As I sit writing my column for the final issue of this year’s Medium I find it hard to believe that my tenure as president is quickly coming to an end. It has been a pleasure serving the chapter and working with colleagues across Texas, especially Vice President/President Elect Sam Duncan. The chapter will be in good hands under Sam’s guidance in 2007.
Our progressive meeting beginning in Austin, traveling to San Marcos, and then on to San Antonio allowed attendees to explore a wide variety of cultural institutions in three notable Texas cities. As always the meeting provided a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with colleagues.
I would like to acknowledge chapter members Craig Bunch, Beth Dodd, Sam Duncan, Mark Pompelia, and Laura Schwartz for assisting with the planning process and Beth Dodd and husband Greg Smith, Carla Ellard, Selene Hinojosa, and Karen Sigler for generously hosting portions of the weekend’s activities.
You can read summaries of the various activities submitted by chapter members in attendance elsewhere in this issue.
I would like to follow up with you regarding a number of items addressed by the chapter at our most recent meeting.
As most of you are now aware, membership in our chapter is contingent on membership in ARLIS/NA. During the course of this year I have been working closely with South Regional Representative Heather Ball to encourage communication between chapters and ARLIS/NA Headquarters regarding membership issues not only so that chapters can ensure that members are in compliance with their own bylaws—as well as ARLIS/NA’s bylaws—but also so chapters and ARLIS/NA can work in concert to support recruitment efforts. At this time I do not feel that a sufficient solution has been implemented, and I am committed to continuing a dialog with the ARLIS/NA Board and Headquarters to encourage necessary and positive change.
In the meantime, if you have renewed your chapter membership but have not renewed your membership in ARLIS/NA I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. ARLIS/NA’s membership form is available online.
Chapter liability has become a topic of discussion in the wake of the ARLIS/NA Chapter Affiliation Agreement. The agreement codifies in legal terms the relationship between chapters and ARLIS/NA so that ARLIS/NA will not be held liable for an individual chapter’s actions.
Following our chapter meeting, I contacted ARLIS/NA Executive Director Elizabeth Clarke via the chapter officer listserv to find out whether chapter officers might be covered under the ARLIS/NA insurance umbrella.
In Elizabeth Clarke’s response on 10/25/06, she stated that “... it [ARLIS/NA’s insurance policy] doesn't cover chapter officers because they are not part of the Governing body of ARLIS/NA. They are the Governing body of the chapter. So unfortunately, no, Chapter officers are not covered by the ARLIS/NA insurance coverage.”
This fact brings to the fore the potential risk chapter officers face if something were to occur that might prompt legal action against the chapter. I have done some preliminary investigation into non-profit unincorporated entities and their legal status as noted in the President’s Column appearing in v. 32: 2 of The Medium. Since then it has come to my attention that the Texas Library Association offers its members professional liability insurance at a very reasonable rate.
Further investigation into the matter of liability insurance for chapter officers and how best to approach the need once a risk assessment has been completed will continue into 2007.
Serving as an ARLIS/Texas-Mexico chapter officer over the last four years has helped me fine tune my leadership skills and has allowed me to cultivate important relationships with colleagues from a variety of institutions.
Thank you to all the members who put their trust in my abilities and as a result helped me grow professionally. I am indebted to my most immediate predecessors Mark Pompelia, Jon Evans, and Laura Schwartz whose standards for service I aspired to meet while in office.
Thanks to chapter Treasurer Craig Bunch for his unflagging service, congratulations and thanks to incoming Secretary Catherine Essinger for stepping in and taking the annual meeting minutes in San Antonio, and thanks to Sam Duncan for his commitment to the chapter as not only Vice President/President Elect but also as the chapter’s indefatigable Webmaster.
Finally I want to acknowledge South Regional Representative Heather Ball. Heather has been a model regional representative providing a conduit for communication between the chapter, the Board, and Headquarters. I've been able to rely on her for guidance and sage advice throughout the year.
It has been a pleasure serving as the chapter’s president in 2006; I look forward to fulfilling my role as past president in the coming year.Elizabeth Schaub