Over 1700 members gathered, either virtually or in person, in New Orleans in January to attend ALA’s LibLearnX. It was a momentous occasion, not just because it was the first ever in-person LibLearnX, but also because of ALA Governance. LibLearnX 2023 was the first time ALA held the Governance Institute which brought together ALA member leaders and provided invaluable insights into critical issues related to effective governance, with a focus on communications and financial analysis, review, and stewardship. There was also an ALA Special Council Session called to discuss, revise and finalize the ALA Bylaws. This was not an easy task, and was not taken lightly. This revision has been the result of over five years and over hundreds of hours of work by multiple committees (SCOE, Forward Together, Transforming ALA Governance Task Force, and ALA Council). 

On June 27, 2022, during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., ALA Council voted overwhelmingly in the affirmative to rescind the ALA Constitution and tasked the ALA Constitution and Bylaws Committee (CBC) with creating instead a thoroughly revised set of ALA Bylaws that integrates content from the Constitution into a single updated Bylaws document that reflects a modern, forward-looking Association.

Per the ALA Constitution (Article XII. Amendments), rescission of the ALA Constitution requires two consecutive votes of Council, followed by ratification by the members of the Association. On August 26, 2022, Council conducted the required second vote to rescind the Constitution—again voting overwhelmingly in the affirmative.

On January 27, 2023, during the Library Learning Experience event in New Orleans, LA, ninety-eight percent (98%) of ALA Council voted in the affirmative to adopt the general revision of the American Library Association Bylaws as amended, for submission to the American Library Association membership, with the proviso that, after appropriate review upon adoption of the general revision by the ALA membership, all recommended policy insertions be made in the ALA Policy Manual.

So now it’s your turn, the vote is in the hands of membership. Take time to read and understand this important document that will guide the Association in the coming years. Click here to access the ALA ByLaws Revised Document.

Respectfully submitted by Liz Nebeker, YALSA Councilor

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