Bylaws of the Libraries Assembly
Article I (Definitions) | Article II (Purpose) | Article III (Membership) | Article IV (Officers) | Article V (Meetings) | Article VI (Executive Committee) | Article VII (Standing Committees) | Article VIII (Special Committees) | Article IX (Elections) | Article X (Parlimentary Authority) | Article XI (Amendment of Governing Documents)
Article I. Definitions
As used throughout this document:
- “Libraries Assembly” refers to the organization of library staff at Duke University.
- “Governing documents” refers to this document and all other documents establishing the authority and outlining the governance and operations of the Libraries Assembly and all Standing and Special Committees.
- “Quorum” shall consist of 40 percent of the Libraries Assembly membership.
- “Duke University Libraries (DUL)” refers only to those libraries or library staff who report, either directly or through supervisors and Executive Group members, to the University Librarian. Historical documents of the organization use the former term “Perkins Library System.”
Article II. Purpose
It is the mission of the Libraries Assembly to:
- Promote excellence in library and information professions and participation in these professions at large
- Advocate for and promote the interests of library staff within the libraries and in university affairs
- Foster a collegial environment among the staff of the various libraries
- Make recommendations to the administrations of the libraries concerning matters of interest to the membership
- Welcome and mentor new members
Article III. Membership
Section 1. All professional librarians as defined by the Bylaws of the University or otherwise appointed to professional librarian positions in any library at Duke University shall be members of the Assembly.
Section 2. Upon request to the Membership Chair, membership in the Libraries Assembly is also open to:
- a) Any Duke University library employee who holds or is working toward a graduate level degree in library science/library and information studies, a graduate level degree with a focus in archival studies, or an advanced degree in a related field; or
- b) Any staff member of the Duke University Libraries (DUL) who is interested in the mission of the Assembly. Professional school libraries may designate eligible staff members under this category.
Section 3. The terms of eligibility for membership described above also apply to staff holding term appointments.
Section 4. Retired library staff from the Duke libraries are granted non-voting status in the Assembly.
Article IV. Officers
Section 1. The officers of the Assembly shall be a President, a Vice President – President Elect, an Immediate Past President, and a Secretary.
Section 2. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Assembly, shall preside over the Executive Committee, and shall represent the Assembly to the Library Council and other University bodies designated by the Executive Committee.
Section 3. The Vice President – President Elect shall assume the duties of the President in the absence of the President. The Immediate Past President will serve one year as a member of the Executive Committee to provide continuity.
Section 4. The Secretary shall record and publish the minutes of the Assembly and of the Executive Committee meetings, shall announce the time, date, place, and agenda of the Assembly meetings, and shall assist with elections. The Secretary shall also preserve all records created or received in the transaction of Assembly business for deposit in the University Archives.
Section 5. Officers shall be elected at the annual business meeting. The Vice President – President Elect shall be elected annually for a three year term and shall automatically succeed to the office of President in the second year and to the office of Immediate Past President in the third year. In the event the office of President becomes vacant, the Vice President – President Elect shall assume the duties of that office for the unexpired term, plus the year originally scheduled. The Executive Committee shall then appoint a new Vice President – President Elect who shall serve until the next annual business meeting when the office shall be filled by election. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Vice President – President Elect, the Executive Committee shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term of Vice President – President Elect. The Assembly shall then elect both a President and a Vice President – President Elect at the next annual business meeting. The Secretary shall be elected for a two-year term.
Article V. Meetings
Section 1. The Assembly shall hold at least four meetings each year, with the annual business meeting constituting one of these four meetings, at times, dates, and places set by the Executive Committee or the Professional Affairs Committee (PAC). The Secretary or a member of the Professional Affairs Committee (PAC) shall give notice of meetings to members of the Assembly at least 10 days prior to the meeting. A meeting may take the form of a PAC event.
Section 2. The President of the Assembly shall prepare a written agenda for all regular Assembly meetings, and the Secretary shall circulate the agenda at least five calendar days prior to the meeting. The last item on the agenda shall be new business, and at this time members may introduce any matter within the purposes of the Assembly.
Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the President with the approval of the Executive Committee, or by petition of fifteen members of the Assembly. Members shall be notified at least five calendar days prior to such meetings. Upon unanimous vote of the Executive Committee, special meetings of the Assembly may be called with not less than three hours notification accompanied by an agenda. Only business on the agenda may be considered at special meetings.
Section 4. A quorum shall be required for conducting business at a meeting.
Article VI. Executive Committee
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice President – President Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary of the Assembly, and a member at large from each of the following library systems, elected by the Assembly members from that system: DUL, the Medical Center Library & Archives, and the School of Law Library. Other library systems may elect a member at large or request one of the other members at large to represent their interests. The Chair of the Professional Affairs Committee, Chair of the Committee on Appointment and Promotion, Chair of the Bylaws Committee, and Chair of the Membership Committee shall serve as ex-officio members of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Members at large are elected for two year terms with two members at large being elected one year, and one member at large the next year.
Section 3. The chief administrative officer of each of the library systems shall be ineligible for membership on the Executive Committee.
Section 4. The Executive Committee shall meet quarterly or at the call of the presiding officer. Meetings can take place in-person, in an online-format, or via email.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall direct and coordinate the work of the Assembly, conduct the affairs of the Assembly between meetings, make appointments to positions that are vacant for all or part of the unexpired term except as otherwise specified in these Bylaws, and appoint committees.
Section 6. The Executive Committee shall appoint representatives or observers to Academic Council, Executive Committee of Graduate Faculty, Arts & Sciences Council and other University groups as needed for a one year term and may appoint a member for two consecutive terms. Each representative or observer shall report regularly to the Executive Committee, and by written report to the Assembly at the annual meeting.
Section 7. With the exception of members from library systems with fewer than three members, no member of the Executive Committee may stand for election to the Executive Committee in successive elections.
Article VII. Standing Committees
Section 1. The standing committees of the Assembly shall be the Bylaws Committee, the Committee on Appointment and Promotion (CAP), the Professional Affairs Committee (PAC), and the Membership Committee. The Chair of each committee shall be chosen annually by its members. Each committee shall submit a written report at the annual business meeting of the Assembly.
Section 2. With the exception of members from library systems with fewer than three members, no person shall serve concurrently on more than one standing committee. No member of the Executive Committee shall serve as a member of any standing committee except that the President of the Assembly shall serve as an ex-officio member of all standing committees except the CAP.
Section 3. The Bylaws Committee, composed of three members, shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The term of office for all members shall be two years, with two members being appointed one year and one member the next. It shall be the duty of the Bylaws Committee to review the Governing Documents of the Libraries Assembly and to propose changes thereto.
Section 4. The Committee on Appointment and Promotion shall function only within the DUL and the Divinity School Library, and it shall be composed of five librarians elected at the annual business meeting by the members from the DUL and the Divinity School Library. At the time of election, two members of the committee shall hold the rank of Librarian, two shall hold the rank of Associate Librarian, and one shall hold the rank of Senior Assistant Librarian. Committee members must hold their respective ranks on July 1 of the year they begin serving. The representation from the upper two ranks may be unequal if sufficient candidates from either of these ranks are not available. If no one is available from the rank of Senior Assistant Librarian, an Associate Librarian may be substituted.
The term of office shall be two years, with two persons going off the Committee one year and three persons (including the Senior Assistant Librarian) the next. Only librarians who have been employed as DUL or Divinity School Library staff at least two years, and who hold one of the upper three librarian ranks, shall be eligible to serve on the Committee. No one may serve two terms in succession. No one may serve while up for CAP review. Should a CAP member become eligible for review, they will have the option of resigning from CAP or postponing review until no longer serving on CAP.
CAP will operate within a Vice Chair/Chair Elect structure wherein each year a Vice Chair will be nominated by the CAP committee members within four weeks of the annual business meeting. The CAP Chair will name the Vice-Chair/Chair Elect at the August Executive Committee meeting. If the Vice Chair cannot be determined by the August Executive Committee meeting, the Libraries Assembly President will appoint the Vice Chair from eligible committee members (those members who will continue on CAP the following year).
The duties of the Committee shall be to review credentials in accordance with the “Criteria for Appointment of Professional Librarians” and to recommend rank at appointment and years of credit toward continuing appointment for each prospective professional appointee. Further duties of the Committee shall be to evaluate the professional performance of librarians being considered for promotion in rank or for continuing appointment and to present its recommendations to the University Librarian or the Director of the Divinity School Library.
Section 5. The Professional Affairs Committee, composed of five members, with at least one member from the Medical Center Library & Archives and the School of Law Library, shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. Each member shall serve for a two-year term, with two members being appointed in even years and three in odd years. Other library systems may be represented on the committee if they so desire. In that case, the number of members will be increased for each additional library system represented. The principle of staggering appointments shall be maintained. The Committee shall have such duties as are assigned to it by the Assembly or by the Executive Committee, including planning programs to be held at Assembly meetings. The Committee shall have a continuing concern for professional development, salaries, and benefits.
Section 6. The Membership Committee, composed of at least three members, shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The term of office for all members shall be two years, with at least two members being appointed one year and at least one member the next. To provide continuity, a committee member will serve as Membership Chair for one year of their two-year committee term.
It shall be the duty of the Membership Committee to maintain the official list of the membership, invite new eligible members, and facilitate access to Libraries Assembly communications and resources. The Membership Committee shall manage the Libraries Assembly communication list and maintain the Libraries Assembly website. The Membership Committee shall also partner with the Professional Affairs Committee on marketing and promotion of Libraries Assembly events and programs.
Article VIII. Special Committees
Section 1. The Executive Committee may appoint special committees and shall designate the purpose and term of any special committee.
Section 2. The Executive Committee shall appoint a Grievance Committee composed of three members and one alternate upon request from any member of the Assembly. It shall be the duty of the Grievance Committee to hear grievances of the Assembly members involving individual rights, benefits, or working conditions, and to make recommendations to the administrative head of the library system involved. Informed by the Grievance Guidelines adopted by the Libraries Assembly, the work of the Grievance Committee does not preclude or replace a member’s access to other available grievance procedures, especially the officially recognized grievance procedure established by Duke Human Resources for University employees.
Article IX. Elections
Section 1. Two months before the annual business meeting, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least five members which shall include the Immediate Past President as Chair, and a member from both the Medical Center Library & Archives and from the School of Law Library. Other library systems may request representation on the Committee. The Committee shall present one nominee for each Assembly office to be filled by election. The members of the Nominating Committee from the DUL shall also present one nominee for each position on the Committee on Appointment and Promotion and the member at large from the DUL to be filled by election.
Section 2. The members at large of the Executive Committee from the Medical Center Library & Archives, the School of Law Library, DUL, and from other library systems which desire representation, shall be elected by the Assembly members from those respective systems prior to or at the annual business meeting and shall take office at the close of the annual business meeting.
Section 3. The Secretary shall announce all nominations at least ten calendar days prior to election. Nominations from the floor may be made provided permission of the nominee has been obtained.
Section 4. Once the presence of 40 percent of the membership is established at a meeting, the requirement for a quorum is satisfied for the purpose of voting on a slate of candidates. Balloting shall be secret for all positions for which there is more than one nominee. Ballots shall be counted immediately by members at large of the Executive Committee and shall be certified by the Secretary. Candidates in each category who receive the greatest number of votes shall be elected. The President shall vote only to break a tie vote.
Section 5. Voting by proxy shall be authorized on a form to be maintained and made available by the Secretary. Each proxy shall be valid for only one meeting and it shall be presented to the Secretary for validation prior to the meeting at which it is to be used.
Section 6. Newly elected officers and committee members shall take office at the close of the annual business meeting at which they are elected. The Executive Committee shall meet within one month following its election to make appointments and conduct other business.
Article X. Parliamentary Authority
The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the Assembly in all instances in which it is not in conflict with these Bylaws or with any special rules the Assembly may adopt.
Article XI. Amendment of Governing Documents
The Governing Documents may be amended at any meeting of the Assembly where a quorum has convened by a majority of the membership (including proxy votes) or by a majority of the membership by e-mail balloting, provided that the proposed amendment has been distributed to the members of the Assembly at least ten calendar days prior to the meeting at which it is to be considered or to the day the e-mail balloting is held.
Recommended by the Bylaws Committee and approved by the Librarians Assembly: December 13, 1977.
Revised: October 15, 1984
Revised: March 19, 1987
Revised: May 19, 1994
Revised: May 14, 1998
Revised: June 5, 2001
Revised: July 1, 2002
Revised: February 15, 2007
Revised May 15, 2008
Revised May 20, 2010 (addition of Chair of CAP as ex-officio member of the Executive Committee)
Revised April 12, 2012 (change in frequency of Librarians Assembly meetings from 5 times a year to quarterly, and Librarians Assembly Executive Committee meetings from bi-monthly to quarterly)
Revised April 15, 2014 (add Membership Chair, clarify election and voting process, add CAP chair/chair-elect structure, remove Bylaws Committee duty to maintain a file of current library documents, change “one week” to “one month” for when the new Executive Committee meets after the annual business meeting.)
Revised December 11, 2015 (revise Article I to include definitions of common terms; update references to Duke University Libraries (DUL) and remove references to former Perkins Library System; provide consistent reference to Bylaws and governing documents).
Revised February 22, 2018 (revise Article III to clarify membership categories and expand optional membership; revise quorum to 40 percent of membership; require quorum for business meeting and candidate elections; require majority of entire membership for changes to governing documents).
Revised June 12, 2018 (revise to reflect the name change (from Librarians Assemply to Libraries Assembly; revise other articles to reflect the inclusion of other library staff members)
Revised May 7, 2019 (revised to the number of members for Professional Affairs Committee and added the new Membership Committee with the chair replacing the Membership Chair role).
Revised March 15, 2022 (clarify appointment and term of Membership Committee members and Chair, make language gender-inclusive, and reflect full name of Medical Center Library & Archives).