CALL Leadership Training Day

By Clare Gaynor Willis, CALL Secretary, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

CALL Board members and committee chairs met at DLA Piper on August 7, 2014 for CALL’s annual leadership training session. CALL President Margaret Schilt started the meeting by reporting on her experiences at the AALL Chapter Leadership Summit, Chapter Leadership Training, and business meeting of the Council of Chapter Presidents. Margaret shared what she learned about leadership from the presenter at the chapter summit, Mark Levin. She told the group that Levin emphasized finding ways to use a member’s unique skills even if the volunteer opportunity does not match the usual model of a year-long project or commitment. Margaret said Levin also stressed asking people personally and thanking members for their service.

Those present had several ideas on how to achieve those goals. People liked the idea of spreading out commitments over the course of the year, noting that CALL committee work is often front-loaded in the beginning of the CALL year. Several members wanted CALL to emphasize how involvement with CALL would help members at their jobs. Margaret then noted all of the different ways that CALL already succeeds as an organization: strong chapter identity, quality programming, affiliation, and strength of spokespeople who speak for CALL in larger forums.

Margaret and Debbie Ginsberg then shared some insights from Debbie’s AALL presentation on suggestions for how committee chairs can create engagement. Debbie said that her talk emphasized giving people yearlong assignments, but Margaret and Debbie agreed that there should be room for many different time commitments. Debbie also emphasized the importance of documenting the work of your committee, especially a timeline, for the sake of future committee members and chairs.

Margaret then discussed ways that CALL could collaborate with other groups. She noted that vendors might be called upon to sponsor events other than business meetings. She also suggested getting articles from past Bulletin issues republished elsewhere.

Discussion turned to the upcoming Mid-America Association of Law Libraries (MAALL) meeting in Chicago October 5-7, 2014. Margaret noted that CALL members will pay the CALL member rate and that grant money is available from CALL to attend.

Margaret next reported on the legal issues addressed at the chapter leadership training. She reminded those present that CALL cannot formally lobby, endorse any candidate, or take any collective action against a vendor, like a boycott. Kevin McClure noted that the Illinois Library Association does have a lobbyist, Kip Kolkmeier, who spoke at a CALL business meeting last year and is effective in pursuing CALL’s interests. Margaret added that she learned that if a person is recognizable in a photograph, you need that person’s permission to publish the photograph.

Margaret finished by discussing the Council of Chapter Presidents business meeting. She noted that AALL revised its Bylaws to add “or gender identity” to the anti-discrimination provisions of the Bylaws, and noted that CALL’s Bylaws must conform to AALL’s. Margaret, JoAnn, and Frank Drake discussed the timing of the CALL Bylaws election and whether CALL would use AALL’s election platform or Survey Monkey. JoAnn also added that Holly Riccio, AALL President, created an initiative to develop a “mini MBA” for librarians who want to go into leadership roles in their organization and not necessarily directorship.

After a break, Margaret and those present reviewed the CALL Handbook, Bylaws, policies, and committee descriptions and charges. Margaret noted that the Bylaws provide that no committee shall incur expenses except as authorized by the Board. She reminded the committee chairs that they need to have all expenses outside of their normal budgeted expenses approved by their Board liaison. Margaret added that the Handbook requires committees to also consult with their liaison when they want to do something that is outside of their committee’s charge.

Margaret then reviewed the CALL Handbook. Stephanie Crawford, CALL Treasurer, spoke briefly about the payment request form. She emphasized that the chair of the committee and either Margaret or the committee’s Board liaison need to sign the form. Stephanie noted that if she is a committee’s Board liaison, they need Margaret to sign the form instead. She also pointed out that all of the signing can be handled electronically by scanning and emailing the form. Margaret also reminded everyone present that all surveys of the membership have to be approved by the Board liaison and conducted through CALL’s Survey Monkey account.

Margaret next explained the Policy Log as a record of CALL policy dating back to 1997. She said that the Corporate Memory Committee goes through the Executive Board meeting minutes to record new and changed policies in the Policy Log. She also noted that the Policy Log will indicate the date of all changes. She encouraged the Committee Chairs and Board members to look at their section of the Policy Log to see the policies and how they have changed.

After Margaret handed out copies of each committee’s charge, individual committee chairs met with each other and with their Board liaisons. Committee chairs also met with other committee chairs who shared a related charge.

The training adjourned at 11:30am.