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Establishing a New Special Interest Group

MLA Sections have been designed to recognize most special interests within MLA. However, there are groups which have found it difficult to meet the minimum requirements for Section status and/or to sustain the leadership effort required for full representation via official Section status. MLA Special Interest Groups provide a forum for members with relatively unique interests to identify and meet with others with similar interests without having to fulfill the governance requirements of Sections.

See a current list of special interest groups and their websites. Complete lists of SIG officers are available in SIG communities. If you need a SIG member roster, visit the community page for the SIG or contact the convener.

SIG Procedures and Policies

The Special Interest Group Manual provides SIG conveners and potential SIG conveners with everything they need to know about SIGs, including information on SIG formation, compliance, required reports, and more.

The Section/SIG Program Planners’ Manual provides all the details of planning programs for the annual meeting.

Check List for Conveners and Section/SIG Review Committee Members

This checklist highlights the procedures for establishing a new Special Interest Group described in full in the Special Interest Group Manual. Questions about SIGs and the approval process not addressed in the Manual should be directed to the Chair of the Section Council Section/SIG Review Committee.

  1. Submission of a Statement of Purpose
    Procedure and Deadline – the Statement must be submitted to the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee by January 1st for consideration that calendar year.
  2. Identification of convener or co-conveners
    Procedure and Deadline – names should be submitted with the Statement to the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee also by January 1st.
  3. Advisement on the approval process
    Procedure and Deadline – the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee advises convener(s). This is an ongoing dialog that should commence as soon as feasible after receipt of Statement and name(s) of convener(s).
  4. Statement distribution to Section Council
    Procedure – the Statement is distributed to all Section Council representatives. Representatives discuss with their leadership and forward comments to the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee. Comments are in turn sent to the convener(s).
    Deadline – The Section Council Chair, at the request of the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee, distributes the Statement of Purpose to the Section Council and Section Chairs listservs for review. Comments received will be forwarded to the convener(s) within one month of the mailing.
  5. Petition
    Procedure and Deadline – the petition must be signed by a minimum of 15 MLA members and should be based on the final version of the Statement of Purpose. Names representing signatures to the petition may be collected at any time thereafter.
  6. Statement/Petition Review
    Procedure – The final version of the Statement and signed petition are submitted to the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee. The Committee verifies procedural compliance and forwards documentation to the Section Council Chair.
    Deadline – the Committee will complete its review within one month of receipt.
  7. Approval Vote
    Procedure – The Statement is presented to Council representatives for a vote. Following the vote, the Chair of the Section/SIG Review Committee notifies the convener(s).
    Deadline – The Council vote is scheduled as soon as possible after the Section/SIG Review Committee review. Notification of voting results will be communicated immediately to the convener(s).