Guidelines for Committee Chairs
In order to have a successful committee, the Chair should understand their committee’s specific
charge. The Chair should also be familiar with and understand the committee’s statement of
responsibility and activity as it appears in the online version of the Who’s Who directory or
committee section of the web page. If a committee believes its statement is unclear, questions
should be raised to the Chair, Committee on Committees who will then report the information to the
Board of Directors with suggestions and/or recommendations for clarification or change.
The following information is being provided to assist Committee Chairs in forming effective
partnerships with their staff liaison. SLA has 19 committees all of which are very different as stated
in each committee charge. Some committees have specific duties carried out each association year,
while others might be assigned special projects by the Board of Directors. While all committee
charges and purposes are different, they have the same goal, which is to advance the work of the
information industry and the Association.
You will learn that your staff liaison will be very instrumental in assisting in the success of your
committee. Whether your term is one year or three years, your liaison will be available to answer
questions and provide you with the support you require. Your liaison can suggest procedural
methods to increase the effectiveness of the work of the your committee.
1. Do you know your staff liaison?
2. Do you keep your staff liaison informed?
3. Did you know that your staff liaison is available to answer questions regarding your
In order for all parties to stay completely informed, the following should be practiced routinely.
1. Chairs should stay in contact with their committee members.
2. Seek input from your committee members, board and staff liaisons.
3. Keep all parties appropriately informed of all significant communications.
4. Keep a history of activities and projects for the next incoming Chair.
(It is important that all Chairs transfer their current working files to their successors
at the Annual Conference or immediately thereafter. These files should be carefully
reviewed so that only the important papers are passed along. Copies of papers of
historical significance should be sent to the Association office for archiving.)
Most committees are scattered geographically with much activity being accomplished by
correspondence. However, committees should also arrange working sessions at the Annual
Conference and Winter meeting.
Advance notice should be given to the Association=s Events staff for arranging meeting facilities at
these meetings. Small committee meetings can normally be scheduled and held informally at the
Prior to every meeting, a Call-to-Meeting is made available to Committee Chairs via SLA’s web
page. The Call-to-Meeting provides essential information on the upcoming event as well as due dates
on reports for Board consideration. Reports that are submitted for Board consideration are normally
due 4-6 weeks prior to the Board meeting to allow staff sufficient time to review, distribute the
document to the Board and post to the web page. Reports should reflect careful decisions. They
should be concise and recommend specific action (if action is to be taken by the Board of Directors).
Reports should state the matter clearly and include sufficient background information so that the
Board can ascertain how the committee reached the stated conclusion and/or recommendation.
Board Due Date Information
January --- Winter Meeting
Board Document Due Date (mid December)
June --- Annual Conference
Board Document Due Date and Annual Reports (early May)
October --- Fall Meeting
Board Document Due Date (mid September)
It is mandatory that all committee chairs submit a written annual report. This report is for
publication in the Association’s Annual Report. The report should summarize the committee’s
activities and accomplishments for the year.