Moving ALA Forward Together: The reimagining ALA process

Timeframe / EventTask
Dec 3, 2020 Virtual Fall Council MeetingForward Together Update Forward Together Chairs to provide an update to Council of their work and analysis.
January 2021 Virtual Midwinter Council MeetingForward Together Final Report and a TBD Appointed Working Group to Begin Shaping the Forward Together Resolution Forward Together Chairs to provide a final report to Council. This report will help inform the work of Council/TBD Appointed Working Group to begin drafting the Forward Together resolution. Note: The resolution(s) can include the various parameters of the proposed new structure at a conceptual (i.e.: non-Bylaws) level. Council will debate on the various components via the resolution and will continue to work in the development of the resolution virtually with the goal to bring forward proposed resolution(s) for vote at subsequent Council Meetings (i.e. March 2021, Annual Conference 2021, etc.)
March 2021 Virtual Council MeetingVirtual Council Meeting The newly appointed Working Group to provide an update of their work to the ALA Council. This may help prepare Council for a vote in June 2021. Voting may occur.
June 2021 Annual Conference Council MeetingAnnual Conference Council Meeting: Council to Vote on the Forward Together Resolution Council will debate, amend, and vote on the various components via the resolution.
June 2021 – January 2022 (6 months)Drafting the New ALA Bylaws Per Approved Resolution If applicable, work on drafting new bylaws may occur per approved resolution(s).   Key Stakeholders: ALA Parliamentarian, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Committee on Organization, and the ALA Governance Office. The last step is a review of ALA’s Legal Counsel.
January 2022 A “Midwinter” meetingMidwinter Council Meeting: – Approve the New Bylaws If applicable, new bylaws may be approved at this meeting. This would be followed by a Membership Vote in the annual election, which is March/April 2022.
March/April 2022 Membership VoteStaff Implementation The real `heavy lifting’ will occur after the Bylaws are approved by the ALA Membership. It will be the transitioning of ALA to the new structure.

*The ALA President can call upon additional meetings, as necessary.Note: two votes are required to rescind the Constitution. This is recommended before the approval of the new bylaws


June/July 2020

  • The final report of the Steering Committee on Organizational Effectiveness will be presented to ALA Council and the Forward Together Working Group will take over facilitation of the session with ALA Council.
  • ALA Council will vote on the proposed course of action as outlined here

June 2020 to December 2020

  • In preparation for a large-scale “Constitutional Convention”, virtually, ALA Council will discuss and vote on the various components of Forward Together as well as proposed amendments as identified by the Forward Together Working Group and ALA Council.

January 2021 Midwinter – Indianapolis

  • The amended Forward Together governance model will be presented for a final debate during a Constitutional Convention style event. Further amendments may be added during this event. This event will include ALA Councilors and additional stakeholders within the association. The details and process for the Constitutional Convention are still being discussed and will be led by the Forward Together Working Group in collaboration with ALA Parliamentarian Eli Mina.
  • A final vote on the model at the conceptual level will be taken by ALA Council.
  • The report from the Forward Together Fiscal Analysis Working Group will be presented to Council.

March 2021

  • Preliminary new bylaws will be drafted in the fall/winter based on Council conversations and published in March reflecting the new governance structure. 
  • The proposed new governance structure and the proposed new Bylaws to match it will be made available via ALA’s website for ALA Council and ALA Members to review. These will be posted in March 2021 to ready Council for voting.

April 2021

  • First Council Vote on the New ALA Bylaws: The proposed new ALA Bylaws, reflecting the original Forward Together proposal and amendments made to it to accommodate Council’s input, will be presented for debate, final amendments, and the first official vote, as required by the current ALA Constitution.

Annual Session 2021

  • Second Council Vote on the New ALA Bylaws

Special ballot to members July 2021

  • An Online Vote by ALA Membership on the New Bylaws: The new ALA Bylaws, having been approved by two consecutive votes of the ALA Council, will be presented to the ALA Membership for an online vote as part of a special July 2021 ballot.

Sept 2021

  • Implementation Begins


Previous Timeline

Appointment of SCOE by ALA President Jim Neal (New Orleans)June 2018
Remodeling Summit (Chicago)October 2018
Initial ideas presentations to members (Seattle)January 2019
Virtual ideas presentation to membersFebruary 2019
Executive Committee Meeting, meetings with ALA staff (Chicago)March 23, 2019
4 virtual input sessions with specific member groupsApril 2019
SCOE review and developing preliminary recommendations (Chicago)May 7-8 2019
Meetings with ALA staff (Chicago)May 20, 2019
Presentation of preliminary recommendations to members (Washington, DC)June 2019
Virtual presentation of preliminary recommendations to membersJuly 8 & July 19, 2019
Meetings with ALA staff (Washington, DC)July 15, 2019
Fiscal analysis by working group, integration of chapters and affiliatesJuly – September 2019
Development of recommendations (Chicago)September 2019
Presentation of recommendations to Executive BoardOctober 2019
Release of Forward Together to membersNovember 2019
Constitution & Bylaws Committee and Committee on Organizations AnalysesNovember 2019 – April 2020
Introduction of new ALA executive directorJanuary 2020
Presentations to members virtually and at Midwinter Meeting (Philadelphia)January 2020
Constitution & Bylaws Committee and Committee on Organizations Analyses presented to the Executive Board April 2020
New member group transitions work of Forward Together from SCOESpring 2020
Additional timeline goals established and shared with membersSummer 2020
Possible Council vote on some Constitution & Bylaws and Policy changes as determined by new member groupJanuary 2021