ANSS Cyber Participation Policy

ANSS Cyber Participation Policy (Adopted Fall 2013)

For the purposes of this policy, a cyber-participant is considered a virtual member of the committee.

A cyber participant, aka virtual member, of an ANSS committee is not required to attend conferences, but is encouraged to do so. The committee work of a cyber participant is expected to be done electronically, both synchronous and asynchronous.

  1. After determining how cyber participation will affect the organization and operation of the committee, each committee chair/co-chairs determines the amount of open positions/roles for virtual members (up to a maximum of 25%)on the committee. Regarding task forces, additional virtual members may be appointed by the Chair or Vice Chair/Chair-Elect.
  2. Virtual members are expected to participate equally to those members who are able to attend conferences.
  3. Virtual members must have the appropriate hardware, software and technical expertise to communicate electronically with other committee members. Virtual members may be delegated tasks or responsibilities not required of the other committee members, as determined by the chair. These may include the use of additional components as determined or warranted by the chair, such as chat rooms, etc.
  4. Virtual members must respond to all messages sent to the committee within the time frame determined by the chair.
  5. If the virtual committee member fails to respond within the time frame established by the chair without a valid reason, the chair should notify the ANSS Vice Chair/Chair Elect, who has the option of replacing the cyber member.
  6. A regular member of the committee will be appointed as a mentor to each virtual member. The mentor will communicate regularly with the virtual member at times agreed upon by the two of them.
  7. Training will be provided to chairs as to how to work with virtual members.

Virtual Committee Members Requirements

  • Membership in ACRL and ANSS
  • Ability to communicate electronically
  • Willingness to work continuously year-round, reporting to the committee chair before the Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference

Committee Requirements

  • Complete a substantial amount of committee activities between meetings.
  • Structure activities that allow the substantive contributions of a virtual member.

Policy on holding virtual and hybrid meetings

In conjunction with ACRL Policy Manual, the ANSS policy for holding virtual meetings provides a framework for how virtual meetings should be organized and conducted. For more details, see the ACRL FAQ for Virtual Meetings (

The ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1 defines a meeting as “an official assembly, for any length of time following a designated starting time, of the members of any board, committee, task force, commission, etc., during which the members do not separate except for a recess and in which the assembly has the capacity to formalize decisions.” Virtual meetings are recognized as meetings subject to the open meetings policy (ALA Policy Manual 7.4.4). Virtual meetings must be held synchronously.

Planning a Hybrid Meeting

Hybrid meetings are held synchronously in both a face-to-face and online forum. A hybrid meeting is held during the scheduled meeting time during the Midwinter or Annual conference.

Technology for these meetings should follow the Cyber Participation Task Force Best Practices document.

It is important to note that internet connectivity and technology support (specifically the use of ACRL iLinc software) may be unavailable during the conference.

Planning a Virtual Meeting

ANSS Committee chairs should poll their members regarding to the need of a virtual meeting prior to the ANSS Chair making room reservations for the upcoming conference (typically in September and January).   This allows the Chair to maximize meeting times and rooms.

The ANSS Chair should consult with the ACRL staff liaison to ensure that the meeting(s) are scheduled far enough in advance to allow other ALA/ACRL units sufficient time to take action on items coming from your committee.

The virtual meeting should be held prior to Midwinter or Annual in order for the chairs to communicate the results of the official business conducted to Executive Board and section at large.

Announcement of Virtual Meetings

The ALA Open Meeting Policy 7.4.3 states, “all meetings of the American Library Association and its units are open to all members and to members of the press. Registration requirements may apply. Closed meetings may be held only for the discussion of matters affecting the privacy of individuals or institutions.” The ALA Open Meetings Policy applies to all ALA units and to all meetings conducted by those units.

Announcements of synchronous virtual meetings held outside of the Midwinter Meeting or Annual Conference (e.g., telephone conference calls, Internet chats) must be posted on the Meetings Outside of Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting Web site, ALA Connect, ANSS-L and on ANSSWeb, a minimum of 10 days prior to the meeting (as defined in ALA Policy Manual 7.4.1).

The meeting announcement must include the date, time, name of the convener, name of section and committee, a description of the meeting, phone, and email address of the convener, meeting format, URL for meeting agenda.

The 10-day notice is waived for an emergency, but not the reporting requirement, which must also explain the nature of the emergency that caused the advance notice to be waived.


Synchronous virtual meetings must abide by the same voting eligibility rules and ratification processes as face-to-face meetings in compliance with ALA/ACRL rules and adopted parliamentary procedure. Virtual members of committees or task forces have the right to attend meetings, participate in debate, and make motions. Virtual members do not have the right to vote nor are they counted in determining the quorum. Also, no more than one third of the membership of a division committee may be virtual members ( ALA Policy Manual 6.16). The ACRL committee chair or section chair will confirm that the official list of all members of the committee has been obtained from the Directory of Leadership on the members’-only ALA Web site to determine voting eligibility of each individual.

ANSS considers all committee members to be full members with the ability to vote and included in determining the quorum.

Synchronous virtual meeting votes must comply with Article XX of the ACRL Bylaws, “Mail and Electronic Votes” at Voting mechanisms and scheduled votes should be included on the meeting agenda. All votes taken at a synchronous electronic meeting must be ratified at the next face-to-face meeting of the committee.


ALA Policy Manual 7.4.2 states that the “results of the meeting must be made public no fewer than 30 days after the meeting’s conclusion.” The minutes or meeting report must be posted at the Meetings Outside of Annual Conference or Midwinter Meeting Web site and sent to the ANSS webmaster to be added to ANSSWeb.

ANSS committee chairs should follow the same procedures for distributing minutes to the membership as they do for minutes of face-to-face meetings.

Technology regarding Virtual Meetings

The Cyber Participation Task Force developed a Best Practices Guide for running a virtual meeting. See this guide on ANSSWeb for more details on the technology available and best practices.