Confidentiality of Reports Submitted to the Library Executive Committee

  1. Reports from EC-charged task forces and committees:

    The University Library adheres to a formal ” Open Meeting” policy. While the default assumption for EC itself is that we normally meet in executive session (i.e., closed meetings), this typically will not be the case for task forces or committees charged by EC. Unless otherwise specified in the charge given by EC, task forces and committees charged by EC should do their work in as open and transparent a fashion as possible. By implication, this also means that reports and other documentation generated by such task forces and committees and submitted to Library EC, even in draft, will be assumed non-confidential, unless otherwise clearly and explicitly labeled. In the future, normal practice will be that as such reports are scheduled onto the EC agenda, they will be mounted on the Library staff Website in a location accessible to all client computers with UIUC IP addresses. (Those connecting from off-campus will need to authenticate using Bluestem.)

    Note: when reviewing drafts of task force and committee reports EC may ask for changes to insure completeness and clarity, but it is not the habit of EC to request or require changes to task force or committee findings and recommendations. If EC on its own could have come up with the findings developed by a task force or committee, there would have been no reason to have created and charged the group in the first place. Any task force or committee report should reflect the consensus of that group, whether or not that consensus is congruent with the consensus of EC on the matter. The EC will separately and independently offer to the University Librarian appropriate advice regarding any recommendations for action included in such reports. If in the course of its work a task force or committee feels the need to gauge the sense of EC with regard to a particular issue or potential recommendation, it should do so by meeting in person with EC during the information gathering phase of its work.

  2. Unsolicited reports submitted to the Library EC.

    New ideas and proposals often come to EC unsolicited from other Library faculty, from Library staff, from Library users. This is encouraged. The Committee appreciates the reluctance in certain circumstances of the originators of such ideas and proposals to share them prematurely with a wider audience, but it is important that submitters articulate any such reluctance. Unless otherwise labeled, reports submitted to the Library Executive Committee will be assumed non-confidential and will be posted openly to the Library staff Web site as they are scheduled onto the Committee’s agenda. It is incumbent on the submitter to explicitly request that an idea or proposal submitted to the EC in writing be kept confidential and to offer a reason why it should be. (Submitter should clearly say who can see the report in its current form.) The EC will respect such wishes as best it can. However, submitters must realize that the EC typically cannot fully form a complete and informed consensus and develop final advice for the University Librarian without an opportunity to consult with colleagues both inside and potentially outside the Library. The Committee may also wish to charge a task force to investigate an idea, suggestion, or issue further, and may want to include as background the report or reports that served as the original stimulus for this action. The Library EC may reasonably request early on permission to share unsolicited reports with others, and may decide to table further consideration of ideas until such time that this permission is granted.