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FAQ on Semiannual Association Meetings

Who attends the semiannual Association of Research Libraries Meetings?

ARL membership consists of the larger research and academic libraries in the United States and Canada. Each institution has a single representative to ARL; typically that person is the director, dean, or vice president with responsibilities for the research library.

What makes an Association of Research Libraries Meeting such a special forum is the opportunity for a relatively small number of chief executive officers of major research libraries to address the challenges they each face in their own institutions and the future of scholarly communication. While ARL members represent a range of institutional characteristics, all directors face the common pressures of leading a large organization through an era of extraordinary change in information technology, user needs, and economic models. The Association Meetings are designed to present opportunities for ARL member representatives to meet and exchange ideas with one another.

What is the role of a member library alternate at an Association Meeting?

It is expected that the director of the research library will represent the institution at Association Meetings. When exceptional circumstances make this impossible, an alternate may be designated by the director to participate in all parts of the meeting. If votes are held, for example during the Business Meeting, it is expected that the alternate will be prepared to cast a vote that represents the interests of the member institution.

What is the role of a member library acting or interim director?

ARL takes its lead from the member institution in making any distinction between an acting and interim appointment. As a rule of thumb, the following practice is used: an interim director is recognized as an official representative of the member institution and participates fully in all ARL activities, including appointments on committees; typically, acting directors participate fully in Association Meetings, including the Business Meeting, but do not serve on committees. Exceptions are made based on institutional circumstances.

Are committee meetings open to people who are not members of the committee?

Yes, committee meetings are open to all member representatives, including interim and acting directors, and director alternates. The ARL office appreciates receiving advance notice if you plan to attend a committee meeting so that adequate seating and handouts are assured.

Who chairs and plans the Association Meeting program?

The ARL president chairs the Association Meeting. The program is planned by the Member Engagement and Outreach Committee working with the Board of Directors, ARL staff, and with the advice and contacts of member representatives.

Who are the current elected officers and committee chairs of ARL?

ARL Board of Directors, Board Committees, Enabling Capacity Committees