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Learn the Basics of MLA Committees
- What are committees? What do they do?
- How are committees appointed?
- What is the annual committee appointment schedule?
- What training and support do committee members get?
- Committee charges and tasks
- Ad hoc committee and task force charges and tasks
- Apply for a committee appointment (available Summer to October 31 annually)
The word "committee" includes standing committees, subcommittees, ad hoc committees, juries, editorial boards, task forces, committees of the Board of Directors, and elected committees.
- Standing committees have annual responsibilities for furthering MLA's plans, goals, strategies, programs, and projects.
- Juries recommend recipients of awards, grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
- Editorial boards are appointed to serve as peer-review and evaluation boards for MLA's publications.
- Ad hoc committees are appointed for a special purpose and are discharged when their tasks are completed.
- Task forces are appointed for a specific study or activity.
- The Executive Committee is part of the MLA Board of Directors; the Nominating Committees is elected and chooses the annual election slate.
Other committees have special tasks and advise the board of directors or the appointed officers. Full descriptions of all committee activities appear in annual activity reports.
Member volunteerism, skills, and expertise are essential to help move MLA forward! Apply annually to serve on an MLA committee:
- all MLA members are eligible to serve;
- only Voting Members may be selected as committee chairs;
- your background and skills as well as the needs of the committees are considered for appointments;
- active participation in committee work on the local, regional, or national level improves your appointment options
- applications are reviewed by current committee chairs, board members, and program staff
- The president-elect makes final committee selections
Some committees require a combination of skills and knowledge not all members possess; it is sometimes necessary to recruit certain members with unique experience and expertise to serve on specific committees.
What is the annual committee appointment schedule?
- Summer to October 31: members submit applications
- November to mid-January: applications reviewed and applicants recommended, based on member preferences, experience, and skills.
- Mid-January to February: MLA's president-elect reviews all recommendations, reconciles duplications, and makes final appointments.
- March: Staff contacts tentative committee members with "willing to serve" agreements; appointees return agreements to MLA headquarters.
- March to early April: Staff liaisons inform committee chairs of final appointments; chairs invite new committee members to next meeting (annual meeting or virtual committee meeting as appropriate).
What training and support do committee members get?
- MLA provides incoming leader support with online orientation materials, plus a face-to-face orientation at MLA's annual meeting.
- Committee chairs may also have a manual of established policies and procedures.
- The charge of each committee should be specific enough to guide the chair and committee members in a definition of their goals, while being broad enough to allow for the varied tasks each committee undertakes.
- A member of the board of directors serves as liaison to each committee, and headquarters staff members provide additional support.
Committee charges and tasks
View official committee charges (approved by MLA's Board of Directors) using the links below.
- Administrative and Board Committees
- Awards Committee and Juries
- Books Panel
- Bylaws Committee
- Continuing Education Committee
- Credentialing Committee
- Executive Committee
- Governmental Relations Committee
- Grants and Scholarships Committee and Juries
- JMLA Editorial Board
- Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lectureship Committee
- Librarians Without Borders® Advisory Committee
- Membership Committee
- MLA News Editorial Board
- National Program Committees
- Nominating Committee
- Oral History Committee
- Rising Stars Committee
- Scholarly Communications Committee
- Technology Advisory Committee
Ad Hoc committee and task force charges
- Ad Hoc Committee to Review Core Clinical Journals
- Joint MLA/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Legislative Task Force
- Strategic Priorities Task Force
- Research Imperative Task Force
- Task Force to Review MLA's Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success