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Constitution and By-laws

Constitution – Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific

Download the APLAP Constitution and By-Laws (pdf 177kb)

1.  Name

The name of the Association is the ‘ASSOCIATION OF THE PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARIANS OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC’. It may be known by the acronym APLAP.

2.  Purpose

The purposes for which the Association is established are to –

i.  Encourage understanding of, and cooperation between parliamentary libraries and research and information services attached to the National and State/Provincial Legislatures in the region. (See Note 1)

ii.  Consider any matters affecting the common interests or operation of Parliamentary Libraries.

iii.  Initiate, develop, establish and support ideas, methods and techniques likely to result in the better functioning of Parliamentary Libraries generally, and in particular their effective provision of information relevant to the needs of the Parliamentarians they serve.

iv.  Foster a clearer understanding of the respective needs and roles of members of Parliament and their Parliamentary Libraries by establishing a forum for better communication between the two.

v.  Provide a body which can speak and act on behalf of its several constituents on mattes coming within the ambit of its authority.

vi.  Advance the cause of Parliamentary Librarianship generally and liaise closely with IFLA and other bodies and associations with common interests.

3.  Memberships

i.  Institutional Members

The chief librarian or equivalent in each of the legislatures in the Asia Pacific region in eligible for institutional membership of the Association upon payment of the prescribed subscription. Where a legislature does not have a chief librarian or equivalent the Presiding Officers may nominate another officer as Member. (See Note 2)

ii.  Associate Members

Other interested administrative, library, research, and or information staff employed in or working with the legislatures in the region may be associate members upon payment of the annual associate membership subscription.

Membership subscriptions are prescribed in the By-laws.

4.  Offices

In a General Business meeting held during each Biennial Conference Institutional members shall elect a:


Vice President (Asia)

Vice President (Pacific)

Secretary and


These office holders shall form the Association’s Executive Committee and may co-opt up to two Institutional members to serve ex officio in the Committee.

No person shall be eligible to serve longer than two consecutive terms of two years in the same office.

i.   An executive Committee member shall cease to hold office if s/he –

ii.  Ceases to be a member of the Association

iii.  Ceases to be employed in a legislature in the region

iv.  Resigns from the office

v.  Is requested in writing to resign by no less than one third of the members in good standing.

5.  Casual Vacancies

Where a position on the Executive Committee falls vacant between biennial conferences, it may be filled for the remainder of the allotted term through a postal ballot of members to be conducted by the remaining members of the Executive Committee with nominations being called within 30 days of the vacancy occurring.

6.  Powers and Responsibilities of Office Holders

i.  President

The President, on the authorisation of the Executive Committee, shall issue statements, enter into negotiations on behalf of the Association and represent its views and opinions.

Where the President undertakes such activities without prior agreement on policy at a biennial meeting, statements made on behalf of the Association shall be subject to ratification at the next general business meeting.

ii.  Other office bearers

Powers of other office bearers are set out in the By-laws.

7.  Meetings

A conference of the Association shall be held biennially at such times and at such places as the Executive Committee shall determine following consultation with the host librarian/director. During the course of the biennial conference, at least one general business meeting shall be held. The procedures and rules for meetings and set out in the By-laws.

8.  Standing Committees and other Subordinate Bodies

The members present at a General Business meeting may appoint Standing Committees, Working Parties, Task Forces, or make other appropriate arrangements, for carrying out studies, or special tasks determined by the meeting. The Standing Committees and other bodies shall operate in accordance with the Association’s By-laws.

9.  Finance

All funds are to be used to advance the aims of the Association and to meet the administrative costs associated with its operation.

10.  Amendments to the Constitution

The Constitution of the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific may be amended by a two thirds majority of Institutional members at a duly constituted meeting with at least 60 days’ notice in writing of the proposed change required.

The By-laws may be amended by a simple majority of full members present at any duly constituted business meeting or by postal ballot.

11.  Dissolution

The Association shall be dissolved if a two thirds majority of the Institutional members present at a duly constituted general meeting decide by special resolution that it be dissolved. However, written notice must be given to the membership at least 60 days in advance of any meeting constituted for the purpose.


Note 1 – State and Provincial legislatures eligible for membership of the Association are those legislatures where powers are defined or established in conjunction with the national constitution.

Note 2 – the Chief Librarian or Director may designate the Deputy Librarian of Deputy Director or equivalent to represent the legislature as Institutional Member. The designated person must have full authority to speak and act on behalf of the Library.


By-laws – Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific

1.  Procedures For Biennial Conferences And Business Meetings

1.1—Biennial Conferences shall be held in alternate years, commencing in 1990 for the purposes of:

a)  Determining Association policy, strategies and action;

b)  Promoting interpersonal contact between members of the Association;

c)  Permitting members to discuss matters of common concern and interest;

d)  Election of office bearers of the Association; and

e)  Discussion papers and presentations by participants and/or guest speakers.

1.2—Conferences shall be timed, wherever possible, to coincide with a common parliamentary recess and shall be hosted, by agreement, by each of the participating Legislatures in rotation. The order shall be determined by the Executive Committee in consultation with the host Librarian/Director of the prospective venue, subject to the endorsement of the respective Presiding Officer and/or Library Committee.


The following individuals may participate in a Conference:

a)  Members

In addition to Institutional and Associate Members of the Association, members of the respective Secretariat may, with the concurrence of their Librarian or Director, attend open sessions of the Conference and participate in the proceedings.

b)  Observers

Attendance at open sessions by persons making application to attend shall be subject to the prior consent of the Executive Committee.

c)  Guest Speakers

The Host Librarian/Director may, at his or her discretion and with the concurrence of the Executive Committee, invite attendance at open sessions of such persons as are able to contribute by their professional expertise or special knowledge to the purpose and proceedings of the Conference.

1.4—Conference Fees

The Executive Committee may determine a Conference fee for participation by non-members in APLAP Conferences. No fees shall be charged to Institutional Members.


1.5.1 – Not less than 90 days’ notice of every Biennial Conference specifying the place and dates of the Conference and the business to be dealt with shall be given to members, the communication being sent to each member’s official address.

1.5.2 – Chairperson

The President, or in the absence of the President, a Vice-President shall take the chair at Biennial Conferences. In the absence of these officers, the members present shall choose someone of their number to be Chairperson.

1.5.3 – Voting

Voting for offices shall be by secret ballot.

Other voting shall be by show of hands. Where there is a tied vote, the motion shall have failed. A motion may be put by any member present and shall be seconded, but only one representative from each parliamentary institution shall be entitled to vote upon it. The Chairperson shall have the option of requesting that a motion be submitted in written form before accepting it for debate.

1.5.4 – Quorum

A quorum shall be constituted by the presence of no less than one-third of the Institutional Membership. No motion shall be accepted if a quorum is lacking.

1.5.5 – Minutes

Minutes of the General Business Meeting, which shall be circulated to all members within 30 days of the meeting, shall be kept by the Secretary and shall be confirmed at a subsequent meeting.

1.5.6 ­– Annual Report

The President shall present an Annual Report of the Association’s activities and financial accounts in the first issue of the APLAP Newsletter of each calendar year.

1.6—Conference Organization

1.6.1 – The host Librarian/Director for each Conference shall, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Association:

Convene the Conference, draw up its program, solicit contributions and papers and keep members informed of progress. Tours to Libraries and information facilities of particular interest may be included in the program.

1.6.2 – Conference papers shall be submitted in advance and shall be distributed to participants prior to the Conference sessions. Papers are not to be read but are open for discussion following a brief address by the author.

1.6.3 – The Executive Committee shall decide which papers are to be published as part of the permanent record of the proceedings of the Conference. The Conference Chairperson shall be responsible for producing and distributing such record.

1.6.4 ­– Conference proceedings may be taped or otherwise recorded, provided that Conference participants shall have the right to have materials withheld from the permanent record.

1.6.5 – A Conference dinner will generally be arranged to coincide with the Conference. Delegates may be required to meet the cost of the Conference dinner themselves.

1.6.6 – The Conference organisers shall not be responsible for the expenses of Conference participants.

2.  Subscriptions

2.1—Subscriptions shall be due on 1 July each year.

2.2—Membership of either an Institutional or Associate Member shall lapse if the annual subscription remains unpaid for twelve months.

2.3—The Annual Subscription shall be determined at each Biennial Conference and can be varied by vote of a simple majority of those Institutional Members present.

2.4—The subscriptions for 1990-91 and 1991-92 shall be:

Institutional Member: $(US) 100.00

Associate Member: $(US) 10.00

2.5—The Treasurer will circulate a subscription renewal notice in June of each year with full payment details.

3.  Powers And Responsibilities Of Office Holders

3.1—The President chairs all meetings of the Executive Committee and at least the formal or Business Sessions at the Biennial Conference.


The Vice-Presidents are required to act for the President as necessary and may be required to fulfil other duties, for example, Newsletter Editor.


The Secretary is responsible for the minutes of all Business Meetings of the Association and Executive Committee and for all correspondence and action agreed by a Business Meeting or the Executive Committee. The Secretary maintains the roll of members and ensures that all meetings are convened in accordance with the Constitution and By-laws.


The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the Association’s financial records and for making payments with the authorization of the President of the Association. The Treasurer prepares an annual financial report on behalf of the Executive Committee and recommends the subscription fee schedule to each Biennial Business Meeting.


Initially, the Secretariat shall be in the National Assembly Library, Republic of Korea.

4.  Roll Of Members

4.1—The Secretary shall compile and maintain a Roll of Members containing details of the name and position held by the member, the member’s postal address and telephone, fax and telex numbers, where appropriate.

4.2—The Roll shall be used to prepare a membership list for distribution to all members at each Biennial Conference.

5.  Nominations For The Executive Committee

5.1—The Secretary shall call for nominations for the positions on the Executive Committee three months (90 days) prior to the date of the Biennial Conference.

5.2—Nominations, which do not require a seconder, may be made by Institutional Members who are willing to stand for office. If a member wishes to nominate another member for office, the nomination must contain a statement by the nominee that he or she is willing to stand.

5.3—Nominations must reach the Secretary 1 month (30 days) prior to the date of the Biennial Conference and the Secretary will immediately notify all Institutional Members of the names of all nominees and will circulate a proxy form to enable those unable to attend the conference to vote.

6.  Voting By Proxy

6.1—Institutional Members unable to attend the Biennial Conference shall be permitted to vote for members of the Executive Committee by proxy. Proxies must reach the Secretary prior to the official opening of the Biennial Conference or Business Meeting, whichever is held first.

7.  Operations of standing committees and other subordinate bodies

7.1—Standing Committees and other subordinate bodies shall operate under terms of reference approved by the Association at a General Meeting.

7.2—The Chairperson or Convenor of each Standing Committee or other subordinate body shall be an Institutional Member of the Association.

7.3—Members of Standing Committees and other subordinate bodies may be drawn from the staff of Institutional Member Libraries in order to bring all available expertise to the benefit of the Association’s affairs.

7.4—Standing Committees and other subordinate bodies shall be required to report to the President and the Association upon the completion of particular tasks, or annually, in relation to on-going activities.

Accepted in principle, 10 May 1990, Seoul, Republic of Korea.