Procedure for election of new Officers and Information Coordinator

The following notes are intended to assist the current Officers in following the correct procedure for the election of new Officers in 2019.

Contents of this page:

Who should attend the meetings during Congress 2019?

Ideally the first SC meeting during Congress is for all SC members - both new members, ongoing members, and those ending their term. During this meeting new Officers should be elected so it is important that the new SC members are invited to participate in this process (see below).

Ideally the second SC meeting during Congress is for the new SC - both new members and ongoing members, and is led by the new Officers. However it may be helpful for outgoing members to also attend.

All SC meetings are open for anyone to attend, but the Chair of the meeting should make sure the agenda is clear to all attending and that it is also clear who can vote and how observers can participate.

What should be the focus of the agenda for each meeting?

The agenda for the first meeting should focus on the handover of work to the new SC. The outgoing SC should approve the annual report and report on the status of ongoing projects. The new SC should elect its Officers so that they can participate in training and activities during the Congress week and also prepare for and lead the second SC meeting. It is also recommended that the new SC identifies an Information Coordinator in the first meeting so that this person can also attend training during the Congressw week

The second meeting should focus on finalising the activities for the coming year. Outgoing and incoming members will have been involved in discussions about a new action plan involving specific activities that will contribute to IFLA's Strategic Plan. In order to carry out the activities, roles and responsibilities should be identified for all SC members.

There is a suggested agenda for the August SC meetings.

How should the election of Officers be organised?

In advance of the Congress, current Officers* should:

  • distribute information to the ongoing and incoming SC members about what it means to be an Officer
  • invite incoming and ongoing SC members to nominate one person for each position; each person can nominate themself. Template email: [DOC]
  • invite incoming SC members to the first SC meeting in order to take part in the election process for the new Officers
  • inform incoming and ongoing SC members of the names of the nominees
  • ask any incoming and ongoing SC members who cannot attend the first meeting to identify a proxy to vote for them; you may offer to put them in touch with a proxy if they do not know anyone yet.

At the first SC meeting:

  • invite nominees for each position to introduce themselves to the SC
  • arrange a secret ballot to take place during the meeting if there is more than one candidate for a position; only incoming and ongoing SC members may vote
  • if two or more candidates receive the same number of votes, then the secret ballot must be repeated to decide between these two candidates.
  • ensure proxy votes are counted
  • declare the results of the election
  • ask the newly elected Officers to complete the nomination form and submit this to the IFLA Secretariat as soon as possible after your SC meeting.

*If one or both current Officers wish to stand for election, identify a member of the SC whose term is coming to an end to run the nomination and election process in your place.

Who is eligible to become an Officer in 2019?

SC members elected for the terms 2017–2021 and 2019 - 2023 are eligible to be elected as Chair or Secretary for the period 2019-2021. The Chair and Secretary are the “Officers” and are the official channels of communication between the Section and the Professional Committee and HQ on matters relating to activities, funding, projects, etc.

The term for each Officer position is two years, once renewable, providing the person's SC term has not come to an end.

Those who have served as Chair for two years are eligible for re-election as Chair for one further term of two years, or election as Secretary. Those who have served as Secretary for two years are eligible for re-election as Secretary for one further term of two years, or election as Chair. Those who have served two consecutive terms as Chair (a total of four years) are eligible for election as Secretary, and those who have served two consecutive terms as Secretary are eligible for election as Chair.

How should current Officers hand over to new Officers?

The current Officers must attend any meetings or events that take place before the first SC meetings and pass on any information from those meetings to the new Officers.

You will be informed in advance who is invited to meetings, workshops, training sessions, etc. that take place after the first SC meetings, as this may vary from year to year.

Officers coming to the end of their term should hand over to the new Officers any files, login details, or tips relating to:

  • Action Plan with progress reports

  • Annual Report

  • Details of ongoing projects

  • Standing Committee and Member contact lists

  • Details of any working arrangements or Standing Committee structure

  • Communications: Unit website and any non-IFLA websites;  mailing lists; social media – Facebook, Twitter, Basecamp, blog; email accounts such as

  • Awards and grants

  • Future Congress plans

  • Other meeting plans

  • Partnerships within IFLA

  • External agreements

  • Any other notes or documents as relevant including minutes of meetings.

A checklist had been produced to help with this: [DOC]

It is recommended that the outgoing Officers arrange a meeting during the Congress week with the incoming Officers to talk about the Section and answer any questions the incoming Officers might have about their role.

The outgoing Officers should continue to work with the new Officers as long as necessary in order to acquaint them with the procedures and ongoing work of the SC.

Appointment to Other Roles on the SC

Information Coordinator (IC)

The new SC should also appoint from among its members an Information Coordinator (IC) who is the SC member responsible for communication from and about the Section. It is recommended that this also takes place in the first SC meeting, so that the IC can attend training and meetings during the Congress week.

There is no set-term limit for an IC and the responsibility can also change mid-term - just let HQ know if there is a change of name.

Details of the full role of IC

Please send IFLA Headquarters the name and contact details of the IC as soon as possible after the first SC meeting.

Other roles and duties

A number of other roles for SC members are suggested, see the page on: Standing Committee Members. SC members serving in these other roles do not need to be reported to IFLA Headquarters but you may wish to indicate them on the Section’s web pages.

The relevant Rules of Procedure are included below

Please see the current Rules of Procedure for the authoritative version of these rules.


R18.27 Successful [SC] candidates take office at the close of the Congress which immediately follows the elections. However, only those members who will be serving on the Standing Committee for the two-year term commencing at the end of the Congress are eligible to nominate, be nominated for, and vote for, the Section Officers to be elected at that Congress in accordance with Rule 18.32.

Section Officers

R18.32 Each Standing Committee shall elect during the annual conference, from amongst its members, a Chair and a Secretary, who shall be known as the Section Officers. Members resident outside a regional Section are not eligible for election as an officer of that Section. They shall represent the Section Standing Committee on the Leadership Forum of the Division to which the Section belongs.

R18.32.1 Each Standing Committee Member may nominate another Member to exercise proxy votes on the Member's behalf in the election for Section Officers. Such Members must notify the (current) Chair of the appointment of a proxy holder in advance in writing or by electronic communication.

R18.33 The term of office for Section Officers is two years. Section Officers may be re-elected to the same office for one further consecutive term of two years, provided they will still be members of the Standing Committee for that period.

R18.34 Only members of the Standing Committee may nominate candidates for these posts. Each member of the Standing Committee is entitled to nominate a candidate for each office.

R18.35 If there is only one nominee for an office, that person will be declared elected. If there is more than one nominee a secret ballot will be held. The candidate with the highest number of votes shall be elected. If two or more candidates receive an equal highest number of votes, the secret ballot will be repeated to decide between these members

Handing over responsibilities

R18.36 When the post of Chair or Secretary is being assumed by a newly-elected person, the outgoing officer shall make every possible effort to ensure the smooth continuity of the work of the Section.

Information current as of: 26 February 2019

Officers, Elections, standing committees, SCs

Last update: 1 August 2019