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A Section of the Rhode Island Library Association


Note: On November 7, 2017, the COLA Board approved edits to the Bylaws, most recently amended by the general membership at the Annual Meeting of February 10, 2014. This draft accepts and updates a clean copy of the 11/7/17 COLA Board version since COLA has become a section of RILA. COLA’s ByLaws are now consistent with RILA’s ByLaws. 


The name of this organization shall be the Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA). It is a Section of the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA), following a Memorandum of Agreement unanimously approved at a meeting of the general COLA membership on April 10, 2018.


The Mission: The Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates (COLA) is a statewide non-profit grassroots organization that advocates for libraries of all kinds, to enhance the quality of life of all Rhode Islanders.


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

Section 2. There shall be individual and organizational memberships. Organizational membership shall be open to any corporation, institution, or association.

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

Section 4. Annual COLA membership dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors and collected by RILA.

Section 5. Honorary memberships may be awarded by the Board of Directors to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to COLA or to library service. Any individual who is an honorary member shall continue to enjoy all privileges of active membership, and shall be exempt from the payment of dues.


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 and coordinated with the RILA Annual Conference. 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 percent 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 Board of Directors shall consist of three elected officers and at least six but no more than twelve members. These Directors shall be elected by the membership. No more than 50 percent of elected Directors shall be practicing professional librarians.

Section 3. In addition to the elected Directors, the Board shall include one representative each of 1) Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA), 2) Association of RI Health Sciences Librarians (ARIHSL), 3) Consortium of RI Academic and Research Libraries (CRIARL), 4) Cornucopia of Rhode Island (CORI), 5) RI Library Association (RILA), 6) School Librarians of RI (SLRI), 7) Special Libraries Association of Rhode Island (SLARI), 8) URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (URI GSLIS), to ensure 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.

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


Section 1. The Board of Directors shall meet at least four times a year, upon at least two 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, and Secretary.

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 serve as COLA’s non-voting delegate to RILA’s Executive Board, or appoint an alternative delegate. 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. The Chair shall create an annual budget for COLA and submit it to RILA’s Executive Committee for approval.

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 receive COLA’s financial statements from the RILA treasurer and communicate updated information to the Board. 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. Each officer’s term shall be two years. No officer may serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.


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 three standing committees: the Nominating Committee (elected by the general membership), the Marketing Committee, and the Membership Committee. COLA shall also provide at least one member for RILA’s Legislative Action Committee.

Section 2.  Additional committees may be established ad hoc by the Chair with the approval of the Directors. 

Section 3. The Chair shall appoint the chairs for the Marketing, Membership, and any Ad Hoc committees, as well as a COLA delegate to the RILA Legislative Action Committee. Such appointments may be filled from the Board or the general membership.

Section 4. Appointed committee chairs shall recruit members from the Board and 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 thirty days before the annual meeting, the Committee shall publish via newsletter, online, and/or e-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.


Section 1. These bylaws are consistent with the RILA Constitution.

Section 2. Amendment or repeal of these bylaws requires the vote of 51% of the COLA membership present and voting at an annual meeting or online. Notice of proposed bylaws changes must be published via the newsletter, online, or e-mail to the membership no fewer than two weeks before the meeting.

Section 3. The relationship between COLA and RILA, under the MOA of April 10, 2018, may be dissolved at the request of two-thirds of eligible voters at a meeting of the COLA general membership.


 The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern COLA in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with the RILA Constitution bylaws.

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