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DCLA Handbook: Bylaws

Organization founded June 15, 1894

Bylaws adopted May 25, 1927

Amended Feb. 5, 1931; Mar. 5, 1931; Mar. 28, 1934; Dec. 5, 1934; Jan. 18, 1935; Dec. 17, 1935; Oct. 13, 1937; May 23, 1942; Dec. 13, 1948; Nov. 15, 1950; Apr. 30, 1952; Feb. 25, 1954; Nov. 17, 1955; June 6, 1957; May 8, 1963; May 20, 1964; Feb. 24, 1965; Apr. 22, 1970; Oct. 23, 1974; Apr. 20, 1977; May 18, 1983; May 3, 1988; May 1990; May 1992; May, 1997; May, 2000; May, 2002.


The name of this organization is the District of Columbia Library Association.


Its object is to promote and support libraries and information centers and to provide for professional development, continuing education, and collegial exchange among librarians and information specialists in Washington, D. C. and vicinity.


Any person, library, or other institution interested in librarianship is eligible for membership. The Executive Board may suspend a member for cause, after a hearing, by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Executive Board and may reinstate a member by a like or greater vote.

There shall be the following classes of members for individuals and for organizations as follow, with perquisites and dues as stated:

1. Active members: Any person active or interested in librarianship. Active members shall receive the publications of the Association specified by the Executive Board. Active members may vote and hold office.

Basic dues: $30.00

Part-time/unemployed librarian dues: $20.00

2. Associate members: Any person employed as a technician, assistant, specialist or in similar position designated as paraprofessional by their employer.

Annual dues: $20.00

3. Student members: Any person enrolled in a degree program leading to a Master's in Library Science. Membership in this category is limited to two years or length of full-time Master's in Library Science status. Student members may vote but not hold elective office.

Annual dues: $20.00

4. Continuing members: Any person who has been an active member in good standing for at least five consecutive years at the time of retirement from library service may elect to be a continuing member at any time after retirement. Continuing members shall receive the Association's newsletter and, upon request at the time of annual membership renewal, other regular publications of the Association. Continuing members may vote, but not hold elective office.

Annual dues: $20.00

5. Sustaining members: Any person active or interested in librarianship and who provides additional financial support becomes a Sustaining member of the association.

There are three categories of Sustaining members. Supporter - Annual contribution of $60-$99; Donor - Annual contribution of $100-$249; Contributor - Annual contribution of $250 or more. Sustaining members receive all Association publications. Sustaining members may vote and hold office. Names of sustaining members will be listed in Intercom or other publications of the Association as determined by the Board of Directors.

6. Institutional members: Any organization interested in libraries and librarianship may become an Institutional member of the association.

There are four categories of Institutional members. Institutional Supporter - Annual contribution of $60-$99; Institutional Donor - Annual contribution of $100-$249; Institutional Contributor - Annual contribution of $250-$499; and Institutional Sponsor - Annual contribution of $500 or more. Institutional members receive all Association publications. Names of Institutional members will be listed in Intercom or other publications of the Association as determined by the Board of Directors.

7. Honorary members:

Upon nomination by the Executive Board the Association may confer on any person the title of honorary member for life.

8. Temporary classes of membership:

A majority vote of the elected Executive Board may establish temporary categories of membership along with setting the perquisites and dues for such temporary classes. No class shall be retained for more than two years except as incorporated into the By-Laws by vote of the membership of the Association. Following the establishment of any such temporary class of membership, notice shall appear in the next published issue of Intercom.


The elected officers are a President, a President-Elect who shall serve as Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Membership Secretary who shall serve as membership records officer, and three Board Members. The officers shall be elected by ballot, all except the President for terms of two years; each shall serve until a successor is chosen, and none is eligible for reelection to a consecutive term. The Secretary, Membership Secretary, and one Board Member shall be elected in odd numbered years, and the Treasurer and two Board Members shall be elected in even numbered years. The President shall be elected annually, and shall serve the first year after election as Vice-President, the second year as President, and the third as Immediate Past President, and shall not be eligible for reelection to a consecutive term. Newly elected officers shall take office on July 1st and this date shall be considered the start of DCLA's administrative and fiscal year.

Candidates for election to the various offices shall be chosen by a Nominating Committee no member of which shall be a member of the Executive Board. The ballot shall bear also the names of any candidates nominated by petition signed by at least ten members.

The elected officers, together with the immediate past president and the ALA Chapter Councilor constitute an Executive Board. The Executive Board has the power to arrange programs, to appoint such committees as may be necessary, to appoint the Editor of the Association publications and any assistants to the Editor, and to act for the Association in all matters not reserved in these By-Laws. Five members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum.

The Association's chapter representative on the Council of the American Library Association shall be elected for the term and in the manner prescribed by the ALA Constitution and By-Laws, shall carry out the duties prescribed for such chapter representatives by the ALA Constitution and By-Laws, insure that required reports are made to the appropriate office of ALA and shall serve as a voting member of the Executive Board.

Vacancies in offices, except those of President and President-Elect, may be filled by the Executive Board for the unexpired term, except that, if the vacancy occurs during the first year of a two-year term, an officer shall be elected by ballot to fill the vacancy during the second year. If the Presidency becomes vacant, the President-Elect shall act as President for the balance of the unexpired term. If the office of President-Elect becomes vacant, a special election shall be held to fill it. In case of simultaneous vacancy in the offices of President and President-Elect, the Executive Board shall appoint one of its members to act as President until an election can be held.


Meetings of the Association shall be held at the call of the Executive Board, at such time and place as the Board may determine. A quorum for the transaction of business at such meetings shall consist of twenty-five members having the right to vote.


Amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed by the Executive Board, by a committee appointed for the purpose, or by petition signed by twenty-five members.

A proposed amendment or new by-law shall become effective when it shall have been approved by a majority of the Board followed by ratification by the members of the Association either by a vote by mail of a majority of the members of the Association voting, or by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a membership meeting of the Association.

The Executive Board, on approving a proposed amendment or new by-law, shall specify whether a vote for ratification shall be taken at a called membership meeting of the Association or by mail, and if a mail vote is ordered, the Board shall fix the time for the beginning and closing of the balloting. If a vote at a membership meeting is ordered, at least one month's written notice and the text of the proposal shall be mailed to each member. Publication in the Association newsletter fulfills the requirement that the text be mailed to each member.


Robert's Rules of Order (Revised), in the latest edition, shall govern the Association in all cases to which it can be applied and in which it is not inconsistent with these By-Laws or with special rules of order.

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