Position Papers

Definition and Guidelines: Position Papers

  1. Definition: A LAUC position paper documents the Association's position on crucial, broad, and recurrent issues relating to the work and mission of librarians in the University of California. Position papers reflect topics of shared concern and consensus among the membership and provide guidance for the Divisions, library and campus administrations, and the Office of the President. Divisions advise on the incorporation of position paper concepts or language into local policies and procedures.
  2. Development: The decision to prepare a position paper is the culmination of broad discussions and consultation among the membership concerning an issue. The development of a position typically begins with charging a committee to study an issue and report the findings. As a result of the discussion of the report by the Divisions and subsequent discussion and vote at the Assembly, the strength of support manifested for a specific position may suggest development of a position paper.
    The President, in consultation with the Executive Board, determines whether a position paper is an appropriate means of expressing guidance on an issue. This decision is based upon the significance and impact of the issue and upon the support shown by the membership for documenting a statement of position on the issue. The substance of the position paper is based upon LAUC reports and recommendations that have received broad discussion and acceptance by a significant majority of the Assembly.
    The President, in consultation with the Executive Board, will appoint a committee to draft a position paper, unless such language is already substantially available as a result of previous work of the Association. The committee may consult comparable documents of other advisory bodies, such as the Academic Senate, or the LAUC Archives.
  3. Adoption and Dissemination: After review and revision by the Executive Board, the draft position paper is distributed to the Division chairs for full membership discussion. A position paper is adopted by a vote of the Assembly.
    Position papers will be distinctively titled rather than numbered consecutively. The text will include a notation of the date of adoptions and reaffirmation, or retirement if applicable.
    Adopted position papers are distributed by the President to the membership, University Librarians, campus and library administrations, and the University of California Office of the President (UCOP).
  4. Review: Position Papers are subject to periodic review to ensure that a consensus of opinion still supports the position statement. The President will initiate a review of the position papers at least every five years. Recommendations to change the status of a position paper are disseminated to the Divisions for discussion and adopted by vote of the Assembly. Position papers may be:
  • Reaffirmed
  • Retired: If a position paper no longer represents the opinion of the membership, the position paper will be retired. The text will be archived.
  • Replaced: A new position paper may be developed when there is consensus on a new position on an issue of continuing concern.

Originally approved by the LAUC Assembly Fall 1982. Revised version adopted by vote of the Assembly, June 2004.