The Nevada Library Association's first constitution and bylaws were adopted June 4, 1946. They were amended in 1961, 1963, 1968, 1969, and in 1972, in which a major overhaul which merged the bylaws and constitution occurred. Another major rewriting of the bylaws took place in 1977, at which time the basic structure of the board of trustees and the constituent groups was changed and the bylaws amended to conform with those changes. A bylaws committee has been a fixture of the association since its earliest years, although it was called the constitution and bylaws committee until 1972.
NLA Handbooks have been published in 1957, 1965, 1970, 1980, 1987, 1991, 1996 and revised in 1998. Earlier handbooks were apparently produced by separate committees (the 1974 handbook was the product of a committee chaired by Dick Pressley), but after 1977, the handbook became the responsibility of the bylaws committee. In l987, Susan Stewart, then the executive secretary, input the Handbook in a software package on a microcomputer in order to make it easier to update. Currently, the Handbook is in WordPerfect 5.1 format.
PURPOSE AND DUTIES
The purpose of the bylaws committee is to initiate, review and publish proposed bylaws amendments and handbook changes and to incorporate approved changes into the bylaws and the handbook. The executive secretary is an ex-officio member of the bylaws committee. In addition, the bylaws chairperson appoints two other committee members.
1. The chairperson interprets the instructions of the board of trustees to the committee.
2. The chairperson supervises the work of the committee in fulfilling its responsibilities.
AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS
1. Amendments to the bylaws can only be approved by the membership of NLA, so unless a special meeting of the membership is called or a special ballot carried out, amendments are approved once a year at the annual meeting.
2. The bylaws committee is responsible for seeing that proposed amendments to the bylaws are brought before the membership at the annual meeting in the manner designated in the bylaws. Amendments may be proposed in the following ways:
a. The board of trustees may ask the bylaws committee to draw up proposed amendments or draft major revisions to the bylaws in response to perceived problems.
b. The board of trustees may refer drafted amendments to the bylaws committee for further action.
c. The president may refer to the bylaws committee proposed amendments signed by ten members of the association.
3. The bylaws committee drafts proposed amendments to meet problems to which their attention has been directed or which they perceive as a result of an examination of the bylaws.
4. The bylaws committee reviews any amendments proposed by others with regard to possible conflict with other sections of the bylaws.
5. If the bylaws committee finds that amendments proposed by others conflict with other sections of the bylaws, it drafts a statement describing the perceived conflicts, and if possible, proposed alternative amendments which have the same effect as the original proposal but which do not conflict with the bylaws.
6. All proposed amendments to the bylaws plus any statements related to those amendments must be distributed to the membership at least 30 days before the meeting at which they are to be discussed. They may be published in the Nevada Libraries or the bylaws committee can send out proposed amendments separately to the membership, provided that such an expenditure has been approved by the board of trustees.
7. The chairperson of the bylaws committee attends all meetings of the board and of the membership at which amendments to the bylaws are to be discussed, and must be prepared to answer questions regarding the proposed amendments.
8. Only those members present who have paid their membership dues for the year beginning January 1st immediately preceding the annual meeting are eligible to vote on proposed amendments. A three-fourths vote of eligible members present is required to amend the proposed amendment(s). A three-fifths vote of eligible members present is required to approve amendment(s).
9. Once amendments to the bylaws have been approved by the membership, the bylaws committee prepares a revised DATED version of the bylaws incorporating the changes within one month of approval. The revised bylaws are then forwarded to the executive secretary for further action (preferably publication in the Nevada Libraries).
10. Editorial changes approved by the board or the membership are incorporated into revised bylaws following the next annual meeting (see #9 above).
RULES OF PROCEDURE OF CONSTITUENT GROUPS
The NLA Bylaws specifies:
ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATION. Section 2. Constituent Groups. ...Each constituent group shall be governed by its own rules of procedure, which shall not be in conflict with these bylaws.
1. When a new constituent group has been approved by the board of trustees, the board asks that group to draw up its rules of procedure and forward them to the bylaws committee for review.
2. The bylaws committee is responsible for seeing that the rules of procedure are received. It then reviews the rules for possible conflict with the association's bylaws. If any conflict arises, the constituent group is informed and requested to make appropriate changes.
3. The bylaws committee reports its action and results at the next board meeting. The board votes whether to accept constituent group's rules of procedure.
4. When the members of a constituent group approve amendments to their rules of procedure, the amendments must be reviewed by the bylaws committee according to the same procedure as outlined above.
CHANGES TO THE HANDBOOK
1. Any NLA member may initiate a change in the NLA Handbook by submitting the proposed change in writing to the board of trustees. The board may provisionally accept a change by referral to the bylaws committee. Upon report of the bylaws committee, a change may be approved by majority vote of the board.
2. Approved changes shall be printed for distribution to all holders of affected sections of the NLA Handbook.
3. The executive secretary shall maintain the official copy and the distribution list of the NLA Handbook.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE HANDBOOK
1. The bylaws committee is responsible for keeping the handbook up to date with the assistance of the executive secretary.
2. A minimum of eleven copies of the handbook are maintained. The executive secretary holds the master copy. The remaining copies are distributed to:
Library Planning Committee
A copy of the handbook is also on deposit with each of the three district representatives and at the Nevada State Library and Archives.
3. By November 1st, the executive secretary sends out copies of the relevant handbook pages to all officers, along with the roster, master calendar, the association's bylaws and other information pertinent to their offices. A copy of the chapter on the board of trustees is sent to all voting board members, including ex-officio ones.
4. At the time of the annual meeting, the executive secretary secures the return of all complete copies of the handbook, with the exception of the one held by the bylaws committee. The copies are checked to make sure that they include the latest handbook changes. They are then forwarded to the newly appointed or elected officers.
5. At the same time, the executive secretary requests all outgoing officers to send in suggestions for handbook changes. The replies are forwarded to the bylaws committee.
6. The bylaws committee reviews the suggestions for changes in the handbook and prepares them for presentation to the board of trustees at its midwinter meeting. The committee then hands its copy of the handbook and the proposed changes over to the new committee.
7. The new bylaws committee chairperson appears before the board of trustees as it considers the proposed handbook changes. If possible, the former chairperson should also be present to answer any questions.
8. Upon approval, the bylaws committee prepares replacement pages for all changes and forwards them to the executive secretary.
9. The executive secretary makes copies of the replacement pages and forwards them to all holders of complete handbooks and any affected officers, along with instructions as to which pages they replace.
10. The bylaws committee's copy of the handbook is displayed every year at the annual meeting for comments and suggestions from the membership.
11. Any changes recommended during the year are incorporated into the procedure outlined above. (See also Executive Secretary).
12. The chairperson of the bylaws committee answers all questions directed to him\her regarding the casual interpretation of the bylaws and handbook. Should any portions be unclear, the bylaws committee drafts an opinion, which is presented to the board of trustees at its next meeting. Upon approval, the opinion is then translated into a proposed bylaws amendment, or incorporated into the handbook, according to the procedures outlined above.
Revised at the 10/8/10 Board Meeting