Medical Library Association
2010 – 2011
Compiled by Madeline Taylor, 1986
Revised by Ruth Marcolina, 1989
Revised by Julia Sollenberger, 1991
Revised by Ada Seltzer, 1993, 1994, 1995
Revised by Cynthia H. Goldstein, 1996, 1997, 1998
Revised by M.J. Tooey, 1999, 2000, 2001
Revised by Linda Garr Markwell, 2002, 2003,2004
Revised by Sarah Gable, 2005, 2006, 2007
Revised by Paula Raimondo, 2008, 2009, 2010
CHAPTER CHAIR’S MANUAL
1. MLA Structure
2. Chapter Council
3.3 Chapter Chair
3.4 Relationship to Headquarters Program Staff 3.5 Relationship to MLA Committees
4.0 Mailing Lists
4.4 Petition to Establish New Chapter
4.5 MLA Board and Officer Travel to Chapter Meetings 4.6 Potential Nominees to MLA Nominating Committee 4.7 Chapter Directory Information
4.8 Correspondences and Documentation
4.10 Chapter Membership Fact Sheet
4.11 Official Statements
4.12 Meeting Arrangements
5.1 Procedure Manual
5.2 Transfer from Outgoing to Incoming Chair
6.0 Chapter Business Guidelines
6.1 Role and Responsibilities of Chapter Council Representatives and Alternates
6.2 Guidelines for Information Requests to the Chapters of MLA 6.2.1 Services to Chapters and Sections of MLA 6.3 Procedures for Submission of Bylaws Revision by Chapters and Sections
6.3.1 Model Bylaws
6.4 Guidelines for Approving Continuing Education Activities and Courses
MLA Continuing Education Activities Approval Application
MLA Continuing Education Activities Renewal Application
6.5 Developing Objectives
6.6 Guidelines for Chapters Out of Compliance 6.7 Chapter Formation Petition Guidelines 6.8 Guidelines for Board and Officer Travel to Chapter Meetings
6.9 MLA Archives Guidelines and Form
7.1 Membership List Request Form
7.2 Midwinter/Annual Report Guidelines 7.3 Motion Form
7.4 Nominating Committee Candidate Form 7.5 Chapter Information Form for MLA Directory 7.6 MLA Generic Calendar
7.7 Excerpts from Robert’s Rules
8. Suggestions for Revision of Manual
1. MLA STRUCTURE
The Medical Library Association is a professional organization of individuals and institutions in the field of health sciences librarianship. The purposes of the Associations include: fostering the professional growth of its members; setting standards of professional practice; promoting quality service; and providing leadership in solving problems in health information delivery.
The activities of the Association fall into broad program areas that derive from its mission and are continuously reviewed by the board in its planning role. All of the Association’s many components – general membership, sections and chapters, committees – standing and ad hoc
–Board liaisons, Board of Directors, Executive Director, and headquarters program staff –
contribute in some way to the total program activity.
A chart of MLA’s structure is available at:
2. CHAPTER COUNCIL
The group structure, implemented in 1981, established Chapter Council composed of one Representative and one Alternate from each chapter. (See MLA Bylaw Article XII, “Chapter and Section Councils.”) Each Representative and Alternate must be a regular member or fellow of the Association and be selected in accordance with chapter bylaws. The Representative and Alternate perform very important functions within the overall structure of the Medical Library Association. For this reason, all due consideration should be given to nominating and electing qualified individuals to fill these offices. In particular, chapters should consider electing members who have recently served as chapter chairs or have been on the executive board of the chapter. (See Appendix 6.1 – Roles and Responsibilities of Chapter Council
Representatives and Alternates.)
The Chapter Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors, promotes interchange between chapters, and considers recommendations from individual chapters and forwards approved recommendations to the Board for consideration. The Chapter Council has developed guidelines for information requests to the chapters of MLA (Appendix 6.2 –
Guidelines for information Requests to the Chapters of MLA).
The Chapter Council is also charged with the monitoring of chapter formation and compliance, (2000 was the last year compliance was required by MLA; compliance has been suspended until further notice from MLA; MLA will continue to monitor the MLA members in Chapters) and with selecting six nominees as candidates to the Association’s Nominating Committee from the names of persons submitted by each chapter.
Members of the Council elect one member to serve as Chapter Council Chair for a three-year term. The election is held one year prior to taking office to allow for a one-year term as chair-elect. The Chapter Council Chair serves on the MLA Board of Directors and is Board liaison to chapters. In concert with Council Representatives and Alternates, the Council Chair communicates chapter concerns to the Board and, in turn, Board actions to chapter. The Chapter Chair should feel free to call or write the Chapter Council Chair at any time with questions or concerns related to any MLA or chapter policy, activity or program.
Thirteen geographic groups, defined as chapters, are currently affiliated with MLA (See MLA Bylaws Article XI, “Chapters and Sections of the Associations”):
New York/New Jersey
North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries
Northern California and Nevada Medical Library Group
Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona
Upstate New York and Ontario
The legal relationship among chapters and MLA is defined by the Association’s bylaws, history and culture. While it is the practice of chapters and MLA to work together and be closely affiliated, from a legal perspective chapters are separate legal entities. In accordance with good business practice, all chapters are incorporated effective April 1995. Incorporation shields chapter members from personal liability for chapter obligations and MLA from liabilities, should the chapter become involved in legal action. The manual (Appendix 6.0 - CHAPTER BUSINESS GUIDELINES) explains the details about federal tax-exempt status, and recommended business/financial practices for chapters.
Chapter membership is open to both members of MLA and to other interested health science librarians and information specialists.
Chapters may file individually for tax-exempt status (Appendices 6.0). Many chapters have filed for federal or state tax exemption.
Chapters constitute a vital part of the activity in each program area of the Association, and set regional goals and objectives to accomplish a wide variety of functions. Chapters also receive benefits from being affiliated with MLA. (See Appendix 6.2.1 – Services to Chapters and
Sections of MLA.)
Chapter activities encompass the broad range of Association purposes. A chapter’s bylaws define the broad outline of the chapter’s activities. The bylaws of existing chapters and
revisions of these bylaws must be examined by the Association’s Bylaws Committee to determine whether they are in conformity with Association bylaws. Follow the “Procedures for Submission of Bylaws Revision by Chapters and Sections” (Appendix 6.3). The MLA Bylaws
Committee has developed a set of model bylaws to serve as a guide for chapters when developing bylaws or submitting bylaws changes. The only portions that are mandated are those which are taken from the MLA bylaws proper, as indicated with article and section numbers (See Appendix 6.3.1 – Model Bylaws).
3.3 Chapter Chair
The chapter chair is the presiding officer of the chapter and is responsible for the following
3.3.1 The general organization of chapter work including the formulation of objectives.
3.3.2 Communication of chapter activities and actions to the Chapter Council Representative, Chapter
Council Chair, and other chapters as appropriate.
3.3.3 Establishment of a timetable for the chapter.
3.3.4 Preparation of midwinter and annual reports.
3.4 Relationship to Headquarters Program Staff
The professional development department provides materials for regionally sponsored MLA
continuing education courses (Appendix 6.4 – Continuing Education Course Presentations).
This department, along with the MLA Continuing Education Committee and Subcommittees,
also provides information and consultation in the design, development and provision of
continuing education course opportunities, and grants MLA CE credit for approved educational
programs. (Appendix 6.4 – Criteria for Awarding MLA CE Contact Hours, Application for
Approval of CE Activities and Programs. and Course Announcement for MLA News.)
The business office can generate custom MLA membership lists for chapters on request
The headquarters staff responds to information requests concerning Association policies,
procedures, and planning. The chapter chair should feel free to contact the MLA Executive
Director at any time with questions or concerns related to any MLA policy, activity or program.
3.5 Relationship to MLA Committees
Chapter committees should maintain close liaison with Association committees and conform to
Association standards and policies where national matters are concerned.
3.5.1 The Governmental Relations Committee supports a network whose major nodes are chapter
legislation committee chairs. The chairs of chapter governmental relations committees serve as
non-voting members of this MLA committee.
3.5.2 The MLA Membership Committee, including one member from each chapter, promotes
membership in the Association. The MLA Membership Core Committee includes a member
from Chapter Council as liaison between Chapter Council and the MLA Membership Committee.
3.5.3 The MLA Continuing Education Committee includes a member from Chapter Council as liaison
to chapters on all aspects of the development and provision of continuing education
opportunities. A Chapter Council committee supports the liaison in the expanded
communications with chapters through the chapter CE committee chairs. (Appendix 6.4.2.)
3.5.4 The MLA Credentialing Committee includes a member from Chapter Council as liaison to
Chapter Council and chapters on all aspects of the Academy of Health Information
Professionals (AHIP) and credentialing. (Appendix 6.4.3)
Chapters may establish dues to support their activities provided they do not exceed Association
membership dues for a regular member.
4.0 Email Discussion Lists
MLA provides email lists to current members as a forum for ideas, questions, announcements and concerns. For other topics or concerns, MLA provides a wide range of Internet resources available through MLA Web pages. Information on these Internet resources is at the bottom of this page.
As a Chapter Chair it is extremely important that you sign onto MLA-Chapterchair, the Chapter Chair’s
Discussion List. Instructions for signing onto and using the list are available at the following URL:
To see a list of all MLA discussion lists go to:
MLA HEADQUARTERS STAFF ARE GLAD TO HELP
Subscribers who have questions or need help should contact the systems administrator at MLA headquarters:
Email: mlafa1@MLAHQ.ORG or mlamis@MLAHQ.ORG
Voice: 312/419-9094 x20
Mail: Medical Library Association
65 East Wacker Place, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601-7298
MLA’s Website, MLANET, is located at the URL:
MEDLIB-L is a discussion list on topics that concern the profession and practice of health science librarianship. For information about medlib-l (including subscription information), please visit: http://www.mlanet.org/discussion/medlibl.html
Chapter Chairs need to formulate objectives for the coming year’s activities. In formulating
these objectives, the chair should consider chapter objectives that support the goals and
objectives of MLA’s Strategic Plan, as well as the annual priorities of the Association.
As of 2006 chapter chairs no longer need to submit objectives or planning documents to MLA.
However it is strongly recommended that the standard planning grid used by MLA committees,
etc. be used by the chapters in their planning process. Using the grid will greatly simplify the
writing of the mid-year and annual reports that the chair is required to submit (see below.)
Chapters communicate with the Chapter Council and the MLA Board through midyear and
annual progress reports. The reports should track to the chapter’s objectives. Usual report
submission times are below. These may times are subject to change to meet MLA’s schedule.
*****The midyear report is due in or around December, for the Winter board
meeting. The date varies upon the date of the board meeting.
Notification of the exact will be posted on mla-chapterchair.
*****The annual report is due in or around early March.
Originals of both reports should be sent to the Executive Director’s office for distribution to the Board in the case of the midwinter report, and, in the case of the annual report, for publication on MLANET as part of the MLA Annual Report. Copies of the report should also be sent to the
Chapter Council Chair and Representative, and submitted with the chapter’s Declaration of Compliance, if and when compliance is required again.
Guidelines for preparation of reports will be distributed by the Executive Director’s office at least
30 days prior to the deadline. All reports should follow the prescribed format (Illustration 7.2).
Requests for action by the Board should be submitted by the Chapter Council Representative in the form of a motion to the Chapter Council (Illustration 7.3). Council receives recommendations from individual chapters; considers for approval or disapproval; and forwards approved recommendations to the board. Recommendations not approved are referred back to the originating chapter along with comments.
4.4 Petition to Establish New Chapter
Petitions to establish a new chapter and/or alter the geographic area of an existing chapter, or merging chapters must be submitted to the Chapter Council. The Chapter Council will consider each petition and forward to the board with recommendations for action. (See Appendix 6.7 –
Chapter Formation Petition Guidelines.) (See MLA Bylaws Special Rules of Order, #4, “Approval of New Chapters and Sections.”)
4.5 MLA Board and Officer Travel to Chapter Meetings
In an effort to maintain communication between the chapters and MLA, the MLA Board of Directors allocates funds for travel reimbursement, up to a specified amount, to be available to each chapter that wishes to invite the President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, members of the Board of Directors, or the Executive Director to its chapter meetings. Invitations (with a copy to the Chapter Council Chair) should be made directly with the individual Board member by the Chapter Chair or Chapter Council Representative as early as possible in each calendar year or several months prior to the chapter meeting involved, whichever is more appropriate. (For guidelines and specified amounts, see Appendix 6.8 –MLA Guidelines for
Board and Officer Travel to Chapter Meetings.)
4.6 Potential Nominees to MLA Nominating Committee
Each chapter may submit to the Chapter Council the name of one regular member or fellow of the Association, chosen in accordance with chapter bylaws, as a potential candidate for membership on the MLA Nominating Committee. From the potential nominees submitted by each chapter, the Chapter Council at its final assembly at the MLA Annual Meeting selects six candidates (MLA Bylaws Article V, Section 2B). These are included, along with six candidates