Committee Guidelines

Guidelines for CARLI Committee Chairs and Members

These guidelines have been prepared by the CARLI staff to assist CARLI committee chairs and members in carrying out their duties. The guidelines reflect CARLI’s standard operating procedures for all committees, unless otherwise approved in advance by the CARLI Senior Director. These Guidelines will be reviewed annually, and revised as needed.

The work of the various committees and other bodies described in these guidelines is vital to the successful operation and continued evolution of the CARLI consortium. Participation in the work of the committees and task forces represents a substantial commitment by both the individual and her/his library, for which the CARLI staff and Governance Board are grateful. Appointments to CARLI’s membership groups take into account the expertise of the members, as well as diversity and balance in the composition of the group. Each person appointed to a CARLI committee is expected to focus on the overall good of the consortium as the paramount objective, and to use his or her best professional judgment in carrying out the group’s charge.

In addition to these guidelines, CARLI committee chairs may find it helpful to review CARLI’s mission, strategic priorities, membership roster, list of products and services, and history.

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The CARLI Governance Board is responsible for the oversight of all CARLI committees. The Board includes twelve voting members. Nine members are elected by the Governing Member institutions, with three members representing each of three constituent sectors: the public universities, the community colleges, and the private institutions. Each elected member of the Board serves a three-year term, and is eligible for re­election to one additional term. One additional member from each of the three constituencies is selected by the three elected members of the relevant constituency and the Senior Director to serve a one-year appointed term on the Board. Appointed members may be reappointed twice and may also stand for election to a three-year seat on the Board. Total continuous service on the Board by appointment and/or election may not exceed six years.

There are two ex officio, non­voting members: the CARLI Senior Director and the Director of the Illinois State Library. CARLI’s committees and task forces provide information, analysis and counsel to the Governance Board, as requested.

The full list of current CARLI committees, their rosters, charges, and links to their minutes and other reports is available from the Governance section of the CARLI web site.

There are several types of committees that assist in carrying out CARLI programmatic activities:

Board Committees

Committees function in direct support of the activities of the CARLI Governance Board or to accomplish a specified task on behalf of the Board. Committees are established through explicit reference in the Bylaws or by action of the Board. Committees report to the Board on a frequency or schedule established by the Board. Each Board Committee has one or more CARLI staff liaisons. Board members may choose to attend any committee meeting. 

Task Forces

Task Forces are established by the CARLI Governance Board or the CARLI Senior Director to conduct clearly defined investigations (e.g., Preservation Task Force) or to undertake clearly specified tasks (e.g., Resource Sharing Code Revision Task Force) that further the mission or enhance the operation of the consortium. Task Forces have specific deadlines for reporting and established sunset dates. Each Task Force has a CARLI staff liaison. A Task Force may report to the Governance Board or one of the established Committees, as directed in its charge.

Interest Groups

Interest Groups function primarily as email discussion lists or other form of communication channel, and focus on a variety of the CARLI membership’s areas of interest in products, services or topics. CARLI staff will monitor, support, and participate in discussions, but Interest Groups have no formal Board or staff liaisons. Interest Groups may be established and disbanded through consultation with the CARLI staff and Senior Director, without action of the Governance Board.

Each CARLI committee, with the exception of Interest Groups, is assigned a CARLI staff liaison by the CARLI Senior Director. The liaison is a full participant in the discussions and activities of the committee, and is responsible for supporting the efficient operation of the committee. Other CARLI staff may attend meetings and participate in activities, as needed, in order to provide additional support and expertise.

Staff Liaison Responsibilities

CARLI staff liaisons:

  • Call the first meeting of a new committee
  • Consult with the chair on meeting agendas to be distributed in advance of the meetings
  • Reserve meeting and event space and make all facility arrangements, in coordination with other CARLI staff
  • Establish and maintain the committee’s email list
  • Post and maintain the group’s meetings and events on the CARLI web calendar
  • Maintain the group’s roster on the CARLI website
  • Review committee minutes and other documents and post them on the CARLI website
  • Coordinate the distribution of any mailings or other documents coming from the committee to a broader group
  • Prepare, announce, and distribute formal surveys, and compile results for review and analysis by the committee

Committees and other groups are established by the CARLI Board or its Executive Committee. While ad hoc task forces may be set up more frequently, every effort is made to refer issues to existing committees, rather than to create new committees or groups.

Any committee, other than a standing committee, will be discharged by the CARLI Board when the committee has fulfilled its charge or reached its predetermined sunset date. A committee may also recommend to the Board that it be discharged, if it has completed its task, or no longer serves a functional role in the consortium.


Any library faculty and library staff member of a CARLI Governing institution is eligible to serve on a CARLI committee.

Approval and Support of the Member’s Institution

Service on a CARLI committee involves a commitment of time and effort. Individuals considering CARLI committee service should consult with their supervisors and, if necessary, seek their prior approval before volunteering. Committee volunteers should familiarize themselves with their employing institution’s policies pertaining to external committee service and travel.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

CARLI committees may be called on to perform tasks that may pose a potential conflict of interest for an individual committee member (such as a task force charged with recommending a product for purchase). Volunteers and active committee members are expected to identify these situations and excuse themselves from these activities, in order to comply with all applicable ethics and purchasing requirements.

Active Participation

Individuals accepting appointment to a CARLI committee are expected to participate fully and actively in the work of the committee, including attendance at meetings (in person, by conference calls, or by other means) and committee sponsored events. Individuals who fail to complete assigned tasks or to participate in three consecutive scheduled meetings of the committee may be requested to resign from the committee. To avoid this situation, a committee member should inform the chair and the staff liaisons as soon as they become aware of any conflicts with committee meetings or activities.

Appointing Committee Members

Appointments to committees are made by the Senior Director, in consultation with the Executive Committee .

Members may be selected from identified volunteers or upon recommendations. CARLI staff liaisons to committees will review the needs of all bodies and will, in consultation with other liaisons, make appointment recommendations that best serve the overall needs of the organization. In order to seek expertise or achieve balanced demographic representation on CARLI committees, eligible individuals may be solicited to serve, in order to augment the volunteer pool.  

Annual Call for Volunteers

CARLI will make an annual solicitation for volunteers to fill the routine end-of-term vacancies on all committees. Special solicitations may be undertaken throughout the year, in order to fill vacancies created by member resignations.

Committees that are seeking members are encouraged to announce calls for volunteers widely. Calls for volunteers can be posted on CARLI announcement email lists by the CARLI staff liaisons.

Volunteer Web Form and Database

Eligible members of the CARLI community may volunteer for service on committees by completing the volunteer web form. The volunteer form allows the individual to identify a specific committee of interest or to indicate a willingness to serve on any committee that is appropriate to his or her skills and interests.

Responses submitted through the volunteer web form will be compiled by CARLI staff for review by the Executive Committee or the committee charged with populating a subordinate body or filling vacancies. All volunteer submissions will expire on March 31 of each year and a new call for volunteers will be announced.

Three Year Terms

Unless the new member is completing an existing term, appointment to a CARLI committee is for a three-year term of service

Staggered Terms

New committees or committees filling multiple vacancies of different lengths should allow the new members to select from the available terms of office.


In order to expand participation across the organization, committees are encouraged to fill vacancies with individuals who have not previously or recently served on a committee, wherever possible and appropriate. Reappointments may be made on a limited basis, and for no more than one additional, three-year term. Reappointments may be considered upon the recommendation of the committee chair and the staff liaisons, and at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

Task Force Terms of Office

Task Force members serve until the Task Force’s assigned task is completed.

Chairs Term of Office

Committee chairs serve a one-year term. It is expected that the chair assignment will pass to a different committee member each year. However, service for consecutive terms as chair is permissible, subject to consultation with the committee’s staff liaisons and confirmation by the Executive Director.

Selecting a Chair

Unless otherwise specified in the CARLI Bylaws, committee chairs for the coming year (July 1-June 30) are selected annually by the members of the committee prior to the end of the current year.

Task Force Chairs

Task Force chairs are appointed by the Executive Committee, when the Task Force is established, and serve for the duration of the Task Force’s work.

A committee vacancy may occur due to the resignation of an active member or the replacement of an inactive member. If a committee member leaves the employment of a CARLI Governing Member institution, he or she must resign their committee appointment. However, if a committee member changes jobs, moving from one CARLI Governing Member institution to another, he or she may be able to complete his or her term on a committee. The committee member should obtain the permission of his or her new employer, and should determine that his or her continued service does not pose any conflicts of interest or other issues (e.g., providing access to proprietary information for which they are no longer authorized).

Filling Vacancies

The CARLI Senior Director in consultation with the CARLI Executive Committee may appoint a replacement to complete the remaining term of the departing committee member. A call for volunteers may be made, or the Senior Director may issue an invitation to an individual with the necessary skills and interest or who provides a desirable demographic representation. Replacement members will not necessarily be selected from the institution of the departing member. A committee seat may be left vacant if the term of the departing member is less than one year.

Announcing Vacancies

Committees seeking volunteers to fill vacancies should be sure that their group is listed on the volunteer form web page as a committee currently seeking members. The CARLI staff liaisons are responsible for making sure vacancies are announced and the roster is updated when the vacancy is filled.

Setting Meetings

Committees should establish meeting dates and locations at the beginning of each year. Meeting schedules should allow for the work of the committee to proceed in a timely and effective manner, and to accommodate the schedules of the committee members. The staff liaisons should see that all meeting and committee event dates and locations are posted to the CARLI calendar, as soon as they are set.

Frequency of Meetings

The frequency of meetings is determined by the type and volume of work with which the committee is charged.


Individuals accepting appointment to a CARLI committee are expected to participate fully and actively in the ongoing work of the committee, including attendance at meetings (in person, by conference calls, or by other means) and committee sponsored events. Committees will try their best to set a meeting schedule that accommodates the schedule and travel capabilities of the largest number of their members.

Canceling a Scheduled Meeting

The decision to cancel a scheduled meeting should be made by the CARLI staff liaisons, in consultation with the committee chair. The staff liaisons are responsible for making sure that committee members are notified promptly, and is responsible for canceling any catering, meeting room reservations, or conference calls.

Committees have the option to meet in person with conference call backup for those who cannot attend onsite, via conference call only, or via webcast.

In Person Meetings


In-­person committee meetings are typically held at the CARLI office in Champaign or at a committee member’s institution, if that location facilitates attendance and/or accomplishing the tasks of the committee. CARLI facilities in Champaign may be used for committee meetings, subject to availability. Meeting sites may be held consistently at a single location or rotated among members’ institutions. Meetings may also be held at other locations, such as the University of Illinois’ Illini Center meeting room complex in Chicago.


All in-­person meetings at the CARLI office should be arranged by the staff liaisons. In-­person meetings held at CARLI member institutions should be coordinated between the CARLI staff liaisons and the committee member from the hosting institution. All financial or contractual arrangements must be handled by the CARLI staff liaisons, in consultation with CARLI Business and Financial Services staff. Any rental and or setup fees must be approved by CARLI Business and Financial Services in advance of the meeting.


Morning beverage service may be provided for committee and task force meetings for meetings held in the CARLI Office. Members will be provided lunch on the day of all-day in-person meetings. The CARLI staff liaisons are responsible for determining which meetings are eligible for food and beverage service, and for coordinating any catering arrangements with local hosting institutions, catering companies, and CARLI Business and Financial Services, in compliance with University of Illinois policies covering business meals and refreshments.


Committee members are typically responsible for all of their own travel related expenses associated with their attendance at committee meetings and committee-sponsored events except where noted below. Additional exceptions to this policy may be made for special circumstances, with the prior approval of the CARLI Senior Director. Requests for support to participate in committee activities should be made through the CARLI staff liaisons. 

  • Task Force Meetings: Task Forces are established by the CARLI Governance Board or the CARLI Senior Director to conduct clearly defined investigations or to undertake clearly specified tasks on an abbreviated/accelerated timeline that require in-person meetings.

    In order to ensure full attendance, Task Force members will be given the option of CARLI reimbursing for their mileage or paying for a one-night hotel stay (the night before the meeting). If the Task Force needs to meet in person more than once per year, the decision to pay for mileage or hotel will be made on a case by case basis. Lunch will be provided by CARLI on the day of the in-person meeting.

  • Committee representatives to the CARLI Annual Meeting: Committee and Task Force members invited to present on behalf of the committee or task force at the CARLI Annual Meeting will be eligible for a one-night hotel stay (the night before the meeting), for one member. All hotel arrangements will be made by CARLI staff.

Conference Call Meetings

Committee meetings may be held entirely by conference call or with a conference call supplementing an in­person meeting, as an alternative for members who cannot attend in person. Conference calls make use of the University of Illinois’  conference call software. Calls are set up by the CARLI staff liaisons prior to the meeting and connection instructions are included with the meeting agenda. A toll-free telephone number is provided for each conference call, in addition to a phone number in the Champaign area code (217).

Tips for Effective Conference Call Meetings

  • Participants on a conference call should not call in before the appointed meeting time, as the line may be in use for another group. 
  • Meetings by conference call should plan to end at the appointed time because the line may be scheduled for another group.
  • Callers are encouraged to use their telephone mute keys when they are not speaking, to reduce the ambient noise.
  • Any problems with conference calls should be reported to the CARLI Office (toll-free at 866-904­-5843 or 217-244­-7593) and the CARLI staff will work to resolve the problem.

Adobe Connect Pro Webcast Meetings

Committee meetings may be held entirely as webcasts, using Adobe Connect Pro web conferencing software, or as a webcast with a supplementary conference call. Information for first-time meeting participants is available on the Adobe web site:

Committee Charge, Roster, etc.

Each committee’s charge, roster of current committee members, and links to meeting minutes and reports, is available from the Governance section of the CARLI web site.

Open Meetings

CARLI is not subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, however, CARLI supports the principles behind the Act. CARLI committee meetings are open to visitors. Exceptions to this policy may be made in consultation with the committee’s staff liaison and the CARLI Executive Director, if necessary.


The committee chair is responsible for planning the agendas for meetings, in consultation with the CARLI staff liaisons. Agendas should be distributed to committee members in advance of meetings via the committee email list, and by posting on the CARLI web site.

Meeting Notes

Minutes of each committee meeting should be kept in a consistent manner determined by the committee members. Committees can appoint a member to serve as Secretary or may rotate the note-taking task among the members. The staff liaisons typically do not serve as the note­taker. Once meeting notes have been finalized by the note­taker, they should be emailed to the committee email list for approval. Once approved, the CARLI staff liaisons are responsible for posting them on the CARLI web site, preferably within two weeks of the meeting. 

See the CARLI Committee Meeting Notes Template for a suggested format for meeting notes.

Email Lists

An email list will be established for each CARLI committee, to facilitate communication among members. The CARLI staff liaisons are responsible for establishing the committee’s email list and keeping it current.

Committee Group Pages

Committee Group pages are intended for the ongoing work of CARLI’s committees. Committees are encouraged to carry out their ongoing work on the group pages to facilitate the exchange of information within the group. CARLI staff liaisons may request to have a group page set up for any committee that doesn’t already have a group work space.


All surveys of CARLI members undertaken by committees should be coordinated by the committee’s staff liaisons. CARLI maintains a subscription to an online survey product that is used for this purpose. The committee develops the format and questions for the survey and the staff liaisons are responsible for creating the survey format. The staff liaisons are also responsible for exporting, compiling and distributing the results and closing the online survey when completed.

Annual Reports

Each CARLI committee is required to submit a written report to the Governance Board on an annual basis. Annual reports are due on May 31 of each year. Reports may be required more frequently as directed.

Task Force Reports

Each Task Force will file a final report when its responsibilities have been completed. The Board may require, at its discretion, one or more progress reports in addition to the Task Force final report.

As part of the CARLI’s annual budget preparation process, CARLI staff prepares a projected budget to support the operation and activities of its committees. However, this planning does not imply the pre-approval of any specific event or expense nor is any CARLI committee or member empowered to obligate CARLI funds. All CARLI expenditures must be pre­approved. The committee chair must work with the appointed staff liaisons, who will consult with CARLI’s Business and Financial Services office to plan for, authorize, and pay for any committee or event­ related costs.

Each committee’s charge specifies the scope of its focus. In addition, committees should identify topics related to their charges and that are of value and interest to the membership. When a meeting or event would be valuable in conveying this material, the committee should consider planning an event. While committees are not required to plan and present one or more events a year, it is the responsibility of each group to routinely evaluate the need for events and programs in order to fulfill its charge.

Event Planning Protocols

Contact Person

The committee's CARLI staff liaisons are the key contacts for all event planning and logistics. The liaisons must be kept fully informed and up-to-date of any plans made by committee members.


CARLI provides financial support for the planning and presentation of events through its annual budgeting process and/or with the approval of the CARLI Program Planning Committee. No obligations or expenditures associated with an event may be made by members of a committee. The staff liaisons will coordinate all financial and contractual arrangements associated with all events with the CARLI Business Services staff.

Planning Lead Time

Different types of events require different amounts of time to plan and present successfully. See the CARLI Meeting and Event Planning Lead Times for the recommended event planning timelines CARLI has established. CARLI sponsors many events each year, so planning early is essential to cut down on scheduling problems. As the committee year runs from July to June, committee members whose terms continue into the next year will usually need to take the lead roles in planning for fall events that require several months’ planning lead time.


Refer to the CARLI Strategic Priorities, evaluations from previous similar events, and other planning sources such as announced coming changes in CARLI online systems to identify topics that are timely, relevant, and of greatest value to the likely attendees.


Select a type and format of event appropriate to the desired outcome and the needs of the intended audience for the event. Options include in­-person informational and educational events, webcasts and conference calls. A common format is a “Forum,” a one-­day meeting with speaker(s) or panel presentations to a large audience, sometimes supplemented with breakout sessions. Note: CARLI committees are not typically responsible for coordinating pre­implementation or ongoing staff training in the use of one of CARLI’s online systems. This work is typically managed by CARLI staff. However, committees may wish to offer events that would involve classroom work that could be considered to be “training” when this type of event is appropriate to their charge.


Committee members should keep abreast of activities and plans of other groups within and beyond CARLI working in closely related areas, in order to avoid redundancy and to seek opportunities for collaboration. Contact may be initiated with other CARLI committees through the staff liaisons, and joint committee meetings may be held as needed to plan collaborative events. CARLI committees also may partner on planning events with external organizations (e.g., with IACRL, ILA etc.) with the approval of the CARLI Senior Director.

Setting a Date

Select target dates for the event as soon as possible. Having more than one acceptable target date will be helpful when contacting prospective meeting sites. All planning details need not be completed to set a tentative and/or final event date.

Selecting a Location

In consultation with the CARLI staff liaisons to the committee, identify one or more desirable location(s) for the event. Events are typically held at a CARLI member institution, but have also been held at other venues such as Illinois State Park meeting facilities, hotels, the Chicago Public Library and Illinois regional library systems’ facilities, when cost effective and appropriate to the event.

While it is not possible to find meeting locations that are equally close to all CARLI member institutions and various forms of public transportation, planners should take into account the travel requirements of attendees when selecting meeting sites. Planning for in-person events, such as forums, should take into account the location of previous in-person events sponsored by the committee, and if possible and appropriate, alternate between upstate (including the Chicago metropolitan area) and downstate locations.

The CARLI staff liaisons and CARLI Business and Financial Services staff reserve the right to reject any proposed location based on prior experiences or other considerations.

Meal Options

Vegetarian and non-­vegetarian are the only choices available at CARLI events.

CARLI is unable to accommodate other requests for specific types of foods, or for meals that are vegan, kosher, gluten free, peanut free, etc. The private, academic, and hotel catering services that we use for CARLI events prepare food in commercial kitchens where a wide variety of other foods are being prepared, often using some frozen and/or processed products that may have unknown trace ingredients. As a result, we are unable to guarantee that the food is kosher, vegan, gluten free, and/or peanut free. Attendees with strict, specific dietary restrictions should plan to provide their own food.


Publicize the event early, often, and widely. The staff liaisons should coordinate all event publicity with the CARLI Associate Director of Communications & Membership.


Consider how best to evaluate the success of informational, educational, and training events. Completed evaluations will be collected by the CARLI staff liaisons and compiled by CARLI support staff for distribution to the planning group.

Canceling a Planned Event

Conditions that may necessitate canceling an event should be identified as part of the planning process. This may include setting a minimum registration count and/or setting a “snow date” for winter events.

In all cases, the CARLI staff liaisons and CARLI Senior Director have the authority to make a cancellation decision in consultation with the committee chair. The CARLI staff liaisons are responsible for notifying the host site and registrants for all cancelled events.

In addition to the Governance Board there are two committees that play key roles in overseeing the development of CARLI’s products, services, and programs. These are the CARLI Executive Committee and the CARLI Program Planning Committee. Proposals sent to these committees are typically larger in scope, budget and/or timeline than would be normally be undertaken by a CARLI committee. CARLI committees submitting suggestions to these bodies should make it clear that the suggestion is coming from a committee or, if applicable, two or more committees acting in collaboration.

CARLI Executive Committee (EC)

The Executive Committee of the CARLI Governance Board is charged with reviewing suggestions for new and enhanced products and services for CARLI. The EC will consider recommendations received from individuals and groups, screen the ideas to identify which should have staff analysis, prioritize the ideas, and make final recommendations to the Board.

CARLI Program Planning Committee (CPPC)

The CARLI Program Planning Committee is charged with screening applications for CARLI-supported educational programs and conferences and choosing which should be funded from the amount annually designated for this purpose. The CPPC may recommend to the Board that additional funding be allocated to the program in special instances. The CPPC also serves as the planning committee for the annual CARLI membership meeting.

[Insert Committee Name] Meeting



Members attending: First Name Last Name (Institution) 
* Indicate any members or guests who attend (by phone) unless the entire meeting is by conference call.

Members absent:

Staff attending:







  • Minutes of the [Insert Date] meeting were approved prior to the meeting.
  • The [Insert Committee Name] approved/accepted [Insert topic].
  • The meeting was adjourned at [Insert time].

Tasks assigned:


Meeting Dates and Deadlines:

  • Next Meeting: Day, Date, Location
  • Schedule of [Insert Committee Name] Meetings:
    • Day, Date, Location
    • Day, Date, Location

These lead times represent the minimum necessary for an orderly planning process. Failure to adhere to the timeframes indicated may result in the cancellation or rescheduling of the event.

Requiring 6 or more months planning

  • CARLI annual meeting
  • CARLI and partner group jointly planned events (e.g., multi-day or other complex
  • meetings, conferences, institutes, etc.)
  • Events at other venues (e.g., ILA presentation, reception, etc.)
  • CARLI continuing education “formal” event (e.g., from the CARLI Program Planning Committee)

Requiring 4 or more months planning

  • Any event that will require a purchase order, or payment of travel or other speaker expenses.
  • CARLI systems training
  • CARLI committee events (e.g., forums)
  • CARLI joint meetings (e.g., committee chairs, liaisons, etc.)
  • CARLI committee meetings held off site
  • CARLI continuing education “informal” event held at CARLI Office (e.g., a hackfest)

Requiring 1 or more months planning

  • CARLI committee meetings held at the CARLI Office

Requiring 1 or more weeks planning

  • CARLI committee meetings by conference call only