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Committees & Service

The committees and working groups of the Bibliographical Society of America have been established to carry out the work that Council and the Executive Committee establish.  Their activities touch upon both the substantial scholarly concerns of the Society as well as any necessary governance and administrative requirements.

Current standing committees of the Society are:

  • Audit
  • BibSite Editorial Board
  • Development
  • Events
  • Executive
  • Fellowship
  • Finance
  • Membership
  • New Scholars Program
  • Nominating
  • PBSA Advisory Board
  • Publications

Current Working Groups include:

  • Digital Strategy Working Group
  • Policies and Procedures Manual Working Group

The President, in conjunction with Executive Committee and Council, may establish additional standing or ad hoc committees as the activities of the Society require.

Committee Service: FAQ

What do Annual Meeting Volunteers do?
The Society’s Annual Meeting continues to evolve and in 2023 we seek 5 volunteers to facilitate the event both in person and online. This will be a brief commitment in January and early February of 2023. Volunteers will either (1) facilitate virtual components of the meeting and provide basic tech support on Zoom or (2) attend the Annual Meeting in person in New York (sadly, travel funding is not available this year) and assist with set-up, breakdown, and community building at the meeting.

How long is the commitment?
Terms of service are three years, renewable once. Individuals appointed to a Committee or Working Group begin their first term following the Annual Meeting in January 2022, serving through the 2025 Annual Meeting. Volunteers must be members of BSA in good standing throughout their term of service.

In order to maintain efficient and effective Committees and Working Groups, not all such groups are able to accept new members in a given year.

If I nominate myself, will I be appointed to a Committee or Working Group?
Not necessarily. We aim to strike a balance across professional, subject expertise, ethnic, and other relevant backgrounds on all Committees and Working Groups. Sometimes there are not enough positions for all who volunteer. Therefore, self-nomination does not guarantee an appointment.

Do I need to be a BSA Member?
Yes, you do need to maintain an active BSA membership to serve on a committee. If this is financially out of reach for you and you wish to serve on a Committee or Working Group, please reach out in confidence to Executive Director Erin McGuirl. There is always a way!

When will I find out if I’ve been appointed to a committee?
The President will work with Committee and Working Group Chairs to make appointments in the last two weeks of September. You will find out if you have been appointed to a Committee or Working Group and we request that you formally accept your appointment in November 2021.

When will I start serving on a committee?
Terms of volunteer service start in January following the Society’s Annual Meeting. Executive Director Erin McGuirl will host an orientation for new volunteers just before the Annual Meeting that will be held on January 27, 2023.

Committee Chairs:  Appointment and Terms of Service

The President appoints Chairs of committees as vacancies occur.  Except for the Audit, Finance, Publications, and Nominating committees, any member of the Society may be appointed Chair of a committee.  

  • The Chairs of the Finance and Publications Committees must be elected members of Council whose terms end when their Council terms end, except that when a Chair has served fewer than 3 full years of a term, the Chair may finish that three-year term after leaving Council.
  • The Chair of the Audit Committee, who serves as an ex-officio voting member of the Council, is elected to a three-year term by the membership, with no limit on additional terms office.
  • The Chair of the Nominating Committee will be the immediate Past President of the Society in years when there is such a person; otherwise, the President may appoint any member of the Society to this position for a one-year term.
  • Other committee Chairs are appointed with an initial term of three years, and may be reappointed for one additional term of three years.  After the second term, Chairs may not be reappointed as Chair of the same committee for at least one year; except that in instances where a vacancy occurs in the middle of a term, a previous Chair may be appointed Acting Chair. An existing committee member who is appointed Chair of the same committee is eligible for two full terms as Chair.

The term of committee Chairs begins at the end of the Annual Meeting in January.

At the discretion of the President and the Chair, a committee may also have a Vice Chair, appointed in the same manner as Chairs are appointed.  The Vice Chair presides in the absence of the Chair, and carries out additional tasks as assigned by the Chair.

The Chair and members of working groups shall be appointed for a term equal to the expected life of the group, unless stated otherwise in the charge of the group.

Committee Members:  Appointment and Terms of Service

Any member of the Society may be appointed to a committee by the President in consultation with the Chair of the committee (except that at least two members of the Audit Committee must be elected members of Council). Initial term of appointment to a standing committee will normally be for three years; reappointment to a second term is permissible, but after the second term, except for the Audit and Finance committees, a member may not be reappointed to the same committee until at least one year has passed.

One-third of a committee’s membership will be appointed and begin their three-year terms each year.

New members’ terms begin at the end of the Annual Meeting in January. Committee orientation sessions will be held each spring.  

Under normal circumstances, a BSA member will not serve on more than two committees at the same time, although this is not a hard and fast rule.  Committee Chairs are encouraged to be aware of other Society commitments of potential new members of their committees.

Recruitment of Committee Members

Service on a committee is one of the most consequential and rewarding ways for members to be involved in the work of the Society.  The BSA seeks a diverse and inclusive roster of committee participants.  To this end, on an annual basis in the autumn, committee Chairs will publicize the following information:

  1. Description of the work undertaken by the committee, both typically and currently underway;
  2. Knowledge and experience characteristic of successful committee members;
  3. Work expectations for committee members;
  4. Upcoming openings in the committee roster.

This information will accompany a general call to the membership for nominations (including self-nomination) for committee positions, with particular encouragement for early-career nominees and members of underrepresented groups and to identify themselves and their interest.  Current members of committees are also encouraged to identify and recruit potential new committee members.  

Nominees will be asked to provide a statement of why they are interested in a given committee, and what their relevant experience and/or skills would bring to the committee.  Nomination does not, however, guarantee an appointment.   

The President, in consultation with committee Chairs, may appoint new members from among these nominations or from other such members of the Society who come to the President’s or Chair’s attention. 

Meeting Procedures

Committees shall have regular meetings, which may be in person or via electronic or telecommunication means.  Records shall be kept of all meetings, and committees shall report their activities to Council.  A quorum of each committee shall consist of at least half of the members of record; actions taken at committee meetings must be approved by a simple majority of those present.