Librarians and Archivists Forum

Terms of Reference


The Librarians and Archivists Forum provides a venue for inclusiveness, transparency and engagement on matters of importance to staff in a collegial setting by allowing Librarians and Archivists to make recommendations related to the development of the library and archives annual and long-term planning, policies, procedures, services, projects, and other initiatives.

The Library Forum should consider key matters impacting the work of librarians and the development of library resources and services and make recommendations to SLT on policies and priorities.

The objectives of the Forum are to:

  • solicit recommendations on the development of library and archival annual and long-term planning, policies, procedures, services, projects, and other initiatives
  • keep librarians and archivists informed about significant developments regarding work, activities and initiatives across library operations through regular committee reports or presentations, as well as providing opportunities for engagement and input
  • consider the broader academic, research and information environments within which libraries operate including University, academic and research priorities
  • engage in discussion and make recommendations on other matters related to libraries and archives at Western in a collegial setting regarding concerns brought forward by members


All Librarians and Archivists who are Members of UWOFA-LA and all members of Western Libraries Senior Leadership Team.


Through participation in the Forum, and on subcommittees and working groups that may arise from the Forum, members are expected to contribute to the development and implementation of strategic directions, priorities, policies, procedures and standards for the resources and services offered by the libraries and the archives.

Librarians and Archivists also have the right and responsibility to participate in the formulation and/or recommendation of academic policies and procedures within the University through duly constituted collegial bodies and committees.

Reporting Relationship and Decision Making

When the Chief Librarian or Dean receives a recommendation from the Forum, the Chief Librarian or Dean will advise the Forum of the outcome of the recommendation and of the reasons for the outcome. An update to any given recommendation is normally expected at the next meeting.

Voting and consensus

When the Co-Chairs determine a need for determining overall member opinion on a given topic, they can do so either by consensus or through a vote.

Consensus decision making will be the primary mains of confirming moving forward with a given recommendation or course of action for the Forum. This method will be used by the Co-Chairs in situation where dissent is not expected, such as confirming a course of action already casually agreed upon through group discussion. During a call for consensus, members will be asked to speak out if they dissent to the proposed course of action. A call for consensus will fail if more than 5% of the voting dissent.

In the case of consensus failing or for an issue where consensus isn’t expected but agreement on a course of action is still required, the Co-Chairs can call for a vote by show of hands.

Operating Norms

Meeting Frequency

Forums shall be held normally in January, May, and September. The co-chairs may call additional meetings as necessary.

Meeting Structure and Processes

Members of the bargaining unit will elect a co-chair and a secretary from among the Members, coordinated by the Nominating Committee, and announced at the May meeting of the Forum. The Employer will appoint a second co-chair.

  • The terms of those offices shall take effect July 1st and shall be for one year. Mid-term vacancies can be filled to the end of the original term by the same process.
  • The Co-Chairs will send out a call for agenda items four weeks in advance of each scheduled Forum. A final agenda with any relevant written material will be distributed at least one week prior to the meeting.
    • Agenda items should indicate expected outcome. E.g. information, discussion, decision
    • Decisions of the Forum will be made by consensus of the members
    • Should a vote be required, it will normally take place by a show of hands
    • Quorum will be 50%+1 Members of UWOFA-LA and at least 1 SLT member
  • At each Forum, the Co-Chairs shall report on any actions or outcomes resulting from previous Forum discussions.
  • The Co-Chairs may invite guests to any meeting based on the agenda.
  • Regular written or verbal reports on budget, resource allocation, the Academic Activity Support Fund, Disciplinary Coordinators & Library Directors, projects and initiatives, and the work of committees and working groups struck to complete work of the Forum.
  • The following committees shall provide annual reports to the Forum: Annual Review, Appointments, Nominations and Elections, Promotion and Continuing Appointment, and Workload.
  • All meetings are open to non-members, except during in camera1 agenda items. Non-members may be invited to the Forum by any Member.

1An example of a possible in camera session would be a discussion of a vendor negotiation for a library service or resource.

Forum Subcommittees and Working Groups

  • Standing or ad-hoc subcommittees and working groups may be established to advance the work of the Forum.
  • Subcommittees and working groups may be formed during meetings by a call for volunteers from among the members present
  • Subcommittees and working groups may also be formed through a formal call for volunteers. In this case the co-chairs will confirm the members of the subcommittee or working group.
  • Subcommittees and working groups will select a chair from among their members and will develop terms of reference that are shared for review and approval by the Forum members
  • Subcommittees and working groups will report their findings to the Forum in writing.


The Secretary is responsible for taking, distributing and archiving minutes and any related documents, including reports. All documents will be archived in a way that they are accessible to all members of the Forum.

All non-confidential Forum documents will be made publicly available on the Library website. Managing the creation and maintenance of Library website pages related to the Forum will be the responsibility of the Secretary.


The Terms of Reference will be reviewed every 2 years or as needed.