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Banner: Council of Federal Libraries

Bylaws

Preamble

The Council of Federal Libraries (CFL) is an organization of federal libraries established in 1976 by the National Librarian of Canada as a means of coordinating library services in departments, branches and agencies of the Government of Canada.

The Council recognizes two interdependent factors:

  1. the leading role of the National Library in coordinating and supporting access to Canada's published heritage, resource sharing and library development among Canadian libraries, and

  2. the need for cooperation and concerted action within the community of federal libraries across Canada.

The Council's purpose is to improve the utilization of federal library resources and facilities through coordination and sharing of resources; to advise the National Librarian on matters related to library services and access to information within the federal government; and to promote communication, cooperation and professional development among federal library staff. The Council also serves as a forum for discussion of federal library, information and information technology policies, programs and procedures to inform the Government of Canada. A major goal of the Council is to promote the most cost-effective and efficient information services possible to the staff of parent agencies, other government agencies, and the nation at large.

The bylaws are established by the Council of Federal Libraries for the purpose of governing the organization and cooperation of CFL as it functions under the authority of the National Librarian as identified in Article 7(2) of the National Library Act and with the cooperation of other federal agencies.

  1. Name

    The name of this body is Council of Federal Libraries, hereinafter referred to as the "the Council".

  2. Legislative Authority

    The Council was created by the National Librarian under the authority of the National Library Act, Article 7(2):

    Article 7:

    (2) Subject to the direction of the Governor in Council, the National Librarian may coordinate the library services of departments, branches and agencies of the Government of Canada including:

    (a) the acquisition and cataloguing of books;

    (b) the supply of professional advice, supervision and personnel; and

    (c) the provision of modern information storage and retrieval services including photocopying and microfilming services, electronic and other automated data processing services and facsimile or other communication of information services.

  3. Objectives of the Council

    The duties and responsibilities of the Council are to:

    3.1 Serve as a forum to consider and make recommendations to the National Librarian of Canada concerning:

    1. Issues and policies that affect federal libraries and information centres;
    2. Needs and priorities in providing information services to the federal government and to the nation at large;
    3. Efficient and cost-effective use of federal library and information resources and services.

    3.2 Facilitate coordination of cooperative activities and services among federal libraries and information centres.

    3.3 Contribute to the development of policies and programs designed to ensure access and dissemination of federal government information.

    3.4 Encourage and promote:

    1. Improved access to information;
    2. Research and development in the application of new technologies to federal libraries and information centres;
    3. Improved coordination and management of federal libraries and information centres;
    4. Relevant educational and training opportunities;
    5. Effective communication within the federal library community.

  4. Membership

    Only federal employees are eligible to serve as members on the Council. The National Librarian will invite the Deputy Minister or equivalent of each department, agency or other government body to appoint as a member the librarian or library manager responsible for the delivery of library and information services at the corporate level, or where there is no such position, a senior librarian or library manager. The National Librarian will also invite the Deputy Minister or equivalent to appoint other librarians or library staff as members on a basis proportional to the number of professional librarian positions in the department, agency or other government body, for a total of 1 vote when there are up to 5 professional librarian positions in the department, 2 votes when there are 6 to 15 such positions, 3 votes when there are 16 to 25 such positions and 4 votes when there are 26 or more such positions.

    A member shall have the right to vote and to hold elective office and/or appointed positions.

  5. Observers

    Non-voting members of the federal government library community and staff of the National Library of Canada (NLC) and of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) may participate in Council matters as observers and may hold appointed positions.

  6. Chairperson

    The Chairperson of the Council is the National Librarian.

  7. Vice-Chairpersons

    The Vice-Chairpersons of the Council are the Director General of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI), the National Archivist and the Chief Information Officer of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

  8. Secretary

    The Director General responsible for the Council's secretariat or his or her designee is the Secretary of the Council.

  9. Steering Committee

    There shall be a Steering Committee which shall act on behalf of the Council between general meetings, approve the plans and monitor the workplan and budget of the Council and its committees, and adopt operating procedures, as appropriate.

    The Steering Committee shall consist of twelve members of the Council, including:

    1. the Chairperson of the Council, who shall be Chairperson of the Steering Committee;

    2. the Vice-Chairpersons of the Council. The Director General of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) shall be the Chairperson of the Steering Committee in the absence of the Chairperson;

    3. eight members elected by the voting members of the Council. The term of office of the elected members shall be two years with overlapping membership so that four members shall be elected each year. Elected members shall not send substitutes or alternates to meetings.

    Four of the eight members elected to the Council will be elected from a list of nominees recruited from librarians or library managers responsible for the delivery of library and information services at the corporate level, senior librarians or library managers.

    Four of the eight members elected to the Council will be elected from a list of nominees recruited from other librarians or library staff.

    The Secretary of the Council shall be the Secretary of the Steering Committee (non-voting).

  10. Planning and Priorities Committee

    The elected members of the Steering Committee currently in office shall form and constitute a Planning and Priorities Committee.

    10.1 With the approval of the Steering Committee, the Planning and Priorities Committee plans and sets priorities for the Council's projects and activities and has the authority to create working groups and task groups to carry out such projects and activities.

    10.2 The Planning and Priorities Committee submits an annual report at the Council's Annual General Meeting in the spring. Shortly thereafter, the Planning and Priorities Committee develops a workplan setting forth descriptions of the activities and projects of the Council's committees and working groups, their goals, target dates of completion, estimated costs, and the names of persons responsible for each activity or project for the current fiscal year. This workplan is reviewed and approved by the Steering Committee by early September. The new workplan may be subsequently changed or modified by the Planning and Priorities Committee with the approval of the Steering Committee.

    10.3 The Planning and Priorities Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect, a Treasurer, a Secretary/Treasurer-Elect and four members-at-large. The Chairperson and the Treasurer shall be members who are librarians or library managers responsible for the delivery of library services at the corporate level, senior librarians or library managers who are in their second year of their two-year term. The Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect and the Secretary/Treasurer-Elect shall be members of the above group who are in their first year of their two-year term. The members-at-large shall all be other library staff or librarians.

    10.4

    1. The duties of the Chairperson shall be as follows: to call meetings of the Planning and Priorities Committee; to direct the preparation of the agenda; to chair the meetings; to provide leadership and direction to the committee; to ensure that the commitments of the Committee are met.

    2. The duties of the Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect are to assist the Chairperson in the discharge of his or her duties, and in the absence of the Chairperson to assume his or her responsibilities and duties. In his/her second year of office the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the role of Chairperson.

    3. The duties of the Treasurer are to liaise with the Secretary of Steering Committee or his/her delegate, to ensure that all financial reports for the Council are prepared, to present the financial reports of the Council at the Annual General Meeting, and to assist in the preparation of submissions relating to the finances of the Council.

    4. The duties of the Secretary are to prepare a record of the proceedings of the meetings of the Planning and Priorities Committee of the Council; and to assist the secretariat in maintaining an accurate record of the membership of the Council.

    5. The duties of the members-at-large are to liaise with the various communities of interest of the federal library community.

  11. Nomination and Election of the Steering Committee Members

    11.1 A Nomination Committee of three shall be established annually prior to the Annual General Meeting. The Director General of the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information shall act as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee and the two other members shall be appointed by him or her. All voting members of the Council are eligible for nomination.

    11.2

    1. The Nomination Committee shall nominate at least eight candidates for the four vacancies to be filled on the Steering Committee.

    2. At least four candidates shall be librarians or library managers responsible for the delivery of library and information services at the corporate level, senior librarians or library managers. Each of these candidates must be nominated to run as members of Steering Committee and either Vice-Chairperson/Chairperson-Elect or Secretary/Treasurer-Elect of the Planning and Priorities Committee.

    3. At least four candidates shall be other librarians or library staff. They are nominated to run as members of Steering Committee and members-at-large of the Planning and Priorities Committee.

    11.3 Elections shall be by secret ballot, and ballots shall be mailed to members 30 days in advance of the Annual General Meeting. The election results shall be announced at the Annual General Meeting. The candidates who receive the largest number of votes shall be declared elected.

    11.4 No fewer than four members shall be elected to the Steering Committee in any one year.

    11.5 When two or more candidates are tied for an elected position, re-balloting shall take place.

    11.6 The Chairperson of the Steering Committee shall appoint an Observer as Returning Officer of the Election. The Returning Officer shall count the ballots and report the election results at the Annual General Meeting. A written report shall be kept on file in the Secretariat.

    11.7 Where a vacancy occurs prior to the date of the annual election for the Steering Committee, the candidate who was nominated for the last previous election and had the largest number of votes next to those who were elected shall automatically assume the vacated office.

  12. Meetings

    12.1 Meetings of the Council shall be generally held twice a year, spring and fall. More meetings may be held.

    12.2 The spring meeting shall be the Annual General Meeting open to members, observers, committee conveners, working group leaders, and invited guests. There should be a business session for the voting members and the results of the election for Steering Committee members shall be announced. Exceptionally, the Annual General Meeting may be held in camera.

    12.3 The fall meeting may take the form of a conference which staff in the federal library service may attend.

    12.4 General meetings of the Council may be called by the Chairperson to ensure that Council members are kept informed and have an opportunity to raise issues of concern to the federal library community.

    12.5 The Steering Committee shall meet as often as necessary to carry out its mandate but no fewer than four times a year.

    12.6 Notices of meetings of the membership shall be sent to the members and observers at least two weeks before the meeting takes place.

  13. Committees

    13.1 Planning and Priorities Committee

    There shall be a Planning and Priorities Committee, as established in section 10 above.

    13.2 Other Committees

    The Council, through its Steering Committee, may appoint committees to accomplish work that furthers the goals and objectives of the Council. Membership on these committees may include persons not working in a library, but members must be federal employees. A group of federal libraries wishing to establish a formal committee should notify the Steering Committee of its intentions.

    1. Terms of Reference

      All committees shall be guided in their activities by written terms of reference.

      Terms of reference for committees may be established by the Steering Committee, or by committee members for approval by the Steering Committee.

      The Steering Committee will review the work and terms of reference of the Committees before the Annual General Meeting each Spring.

    2. Officers

      Each committee shall have a convener confirmed by the Steering Committee. In the case of existing committees, the appointment of the convener will normally be made on the basis of members' recommendations.

      Each formal committee shall ensure that secretarial duties are performed by its members.

    3. Terms of Office for Committee Conveners

      Terms of office for all committee conveners appointed by the Steering Committee shall be two years from the date of appointment. A convener may be re-appointed for only one additional term of two years.

    4. Membership

      The convener of a committee shall call for volunteers and confirm selection from the staffs of departments, branches and agencies which have members or observers on the Council.

    5. Length of Term of Membership

      The length of term of membership for all committee members shall be two years, normally only renewable for one term of two years. The convener of the committee will be responsible for the membership, under the general direction of the Planning and Priorities Committee.

    6. Reports

      Each committee shall submit a workplan and budget for the forthcoming fiscal year and an annual report of the current fiscal year to the Planning and Priorities Committee before the Annual General Meeting. Both the workplan and the annual report shall include descriptions of its activities and projects and those of its working groups.

    7. Working Groups and Projects

      In coordination with the Planning and Priorities Committee, Council committees may organize working groups to study or carry out special projects within the committee's terms of reference. These projects should normally be of finite duration. These working groups and projects should be included in the annual workplan prepared by the Planning and Priorities Committee and approved by the Steering Committee.

    8. Review of Committees

      A review of the activities and progress of all committees shall be conducted by the Steering Committee each year before the Annual General Meeting.

      The Steering Committee shall conduct this review with the assistance and cooperation of each committee. This assistance may be in the form of a report and/or recommendations.

      The review shall consist of:

      (a) a review of the stated terms of reference of the committee, and their relevance to current issues and problems;

      (b) a review of the activities and accomplishments of the committee during the preceding year(s);

      (c) an assessment of these accomplishments in relation to the terms of reference; and

      (d) a review of the leadership and membership of the committee.

      As a result of this review and assessment, the Steering Committee may:

      (a) revise the terms of reference to reflect current developments and needs;

      (b) appoint a committee convener for the coming period;

      (c) outline a future course of action; or

      (d) reform or discharge the committee.

      This review would ensure that no committee is redundant, and that no urgent issue in the federal library community has been neglected.

  14. Fora or interest groups

    Members may establish fora or interest groups for any purpose consistent with the objectives of the Council, and make use of Council communication vehicles. A forum or interest group may petition the Steering Committee for recognition as an official forum or interest group of the Council. If official status is granted by Steering Committee, the forum or interest group shall make a report annually at the Council's Annual General Meeting. If the report is not made annually, the official status shall automatically be withdrawn.

  15. Amendment of Bylaws

    Council bylaws may be adopted, repealed or amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members who exercise their right to vote. Notice of the proposed change shall be filed with the Council Secretary at least sixty days before the proposed effective date, and shall be distributed to members for voting at least 30 days in advance of the proposed effective date. This vote may be conducted by mail, electronic mail, or by other means determined by the Steering Committee.

(Revised 2002-04-05)