BCALS Constitution and Bylaws

BCLA’s Constitution

    The name of the Organization shall be the BC Academic Libraries Section, also known and herein referred to as BCALS, a Section of the British Columbia Library Association.
    The purpose of BCALS is to promote the exchange of ideas among all academic library workers and to provide a network of professional expertise resulting in excellent programs, initiatives and services in the post-secondary libraries of British Columbia.

This purpose will be accomplished in harmony with the objectives of the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) and its general purpose as  appropriate. The specific goals to achieve this purpose are:

a) To promote communications among academic library workers in BC libraries.
b) To provide a forum for discussion of academic library issues in BC libraries.
c) To increase awareness among academic library workers of collections, facilities and services within BC libraries.
d) To provide for the improvement and development of reference and other academic library services in BC
e) To facilitate the sharing of ideas, techniques and methods that have proven successful in delivery of academic library work in BC libraries.
f) To promote relevant continuing education programs through association with BCLA.
g) To maintain efficient and effective use of funds required in support of these goals.

The activities of the BC Academic Libraries Section shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Society Act, SBC 2015, c.18, the Constitutions and By-Laws of the British Columbia Library Association, and the policies and procedures of the Association as established by the Board of Directors.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Organization

BCALS recognizes, acknowledges, and strives to actively reconcile the current and historical role that academic libraries have played in a system that oppresses 2SLGBTQIA+ people, Indigenous people, Black people, people of colour, and other marginalized people. BCALS also recognizes and acknowledges that its membership lives and works on Indigenous lands throughout what is also known as British Columbia, and it supports this membership in developing an understanding, knowledge, and structure of practice that is focused on an intersectional understanding of equity, inclusion, and diversity.

It strives to conduct its work and meet its goals with these principles in mind, and it commits to education, action, and accountability regarding complicity in the unjust, oppressive, and racist systems that define professional spaces, specifically within the context of academic libraries in British Columbia.

Approved at the BCALS Annual General Meeting, June 23, 2021.

The BCALS Constitution PDF file can be found here.



    Organization means the BC Academic Libraries Section, a section of the British Columbia Library Association. Association means the British Columbia Library Association. Executive means the Officers of the organization for the time being. Majority means a simple majority of 50% or more (plus one) of the individual members.
      Individual members are defined as those who have registered as members in good standing with the Association; and who have identified their desire to become members of the Organization by joining the Section using the MyBCLA dashboard.
      Individuals who are not members of the Association, but who identify themselves to the Executive in an appropriate manner may participate in meetings and workshops. Interested individuals may receive communications and minutes when these communications are distributed at functions that they attend. However, these individuals are not entitled to hold office, to vote on formal motions or issues, to receive financial reimbursement, or to other rights of members defined in the By-Laws.
    1. Members’ rights include the right to vote, the right to hold office, the right to receive meeting minutes and general communications, and the rights to full benefits that may be provided by the Organization.
    1. The Officers of the Organization shall consist of the Chairperson, Chair-Elect, Recording Secretary, two to three Continuing Education Coordinators, and two or more Student Representatives. The Officers will collectively be called the Executive. Members of the Association in good standing who are also members of the Organization may hold office.
    1. The Chairperson shall serve a one (1) year term with this year occurring in the year following a term as Chair-Elect.
    2. The Chair-Elect shall serve a one (1) year term preceding a term to be served as Chairperson.
    3. The Recording Secretary shall serve a one (1) year term of office and may hold office for up to three consecutive terms.
    4. The Continuing Education Coordinators shall serve two (2) year terms of office and may each hold office for up to three consecutive terms.
    5. The Student Representatives shall serve a one (1) year term of office and may each hold office for up to three consecutive terms as long as they maintain student status for the majority of the term. Student Representatives shall be students who are either residing in BC, pursuing a degree or diploma in library and information studies or library technology from a program based in BC, or both.
    6. The Officers shall hold office until the end of the Annual General Meeting or until such time as their successors are elected or appointed, whichever is the lesser date.
    7. Any person ceasing to be a member in good standing of the Association shall also cease to be an officer of the Organization.
    8. An office will be deemed vacant upon: a) written notice of resignation delivered to the Executive; b) the effective date of a special resolution for removal from office passed by a majority vote of at least seventy-five percent (75%) of members present at a meeting; c) the death or incapacitation of an officer.
    9. The Executive may fill vacancies among the Officers by appointment, with such appointees to act until the next Annual General Meeting.
    1. The Chair-Elect will act as Returning Officer and Nominations Committee to: a) prepare a suggested slate of Officers for election, and b) to run the election of new Officers at the Annual General Meeting.
    2. If there is more than one nomination for a ballot, the Returning Officer may at their discretion use a ballot, a show of hands, or electronic vote to determine the new elected Officer by a simple majority vote.
    3. In the case of a tied vote, the Returning Officer shall have the deciding final tie breaking vote.
    1.  The Chairperson
      The Chairperson, also known as the Chair, shall be the responsible Executive member for the Organization. The Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Organization at which they are present. The Chair shall work with other Officers of the Executive to ensure that the Organization’s objectives are set and business is done. The Chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of all of the Organization’s Committees. The Chair will ensure communication and liaison with the Association and other external agencies as required. The Chair will prepare the agenda for all meetings and will provide a Chair’s Report on the general state of the Organization at the Annual General Meeting.
    2. The Chair-Elect
      The Chair-Elect shall assist the Chairperson in their duties and shall preside at meetings of the Organization in the absence of the Chair. The Chair-Elect shall also perform the duties of and exercise the power of the Chair in the Chair’s absence or disability. The Chair-Elect shall work as a general Executive Member with specific responsibility for maintaining membership records and membership recruitment. The Chair-Elect will also monitor the financial records of the Organization in coordination with the Association’s Treasurer. The Chair-Elect will also act as the Returning Officer during elections.
    3. The Recording Secretary
      The Recording Secretary will maintain records of meetings and business and maintain the safe custody of these minutes. The Recording Secretary will ensure communication to members, the Association, and other agencies as appropriate.
    4. Continuing Education Coordinators
      The Continuing Education Coordinators shall review various programs and educational ideas and recommend these to the Executive for approval. Continuing Education Coordinators may strike and will work with committee(s) to establish workshops and other educational activities and opportunities for members. Continuing Education Coordinators bring important topics to the Executive for review and approval.
    5. Student Representatives
      The Student Representatives shall serve as liaisons with library education programs in BC, raising awareness of BCALS events and issues. In coordination with the rest of the Executive, they will also be primarily responsible for BCALS social media accounts and activity.
    1. Whenever possible, the Annual General Meeting shall be held during the Association’s annual conference. Notice of time and place of the Annual General Meeting shall be given to all members at least one (1) month prior to the meeting.
    2. At the Annual General Meeting there shall be the following reports: A Chairperson’s Report; A Financial Report; An Educational Coordinators’ Report; A Membership Report; Other special reports as may be decided.
    3. Election of new Officers of the Organization shall take place at the Annual General Meeting. The Chair-Elect shall be the Returning Officer.
    4. A Special Meeting may be called by a written request to the Executive of at least twenty (20%) percent of the membership.
    5. The Executive has the prerogative to call a special Annual General Meeting and/or Special Meeting as needed.
    6. A meeting quorum shall be considered met when at least twelve (12) Members including three or more Executive Officers are present.
    7. Members may attend and participate in meetings remotely.
    1. Individual Members in good standing are eligible to vote.
    2. Proxy votes will be accepted provided they are in writing, dated, and signed by an individual member.
    3. Proxy votes must be received by the Executive prior to the vote being taken. Membership status needs to be validated prior to the vote.
    4. The Executive has the prerogative to run a paper and/or electronic vote.
    1. The Organization shall maintain records of meetings and of financial transactions in accordance with the Association’s practices.
    2. The Executive has the power to make special one-time charges for special events or workshops.
    3. Any additional fees required for the operation of the Organization must be taken to the membership at a meeting and must be approved by a majority of members present.
    4. The Executive in general and the Chair-Elect specifically will be responsible for the safe care, use, and dispersal of any funds received from the Association or from any other source.
    1. In addition to the Association’s By-Law provisions on dissolution of sections, the dissolution of this Organization will occur if there are fewer than ten (10) individual members in the Organization and at least sixty-five (65%) percent of these members vote to dissolve the Organization.
    2. Upon dissolution of the Organization, any assets and property will be conveyed to the general revenue of the Association.
    1. The Constitution and By-Laws shall be decided upon and remain in effect according to a majority vote of at least seventy-five percent (75%) of members present at a meeting called for this purpose.
    2. Any changes to the Constitution will only occur at the Annual General Meeting, or at a Special Meeting called for this purpose.
    3.  Any change to the Constitution or By-Laws will require a written notice of proposed changes. Such notice shall be given at least one (1) month prior to the meeting called for this purpose.
    4. Resolutions are not taken from the floor.
    5. Changes to the Constitution and By-Laws will require a majority vote of at least seventy-five (75%) percent among a quorum of members, and must be in accordance with the Association’s Constitutional requirements.

Approved at the BCALS Annual General Meeting, June 23, 2021.

The BCALS Bylaws PDF file can be found here.


Join the Conversation

Check out what everyone is discussing over on the forum BC Academic Libraries Section here. Must be a member of BCLA or a forum member to view & discuss.