Committee Bylaws

Bylaws of the Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee

Section 1
: The name of the organization shall be Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee (RITBA).

Section 2: The RITBA Committee is organized to create an annual list of nominated young adult titles using specific selection criteria, to promote the list of nominated titles throughout Rhode Island communities, and to bestow the Rhode Island Teen Book Award. The award is a student-choice book award voted on by Rhode Island teens in grades 9-12. The purpose of the award is to promote young adult literature and encourage reading for enjoyment.

Section 1: Application for membership will be open to any interested party with priority given to librarians, school library media specialists, teachers, paraprofessionals, and college students in a related field.

Section 2: To maintain membership in the organization, members must have demonstrated continuous participation in the selection process. Participation is defined as:

1) attendance at a minimum of 3 October - March meetings;
2) attendance at the April business meeting;
3) contribution of critical reviews to the selection process of nominated books; 
4) reading a minimum of 20 books; and
5) nominating at least 1 eligible, critically reviewed title to the list.

Section 3: Every member is required to make one book module per term. (Pairing up is acceptable.)

Section 4: Members who do not maintain membership requirements outlined in Section 2 and Section 3 will be placed on probation for one year. Failure to meet requirements two years in a row will result in being ineligible to serve for the following year.

Section 1: Regular Meetings. The organization will hold one planning meeting in September, six discussion meetings between October through March, and one business meeting in April, which must have a quorum of half the committee plus one.

Section 2: Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called by an officer of the organization.

Section 3: Notice. Notice of each meeting shall be given to each member, by e-mail, not less than five days before the meeting.

Section 1: Board Role, Size, Compensation. The Board is responsible for overall policy and direction of the Council, and delegates responsibility for day-to-day operations to the RITBA Committee Director and any sub-committees. The Board shall have up to four and not fewer than two members. The board receives no compensation other than reasonable expenses.

Section 2: Board Elections. Election of new board members or election of current board members to a second term will occur at the Spring business meeting of the membership. Board members will be elected by a majority vote of the current membership.

Section 3 : Terms. All Board members shall serve one year terms, but are eligible for re-election.

Section 4 : Quorum. A quorum must be attended by at least 20% percent of the Board members before business can be transacted or motions made or passed.

Section 5 : Notice. An official Board meeting requires that each Board member have written notice (print or electronic) one week in advance.

Section 6 : Officers and Duties. There shall be four officers of the Board consisting of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Their duties are as follows:

a. The Chair shall convene regularly scheduled meetings, shall preside or arrange for other members of the Board to preside at each meeting in the following order:  Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer.

b. The Vice Chair shall be responsible for assisting the Chair in overseeing meetings and running the committee on an as needed basis.

c. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping any needed records of the organization's actions, such as any needed minutes at meetings, and distributing copies of minutes and agendas to each member. The secretary will also organize and update the list spreadsheet.

d. The Treasurer shall make a report at the September planning meeting and the April business meeting. Treasurer shall assist in the preparation of the budget, help develop fundraising plans, and make financial information available to members and the public. All expenditures authorized by the treasurer shall be approved by at least one other officer of the organization.

Section 7 : Vacancies. When a vacancy on the Board exists, nominations for new members may be received from present members by the Secretary two weeks in advance of   a special, planning, or business meeting. These nominations shall be sent out to members with the regular meeting announcement, to be voted upon at the next meeting. These vacancies will be filled only to the end of the particular Board member's term.

Section 8 : Resignation, Termination, and Absences. Resignation from the Board must be in writing and received by the Secretary. A Board member shall be dropped for excess absences from the Board if s/he has three unexcused absences from Board meetings in a year. A Board member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote of the membership.

Section 9 : Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board shall be called upon the request of the Chair or one-third of the membership. Notices of special meetings shall be sent out by the Secretary to each Board member by e-mail at least one week in advance.

Section 10: Special Committees. The Board may create special sub-committees as needed, such as fundraising, outreach, ect. The Board Chair appoints all special sub-committee chairs.

Section 1: Nomination of Titles.

The committee at large is responsible for selection of the current list of nominees. The nominee list is evaluated as followed: 

Each book nominated must meet the requirements for eligibility. Books will be scored by committee members through critical reviews, which contain scores of up to 4 points for quality and up to 3 points for appeal to the intended audience. Books can only be removed from consideration after 1/3 of the group membership has read the title and a simple majority of readers have voted to remove it at a monthly meeting. Publisher nominations can be removed if the first five committee members score it as a 5.00 or less. If one of the first five scores is higher than a 5.00, the publisher nomination will then require readership of 1/3 of the committee to be considered for removal from the list and a simple majority of readers have voted to remove it at a monthly meeting.

To encourage thoughtful nominations and the reading of a wide array of genres and diverse viewpoints suggested by other committee members, no more than 7 personal nominations may count towards a member's 20 book required reading minimum.

Section 2: Committee Voting Procedures.

Each nominated title must have a minimum of 1/3 readers to be eligible for consideration for the Final List. When a book has received 1/3 readers it may be discussed and subsequently voted on at a monthly meeting, with only those committee members who have read the book voting on whether to keep or drop the title. A tie vote or a simple majority of 'yes' votes is required to maintain a title's eligibility. A simple majority of 'no' votes is enough to drop the title. Members may vote by proxy if they cannot attend the meeting, but must submit their votes to the committee chair by email no later than 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting. 

Ahead of the Final Voting Meeting, a Pre-Voting Survey will be sent to committee members to assess which books they feel most strongly about including on the Final List. At the Final Voting Meeting, all eligible titles will be voted on by the committee, beginning with the titles with the most interest (as determined by the Pre-Voting Survey), and continuing down the list to those titles with the least interest (as determined by the Pre-Voting Survey). Any books that are tied in terms of interest will be voted on in alphabetical order by title (excluding articles such as 'a,' 'an,' and 'the'). At this time, members may vote on all eligible titles regardless of whether or not they have read them.

At the Final Voting Meeting there will be no discussion of eligible titles prior to the first round of voting. A 2/3 majority of 'yes' votes (a 2/3 majority as determined by the number of committee members present at the Final Voting Meeting) is required for a title to make the Final List. Books that receive fewer than 1/3 'yes votes (1/3 as determined by the number of committee members present at the Final Voting Meeting) will be dropped from consideration for the the Final List. If a book has received more than 1/3 'yes' votes, but not a 2/3 majority of 'yes' votes after one round of voting, the title will not be dropped, but will be set aside for discussion. 

After the conclusion of the first round of voting, any remaining books which were not dropped from the list, but which did not have a 2/3 majority of 'yes' votes required for the Final List will be discussed in the order in which they were first voted on. After each title has been discussed another round of voting will commence, adhering to the voting and discussion structure outlined above. Voting and discussion will continue until the committee has reached a list of 20 titles. When 20 titles have been added to the Final List, voting will cease; however, the committee may vote to reconsider certain titles to ensure a balanced list.


Section 1: These Bylaws may be amended when necessary by majority of the membership. Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Secretary to be sent out with regular Board announcements.

These Bylaws were approved at a meeting of the membership on December 16, 2003.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 13, 2006.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 11, 2007.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 13, 2015.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 24, 2017.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 23, 2020.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the memership on April 30, 2021.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 12, 2022.
The Bylaws were updated at a meeting of the membership on April 20, 2023.