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AskAway Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

The BC ELN AskAway Advisory Committee focuses on policy and planning, and operations. It is a subcommittee of the BC ELN Steering Committee.

AskAway Advisory Committee members:

  • advise BC ELN on policy issues
  • represent the interests and concerns of their regions and institution types
  • bring forward issues and suggest initiatives
  • carry out research, or other work, in support of the service and bring back recommendations
  • communicate regularly with their colleagues on the aims and progress of the AskAway service
  • act as 'goodwill ambassadors' for AskAway


The members of the BC ELN AskAway Advisory Committee represent the diversity of post-secondary libraries. They represent a cross-section of BC ELN partner libraries, based on type and geographic location. Only staff of libraries participating in AskAway may be members of the committee. Committee members may include library directors, AskAway local coordinators, and AskAway service providers.

Three seats for members-at-large ensure that AskAway local coordinators and service providers are represented on the committee. Seats may be modified or added to as AskAway evolves.

The AskAway Advisory Committee is responsible for ensuring balanced representation on the committee.

BC ELN Partner Library representatives are elected for a two year term commencing October 1. The terms of appointment are staggered to allow for continuity. Two new representatives will be appointed each year. At the end of their final term, each outgoing representative will poll their institution-type group to find a replacement.

There are two permanent positions on the Committee: the BC ELN Executive Director and the AskAway Coordinator.

In summary, committee positions are as follows:

  • 4 representatives from Urban Colleges, Rural Colleges, Small Universities, and Teaching Universities and Technical Institutions
  • 3 representatives from Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and University of Victoria
  • 3 members-at-large representing AskAway local coordinators and service providers
  • BC ELN Executive Director
  • AskAway Coordinator

Chair: runs the Advisory Committee meetings and works closely with the Coordinator to plan meetings, set agendas, and ensure that minutes are taken and distributed. The Chair position will rotate on a yearly basis. The outgoing Chair will attempt to find at least one individual to stand as Chair but any other committee members are also welcome to stand for nomination.

Coordinator: oversees the day-to-day operations of AskAway, including training, software administration, scheduling, preparing reports, and service evaluation. The Coordinator is hosted at the BC ELN office. The position is currently funded at three days per week.


The AskAway Advisory Committee typically meets every three months, or as required.

Meetings are held via a combination of in-person and teleconference.

All committee correspondence will be distributed on the askaway-advisory distribution list.


1. Meetings

The Advisory Committee meets every 3 months, or as required.  Meetings are held via a combination of in-person and teleconference.

If an Advisory Committee member representing a constituency is unable to attend a meeting, they should appoint an alternate from their constituent group to attend and act in their place.

From time to time, the Chair may invite representatives from external stakeholder organizations in the library and post-secondary communities to attend meeting for the purpose of information exchange and communications.

Expenses will be covered for the Chair to attend meetings in-person.  Expense claim policies and procedures will follow those of the host institution, Simon Fraser University.

2. Election and term of office of Advisory Committee members

Advisory Committee members representing a constituency shall be elected by that constituency for two years, renewable for one additional two-year term. Elections are carried out by the constituency each September, and the member’s term commences October 1.

3. Election and term of office of the Members-at-large

Members-at-large are appointed for a two-year term commencing October 1, renewable for one additional two-year term. 

The Adminstrative Centre will send a call-out for nominees to the AskAway listservs.  The list of nominees will be brought to the Advisory Committee, which will choose successful candidates by consensus decision, with the goal of balancing representation from different institutional types, sizes and geographies.

4. Election and term of office of the Chair

The Chair shall serve for a term of one year commencing October 1, renewable for an additional one-year term.  All committee members are eligible to hold the Chair position.

5. Subcommittees

From time to time the Advisory Committee may delegate oversight of an initiative to a subcommittee under terms of reference set by the Advisory Committee. The subcommittee may make recommendations to the Advisory Committee on policy or operational matters.

6. Executive Committee

In order to execute urgent business or seek advice between regularly scheduled meetings of the Advisory Committee, the Administrative Centre may consult with or receive advice from the Executive of the Advisory Committee.  The Executive Committee consists of:

  • The Chair
  • A representative from the AskAway Administrative Centre
  • One other member of the Advisory Committee who volunteers for a one-year term with the possibility of renewal for an additional one-year term.

Finding a replacement volunteer Executive Committee member will appear on the agenda of the meeting before October 1.  If there is more than one volunteer for the position, the position will be filled by consensus decision of the Advisory Committee, taking into account the other members of the Executive Committee.

The advice of the Executive Committee is not meant to pre-empt or circumvent the deliberations of the Advisory Committee but to advance business in a timely manner.

7. Terms of Reference Review

The Advisory Committee Terms of Reference will be reviewed at least every five years, or earlier if there are substantive changes in the nature of the BC ELN, AskAway or its participating libraries.

Last updated 2011/09/20