(Adopted on 2/15/12; edited 11/5/13; amended 2/10/14)


The name of this organization shall be the Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA).


The purpose of COLA shall be to improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders by supporting libraries of all kinds. COLA shall work to help improve library services through advocacy, education, public awareness, the encouragement of local library-support groups, and other activities.


Section 1. Membership is open to any person, organization, corporation, or association interested in joining, upon payment of annual dues.

Section 2. There shall be individual or organizational memberships. Organizational membership shall be open to any corporation, institution, or association. Organizational members are eligible to participate and vote, through their president, Chair, or other authorized representative.

Section 3. All members have equal voting and membership rights.

Section 4. Annual membership dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors. Members who fail to pay dues for two consecutive years shall be considered to have resigned. The Board may waive annual dues for members who have made contributions in kind to COLA, or for other reasons.

Section 5. Honorary memberships may be awarded by the Board of Directors to people who have made outstanding contributions to COLA or to library service.


Section 1. An annual meeting of members shall be held each calendar year, at a time and place to be designated by the Board of Directors. Notice shall be given to all members at least ten days before the meeting.

Section 2. Other meetings of the membership may be held at the call of the Chair or a majority of the Board of Directors.

Section 3. Special meetings shall be called by the Chair, at the request of a majority of the Board of Directors, or upon written request of 10 per cent of the membership (but not fewer than 10 people).

Section 4. One-tenth of the total paid membership, but not fewer than 10 people, shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business. If a quorum is present, the majority of members present shall decide a question. The Chair may vote on any question.


Section 1. The activities of COLA shall be managed by a Board of Directors.

Section 2. The elected Board of Directors shall consist of four officers and at least 10 and no more than 12 members. These Directors shall be elected by the membership. No more than four elected members of the Board shall be practicing professional librarians.

Section 3. In addition to the elected Directors, the Board shall include one representative each of 1) Association of RI Health Sciences Librarians (ARIHSL), 2) Consortium of RI Academic and Research Libraries (CRIARL), 3) Cornucopia of Rhode Island, 4) RI Library Association (RILA), 5) School Librarians of RI (SLRI), 6) Special Libraries Association (SLA), 7) URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (URI GSLIS), to insure representation from RI’€™s library constituencies. A representative of the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) shall serve on the Board ex officio. Each library organization shall be represented by its president or Chair or appointee; the organization shall accept or decline the opportunity to be represented, and shall name its representative soon after the COLA annual meeting. The appointee shall be authorized to speak and vote for the organization. No vote shall be delayed pending such authorization.

Section 4. The term of office for elected members of the Board of Directors shall be three years.  No elected Director may serve more than two consecutive terms. Every effort shall be made to stagger terms.

Section 5. The term limit of a Director shall not apply while the Director is serving as an officer; however, service before and/or after the Director holds office shall be included in the calculation of term limits of Directors other than officers.

Section 6. All members of the Board of Directors shall be paid members of COLA.


Section 1. The Board of Directors shall meet at least six times a year, upon at least one week’s notice. Additional meetings may be held at the call of the Chair.

Section 2. Seven members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.


Section 1. The officers shall be a Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2. The Chair shall preside over the activities of the organization and shall appoint the Chairs of all committees. S/he shall serve ex-officio on all committees except the Nominating Committee. S/he shall report to the membership on the activities of COLA at its annual meeting.

Section 3. The Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect shall preside in the absence of the Chair, and shall perform any other duties delegated by the Chair.  S/he shall become Chair of COLA when his/her predecessor’s term is over or upon the resignation of the Chair.

Section 4. The Secretary shall keep minutes of meetings and other records of the organization, and shall see that Board members receive adequate notice of meetings. S/he shall be responsible for mailing all general membership notices S/he shall perform any other functions delegated by the Chair or appropriate to the office.

Section 5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the funds of the organization and keep accurate records of all transactions. S/he shall report on the finances of the organization to the Board of Directors and to the membership at their meetings.

Section 5. Except for the Treasurer, each officer’s term shall be one year. The Treasurer’s term shall be three years. No officer may serve in the office to which s/he was elected for more than six consecutive years.


The officers of COLA shall constitute an Executive Committee, which shall act on behalf of the Board of Directors between its meetings. Actions of the Executive Committee shall be reported at the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors for review.


Section 1. There shall be two standing committees: the Nominating Committee and the Membership Committee

Section 2.  Other committees may be established by the Chair with the approval of the Board of Directors.  Each committee shall have a specific charge to be developed by the Board of Directors

Section 3. The Chair of COLA shall appoint the Chairs of all committees, except the Nominating Committee, either from the Board or from the membership, with the approval of the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Except for the Nominating Committee, each committee Chair shall recruit   committee members.  Every effort shall be made to draw committee members from the general membership.


Section 1. A Nominating Committee, including a Chair, shall be elected at the annual meeting.  At least two members shall be drawn from the Board of Directors. At least one member of the Committee shall have served on the previous year’s Nominating Committee.

Section 2. Each year, the Nominating Committee shall select a slate of 1) officers, 2) directors, and 3) members of the next year’s Nominating Committee, including the Chair of the Committee, with their consent. At least ten days before the annual meeting, the Committee shall mail its recommended slate to the membership.

Section 3. The slate shall be voted on by a majority of members present and voting at the annual meeting. Nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member.

Section 4. Vacancies in office, on the Board of Directors, and on the Nominating Committee shall be filled by the Board until the next regular election.


These bylaws may be amended or repealed by the vote of two-thirds of the membership present and voting at an annual meeting. Notice of proposed bylaws changes must be sent to the membership no fewer than ten days before the meeting.


In the absence of other directives, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail.