NJLA Officers and Board - History

From the founding of NJLA in 1890 to about the 1930’s, the Executive Board was its officers.  It was a small board:  president, vice-president, second vice-president, third vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.  The 3rd VP office disappeared after 1900.

In 1926, the 2nd VP was eliminated, but NJLA started to record an ALA councillor.  Most years, the current president represented us at ALA, but sometimes the minutes indicate that the responsibility was passed on to others.  There probably was no election for ALA councillor, it was just as assigned responsibility.

The next change to the Executive Board appears to have taken place in the 1940’s.  At that time, committee chairs were added as voting members, presumably to broaden the leadership.  It becomes difficult to track who exactly is on the board at this time, however.  Committee leadership varied from meeting to meeting, and minutes over the years have varied in the quality of the information.

In the 1950’s, the structure changed again.  New Jersey was entitled to two votes on ALA Council, it appears, so both of those persons were on the board.  The State Librarian (Roger McDonough) and the Director of the Rutgers MS program became ex officio members;  that seems to have been eliminated after a few years.  Beginning in 1956, the current pattern of having the first vice-president succeed to the presidency the following year began.

The second vice-president returned in 1961, followed the next year by a corresponding secretary (but only until 1977).  The ALA Councillor went back to one seat, and, for a short period in the late 1970’s had no vote on the Executive Board, either.

While all officers of NJLA over the years have been recorded, the comings and goings of at-large members has been difficult to track.  A spreadsheet of who has served since 1941 is available, but needs further work.  Lists of the presidents, treasurers, secretaries, and executives have been compiled and edited, but not for the various vice-presidents, ALA councillors, and other occasional offices.


June 2017