Zimbabwe Library Association brings together library professionals from all types and forms of library, documentation centre, records centre, archival and information service providers in Zimbabwe. The major thrust of the National Association is to foster cooperation among and between Information Practitioners, Academics, Students and other interested persons in the sector. Further we endeavor to enhance professional development and training in state-of-the-art and good practices in the LIS profession and to equip professionals with new skills to re-tool and to improve existing skills and knowledge.
The following shall be the constitution of the Association and replaces all previous constitutions.
Article 1: Name
The Association shall be known as the Zimbabwe Library Association, hereinafter referred to in its short form as ZimLA. In this document, this body is simply referred to as "The Association".
Article 2: Status
The Association shall continue as a corporate body with perpetual succession that can enter into contractual and other relationships. It can also sue and be sued in its own name, and is an Association not for gain and is apolitical.
Article 3: Objectives
a. To advocate and stimulate awareness for the establishment and development of libraries, documentation, information, records and archival services, among central and local government officials, the private sector, NGOs and educational institutions of their responsibilities,
b. To promote research and improve standards in librarianship, bibliographical, documentation, information, records and archival work, and act as an advisory board in all such matters,
c. To promote the improvement of the positions and qualifications of Information Practitioners, and publicly recognize the contributions and achievements of members,
d. To define codes of professional conduct for Information Practitioners,
e. To coordinate and undertake all such activities, as meetings, conferences, workshops, publications, social gatherings, visits, advocacy and marketing, cooperate with other Associations worldwide with similar aims which will further the above objectives
Article 4: Authority and Business of the Association
The powers of the Association are as follows:
a. To establish and dissolve the National Executive Council (NEC), create and dissolve Branches and Interest Groups and determine the composition of NEC from time to time;
b. To take such steps as may be necessary and possible to safeguard and improve conditions of service of its members;
c. To take such steps as may be necessary and possible to promote the professional development of its members and to make representations on their behalf whenever The Association deems it necessary or expedient to do so;
d. To affiliate to or take up membership of any national or international LIS or related organizations, with the proviso that neither The Association nor any of its Branches, Interest Groups or committees shall affiliate to any cultural, religious, social or political organization;
e. To offer affiliation to other LIS or related organizations;
f. To determine, from time to time, the annual subscriptions payable by its members and the date of payment for such subscriptions;
g. To utilize, invest and dispose of its funds in such a manner as may from time to time be decided upon;
h. To undertake and support the publication of journals, newsletters and other publications
i. To appoint auditors as may be necessary
j. To negotiate for group schemes and other benefits for its members which The Association may deem necessary or desirable from time to time;
k. To organize and administer conferences, training courses and the like for its members, or the public in general;
l. To generally do all things deemed necessary or expedient in order to achieve its objectives;
Article 5: Governance
Unless a referendum is requested, the vote of a general meeting shall be registered as possessing higher authority than the decision of any individual within The Association; The AGM mandates the NEC, as its highest executive organ, to act on behalf of The Association and carry out its resolutions within the powers granted and confirmed to it.
Article 6: Membership
Membership shall be open to all persons or institutions engaged in library, documentation, information, records and archival work and subscribe to The Association's Constitution
Membership shall be divided into the following categories:
- Individual membership
- Institutional membership
1. The above categories can be further sub-divided as determined by the AGM from time to time and provided for in the Rules of The Association
Article 7: Subscriptions
All members shall pay subscriptions as determined by the AGM from time to time. Members are only entitled to enjoy the benefits of membership if their membership subscriptions are up to date.
Continued membership will be subject to the Rules of The Association
Article 8: Meetings
- The Association shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM),
- Fully subscribed members shall be given at least sixty (60) days notice of the agenda, venue and time for the AGM and shall be entitled to attend and vote at such a meeting,
- If an individual member is unable to attend the AGM, s/he may mandate another member to vote on his/her behalf at the AGM by written proxy
1. A Special General Meeting of members:
- may be called by the majority 2/3 of the NEC if circumstances require it OR,
- Shall be called at the written request of twenty five (25) members who have submitted such a request to the NEC with a clear indication of the purpose of that particular meeting.
- unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, a quorum at the AGM and all Special General Meetings shall be 10% of all members entitled to vote, the quorum being made up of members who are present in person or by written proxy
- If a quorum is not present within thirty minutes of the advertised time of the above meetings, the meeting shall be adjourned for thirty minutes. Those members present at such an adjourned meeting shall then be deemed to constitute a quorum, irrespective of their numbers, and such members may transact the business of the meeting,
- the procedure for the holding of the above meetings, as well as any other meetings held by The Association or its organs, shall be determined from time to time and reflected in the Rules of The Association
Article 9: Eligibility for Election, Voting rights, Terms of Office and Disqualifications
1. All fully subscribed individual members of the Association are eligible for nomination as office bearers and members of the NEC. Eligibility for nomination to Branch and Interest Group committees will be provided for in the Rules of The Association.
2. Each subscribed member of the Association shall be entitled to vote for the office-bearers of the NEC. Eligibility for nomination to Branch and Interest Group committees will be provided for in the Rules of The Association.
3. The term of office of elected office-bearers shall be two years. The term of office of all other office-bearers shall be two years. These office-bearers shall be eligible for re-election.
4. An elected member shall vacate office if:
- such members' estate is sequestrated;
- such member is absent for more than two consecutive ordinary meetings of the NEC or committee without leave of that body;
- such member ceases to be a member of The Association;
- such member resigns as a member of the body in question;
- such member is convicted of a serious criminal offence;
- such member is certified as being mentally ill.
5. An elected member may be removed from office, subject to 9.6 and 9.7 below, if:
a. S/he infringes any of the provisions of this Constitution;
b. S/he acts in a manner which is detrimental to the interest of The Association
6. No elected member may be removed from office unless s/he has been afforded an opportunity to state his/her case personally to the body proposing the removal of that elected member.
7. An elected member who has been removed from office and who is dissatisfied with the decision shall have the following right of appeal:
- A committee member of a Branch or committee of NEC or Interest Group shall have the right to appeal to the NEC. Notice of appeal shall be given to the Secretary of the NEC in writing within fourteen (14) days of the date in which the decision was communicated to the person concerned. The decision of the NEC shall be final.
- A member of the NEC or any office-bearer shall have the right to appeal to an independent body of three (3) persons agreed upon by the NEC and the person concerned. The decision of that independent body shall be final.
8. In the event of a vacancy arising among the Councillors, other than the President, through resignation of a member or any other cause, the NEC shall be empowered to fill the vacancy by co-option, pending the next Annual General Meeting
Article 10: Composition of the National Executive Council (NEC)
- Office-bearers shall be elected by all fully subscribed members of The Association by secret ballot and postal vote. The procedure for elections shall be laid down in the Rules of The Association.
- The composition of the National Executive Council shall consist of the following office-bearers and other members:
- President (who shall be the Chairperson of the NEC)
- Vice President (who shall be Chairperson of the Finance Committee)
- National Treasurer
- Advocacy & Marketing Manager
- Branch Chairpersons
- Interest Group(s) Representative
- National Library and Documentation Service (NLDS) Representative
- Student Representative
- Any other the NEC deems necessary
“Hereinafter referred to as Councillors”
c) Eligibility to posts in the National Executive Council shall be as follows:
1 President: Shall be someone who is a fully paid-up member of The Association for a continuous period of five (5) years
2 National Treasurer: Shall be someone who is a fully paid-up member of The Association for a continuous period of three (3) years with basic accounting skills
3 Editor: Shall be someone who is a fully paid-up member of The Association for a continuous period of three (3) years with a media/communication background
d) The NEC shall meet at least twice each year. The procedure of such meetings shall be laid down in the Rules of The Association.
e) The quorum for any NEC meeting shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the NEC.
f) If a quorum is not present within thirty minutes of the advertised time of the NEC meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned for thirty minutes. Those members of the NEC present at such adjourned meeting shall then be deemed to constitute a quorum, irrespective of their number, and such members may transact the business of the meeting.
g) The powers of the NEC shall be those granted and confirmed to it at the AGM. The NEC also has the following powers:
1. Decide on the policy of The Association in all internal and external affairs
2. Decide on representation with regards to internal and external affiliation
3. Deal with all The Association's financial transactions
4. Control, maintain and safeguard The Association's property
5. Prepare business for The Association's general meetings and report on its activities at such meetings
6. To deal with national matters affecting members
7. To coordinate and facilitate the formation and functioning of Branches and Interest Groups.
8. To plan strategically for The Association
9. in consultation with Branches and Interest Groups, to generally promote the achievement of The Association's objectives.
Article 11: Committees
- Committees shall be formed as deemed necessary by the NEC and can either be Standing or Working Committees;
- Committees may co-opt persons onto that Committee to help with the work of that Committee, with the proviso that such co-opted persons have no voting rights;
- The rules of procedure for Committees shall be laid down in the Rules of The Association.
Article 12: Branches
1. The purpose of a Branch is to:
- promote library, documentation, information, records and archival services within a geographical area
- provide geographical representation to the NEC and
- Cooperate in the promotion of library, documentation, information, records and archival services within The Association and other groups.
2. The procedure for the establishment of Branches is provided for in the Rules of The Association
Article 13: Interest Groups
- Interest Groups may be recognized or established on application by a sufficient number of members or groups interested in the same area in library, documentation, information, records and archival services.
- The purpose of Interest Groups is to promote library, documentation, information, records and archival services within and for a particular service, category of user, type of material, function or activity.
- The procedure for the establishment of Interest Groups is provided for in the Rules of The Association.
Article 14: Finance
- A certain quota of the funds of The Association shall be invested for long term sustainability;
- The funds of The Association shall be used to pay expenses incurred in the attainment of the objectives specified in Article 3, and for such other lawful purposes as may be decided upon by the AGM or the NEC, or as determined generally within the powers of The Association.
- Payments at national level shall require the prior approval of the NEC shall be signed by the President and one of the following National Treasurer or Secretary-General. Except when payment is made from petty cash, the maximum amount of any payment must be approved by the National Treasurer. Payments at Branch and Interest Group level shall be made as provided for in the Rules of The Association.
- Subscriptions and other funds received by Branches on behalf of NEC shall be deposited to The Association's credit quarterly at a bank decided upon by the NEC.
- 2/3 capitation from subscriptions shall be remitted quarterly by each Branch as above;
- The National Treasurer and Treasurers of each Branch and each Interest Group shall prepare regular statements of income and expenditure and submit these statements to the NEC and Branch or Interest Group committees;
- The National Treasurer and Treasurers of each Branch and each Interest Group shall, in addition, prepare a statement of income and expenditure and balance sheet for each financial year, ending on December 31, and submit these statements to the AGM. Such statements and balance sheets shall be audited.
Article 15: Professional Conduct
1. All practicing Information Practitioners shall abide by the Code of Professional Conduct (see Appendix 1)
2. The NEC shall have disciplinary power over all members and Councillors within the following prescribed limits:
- Maladministration of Association's funds through recklessness, corruption and fraud
- Abuse of and willful damage to The Association's property and facilities
- The making of secret profit, personal or otherwise derivation of personal benefits from activities carried out on The Association's behalf
- Failure to make a report upon an assignment carried out on The Association's behalf
- All acts intentionally and deliberately calculated to undermine the unity and progress of The Association whether carried out by ordinary members or by any Councillors
3. The Disciplinary Committee may order:
a. Payment of a fine to The Association not exceeding $100
b. Suspension of The Association membership or Office for a specific period
c. A public apology by the offender
4. Branches or Interest Groups to refer any serious misconduct to the -NEC and other relevant authorities depending on the severity of the offence
5. The NEC may order investigation into any previous cases of misconduct by past members providing that there is reasonable evidence for prosecution
6. An appeal against the ruling of the Disciplinary Committee may be made through the Secretary-General
Article 16: Association Awards
a. shall only be open to The Association membership
b. certain awards shall not be open to Councillors or Branch Executives or general membership
c. A Committee shall be set up under the auspices of the President to over see the awards
Article 17: Rules
1. The Association shall, at an AGM or Special General Meeting, adopt or amend Rules of The Association, which shall be in accordance with the provisions and spirit of this Constitution and shall govern the practical application of the provisions of this Constitution.
Article 18: Amendments
1. This Constitution shall only be amended by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of members present in person or by written proxy at an AGM or Special General Meeting convened for this purpose.
2. Constitutional changes may be proposed by a Branch, Interest Group or the NEC, prior to an AGM or Special General Meeting called for this purpose. Members must receive at least sixty (60) days notice of such proposed amendments.
3. If the Constitutional amendment alters the composition of any elected structure of The Association, the current structure shall stay in office until the day the amendments come into effect, even if the elections for new body or organs have taken place before that date.
Article 19: Dissolution of the Association
1.The Association can only be dissolved at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose, with prior notice given, by two-thirds (2/3) of fully subscribed membership of The Association present in person or by written proxy.
2. A proposal to dissolve The Association may be made by the NEC, or at least three Branches. The reasons for the proposal must be given in full, and must be given in writing.
3. The NEC shall, within sixty (60) days of making or receiving such proposal, circulate the proposal, together with the reasons given for the proposal, to all the fully subscribed members of The Association, together with a notice of the Special General Meeting.
4. In the event of the requisite number of votes resolving to dissolve The Association, the Special General Meeting shall also decide on the disposal of all assets and monies after the debts and liabilities have been settled, provided:
5. That no assets or monies of The Association shall be transferred or paid to any person who was a member of The Association prior to the dissolution, and provided, further, that
6. Any non-profit organization or body nominated to receive such assets and monies should not have the same or similar objectives and philosophies as The Association.
Article 20: Interpretation
Interpretation of this Constitution is as it is.