Constitution of the Polar Libraries Colloquy
(Approved July 7, 1994; amended June 21, 1996, September 24, 1998 and June 27, 2012)
Name of the association
The name of the association is the Polar Libraries Colloquy.
Aim and purpose of the association
The Polar Libraries Colloquy (hereafter called the PLC) provides a forum through which librarians and
others evidencing an abiding interest in the collection, preservation, and dissemination of polar information,
discuss issues of mutual concern and promote initiatives leading to improved collections and services.
In order to implement its aims, the PLC:
- holds an international conference every two years, or at an interval agreed upon by the membership;
- exchanges information by appropriate means;
- co-operates with other national and international organizations whose aims are complementary to those of the PLC.
Membership of the PLC is open to all persons and institutions evidencing an abiding interest in the collection,
preservation, and dissemination of polar information. There will be three categories of membership:
- Individual - Individual members shall be entitled to vote and to hold office;
- Honorary - Honorary members shall be entitled to vote and to hold office;
- Institutional - Institutional members shall not be entitled to vote or to hold office.
Individual and institutional members must pay an annual membership fee, which will be established in the
business meeting of the preceding colloquy. Honorary members shall pay no fees.
Applications for membership must be directed to the PLC Steering Committee. The status of Honorary Member
may only be conferred by a proposal from the floor and agreed to at the business meeting.
Organization and administration
Decisions regarding the aims, purposes and functioning of the PLC are approved in the business meeting held
during the international conference (hereafter called the business meeting).
The PLC's activities are directed and planned by the PLC Steering Committee which is elected at the business
meeting to serve until the next business meeting. These members shall, as far as possible, be chosen so as to
be representative of the different regions and types of libraries comprising the PLC membership in general.
An international conference is held every two years, or other agreed interval. The venue and host organization
are decided upon according to procedures stipulated in the Bylaws. An institution or site wishing to host the next
PLC conference should inform the PLC Steering Committee at least sixty days prior to the business meeting.
The organization and financial arrangements of the international conference are the responsibility of the
host organization, which shall also be responsible for the preparation, publication and distribution of the
conference proceedings. Organizations hosting the international conference should budget to cover costs but
not make a profit. Arrangements for the international conference should be made by the conference host in
consultation with a conference organizing committee, the latter being selected at the preceding PLC business
meeting. The role of the conference organizing committee is essentially consultative and supportive of the
conference host, who retains primary responsibility for the making of conference arrangements.
Entry into effect of this constitution
This Constitution will come into force at the close of the business meeting at which it is approved by
a two-thirds majority of the members voting.
Changes to the constitution of the colloquy
Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by any member. Such amendments must be submitted in
writing to the PLC Steering Committee in time for dissemination prior to the business meeting.
Adoption of an amendment requires an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the
members present at the business meeting.
Changes to the Bylaws of the colloquy
Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by any member. Such amendments must be submitted in writing
to the PLC Steering Committee in time for dissemination prior to the business meeting.
Adoption of an amendment requires an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members
present at the business meeting.
- For the purpose of the business meeting at which the adoption of this constitution will first be mooted
(15th PLC, Cambridge), all delegates attending the business meeting will be considered as members with full
- The selection of the venue for the PLC conference will be recommended by the PLC Steering Committee
for approval by the general membership at the business meeting. The tradition of alternating between the
European and North American continents will be considered in venue selection with due consideration given
to other regions as evidence of interest becomes apparent.
The PLC Steering Committee will reach their decision taking into account the following factors:
The prospective host should offer:
- a demonstrated, on-going commitment to the aims of the PLC;
- the ability to provide a suitable venue including appropriate accommodations and meeting facilities, and relevant and interesting sites to visit;
- a significant polar collection;
- a record of successfully hosting international conferences;
- a letter of invitation from the director of the institution;
- evidence of institutional commitment, both financial and physical;
- a suitable theme for the conference;
- a commitment to publish the proceedings.
Consideration shall be given to appropriate sites which have yet to host the PLC conference.
- There shall be a PLC Steering Committee, herein referred to as the "PLCSC", that shall direct
and plan the activities of the PLC and take such actions as it considers necessary to carry out the objectives
of the PLC and perform such other functions as the membership may direct.
The PLC Steering Committee shall consist of at least four and not more than seven members elected by the
membership. Additional ex officio members shall consist, at least, of the bulletin editor(s) and the chair
of the next colloquy. Nominations for, and election of, PLCSC members shall be made at the PLC business
PLCSC members shall elect PLCSC officers from among their elected members as follows: the chair, the vice-chair/chair-elect, the secretary and the treasurer.
All members of the PLCSC shall be members of the PLC.
The PLCSC shall hold at least one meeting biennially in association with the PLC and may hold additional
meetings. Fifty percent shall constitute a quorum.
A vacancy among the officers of the PLCSC, except in the office of chair, shall be filled by majority vote
of the remaining members of the PLCSC, this PLCSC-elected officer to serve until the next biennial election.
A vacancy in the office of chair shall be filled by the vice-chair/chair-elect.
The term of office of all PLCSC members shall be at least one cycle (usually two years) between meetings of
the PLC. The chair shall normally serve one cycle. The vice-chair/chair-elect, the secretary and the treasurer shall
serve two cycles without standing for re-election. With the exception of the offices of chair and vice-chair/chair-elect,
any officer shall be eligible for re-election. The chair and vice-chair/chair-elect shall be eligible for election to
any other PLCSC office. All members of the PLCSC shall serve until their successors are elected and assume their
duties. The term of office shall commence at the adjournment of the PLC Business Meeting.
The chair shall be chief executive officer of the PLC and, subject to the PLCSC, shall:
- preside at all meetings of the PLCSC and
- represent the PLC and/or the PLCSC as needed.
The vice-chair/chair-elect shall:
- assist the chair in the performance of the duties of the chair and
- assume all the duties and obligations of the chair in the event of absence or withdrawal of the chair.
The secretary shall:
- keep a record of all meetings of the PLC and of the PLCSC;
- prepare this record for publication in the PLC Bulletin and/or the PLC Proceedings;
- keep a record of all correspondence related to the PLC; and
- at routine intervals, deposit copies of PLC-related documentation into the PLC Archives
held at the Archives and Manuscripts Section, Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
The treasurer shall:
- collect all dues from the PLC;
- have custody of the PLC funds;
- sign all cheques drawn upon PLC funds; and
- furnish such financial statements as may be required by the PLC or the PLCSC.