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Step-by-Step Procedures for Revising Your Chapter Bylaws

  1. Obtain the most up-to-date copy of the Model Bylaws for Use by Chapters. You can determine if the version you are currently using is the most up-to-date by contacting the Bylaws Committee Chair or Mary Langman at MLA headquarters. It is also useful to have a copy of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.
  2. Prepare a draft of your bylaws revisions. Consult, as appropriate, the Model Bylaws and Robert's Rules of Order. Strive for clarity and avoid any statements that may be subject to varying interpretations. Contact the MLA Bylaws Committee Chair if you have questions or wish to discuss your approach.
  3. Send the draft of your bylaws revisions to the MLA Bylaws Committee Chair. Indicate the new language, and also the old language that is in the process of being revised. Allow a minimum of four to six weeks for the MLA Bylaws Committee to review your bylaws.
  4. Revise your bylaws according to the recommendations of the MLA Bylaws Committee and resubmit them as directed by the MLA Bylaws Committee Chair.
  5. Make final revisions recommended by the MLA Bylaws Committee as directed by the MLA Bylaws Committee Chair.
  6. Follow the procedure in your bylaws for amending your bylaws. This procedure will involve prior written notification to the members of your chapter or section and a two-thirds vote of approval by the voting members.
  7. Send your bylaws to the MLA Bylaws Committee Chair noting any amendments that were made by your members during the voting process. The MLA Bylaws Committee must review these amendments before issuing final approval of your bylaws. If there were no amendments and you received tentative approval from the Bylaws Committee after an earlier review, you may consider your bylaws approved.
  8. Send the bylaws that have been approved by your members and by the MLA Bylaws Committee to:
  • MLA Headquarters
  • MLA Bylaws Committee Chair
  • MLA Council Chair
  • Chapter or Section Archives Chair

We recommend that you keep a log of revision dates attached to your bylaws.