BY-LAWS OF THE NORTHEAST CHAPTER OF REFORMA,THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES TO LATINOS AND THE SPANISH-SPEAKING
ARTICLE I: Name and Composition of Chapter
The name of the body shall be The Northeast Chapter of REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, also known as the REFORMA Northeast Chapter, and hereafter referred to as (the) RNE or the (Northeast) Chapter. The Chapter is an affiliate chapter of REFORMA, its parent organization, and is made up of members from six states, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. In the event that the Chapter’s members should wish to add states or to split the Chapter off into two (or more) chapters, reference shall be made to Article XI (Additions or Changes to REFORMA Northeast).
ARTICLE II: Purposes/Objectives
This Chapter is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or corresponding section of any future federal tax code).
The Purposes and Objectives of the Chapter shall be to:
- Unite librarians and all other professionals interested in working with Latinos and the Spanish-speaking;
- Promote the development and use of Spanish-language and Latino-oriented library collections, information sources, programs and other services, for example, identifying applicants for the biennial RNE Mini-Grant;
- Collect and disseminate information by, about, and for Latinos and the Spanish-speaking;
- Recruit prospective bilingual and bicultural librarians, which includes identifying persons for scholarship/award aid given by REFORMA National and/or RNE;
- Promote and conduct research concerning library and information services for the Latinos and the Spanish-speaking; and
- Engage in all other educational, charitable, and literary activities as permitted by law.
ARTICLE III: Members/Membership
Any person, library, or organization interested in the purposes and objectives of REFORMA, as provided by the By-Laws, may become a member upon payment of dues. All members whose dues are current and are a member in good standing have the right to vote on matters presented for approval to the membership. All members in good standing are also eligible to be elected or appointed as officers of RNE. Members are encouraged to attend meetings (in person and/or virtually) and to visit REFORMA website and social media pages in order to remain informed. (The chapter shall not be responsible for any property lost or damaged in the course of any membership meeting or event. Photos taken during such events may be used by the Chapter.)
ARTICLE IV: Fiscal Year/Membership Year
The Chapter’s business/fiscal/administrative year shall be defined as starting at the end of each year’s Annual Meeting of the American Library Association, usually the end of June or early July, except as otherwise provided in the By-Laws. Officers’ terms will follow this calendar, and all new officers shall be elected in time for them to start their term in July. Except for lifetime members, membership years are determined by the date one joins or renews their membership via REFORMA National’s website.
ARTICLE V: Officers, Executive Board, and State Coordinators
Section 1. The Northeast Chapter’s elected Officers shall be its President, Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. These individuals, along with the Immediate Past-President, shall comprise the Chapter’s Executive Board. (A Vice-President/President-Elect may serve as Secretary until he or she becomes President, at which time the position of Secretary shall be filled according to the Chapter’s By-Laws.)
In addition to the Executive Board, the Chapter will also have a State Coordinator, to be appointed by the President, from each state. These Coordinators are neither part of the Executive Board nor have a vote on it, but will advise the Executive Board as needed and help represent the Chapter within their states.
Section 2. The Vice-President/President-Elect shall serve for three calendar years: the first year as Vice-President/President-Elect, the second year as President, and the third year as Immediate Past-President. All other officers shall hold their offices for a term of two years. The terms of Secretary and Treasurer shall be staggered. Officers may succeed themselves in office for an unlimited number of terms.
Any vacancy occurring in any office will be made apparent to the Chapter’s membership as soon as possible. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice-President/President-Elect shall serve as President through the current term. For other vacancies, the Nominations Committee will make a call for candidate(s) as well as identify and approach potential substitutes. Once a slate has been determined, the Nominations Committee shall refer to the election procedures contained in Article VII to hold elections by the Chapter’s membership.
Section 3. Any member of the Executive Board may resign by tendering a resignation in writing to the Secretary, effective upon receipt by the Secretary. Any vacancies arising from resignations will be filled according to Article V, Section 2.
ARTICLE VI: Duties of Officers
Section 1: President: Shall preside at all Executive Board and General Membership meetings; shall serve as Ex-Officio member of all committees; shall appoint the Chairperson(s) of all committees; shall provide copies of a written agenda for each General Membership meeting; and shall act as a liaison between the Chapter and other organizations. Additionally, the Chapter President shall support the purposes and objectives of REFORMA National and serve as a member of the REFORMA Board of Directors, with one vote. The President (or a person that he or she designates) shall represent the Chapter at REFORMA’s National Board of Directors meetings and other REFORMA and ALA activities. The President shall prepare an annual report of REFORMA Northeast Chapter’s accomplishments and activities before each Annual ALA meeting and shall submit RNE information, events, and updates to REFORMA National as appropriate.
Section 2: Vice-President/President-Elect: In the absence or disability of the President, the Vice-President/President-Elect shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the Chapter President. The Vice-President/President-Elect shall also assist the President and perform such other duties and have such other powers as are prescribed in the By-Laws and that may be prescribed by the Executive Board. Shall serve as Chair of the Membership Committee. Shall inform the Chapter’s President, Secretary, and Electronic List Moderator(s) of any new members.
Section 3: Immediate Past President: Shall advise the President and ensure that all relevant information from his/her year as President be passed on to his/her successor and the Executive Board. Shall serve as Chair of the Nominations Committee.
Section 4: Secretary: Shall be responsible for the Minutes of Executive Board and General Membership meetings. At each General Membership Meeting, the Secretary shall make Minutes from the previous General Membership meeting available to members. Shall conduct association chapter correspondence as needed, and shall archive and preserve all RNE Minutes, reports, and reports as appropriate. Shall assist Vice-President with business involving new members and renewals, as well help update membership lists as needed.
Section 5: Treasurer: Shall perform all duties customary to that office, i.e. the custody of and responsibility for all RNE funds. Shall keep accurate accounts of the Chapter’s receipts and disbursements. Shall deposit or cause to be deposited all monies or other valuable effects in the name of the Chapter in such depositories as shall be selected by the Executive Board. Shall provide an oral and/or written report at each Executive Board and Membership meeting. Shall liaise with REFORMA National and other RNE Officers to ensure the receipt of membership dues collected by REFORMA National. Shall serve as Chair of the RNE Chapter Funding Review Committee.
Section 6: State Coordinators: Shall coordinate programs and exhibits at their respective state library association conferences (e.g. Connecticut Library Association, New York Library Association, etc.). Shall serve as liaisons to their respective state library associations; coordinate meetings, membership drives, and other local activities in their states; provide oral and/or written reports at General Membership meetings; and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VII: Election of Executive Board Officers
The Chapter will hold elections for its Executive Board Officers – President, Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer – every spring, and as any vacancies arise. The Nominations Committee’s members will consist of the Immediate Past-President as Chair, the current President, and the Vice-President/President-Elect, and any other members interested in serving on the Committee, unless any of the above are running for office. The Nominations Committee shall make an initial call for nominations at the Winter General Membership meeting (usually held in January), and shall also send an official call for nominations to the membership by February or March, per suggested guidelines below. One month from the date of such notice shall be allowed for receipt of nominations. (If no nominations are received for any given office, the Nominations Committee shall discuss one or more potential candidates for each relevant office and contact the person(s) in mind to determine interest in a candidacy.)
Only active Chapter members whose dues are current or renewed by April 1 of the election year are eligible to vote as well as to hold office. Candidates will submit a Statement of Candidacy and a short biography to the Committee. The Nominations Committee will select a web-based voting system and provide all relevant information and/or links to the Chapter’s members, along with candidates’ statements and biographies. Twenty-one days shall be allowed for return of ballots. Tallying of votes will be done by members of the Nominations Committee, and elections to office shall be determined by a simple majority of returned ballots. In the case of any ties, a second round of ballots shall be provided, following the same procedures as above.
Election of officers will take place on a rotating cycle, with one Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer elected on one year, and the new Vice President/President-Elect the next year.
Suggested Election Timetable (Guidelines only):
December - January Chair recruits other Committee members.
February - March Committee invites membership to submit nominations.
March - April Committee finalizes candidates and confirms the acceptance of nominations.
May Slate is finalized. Candidates submit a statement of candidacy and a short biography.
Chair prepares and distributes the ballots electronically.
June Ballots are returned and tabulated.
June/July Before ALA’s Annual Conference, Chair presents results to Executive Board. Newly elected officers will take office after the Conference.
ARTICLE VIII: Meetings
The Chapter will hold a minimum of four General Membership meetings between July and June of each year at such times and places as the Executive Board will determine. (As much as possible, the sites will be rotated among the Chapter’s six states within a two-year period.) The Executive Board will make every effort to provide members who are not able to attend in person the opportunity to attend, make reports and recommendations, vote on items, and otherwise participate at meetings via teleconferencing and/or other options. Ten members shall constitute a quorum, whether attending in person or via other methods. Resolutions, recommendations, and decisions of the meetings shall be adopted by a simple majority of those voting.
ARTICLE IX: Committees and Task Forces
Standing and Special Committees, Sub-Committees, and Task Forces shall be created by the Executive Board, with Chairpersons to be appointed by the President. Chairpersons shall provide regular reports and updates at General Membership meetings, either orally or in writing, and on other occasions as needed. (Committee members may provide an update if the Chair/Co-Chairs cannot attend.) Any active Chapter member may serve on any Committee, Sub-Committee, or Task Force. Members may request or suggest new Committees and Task Forces for the President and membership to consider, as well as changes to existing Committees, Sub-Committees, and Task Forces, in writing or via oral communication.
ARTICLE X: Amendments
Chapter members in good standing may propose alterations, amendments, or additions to the Chapter’s By-Laws. Proposals should be submitted in writing at meetings or other relevant communications and should include an explanation for the proposed change(s). The By-Laws Committee will review such proposals in a timely fashion and present options for discussion as well as action items for vote to members via email at least ten (10) days before the Chapter’s next regular General Membership meeting so that all those on the Chapter’s membership list are alerted to any proposed change(s), and to allow sufficient time for further discussion before voting. The Executive Board will determine if voting will take place at a meeting or via a web-based voting system or other viable alternative. (If voting takes place outside of a chapter meeting, twenty-one (21) days will be allowed for the return of votes.) A simple majority of votes will determine the passage or rejection of any proposed amendment(s) put to vote.
ARTICLE XI: Additions or Changes to REFORMA Northeast
In the event that the Chapter’s members wish to either add states to REFORMA Northeast or to split the Chapter off into two (or more) chapters, the proposed change(s) must be communicated to the Chapter’s members at the earliest Chapter meeting, as well as in writing via any and all appropriate avenues of communication. The Executive Board shall ensure that sufficient time is given for full review, consideration, and discussion of any proposed change(s) by the members. When the proposed change(s) are deemed ready for a vote, the Executive Board will select a web-based voting system and provide all relevant information and/or links to the Chapter’s members. Twenty-one days shall be allowed for return of the ballots. Tallying of votes shall be determined by a simple majority of returned ballots. In the case of any ties, a second round of voting shall be provided, following the same procedures as above.
Once any proposed change(s) are approved, the By-Laws Committee will propose corresponding amendments to the By-Laws in a timely fashion. If any new states are introduced into the RNE Chapter, the Chapter President will appoint a State Coordinator for that state. If the Chapter has voted to split off into two (or more) chapters, all appropriate steps will be taken for the fair distribution of the chapter’s assets.
ARTICLE XII: Dissolution of Chapter
Section 1. In the event of the dissolution of the Northeast Chapter of REFORMA, any assets remaining shall be first used for payment and discharge of any liabilities or obligations of the organization, and second, to protect officers from any liabilities.
Section 2. Upon dissolution of this organization, any assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, i.e. charitable, educational, religious or scientific or corresponding section of any future federal tax code or shall be distributed to the Federal government or to a state or local government for public purpose.
Section 3. Distribution of such remaining assets may include the National REFORMA organization, i.e. the REFORMA scholarship program. No member, individual, nor any organization shall have any right, title, or interest to any remaining assets of the organization.