22:3 (2007:09) 22nd Conference (2007): Brainstorming Session

September 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Brainstorming, Conference Reports | Leave a comment

NOTES FROM BRAINSTORMING SESSION ON “WHY IS IT DIFFICULT TO GET PEOPLE TO RUN FOR EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF NASIG?”
Joyce Tenney, NASIG Secretary

Session held June 2, 2007 from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. during the NASIG Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, and moderated by Katy Ginanni.

Approximately 90 people attended the brainstorming session.

Ginanni thanked all for coming and opened the discussion with the following two questions:

1. Why do you think people choose not to run for vice president/president-elect and treasurer?
2. What would it take for you to run, or what would make it easier to hold office?

There was discussion of the Nominations & Elections Committee’s (N&E) procedures and ground rules for the discussion.  Ginanni noted that the N&E Committee had received 30 nomination forms this year.  There were 16 nominations for VP/PE (a total of 8 people) and all declined to run.  There were 9 nominations for treasurer and 2 accepted.  N&E did eventually get one nominee willing to run for VP/PE, and then a petition candidate was added.  Katy asked why we were not getting more candidates for these offices.

Some comments from the floor were:

  • The reason NASIG members don’t run is the amount of work required.
  • Unclear about how to get enough experience to qualify to run.
  • Need to know more about the N&E process.  What is weighed the most heavily in evaluating nominees?  What NASIG path is needed to make it on the ballot? 
  • There is a perception that being VP/PE or treasurer is a huge job. Need a way to get past the perception and make it more clear what the time commitments are for each position.
  • Some had been nominated several times, but never made it to the ballot.  More information is needed to clarify the N&E procedures and evaluation process.  This should be provided on a yearly basis; treat each year like an incoming class of students and repeat the education process every year.
  • Misperception that it is a closed loop. Need to let all members know that everyone is eligible and encouraged to put their name forward.  Need to educate members on process. Ginanni reminded everyone that the board does not approve the slate of candidates that N&E presents.  The Nominations & Elections Committee is entirely in charge of that process.
  • When nominees are contacted they should be given information on the time commitments and a contact of a former board member in that position to discuss the job and any concerns.

Several past presidents and officers spoke to the rewards and work involved in the positions and how they managed the workloads.

Ginanni introduced the idea of hiring an association manager at some point in the future for NASIG administrative functions.  There was a discussion of what an association manager would do, how it might be funded and the possible need for new revenue sources.

Other ideas from the floor on this topic were:

  • Florida Library Association has such a manager; NASIG might want to look at their model.
  • Maybe need to rethink duties of VP/PE and treasurer; may need to add a position to make workload more manageable.
  • Possibly find a retired NASIG member that would be willing to work part time or volunteer time to assist these positions.
  • Maybe it is time to re-evaluate the founding principles.  Can the non-commercialism ban be discussed in the context of raising money?

Time ran short for the discussion and Novak announced that the notes of the meeting would be posted on either the NASIG Moodle site or the NASIG blog, so the discussion could continue.  Ginanni noted that the Nominations & Elections procedures documents will be posted on NASIG’s website, so members can see the process and continue the conversation.  

All were thanked for attending and the discussion will continue after the conference.

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