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Library Committees

Committees in the University Libraries

 

Committees are an important part of the governance structure of the University Libraries. They provide an opportunity for library faculty and staff to have input into the decision making process for the organization. They are a mechanism for giving voice to the ideas and opinions of faculty and staff.  Most University Libraries committees are made up of both faculty and staff. The chair of the committee will be appointed by the Dean of University Libraries and may be a faculty or staff member. Committee appointments are normally made at the beginning of the fiscal year and last for a two year term.  Mid-term appointments may be made when new people join the organization or when faculty or staff depart.  

There are currently four types of committees within the University Libraries: Standing Committees; Functional Committees; Search Committees; and Working Groups or Task Forces.  Standing Committees are those that exist and continue to operate year after year.  They are charged with addressing many of the ongoing concerns of the libraries.  Any faculty or staff member can be assigned to any standing committee at the discretion of the Dean.  Functional Committees exist to address a particular task/issue that is a part of the job responsibility of each of the individuals appointed to the committee. Typically, functional committees will have a representative from each department within the University Libraries. The Department Head usually identifies the departmental representative who is then appointed to the committee by the Dean of University Libraries. Search Committees are established to work through the process of filling vacant positions.  The life of the search committee is linked to the length of time it takes to complete the process of filling a position.  Search Committees operate from the time approval is given to fill the vacancy to the time a finalist has accepted an offered position. Working Groups, sometimes called task forces are created to address a specific short term need.  They are given a specific task to accomplish and they cease to exist once that task is completed.  If it is determined that the work of the task force/work group needs to be ongoing, it will be assigned to an existing Standing committee if an appropriate committee is already in place.  If no standing committee seems to be the appropriate home for work originally undertaken by a working group, a new standing Committee might be established.

 

Standing Committees and Search committees will have 4 or 5 members. The members of Standing Committees have staggered terms to preserve the continuity of the work of the committee. The typical appointment to a Standing Committee will be for 2 years. Functional Committees typically have one representative from each University Libraries’ department.  The members serve on the committee for as long as they fulfill that function within their department. Search Committee members serve for the term of the search.  The work of the search committee ends when a successful finalist is chosen and a letter of acceptance is executed. Work groups may have any number of members depending on the nature and duration the task.

 

The frequency of Committee meetings is dictated by the task at hand. Some committees will need to meet more frequently than others. All committees should meet at least once each quarter. At the end of the year (June 30th), each committee chair is expected to submit a written report detailing the year’s work of his/her committee. This report will also be posted to the intranet along with the minutes. Should there be any overlap between committees, the committee chairs are expected to communicate to avoid duplication of effort.

 

 

November 2010


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