Governance

Purpose

The Library Accessibility Alliance (LAA) is committed to equitable access to e-resources, services, and overall accessibility awareness for its members and the broader library community.

Consortial membership

How to become a member

Although the LAA is committed to engaging with other institutions in moving accessibility forward, the acceptance of new members is determined by the program’s capacity.

Current membership is listed on the website.

Criteria

  • Currently only accepting library consortia.
  • Library consortia must have the support of their members to join.
  • Participants must be willing to contribute to the sustainability of the initiative.
  • Consortia must designate at least five people to participate; four library representatives with subject matter expertise from the consortium’s membership, and one staff liaison from the consortium.
  • Each representative must actively contribute to an Action Committee.
  • One library representative must additionally serve on the Steering Committee.
  • One consortium staff representative must also be designated to support the consortium’s participation, including attending Steering Committee meetings and activities.
  • Each participating consortium may designate a dean/director to liaise with the Steering Committee and attend or advise on Steering Committee meetings as desired.

How to apply

A consortium interested in joining the Library Accessibility Alliance should express their interest to the LAA Steering Committee Chair(s) by filling out the consortial membership expression of interest form.

Application review

Upon receipt of an expression of interest, the LAA Steering Committee will review the request and may ask for additional information from the consortium.

The LAA Steering Committee may choose to consider consortia for membership at any time or annually. In reviewing the application from a prospective member, the LAA Steering Committee will take into consideration the criteria for participation, but also the available capacity within the LAA to support expansion at that time.

The Steering Committee may request that admission be delayed until it believes the LAA can effectively on-board the consortium. The Library Accessibility Alliance acknowledges there may be limited capacity to add new member consortia each year.

When a new consortium joins the LAA, the Chair of the Steering Committee will notify the consortium’s director and work with them to identify and on-board the representatives to the Steering and Action Committees.

Membership termination

A consortium may withdraw their LAA membership at any time. Their consortial liaison must deliver written notice to the Chairs of the Steering Committee at least ninety (90) days prior to the official date of withdrawal. The LAA cannot offer any refunds for the financial year.

Governance bodies

Representatives on the Library Accessibility Alliance Steering Committee and Action Committee are appointed by the leadership body of their respective consortium. Each consortium is responsible for providing individuals for all designated seats and promptly filling any vacancies that may arise.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the main governing body for the LAA. It is responsible for:

  • setting the strategic directions and policies for LAA;
  • reviewing applications for new memberships and accept, deny, or put on-hold membership based on the strategic value of the applicants, and overseeing other matters related to membership;
  • reviewing and approving business models, operational policies, and guidelines;
  • reviewing proposals for new Working Groups or Committees, or proposals for significant new activities;
  • providing bi-annual activity reports; and
  • establishing a budget for the LAA and securing resources necessary for continued operations.

Representation

Each consortium shall provide one representative from their member libraries to the Steering Committee, who preferably served on the Action Committee, and one non-voting, ex officio consortium staff person to support the consortium’s delegation. Each consortium may also appoint a library dean from a member library to provide consultation.

Terms

Each member library representative serving on the Steering Committee shall be appointed for a two-year term and have one vote. A person may serve multiple terms.

Early termination

If a representative needs to step away from their position prior to the end of their current term, the steering committee requests the representative give a month’s notice and the consortium promptly fills their remaining term.

Proxy

Each Steering Committee member shall have a designated proxy to attend meetings in their place if they can’t attend for any reason. Proxies shall be drawn from the Action Committee. Rights and privileges of the Steering Committee member inherit to the proxy for the duration of the meeting they are present.

Chair(s)

The Chair(s) of the Steering Committee is selected from among the Committee’s representatives. The Chair(s) serve a two-year term as the Incoming Chair and then Chair. The Incoming Chairperson is elected by a vote of the Steering Committee at the end of the calendar year and begins their tenure in January.

They are responsible for preparing agendas, communicating with the Action Committee, prioritizing and vetting decision-items, and other related duties.

Meeting frequency

The Steering Committee meets quarterly unless otherwise needed for the functioning of the LAA.

The Chair(s) sends notice for agenda items and reminders of meetings at least a week prior. If a representative is unable to attend, the Committee shall solicit and endeavor to include their views and opinions.

Action Committee

The committee coordinates the working groups of the LAA. Some working groups are permanent, some may be temporary projects or initiatives. The permanent working groups are:

  • E-resource testing
  • Impact analysis of LAA work
  • Training
  • Communication and outreach
  • Website

Representation

Each LAA consortium designates and is responsible for providing a minimum of four representatives from their membership to perform the work of the Action Committee. Consortia should aim to have at least one representative on each working group.

Terms

Each member of the Action Committee will be appointed to a two-year term. A person may serve multiple terms. Each committee member has one vote.

Early termination

If a representative needs to step away from their position prior to the end of their current term, the steering committee requests the representative give a month’s notice and the consortium promptly fills their remaining term.

Chair(s)

The Chair(s) of the Action Committee are selected from among the Action Committee’s representatives and serve a two-year term, first as the Incoming Chair and then as the Chair. The Incoming Chair is elected by vote by the Action Committee at the end of the calendar year and begins their tenure in January.

The Chair(s) are responsible for preparing agendas, communicating with the Chair(s) of the Steering Committee, carrying out decisions made by the Steering Committee, and keeping the activities of LAA on schedule.

Meeting frequency

The Action Committee meets monthly unless otherwise needed for the functioning of the LAA.

The Chair(s) sends notice for agenda items and reminders of meetings with sufficient notice. If a representative is unable to attend, the Committee shall solicit and endeavor to include their views and opinions.

Voting

Participating consortia strive to reach decisions by consensus. Consensus is defined as “being at peace with the matter.” Note that some decisions or activities require acceptance by all programs to proceed (“all-in”), while other activities may be feasible if undertaken by a subset of participants (“opt-in”). The Steering Committee shall determine which decisions require all-in participation and which are feasible under an opt-in model.

Each participating consortium shall have one vote when a vote is called. Votes are successful with a minimum of 50.1% approval of the Committee. Tie votes are considered unsuccessful.

Material changes to the governing documents and processes are only made by consensus or a minimum of two-thirds of the participating members.

Administrative responsibilities distribution

The Steering Committee determines an equitable distribution of the responsibilities among the member consortia. The responsibilities are divided such that one consortium is assigned to one of the following:

  • Website hosting,
  • >Webinar management,
  • Financial and legal affairs (collect annual dues and other fees related to the activities of the LAA, sign contracts with vendors, sign statements of work and scoping documents when necessary, and provide legal advice when requested)
  • And other activities that may arise over time.