FAQ for Committee Chairs and Forum Managers

FAQ for Committee Chairs and Forum Managers (including policies and resources)

ILA forums and committees are instrumental to the work of the association. Frequently asked questions, resources, and policies are available to ILA leaders to facilitate their initiatives.

When does my term start? What are the standard duties of Committee Chairs and Forum Managers? How can people get involved in a Forum or become a Forum Board Member? How can people get involved in an ILA committee? What is the ILA Membership Policy? What is the difference between being a forum member and a forum board member? Can anyone attend an ILA committee or forum meeting? How do forums publicly communicate their activities? What are my committee’s or forum’s responsibilities at the ILA Annual Conference? Can my committee or forum sponsor a continuing education event or invite a high-profile speaker to speak at conference? How can my committee or forum submit an article for the ILA Reporter, an announcement for the ILA Alert e-newsletter, or the ILA Connecter blog? How do I set up a Zoom meeting? How and when are reports submitted to the ILA Executive Board? Does my committee or forum have a budget? What if someone is acting inappropriately at a meeting or event? What if there is a vacancy in the forum or committee leadership?  How can a forum change its bylaws? How is a forum dissolved? Who is my ILA Executive Board liaison, and what can they do for me? Whom do I call at ILA?

When does my term start?

ILA’s association year is July 1 - June 30. The term for all committee chairs and forum managers starts July 1. The length of terms of office vary. This is designed to provide an avenue for interested members to become easily involved in ILA activities, and staggered terms help ensure continuity.

What are the standard duties of Committee Chairs and Forum Managers?

  • Remind committee and board members to maintain current contact information for their profile. Log in to the ILA website to update the information.
  • Discuss upcoming plans with the board liaison in the early stages of development to benefit from useful advice about policy issues that may affect the activity.
  • Familiarize yourself with ILA fiscal policies and procedures about committee and forum activities, including budgeting and workshop/event planning.
  • Disclose any conflicts of interest as outlined in the Conflict of Interest Policy.
  • At the end of the term of office, turn over minutes and other significant documents to the new committee/forum leader.
  • Provide networking opportunities for members interested in a variety of topics.
  • Submit at least one Annual Conference program proposal each year.
  • Host at least one face-to-face event annually. This could be a continuing education event (e.g., a program at ILA, IACRL, or Reaching Forward conferences), a discussion group at a conference, or a reception.
  • Elect or appoint leadership each year.
  • Establish an annual schedule of meetings or activities; designate when and how new leadership will be determined. Post leadership opportunities and elections transparently and well in advance. 
  • Provide publicly available online communication to library workers about the forum’s activities, such as blog or newsletter.
  • Work with the staff liaison to update the leadership roster and internal communication preferences, including the ILA Executive Board liaison.
  • Coordinate the promotion of activities and events with the Communications and Engagement Manager.
  • Develop and maintain a set of bylaws.

How can people get involved in a Forum or become a Forum Board Member?

  1. An Individual can express interest in an ILA Forum either through the interest form, physical sign up sheets at ILA events, or emailing or talking with the forum manager or staff.
  2. The forum manager responds with personal email and ccs the staff liaison; invites them to the next forum meeting (staff can forward details if needed); and shares links to public communications (ie, blog), website (which includes forum bylaws and procedures), social media, and other meeting dates.

If an individual attends meetings and continues to express interest in participating and wants to be added to the forum board, they can reach out to the Forum manager. Forum meeting agendas should include information at the conclusion of the meeting on how to move forward with being on the board and when a decision is made.

  1. Staff verifies personal ILA membership before new board members are approved or elected.
  2. The forum board can vote or the manager can appoint them to the forum board (depending on forum bylaws).
  3. Forum board members can volunteer for committees and leadership positions.
  4. Forum board members can indicate term renewal on an annual basis.

How can people get involved in an ILA committee?

ILA's committees provide major support services for the membership at large and the ILA Executive Board. The priority deadline to submit interest in a July committee appointment is March 15. Forms will still be accepted after that date, but volunteer early for your first choices!

What is the ILA Membership Policy?

Committee members and chairs, and forum managers and board members, are required to maintain personal membership in the association during their term of service.

What is the difference between being a forum member and a forum board member?

Anyone can participate in forum events and meetings. General forum membership and committees are noted on internal documents. Forum board members are leaders that have their role indicated on the group’s roster and in their individual member profile. 

Can anyone attend an ILA committee or forum meeting?

In general, ILA Executive Board, committee, and forum meetings are open to ILA members, with the following exceptions: Nominating Committee and Awards Committee. Details are outlined in the Open Meetings Policy.

How do forums publicly communicate their activities?

  • Social media platforms
  • Public communication platforms ie newsletters, blogs
  • ILA Calendar
  • Coordinate the promotion of activities and events with the Communications and Engagement Manager
  • Meeting and event announcements

What are my committee’s or forum’s responsibilities at the ILA Annual Conference?

Each committee and forum is asked to submit at least one conference program proposal. The proposal form for the upcoming year’s conference will be available in December and can be found on the ILA website under the events tab. There is no limit to the number of programs a committee or forum can submit. Check the ILA Events Calendar for deadline submission information.

Committees or forums that wish to schedule a meeting at ILA Annual Conference should contact Kristin Pekoll (kpekoll@ila.org).

Can my committee or forum sponsor a continuing education event or invite a high-profile speaker to speak at conference?

Yes! If you are considering sponsoring a special event, workshop, or conference speaker, please contact Kristin Pekoll (kpekoll@ila.org) to discuss your proposal.

How can my committee or forum submit an article for the ILA Reporter, an announcement for the ILA Alert e-newsletter, or the ILA Connecter blog?

To propose an article, contact Cyndi Robinson (robinson@ila.org) and the current ILA Reporter Advisory Committee chair to see where your article might fit into the upcoming editorial calendar. To submit an announcement for the e-news or ILA Connecter blog, contact Tamara Jenkins (tjenkins@ila.org). Of course, you can always start with your staff liaison.

How do I set up a Zoom meeting?

ILA has two Zoom accounts for committees and forums to use when they need to meet remotely. Contact your staff liaison for this information.

How and when are reports submitted to the ILA Executive Board?

Committee chairs and forum managers are expected to work with their board liaison to complete regular reports to the ILA Executive Board. Reports should be forwarded two weeks before each board meeting to your board liaison and ILA at ila@ila.org. The ILA Executive Board will meet on the following dates in 2022-2023:

  • 9/22/2022
  • 11/17/2022
  • 1/12/2023
  • 3/9/2023
  • 5/25/2023

Report deadlines are also listed on the ILA Calendar. Reports are submitted using a standard report template that is available to download as a MS Word document or a fillable PDF.

Does my committee or forum have a budget?

Yes, many committees and forums have a modest expense budget of $200. Some committees and forums have a separate revenue and expense budget. ILA staff liaisons will have more information.

Workshop Guidelines and Budget Planning Forms (Excel and PDF) are available for use.

What if someone is acting inappropriately at a meeting or event?

All participants are expected to observe the rules and behaviors outlined in the Statement of Appropriate Conduct in all meeting venues, including online venues, and meeting social events. Participants asked to stop hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

What if there is a vacancy in the forum or committee leadership?

Upon the resignation of a forum manager, the incoming manager (or manager-elect) will serve for the remainder of that unfilled term and continue as manager for their term. Other vacant positions can be appointed by the manager.

In the event of a ILA committee vacancy with an unexpired term, the current ILA president shall serve as the appointing officer. Replacement appointees serve out the remainder of the unexpired term.

How can a forum change its bylaws?

Forum bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the forum board by a majority vote of the board members present, provided that the notice of the proposed amendment to the bylaws is included in the notice of the meeting.

How is a forum dissolved?

According to Article XIII, Section 4 of the ILA Bylaws, “The Executive Board [of the Illinois Library Association] shall discontinue a forum when it has determined that the usefulness of the forum has ended.”

Who is my ILA Executive Board liaison, and what can they do for me?

Your board liaison is listed on your online roster and is your “go to” person for all questions about project scope, budgeting matters, ILA policies, reporting, and a general resource. Board liaisons should be available to attend their assigned committee and forum meetings and provide input and encouragement in order for you to achieve your goals. Meeting reminders, agendas, and documents will be sent to the board liaison via internal communication or email. (Procedural questions are probably best answered by the ILA staff.)

Whom do I call at ILA?

The ILA staff is happy to help committees and forums to make sure they get the information they need (312-644-1896). Specifically, ILA staff assignments are as follows:

  • Cyndi Robinson (robinson@ila.org): Advocacy, Finance, Fundraising, iREAD, Public Policy, and ILA Reporter Advisory Committees
  • Kristin Pekoll (kpekoll@ila.org): Conference Program Committees, Best Practices Committee, Intellectual Freedom Committee, Library Trustee Forum, Reaching Forward Forum, Resources & Technical Services Forum, Small and Rural Libraries Forum, Young Adult Services Forum, and Youth Services Forum
  • Tina Koleva (tina@ila.org): iREAD, Nominating Committees
  • Tamara Jenkins (tjenkins@ila.org): Awards Committee, Diversity Committees, IACRL Forum, Marketing Forum, and Students and New Professionals Forum
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