prior to Annual Conference to determine what needs he/she may have and to establish a rapport.

  • Will contact their liaisons immediately after Annual Conference to establish relationship.

  • Will contact their liaisons before the June Executive Board to ensure that the committee or unit’s plans are set for Annual Assembly.

Who Pays Travel Costs?

Travel costs to Annual Conference and Annual Assembly meetings are borne by the liaison.  If attendance at unit meetings held outside of conferences is thought to be important to the overall goals of the Association, the TLA President may authorize the liaison to travel to unit meetings.  Such travel costs may be paid from the TLA Executive Board travel fund with prior approval of the TLA President.

When do new liaison assignments take effect?

At Annual Conference, Board members are expected to continue with their existing assignments throughout the conference.  The new assignments do not take effect until after the close of conference.  Retiring Board members should report anything of immediate importance or urgency to the Executive Director or President for reporting at the second Board meeting.

What are typical questions posed by Board Members to their Liaisons? 

Following are open-ended questions designed to facilitate a conversation.

  • Have your goals been met?

  • What are you planning for conference?

  • Do you have any actions for the Board?

  • Have you received the material you need from the past chair?

  • What budgetary issues do you have?

  • Do you know the names of newly appointed committee members?

  • Do you have your committee charge?

  • What plans do you have for updating the website?

  • What meetings do you plan to hold at conference and at annual assembly?

  • Are you planning to attend the New Officers Briefing Session?  (This would be for the Chair-Elect before Annual Conference.)

  • How many committee members were present at your last meeting?

  • Have the electronic discussion lists been helpful in facilitating your work?

  • What are your successes?

  • Have you submitted your minutes?

  • Have you submitted your budget?  Ask for a copy.  (This would be a couple of weeks before the June Executive Board meeting.)

  • Have you submitted your list of officers & committee members to be published in the directory?  (This would be before the June Executive Board meeting.)

  • Have you submitted your progress reports to Council?  Request a copy.  (This would be one month before Annual Assembly and Annual Conference.)

How should liaison reports be prepared?

 Liaison reports should be made in writing.  Ideally, the written reports are transmitted to the Executive Director one week prior to a Board meeting for inclusion in the Board packet.  If this is not possible, then the written reports can be distributed at the Board meeting.  It is prudent to bring at least 12 copies of a report.

 Some Board members will submit written reports prior to, or during, the first Board meeting of Annual Conference and Annual Assembly and then again at the last Board meeting to report action and activities during the conference.

Action or urgent items should be highlighted since the time for liaison reports is often abbreviated during Executive Board meetings.   Because of timing issues, the President will frequently only request action items to be brought forth verbally.

Created on Apr 10, 2010 | Last updated April 10, 2010