Frequently asked questions about Standing Committee (SC) membership and elections

  1. SC membership in general
  2. Resignations, inactivity and vacancies
  3. Becoming an SC member
  4. Roles on the SC

SC membership in general

Q: I'm an Officer, how do I get a list of the names and terms of the SC members in my Section?
A: Please write to the IFLA Secretariat at for a list.

Q: How do I identify SC members at the WLIC?
A: Officers receive a little coloured flag on their congress badge so that HQ staff, PC members, and others, are able to identify you. It is more difficult to identify members of your SC on sight. Some Sections have partly solved this by taking a photograph of their SC altogether at the first meeting during the WLIC and posting this onto their website with a key identifying who is who. We are not able to put individual photographs on the SC contact list at this time, simply due to the staffing time required.

Resignations, inactivity and vacancies

Q: What happens if an SC member stands down mid-term?
A: This means there is a casual vacancy. Rules 18.24-18.26 of the Rules of Procedure refer to this (see below). Please inform IFLA HQ of any changes to the SC.

Q: What should I do if there are inactive members on the SC?
A: Rules 18.24–26 on Casual Vacancies from the Rules of Procedure apply to this situation, they are copied below. In R18.26, a meeting of the SC can also include a virtual meeting. To give the inactive member a chance to explain you should write to inform them of these rules and to give them a deadline to contact you after which the SC will assume they have resigned.  Contact IFLA HQ to find out if there is anyone who fulfills the conditions in R18.24, otherwise, the Chair can propose to the SC someone to fill the vacancy as in R18.25.

Please inform IFLA HQ of any changes to the SC.

Rules concerning vacancies and resignations
R18.24 In the event of a casual vacancy in the position of an elected member of the Standing Committee, the unsuccessful candidate who received the highest number of votes in the most recent election for places on the Standing Committee shall fill the vacancy for the remaining term. On completion of that term, the person concerned may be nominated for election to the Standing Committee in the normal way.

R18.25 If no such candidate is available, the Standing Committee Chair may co-opt a person to fill the vacancy for the remaining term. On completion of that term, the person may be nominated for election to the Standing Committee in the normal way.

R18.26 Any member of a Standing Committee who fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the committee without reasonable explanation shall be deemed to have resigned. The place thus vacated shall be filled according to the provisions in Rules 18.24 and 18.25.

Becoming an SC member

Q: How do I get new members to join my Section's SC?
A: In around October of every even-numbered year (2016, 2018, etc), there will be a call for nominations for candidates to serve on the SCs for the four-year period from August of the following year (in October 2016 the call will be for serving the term August 2017 to August 2021, etc). Officers should be aware of how many replacements will be needed to ensure there is the minimum ten people on the SC. Officers should also help to ensure that outgoing SC members record and pass on any information necessary either to existing or new members.

Q: What if I have a full SC, or it is not election time, and I have someone interested in participating on the SC?
A: If you have people who want to contribute to the SC and were not nominated or elected, for whatever reason, there is the possibility of appointing them as Corresponding Members at any point in between elections. Read more about Corresponding Members.

Q: How many SC candidates can be nominated during the upcoming SC nomination round?
A: Each IFLA Member can nominate one candidate per IFLA Section they are registered for. The same person cannot be nominated for more than one Section.

SCs must have between 10 and 20 members. If too many nominations are received then there will be an election among the IFLA Members registered for that Section who will be asked to vote on all the nominated individuals. If there are more spaces on the SC than nominations, then all nominated individuals are appointed.

To find out how many of the current SC are coming to the end of their term contact IFLA HQ

Q: Can Student and Non-salaried Affiliates nominate SC members?
A: Yes, every IFLA Member and Affiliate is entitled to nominate an SC member for the Sections he/she is registered for.

Q: If I know someone who is interested in being on the SC, or someone comes to me to ask how to get on, how do I find someone to nominate them?
A: IFLA HQ can send to you (an Officer) a list of the members in your Section. You may use this list to contact the members to ask if anyone would nominate the candidate. Individuals who are Affiliate Members of IFLA may also nominate candidates, and it is possible to self-nominate. People are elected to SCs in a personal capacity and do not represent an organization.

Q: Are there any plans to change the rules so that corporate partners can be members of Sections? Some are closely involved with the Section and it would be good if they could be on the SC.
A: No. Corporate partners cannot be members of IFLA (according to the statutes) and so cannot be members of the Sections. However, any individual may join IFLA as a personal affiliate, in which capacity they can join one or more Sections and, as with all personal affiliates, can then nominate themselves or another person for the SCs of the Sections they are registered for. Read more details of this individual category of Member.

Note that all SC members are elected on a personal capacity and do not represent the organization they work for.

Roles on the SC

Q: Is there the possibility for a Section to have a Co-Chair?
A: Not officially. According to the Rules of Procedure, there is one Chair and one Secretary who are identified as Officers. The function of Co-chair does not officially exist, however, a Section SC may wish to appoint a Co-Chair and can define how this will work within the SC. Communication from HQ will be sent to the two elected Officers who can distribute the information to others within the SC as necessary.

Q: Are Information Coordinators (ICs) Officers?
A: ICs are not Officers as defined in the Rules of Procedure. ICs are generally responsible for publishing the Section’s newsletter and other leaflets, and updating the Section’s web pages. Make sure you are in regular contact with the IC during the year to provide updates for your Section’s website.

Last update: 1 March 2016