22:4 (2007:12) Deciding to Run for the NASIG Board as a Petition Candidate

December 11, 2007 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Elections | Leave a comment

Jill Emery, NASIG Vice President/President-Elect

Petition candidacy is a relatively new development in NASIG and not many have taken advantage of running for the NASIG board using this mechanism. However, petition candidates who have run using this method have been elected in the past two elections, including myself.

In 2006, I used the petition process to get my name on the ballot for the NASIG vice president/president-elect position. For the 2006 election, I had been nominated and gone through the usual vetting process by the Nominations & Elections Committee but did not make the final ballot. Since my board term as member-at-large was up and my other national and state commitments were ending shortly, I decided to go ahead and attempt to petition onto the ballot. I was able to obtain the needed signatures and did end up on the ballot but lost the election.

For the 2007 election, the Nominations & Elections Committee approached me to run for the NASIG vice president/president-elect position. However, I had recently changed jobs and had quite a bit on my plate in regards to the job I had moved into at the University of Texas at Austin Libraries. There was also the consideration that, in the short term, my job position might change to take on even more responsibility. Therefore, I ended up declining the opportunity to go through the normal vetting process for the vice president/president-elect position given the uncertainty of my job status. After the ballot came out, I was contacted by a few NASIG colleagues about their concern that there was only one name appearing on the ballot for the position of NASIG vice president/president-elect.

During the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, Washington, I heard further comments in this regard and was encouraged by numerous NASIG members to consider running as a petition candidate again. At this point, the changes I had anticipated with my job had occurred and I had a much better idea of the demands the job would have on my professional involvement. Given the encouragement I was receiving and knowing that most of my current professional commitments would all be ending in the summer of 2007, I agreed to run as a petition candidate so that there would be a choice for the NASIG membership to make. Once again, the required signatures were obtained and submitted and I ended up again on the ballot. To be perfectly honest, I thought this election would go much like the one from the previous year and was completely shocked to receive the call stating I had won the general membership vote.

Therefore, I encourage NASIG members to consider the petition process as a way to get onto the ballot for any of the NASIG board positions being sought. Also, I highly recommend obtaining signatures during the ALA Midwinter Conference since many of your colleagues will be in attendance there and can be found readily to sign your petition. It helps to have one colleague take on the signature gathering for you as well so that they can, in effect, campaign on your behalf. In the end, the petition process has been successful for at least a couple of candidates and has become a viable option for being elected to the NASIG board.


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