Contents:
Background
Charge
Membership
Final Report


Librarians' Assembly
Rights and Responsibilities Review Committee


 

Background



The Librarians' Assembly Executive Committee voted on September 6, 2002 to create an ad hoc committee to review the viability and role of the Rights and Responsibilities Committee. The name of the new ad hoc committee is the Rights and Responsibilities Review Committee. The committee is made up of three members, including the chair, and remained in existence until its final report and recommendations were given to the Executive Committee in April 2003.



 

Charge



The charge of the Rights and Responsibilities Review Committee is to review the viability and role of the Rights and Responsibilities sub committee. The final report of this ad hoc committee will include a recommendation with supporting arguments concerning whether the Rights and Responsibilities sub committee should be retained or dissolved. If the recommendation is to retain the Rights and Responsibilities sub committee, the report will further include a review of the current charge and/or any recommended changes to that charge as well as recommendations for how the Rights and Responsibilities sub committee can remain a vital part of the Librarians' Assembly.



Membership



Jan Voogd, Chair, HCL—Social Sciences Program
Patricia Tully, Lamont and Hilles Libraries
Renata Kalnins, Andover-Harvard Theological Library



Final Report



Final Report to the Librariansí Assembly Executive Committee
regarding the Rights and Responsibilities Committee

as amended


Initial Recommendation

The Rights and Responsibilities Review Committee has conducted a review of the professional literature, a review of precedent, a survey of the membership of the Librarians Assembly, and a focus group. Based on the results of the research, the Rights and Responsibilities Review Committee recommends that the Rights and Responsibilities Committee should be retained.

Supporting arguments:
  1. Members of the Librariansí Assembly expressed a need for an entity to which issues of concern could be brought that fall outside the purview, or within the purview of more than one, of the other Assembly committees;
  2. Members of the Librariansí Assembly expressed an enthusiasm for an entity that would monitor the development of issues, policies, and best practices within the profession and the Harvard University library system, produce documentation, as appropriate, regarding such developments, and provide forums and other means of facilitating discussion of these developments by the membership of the Librariansí Assembly;
  3. Members of the Librariansí Assembly expressed hope for an entity that would monitor, promote, and facilitate the participation of librarians in activities and endeavors beyond the library, within the Harvard community.
  1. Review of the charge

    1. The Charge:
      Reporting to the Executive Committee of the Librarians' Assembly, the Rights and Responsibilities Committee works to improve the professional environment of librarians at Harvard by identifying and promoting a vision for librariansí professional roles. The committee also examines how librarians, in fulfilling their roles, support and enhance the mission of the University. The Rights and responsibilities Committee may be charged by the Executive Committee to undertake related projects.

    2. Review of the Charge:
      1. the Rights and Responsibilities Committee would continue to report to the Executive Committee;
      2. it would continue to work to improve the professional environment of librarians and other members of the Librariansí Assembly at Harvard by identifying and promoting a vision for Assembly membersí professional roles;
      3. it would continue to examine how Assembly members, in fulfilling their roles, support and enhance the mission of the University;
      4. it would continue to be available to be charged by the Executive Committee to undertake related projects.


    3. Recommended changes to the charge:
      Inasmuch as the activities of the Committee would remain the same, the meaning of the charge requires no amendment, however, as the depth and breadth of those activities is recommended to amplify and revitalize, the following revised charge is offered:

      Reporting to the Executive Committee of the Librarians' Assembly, the Rights and Responsibilities Committee identifies and promotes a vision of the professional roles of librarians and other members of the Librariansí Assembly within the University and identifies how Assembly members support and enhance the mission of the University. The Rights and Responsibilities Committee monitors issues, policies, and best practices within the library profession and the Harvard University library system, and disseminates information regarding such to the membership of the Librariansí Assembly. The Rights and Responsibilities Committee monitors, promotes, and facilitates the participation of Assembly members in activities and endeavors beyond the library. The Rights and Responsibilities Committee may be charged by the Executive Committee to undertake related projects.

  1. Recommendations for Vital Participation

    Our recommendations for the vital participation of the Rights and Responsibilities Committee include a vision of rights and responsibilities that can serve as a conceptual framework for action in addition to specific suggestions for activities.

    The fundamental premise on which the Rights and Responsibilities Committee operates is that rights, as such, should be construed broadly to encompass the basic injunction that in the professional environment no harm should befall the mental or physical well-being of any Assembly member in the course of their work, and that appropriate compensation should be rendered for that work. Attendant to such rights are the obligations that Assembly members be competent in their position responsibilities; that Assembly members make professional contributions to the Library and the University; that Assembly members achieve professional growth and make contributions to the wider library science field as a whole.

    Suggested Activities for the Rights and Responsibilities Committee are:

    1. Represent the broad interests of the membership of the Librariansí Assembly by addressing any matters that fall outside, or overlap among, the purview of the other Librariansí Assembly committees, as determined by the Executive Committee;
    2. Monitor professional literature for developing issues of concern; for example, library security, intellectual access, patron privacy and federal legislation, institutional support for librariansí professional development within and outside Harvard, maintaining library standards.
    3. Disseminate information regarding issues of concern via Committee website, email, mailing list, etc., and facilitate discussion of developments through meetings, forums, speakers, etc.
    4. Review the participation and committee representation of Assembly members in Harvard University-wide activities by periodic surveys, Committee website announcements of Assembly membersí participation in activities, etc.
    5. Identify and encourage participation in University-wide activities where Assembly members are under-represented by periodic panel discussions with Assembly members who have participated in such activities; by finding possible opportunities to serve and publicizing these via the Committee website, email, mailing list, etc.
    6. Collect and disseminate information on policies and procedures regarding issues common to all libraries within the Harvard University system, so as to further collective knowledge and to encourage the sharing of expertise within the University library system.
    7. Encourage suggestions directly from the members of the Librariansí Assembly on matters of relevance to the Rights and Responsibility Committee, by periodic surveys and email requests, suggestions link on Committee website, etc.

Respectfully submitted,
Rights and Responsibilities Review Committee:
Renata Kalnins
Patricia Tully
Jan Voogd, chair
April 15, 2003

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