Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1971; 59(1):167-169
. . . Are there any exceptions to this part of the amendment?"
Miss Louise Darling asked to be recognized, but Mr. Fry requested permission to speak first, as follows: "There are two things that you do in this rather complex matter: "Number one is that if you are in favor of it, or if you think it is going to be favored, then most of the time from here on through should be devoted to clarification of words, language, ard differences of opinion concerning the smaller parts. Of course, if the first part is defeated in the sense it is written, then the whole thing goes down the drain. "Number two is that we will try to modify it when it has all been written according to whoever wins satisfaction, so that it can be voted on in its entirety-as to whether you accept or reject the total amendment. In other words, if you reject a part, then you reject the whole thing because of the way it was written."
Miss Darling was then given the floor, and said: "I want to make a suggestion
about Section 1, part A, the third line where it says:
A. Each regional group of the Association may present the name of one Active Member of the Association as its candidate. The candidate may be chosen by any method which the group may devise, but must be a member of that group.
I would suggest that that part be deleted, because some groups are very small, or some groups may wish to support some person who isn't in the area. There should not be this kind of restriction. For example, the group in Hawaii might want to support a person in another area."
Miss Irene Graham commented that she believed this to be "an editorial question."
Mr. Fry asked whether Miss Graham was speaking about this method of election under A. She replied, "I am speaking to what I think is just an editorial problem within the wording of the saying that she [Miss Darling] is speaking to.
"I think it refers, in one instance, to the fact that he be selected from the regional group by any method that the group chooses, but must be a member of the Association; later on, it makes reference to the fact that the Nominating Committee will declare the acceptability of the member; and, still later, it goes back to inferring that only members may be members of the group~ Not all regional group members are Association members.
"I am sure that as far as the Nominating Committee is concerned, they would rule out those who were members of the group, but not of the Association. But I think they should all be the same. It should refer to Association and not to group members."
Miss Mitten said: "I think the intention here was that the nominee be a member of the Association and a member of the group choosing the nominee.
Miss Graham said that she recognized this to be the intention, but was pointing out that it should be so stated, because all members of groups are not necessarily members of the Association. She went on: "It was clarified when it stated that the Nominating Committee will accept the group's nominee. Therefore, if it reads 'Association' throughout, it rules out any possibility of the Nominating Committee having to go back and [declare] their nominee not acceptable because the nominee is not a member of the Association. I think it is merely editorial."
Miss Mitten commented that both part A and part B state that the member must be an Active Member of the Association and also a member of the group.
Mr. Pizer attempted to clarify the intent of the wording: "As a member of the Goals Committee who helped to draft the original recommendation to the Board of Directors, I would like to explain why the phrasing was made the way it was in regard to regional groups.
"It was the intent of the Committee on Goals and Structures to enable the regional groups to participate in the process of providing a candidate for the Nominating Committee. This was done also in order to provide geographic representation in the selection of the Nominating Committee, or, at least, the possibility of achieving geographic representation on that Nominating Committee, although it is possible that the final election might result in a committee which was not geographically representative. To that end, it was specified that the candidate whom any regional group wanted to put forth would have to be a member of that group.
"It was the intent to prevent regional groups from nominating people who were not in their regional groups, with the thought that if that person merited nomination, the chances are that his own regional group would have nominated him."
Miss Darling, however, said: "Regional groups are so varied in their composition. Some represent a whole region, some represent little more than a city, some are very large, and some are small. It would seem to me more reasonable to be able to support another person if that group feels that they would be [thus] well represented. This is particularly true in the West, where there are few members and a great variation in the kinds of groups."
Mr. Pizer's reply was that "the Nominating Committee change here is not a requirement it is not a mandate to the regional group. It does not have to submit the name of a candidate; it is not forced to do this; it is an option.
"It says, 'The regional group may present a name.' If it chooses not to, that is its own option. I would assume that any regional group, even a small one, knowing of a person in at another regional group whom it felt would be a good nominee, would contact that regional group and let its opinion be known.
"You are not forced to nominate someone if you don't feel that there is anyone in your group worth nominating."
Miss Darling explained that she was not speaking of "the matter of being worth it or not, [but rather] the matter of its being a small place [in which participants] don't have a chance, so they lose their ability to influence [nominations] in any form whatsoever."
She remarked that the restriction simply seemed to her to be needless, adding: "I believe that putting this restriction it means that small groups wouldn't have a prayer of having anyone win in an election. Therefore, they will lose their ability to influence what happens in an election and [lose the] chance to make their region have any weight at all in an election.
"They might want to support someone in a nearby group who would still be representative of a big geographic region, but not a city.
"For example, in our area, we have the medical library group of Hawaii, the medical library group of Arizona, the medical library group of Southern California, and [that] of the San Francisco Bay area."
Mr. Fry asked whether Miss Darling merely wished to strike out the words, "but must be a member of that group." Miss Darling corroborated this.
Mrs. Beatrice Davis rose to reaffirm the point that many members of regional groups are not members of the Association, and to ask "why, therefore, such members should have a voice in the selection of the Nominating Committee for the national Association."
She continued, "I think that local group members should have a voice in the election of their group officers, but, since they do not see fit to or may not qualify for membership in the Association, I see no reason why they should have a voice in the selection of these [the Association's] officers."
President Morse reminded the discussants that both sections require "that they be Active Members of the Association, so what you are suggesting could not happen."
Mrs. Davis explained that she thought it was only the candidate who was offered to the Nominating Committee who had to be an Active Member of the Association, but that the members of the group, whether Active Members or not, would have a voice in the selection. President Morse confirmed this.
Mr. Pizer then addressed the meeting: "The statement reads, 'The candidate may be chosen by any method which the regional group may devise.' If a regional group feels that the nonmembers of the Association who participate in that regional group should be excluded in the process of generating candidates' names, they may do so. This is entirely within their local option."
Mrs. Davis asked whether, according to this process, the non-Association members would share in the selection of the Nominating Committee.
Mr. Pizer answered, "If the regional group wishes to conduct their electional procedures in that manner, yes, they would."
Mr. Meyerhoff rose to say, "I would like to support Louise Darling's clarification and I would like to go along with the striking of the qualification that these people would have to be members of that group."
Mr. Peter Weil added that the clarification seemed to him "a bit unnecessary and irrelevant, since the process under discussion here is concerned with the nomination of candidates, and does not go beyond this to their actual selection.
"I don't quite see how the inability to nominate a candidate because a group doesn't think it can influence anybody deprives [that] group, since the rest of the method of election is not spelled out in this section of the Bylaws.
"I do think that the restriction does serve a useful purpose by ensuring the widest possible geographic representation within the committee."
Mr. Harold Oatfield stated his agreement with Mr. Weil, adding that he disagreed with [what he understood to be] Miss Darling's implication-that the Association had small groups lacking qualified people. Miss Darling replied that he had misunderstood her, since she had not made that statement. Mr. Oatfield went on to remark that "even if there are only four members in [a] group, they have a right to be heard."
After a brief, though heated, discussion by Miss Darling and Mr. Oatfield concerning the problems of small groups, Miss Mitten called for the question. She explained that the members would be voting on the exclusion of the phrase, "but must be a member of that group," in sections A and B.
A voice vote was taken, with an indeterminate result. The motion was carried, however, in the hand vote which followed immediately. . .
BMLA 59(1) Jan.1971 167-169
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