Recommendations on Composition, Meeting Schedule, and
Operating Procedures for the Library’s Administrative Council
(Drafted by Janis Johnston, Betsy Kruger, and Sue Searing)
Revised by Lisa German, Lisa Hinchliffe, and Diane Schmidt
- Revise language in the bylaws to reflect better the role of the Administrative Council.
Currently the AC’s charge is described thus:
“The Administrative Council shall serve as an advisory body to the University Librarian with
regard to the promulgation and implementation of standards, regulations and procedures that relate
to the general operating policies of the Library and such other advisory functions as may be
assigned or delegated to it by the University Librarian. The primary responsibility of the
Administrative Council shall be the day-to-day management of the Library.”
Also, the communication function of the division coordinators who attend AC is found in the
section of the bylaws that describes the role of the division coordinator:
“Divisional coordinators will be responsible for holding regular meetings of the division,
seeking advice and consent from their division in matters affecting the division, coordinating the
activities of their division, assuring the implementation of general library policies and
procedures, and reporting regularly on the activities of the division and keeping their division
fully informed of decisions made by the Administrative Council.”
Recommended new language:
“The Administrative Council provides leadership for implementing the University Library’s
Strategic Plan, recommends principles for budget planning and allocation collaboratively with the
Executive Committee to the Budget Group, and advises, along with the Library’s Executive
Committee, the University Librarian with regard to priorities and policies that effect the
day-to-day management of the Library. The Administrative Council facilitates communication and
discussion among and within the administrative and departmental units of the University Library.”&
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- Our discussion at the October 4, 2004 AC meeting did not reveal much support for reducing
membership size; rather, many members made cases for why it is useful to have staff from HR,
Business Office, Systems, etc., present. Therefore our recommendations regarding membership are:
- Do not eliminate any non-Division Coordinator members unless one of them makes a convincing
argument for why they should not be a member;
- Add the position of Head of Preservation to the AC; like the heads of HR, Business Office, and
Systems, this person has administrative responsibility for a function with Library-wide
Voting—We propose the following options for discussion, depending on what, if any,
changes we decide to make the charge/purpose of this group:
- ALL members will vote, including the LSSC representative. (We feel strongly that the LSSC
representative should be a voting member to represent staff concerns.)
- Only division coordinators and the LSSC representative will vote.
- Only division coordinators, the LSSC representative, and one AUL (selected by some process to
represent “the administration”) will vote. This option recognizes that the AC currently consists of
9 division coordinators and 11 other members, raising a possible concern that a simple one-person,
one-vote system could in effect diminish division input to decisions.
- Reduce the number of meetings each month from two to one.
- Meet on the third Monday of each month.
- Hold one additional meeting each semester for a brainstorming session on matters that the AC
should try to address during the upcoming semester. We suggest this as a way for AC to take
more of a leadership role in advising on future directions. The agenda committee can then
draw from this list in developing meeting agendas.
- A call for agenda items should be posted to LIBFAC by the agenda committee and/or Paula on the
first Monday of the month with a deadline for receipt of agenda items being the first Friday of the
month. Potential agenda items should be designated for either the 1) discussion agenda, or 2)
the consent agenda. A consent agenda item is one that is basically FYI or that records a
final vote of approval for an already thoroughly discussed policy.
- Each agenda item will specify topic, presenter, desired outcome (e.g., discussion, voting,
etc.), and length of time. The agenda will clearly note any agenda item that is scheduled for
a final vote at that meeting.
- The agenda committee and/or Paula will post the agenda on the second Monday of the month.
This posting of the agenda should always be accompanied by a deadline of the second
Friday of the month for a member of the committee to move an item from the consent agenda to the
- At the beginning of the meeting, Paula will notify the group about which, if any, items have
been moved from the consent agenda to the discussion agenda. The consent agenda will be dealt with
first, then the discussion agenda.
- Establishing and abiding by decision deadlines
- The AC discussion of any agenda item that requires division input before a final vote should
conclude with the establishment of a deadline for the committee to vote on the item. The
standard turn-around time for a final vote would be one month (the next meeting). However, the AC
can decide if a longer turn-around time is needed, or if a shorter turn-around time with voting by
email is acceptable.
- Voting will not be postponed if a division(s) has not discussed the matter; it is the division
coordinator’s responsibility to make sure discussion occurs in a timely fashion. The division
coordinator in these instances can still vote, but the vote will not be postponed unless there is
group consensus to do so.
- Document sharing
- We recommend that all AC discussion documents be posted in a readily accessible online space
instead of being distributed via email, although email notices that a document for
discussion/approval at an upcoming meeting has been posted will be necessary. Example options for
- The G: drive, as used by the Social Sciences Division;
- UIUC Library Forums (PHPbb) – www-s.library.illinois.edu/phpbb/
- An iLab, a virtual space hosted by GSLIS where a group can post shared documents, use a
community bulletin board, calendars, etc., geared to helping groups organize themselves and their
- All AC members and Kim Reynolds will be authorized to access the shared space for both reading
Within two days of the meeting, Kim Reynolds will post short preliminary minutes aimed at
prompting division coordinators and/or others to begin any follow-up actions that may be needed.
The preliminary minutes will basically be a list of action items, person(s) responsible, action
Oak Street Proposal – Division Coordinators – Seek input from your divisions – Final AC vote on
- Division coordinators are encouraged to convey brief minutes of the meeting to their division
members as soon as possible.
- Official minutes should be posted within 2 weeks of the meeting.
Review of AC Charge and Function
The AC discussions that generated these proposed changes highlighted that AC should not be
disbanded but should increase its vitality and efficiency. Though the proposed changes are made in
good faith and believed to move AC in the desired direction, a self-review of success is
recommended in May 2004. Questions to be considered at that time include:
- Have the new procedures resulted in increased efficiency and timeliness in decisionmaking?
- Has at least 50% of AC meeting time been devoted to Strategic Plan implementation and what has
been the result of the AC focus on this topic?
- Has the communication function of AC (valued by both members and nonmembers of AC) been at
least maintained, if not improved?
In addition to a self-review, the Strategic Planning Committee will be asked to provide an
external review and offer its perspective on AC’s effectiveness at overseeing the implementation of
the Library’s Strategic Plan.